How Guitarists Can Learn New Songs Faster
Many guitarists spend hours and hours practicing the basics, patiently waiting for the time when they can start learning a song. But when the time comes to play songs on guitar, they find it a time-consuming task altogether. Guitar players who have considerable experience with their instruments might find learning music to be just as time-consuming. So is there any way to learn songs faster?
There is no secret recipe to it other than practice, but there are many ways through which you could make learning a lot more efficient. Here are some tips to follow to make learning songs a much faster process.
It’s obvious why guitarists have to listen to the song repeatedly. You learn a lot when you listen to the song, making it easier to replicate it when you start learning the song yourself. So if you want to learn a song fast, it’s important that you spend time getting used to every single note and movement in the song. Listen intently to songs to be able to play songs on guitar.
Another efficient way guitar players use to become familiar with a song is to listen to it when it’s slowed down. This can be useful when there are complex parts in the song that you cannot fully understand. This will make it extremely simple for you to learn the song on your guitar in the future.
Break into pieces
Tackling an entire song head-on can be overwhelming, so break the song into small pieces that you can perfect one by one. Every song can be broken down into the following parts:
- Verse (Might be more than one)
Target each of these parts one by one and you’ll find it much easier to learn the entire song. Build each part on the previous one as your progress further.
As you can see, parts like the chorus and bridge are repetitive, so you can try perfecting them at the very beginning. Since it’s repetitive, you’ll be able to stitch all the parts together as they come.
Tackle difficult parts next
When you have all your parts divided and your repetitive parts perfected, you want to prioritize difficult or complex parts next. These would mostly include the solos and filler or even the start or end of the song.
It might not be the best decision to start learning the song with the most difficult parts first. You may find it frustrating to perfect and it will only lead to a loss in your learning momentum. Instead, cover the fundamentals parts of the song first and then jump onto the complex ones.
If you ever end up struggling with a part, you can always slow it down and learn. Challenging parts require patience, so give it its due time, just like how you would while listening to those parts, break it down into even smaller chunks and then connect them all together.
Make changes if needed
Your proficiency level dictates your ability to learn complex things. If you are below the level needed to fully replicate the song, you can either practice till you reach the level or strip it down to your level.
These changes could be anything from the scale of the song to the tempo of the song. Find the things that you can change and experiment with it. If it sounds good to you, then play it for your friends. Good guitarists often get feedback from others before they make it a permanent part of their song.
Add your own elements
When learning the song, many guartists find it fun to add their own elements and improvise. You might not always like every single part of a song, so you can improvise parts that you feel you can improve.
If you struggle with inspiration, you can look up covers that other artists may have made. You’ll find plenty of different varieties of covers of the same song, with people adding their own touch to the song. Try exploring your own unique interests in music and find that which you can add to your song. You can then incorporate these changes in the song and you’ll enjoy learning the song even more.
If you’re someone who can play more complex pieces than the song itself, you can try incorporating more parts in your song. It could be anything from an extra solo to just hammer downs or note slides.
There is certainly no shortcut to learning a song faster without compromising on the quality of the song. But good guitarists pursue ways to make learning more efficient. That’s why these tips are so essential when you’re learning a song on the guitar. Following these tips will make it significantly easier for you to learn any song you set out to learn.
Dallas Dorrall is passionate about music and is living her dream managing and promoting Nashville/Muscle Shoals based Country Music Artist, Johnny Collier, currently touring the US. While traveling, she enjoys reviewing new artists, restaurants and nightclubs. Dallas is crazy about her family and friends and attributes her enthusiasm for life to a quote by Marianne Williamson (which she still reads every day) entitled “Our Deepest Fear”.