Who this lesson is intended for
This lesson is intended for complete beginners first starting to learn guitar.
- Can play the songs in the first lesson on simple songs.
The purpose of this lesson is to give you practice playing more very simple songs. Getting comfortable playing these songs will improve your learning rate.
A follow on from last lesson
This lesson is a direct follow on from the last lesson on simple guitar songs. You need to understand all the concepts in that lesson before learning the songs here. The songs in this lesson are very similar to the other lesson. I won’t explain the songs in too much detail because I have already explained how to play the songs in the other lesson. Practice these songs along with the other songs before moving on to new techniques because it is very important to feel comfortable with the most basic playing. This lesson is mainly for practicing more songs.
ODE TO JOY
This song needs around the same skill as the songs in the other lesson so if you are comfortable with the other songs this will be simple. Have a think of which fingers you need to use in this one. If you forget, go back to the other lesson to refresh your memory. If you still can’t work it out, watch the video demonstration. Play this song slowly and make sure everything sounds perfect.
You will notice in the second-last measure that the highest note is on the fifth fret. In the other lesson I only explained finger positions for the first four frets. Have a think about which finger you should use to play that note. Try playing that measure and figure out the best way to play it. Once you have in mind the best way to play it, have a look how I recommend you play it in the video demonstration. Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong, so don’t worry if I play it different to how you played it. Although there is no right or wrong, there is easier and harder. The best way to play any piece is normally the one where your hand makes the least amount of movements or shifts. You will learn more about this later.
This song sounds great when played fast but don’t rush yourself. Don’t try to play it fast straight away because it will just sound rushed and you will more than likely play a lot of mistakes. You need to gradually build up the speed (over days and weeks). Eventually you will be able to play it fast and accurately. Practice this song every day and try to play it slightly faster every time.
This song is different to all the others because the whole piece is played on only one string and it uses some pretty high frets. Before reading further, have a think of which fingers you should use. Try playing the piece using different fingers and after you try a few different ways, read on to my explanation.
How to play a song in the most efficient way
To understand why you should find out how to play a song the most efficient way, try playing the entire song using only your first finger (index). You will notice that your hand jumps around all over the place and it probably won’t sound too flash. Not only may it not sound good, you will notice that it will sound even worse if you try and play it faster. You have four fingers on your hand so make the most of every one. If you have trouble playing with your pinky, use it even more so you can build up its’ strength. As I explain in the video demonstration, use your pinky to play the highest fret in the section so it is easier to reach the lower frets. You wouldn’t play the 10th fret with your index finger because you would need to move your whole hand after that note. Think about this with every piece you learn.
Because the entire song is played on only one string, you can choose which string you play it on. Have a go playing the song on each string just to get practice playing each string.
After you can easily play all of these songs, try to sing the words out while you are playing them. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t a good singer. It will show you how well you know the songs. If you find you have a lot of trouble singing and playing at the same time, it may mean you don’t know the songs well enough.
My experience with simple songs:
I learned many songs like these when I first started guitar and it was great practice for later on. Knowing how the song should sound before I even tried the first note make everything a lot easier.
If you would like some feedback on your playing, feel free to upload a video response to this video on YouTube. I will be more than happy to take a look at your playing and give you tips and advice to improve.
These songs along with the songs in the other lesson are the simplest songs you can learn on guitar. From here the songs will get more complicated but if you have practiced these songs enough, you will progress rapidly. Practice these songs until you can play them perfectly with your eyes closed.
Aaron is an instructor at Tempo Music Cards – a top resource for anybody learning guitar. Provides educational flash cards to help you learn all the essential chords on guitar, a must for beginners. See the website for backing tracks, video lessons, tips and hints, text lessons and more.