#1
What is understood as learning songs on a guitar? Because, a song mostly consists of several band members playing, not just one instrument. Is learning songs simply learning the chords for rhythm guitar, or learning the chords plus the lead, or learning the chords plus the lead plus all the other additional guitar parts?
#3
that always depends on how much of the song you want to learn. maybe you just want to jam to it so you dont learn the solos, or you just learn the chords to make a campfire version out of it... "learning a song" doesnt have a clear definition if you ask me.
#6
Quote by DonJulio
that always depends on how much of the song you want to learn. maybe you just want to jam to it so you dont learn the solos, or you just learn the chords to make a campfire version out of it... "learning a song" doesnt have a clear definition if you ask me.

This is the only answer that is at least a bit helpful out of all the answers in this thread. No, i am not high. May i get an answer now, please?
#7
...Uh. Generally, when people learn a song, they pick either the lead guitar, rhythm guitar, drums, or bass part of the song, but since we're in the "guitar techniques" forum, I'm assuming you play guitar. Figure out either the lead or the rhythm part of the song, depending on if you play lead or rhythm, and learn it by ear or learn it by tabs...
#9
Playing guitar is a wonderful thing because you can do exactly what you want to do.
You can learn just pieces of songs you like, or learn the rhythm of a song so you can jam and sing along with it, or you can learn the lead parts so you can play along, maybe later on, learn the guitar parts of a song and get together with a few friends who play other instruments and do a couple covers.
You don't even have to learn songs, you can listen to music for ideas on licks, or chord progressions and melodies and rhythms and be inspired to write your own music.

However generally when somebody refers to learning a song, it usually means being able to play the song all the way through (and not just the intro...I know way too many intros and not enough endings)
Playing guitar is a journey man, your destination is up to you.
#10
when someone advises you to "learn songs" (like Paul Gilbert does), it basically means put your ears to use! He wants you to train your ears, because when you start learning songs by ear, you are improving your ability as a musician. when you jam with other guitarists, you'll be able to figure out what they are doing and develop a song with them or a jam that just sounds good. so really, just pick out whatever part of the song you want to learn (it doesn't even have to be the whole song, just the chorus or the verse if you want) and learn it by ear! Using tabs would be cheating.
#11
Quote by robinlint
What is understood as learning songs on a guitar? Because, a song mostly consists of several band members playing, not just one instrument. Is learning songs simply learning the chords for rhythm guitar, or learning the chords plus the lead, or learning the chords plus the lead plus all the other additional guitar parts?

As you said a song is more than 1 band member... if the bad has more than 1 guitar player and you're playing said song with your own band, learn one of the guitar parts and you'll know your role on the song. If you pick the lead part then learn that, and if you wish to increase your understanding of the song you can also learn the rhythm, but it isn't necesary as you already know your role in the song
#12
This is by far the most obscure and most difficult question to answer I've ever seen on UG. I suppose it all depends on the person. For instance, if you learn 10% of a song on any or all instruments, you can't really say you have learned that song, can you? You could say you have learned part of it or that you're learning it. Or another example would be in Metallica's "Enter Sandman". If you learn the rhythm part of it, you could either say you have learned all of it, or that you have learned all of it except the solo. Since the rhythm and lead parts of that song are basically the same except for the solo, if you learn the rhythm part, you more or less know the lead part.

Now that I've answered you question, I have one for you: Why does it matter?
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#13
Quote by Junior#1
This is by far the most obscure and most difficult question to answer I've ever seen on UG. I suppose it all depends on the person. For instance, if you learn 10% of a song on any or all instruments, you can't really say you have learned that song, can you? You could say you have learned part of it or that you're learning it. Or another example would be in Metallica's "Enter Sandman". If you learn the rhythm part of it, you could either say you have learned all of it, or that you have learned all of it except the solo. Since the rhythm and lead parts of that song are basically the same except for the solo, if you learn the rhythm part, you more or less know the lead part.

Now that I've answered you question, I have one for you: Why does it matter?

Thanks for the answer. Because I want to learn songs completely, not just part of it. Up till now i've just grabbed a chord tab every time I wanted to learn a song, and learnt to play the chords, but without any embellishments, dynamics, and rhythm that is used in the original song. And i've almost never learnt the lead. This leads to my playing sounding the same with every song. I've heard some covers from people here on UG, and they sound a lot more like the songs they are covering.

And when I wanted to learn metal, I had no idea what to learn when I looked at a guitar pro tab.. sometimes there were about 4 lead guitars and 1 rhythm guitar.. Just 1 rhythm and 1 lead? Especially with Rhapsody of Fire, there's about 4 lead guitars, 1 rhythm guitar, and A WHOLE ORCHESTRA. What parts would I have to learn to make it at least sound decent? How would I learn the song, if I don't have 4 guitars and a whole orchestra backing me?
I tried learning Dawn of Victory once.. I learnt the rhythm guitar part. It doesn't sound anything like Rhapsody of Fire without those 4 guitars and the orchestra. This is what I mean. What parts of a song should I learn to make it at least sound somewhat close to the original?
Last edited by robinlint at Aug 31, 2009,
#14
Quote by robinlint
What parts of a song should I learn to make it at least sound somewhat close to the original?


Learn the parts that are the "focus point" of the song. Like learn the lead and rythmn and sing, doing each part when its the "focus point". If you catch my drift. That would make your version closer to the original.
#15
Quote by robinlint
Thanks for the answer. Because I want to learn songs completely, not just part of it. Up till now i've just grabbed a chord tab every time I wanted to learn a song, and learnt to play the chords, but without any embellishments, dynamics, and rhythm that is used in the original song. And i've almost never learnt the lead. This leads to my playing sounding the same with every song. I've heard some covers from people here on UG, and they sound a lot more like the songs they are covering.

And when I wanted to learn metal, I had no idea what to learn when I looked at a guitar pro tab.. sometimes there were about 4 lead guitars and 1 rhythm guitar.. Just 1 rhythm and 1 lead? Especially with Rhapsody of Fire, there's about 4 lead guitars, 1 rhythm guitar, and A WHOLE ORCHESTRA. What parts would I have to learn to make it at least sound decent? How would I learn the song, if I don't have 4 guitars and a whole orchestra backing me?
I tried learning Dawn of Victory once.. I learnt the rhythm guitar part. It doesn't sound anything like Rhapsody of Fire without those 4 guitars and the orchestra. This is what I mean. What parts of a song should I learn to make it at least sound somewhat close to the original?



there is nothing you can learn and do BY YOURSELF to make yourself sound like the entire song itself. that is why it's called a BAND
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#16
Quote by dNWaKE
there is nothing you can learn and do BY YOURSELF to make yourself sound like the entire song itself. that is why it's called a BAND


Sure there is.

You could learn to take songs apart and then put together your own arrangements that work well with what you have available (be that simply your voice and your acoustic guitar, a three-piece with your friends, your school orchestra, etc).

This is arguably much more useful in terms of ones own development as a musician than merely being able to mimic someone else's recording.
#17
This is a really good question. If you plan on doing the song in one take by yourself, then you have to make compromises, and choose the parts to play that contribute the most to the character of a song. This changes section by section - you don't just learn all of "Gtr I" the whole way through. For example, in a solo trade off situation in a band with two guitarists (guitarist 1 plays a section of lead, while guitarist 2 plays rhythm, then guitarist 2 plays the next section of lead, while guitarist 1 picks up the rhythm), you might choose to play all of the lead parts without the rhythm underneath, since you might feel that the lead contributes more to the nature of the song during that part. Same goes when two guitarists (or overdubbed in the studio) harmonize - you have to pick which side most clearly defines the part. Or you can pick bits from each part of the harmony and come up with your own arrangement for playing it on one guitar. Sometimes if the second guitar is an constant interval up or down from the first (a third is pretty common, and sounds awesome - which is why it is common), then you can use a harmonizer pedal.
Last edited by se012101 at Aug 31, 2009,
#18
Quote by se012101
This is a really good question. If you plan on doing the song in one take by yourself, then you have to make compromises, and choose the parts to play that contribute the most to the character of a song. This changes section by section - you don't just learn all of "Gtr I" the whole way through. For example, in a solo trade off situation in a band with two guitarists (guitarist 1 plays a section of lead, while guitarist 2 plays rhythm, then guitarist 2 plays the next section of lead, while guitarist 1 picks up the rhythm), you might choose to play all of the lead parts without the rhythm underneath, since you might feel that the lead contributes more to the nature of the song during that part. Same goes when two guitarists (or overdubbed in the studio) harmonize - you have to pick which side most clearly defines the part. Or you can pick bits from each part of the harmony and come up with your own arrangement for playing it on one guitar. Sometimes if the second guitar is an constant interval up or down from the first (a third is pretty common, and sounds awesome - which is why it is common), then you can use a harmonizer pedal.

Thanks. Awesome advice, se012101 and ascend. I'll do that, then
#19
Personally I consider "learning a song" just learning it so that I can play it from the beginning to the end. Now you'll have to choose which part, lead or rhythm, or probably a combination of the two. I usually memorize it so that I switch between the 2 to get the best alone-playing version of the song.
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