#1
I've been playing around 5 years, and not improving much for the last 3, likely because I haven't been committed enough to practicing. A few times when I've been out with a small group of people who have asked me to play for them, it's become glaringly obvious that I don't know enough songs and my physical technique isn't very strong. To help with this (and also because I've realized that I've improved the most in the past technically when trying to master other people's songs) I've decided to learn every song in my iTunes library, in alphabetical order by artist, on either electric or acoustic guitar, bass, or piano (whatever I like at the time). It'll be around 500-600 songs, and I'm going to try to do 1 or 2 a day in combination with theory practice and my Berklee method books. Also, if there isn't a tab for a song, I'll figure out the entire thing by ear and then submit the tab to UG.

edit: I also plan on learning 1 song a week that's not of a style or artist I would usually listen to. By this I hope to expand my musical tastes as well as be able to play songs for/with people that don't necessarily have the same taste as me.
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Last edited by MarshmallowPies at Jan 4, 2010,
#2
I guess if playing other people's songs is what you want to do thats good, but I personally would pay more attention to the theory and the books, and then apply it to the songs so you can write your own songs better.
#3
I think learning other people's songs is a great way to boost your playing. But 500-600 is way too many. You'd get better results working on fewer songs that are a bit more difficult*, and giving yourself ample time to get really good at them and perform them with confidence. Remember it's not about how many things you can play - more just having a decent sized repetoire that you can perform really well.

* definition of "a bit more difficult" - not unrealistically difficult, you just need something that is within your ability to perform with authority, but only if you work really hard on it.
#5
It seems a bit overly ambitious to me. Also I find I learn the most when a song takes me a few days if not a week or more to learn. If you're an acoustic player I strongly suggest you look into learning some Elliott Smith or Nick Drake. If you're more an electric guy check out Pride and Joy by SRV or some Hendrix.

Another problem I find in your system is that you may learn the songs but I strongly doubt you'll be able to retain them. If you want to have a "set" learn a solid 10 - 20 covers and practice your set everyday for a week or so and by then you should be able to NAIL those tunes. Thus making it okay to fumble through songs you might not know so well if you open up with a few tunes you can NAIL as it lets everyone know that you can nail the tunes you really like.

Also keep in mind if you're playing for people that aren't musicians they think everything you do is magical so if you mess up the only person who knows is you if you can keep your cool and work your way through it.

Have fun!
#6
Quote by Disaronno
It seems a bit overly ambitious to me. Also I find I learn the most when a song takes me a few days if not a week or more to learn. If you're an acoustic player I strongly suggest you look into learning some Elliott Smith or Nick Drake. If you're more an electric guy check out Pride and Joy by SRV or some Hendrix.

Another problem I find in your system is that you may learn the songs but I strongly doubt you'll be able to retain them. If you want to have a "set" learn a solid 10 - 20 covers and practice your set everyday for a week or so and by then you should be able to NAIL those tunes. Thus making it okay to fumble through songs you might not know so well if you open up with a few tunes you can NAIL as it lets everyone know that you can nail the tunes you really like.

Also keep in mind if you're playing for people that aren't musicians they think everything you do is magical so if you mess up the only person who knows is you if you can keep your cool and work your way through it.

Have fun!


Best advice thus far.
#7
I wouldn't do them alphabetically or by artist - it'll be more interesting and useful to learn them in a random order.
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#8
Quote by MarshmallowPies
I've been playing around 5 years, and not improving much for the last 3, likely because I haven't been committed enough to practicing. A few times when I've been out with a small group of people who have asked me to play for them, it's become glaringly obvious that I don't know enough songs and my physical technique isn't very strong. To help with this (and also because I've realized that I've improved the most in the past technically when trying to master other people's songs) I've decided to learn every song in my iTunes library, in alphabetical order by artist, on either electric or acoustic guitar, bass, or piano (whatever I like at the time). It'll be around 500-600 songs, and I'm going to try to do 1 or 2 a day in combination with theory practice and my Berklee method books. Also, if there isn't a tab for a song, I'll figure out the entire thing by ear and then submit the tab to UG.

edit: I also plan on learning 1 song a week that's not of a style or artist I would usually listen to. By this I hope to expand my musical tastes as well as be able to play songs for/with people that don't necessarily have the same taste as me.


Okay, so you said you haven't been committed enough to practicing, and you're solution is to force yourself to learn an unreasonably large amount of songs.
I have to say I think it's a bad idea. Learning songs/music is great ofcourse, but you shouldn't have to force it.


I would suggest a different approach.

1) take some time to think about whether or not you really like playing the guitar
ask yourself what you get out of it....

do you enjoy the act of making music on the guitar?
or is it just something that you want to be "good at", to boost your self esteem?

2) if you honestly enjoy making music on your guitar.........

pick ONE song that you really like

listen to it, learn it, memorize it, play it, enjoy it. * if you have the proper background..... study it.


Take your time and get the most out of it.


When you've had enough of that song, move on to another. Build up a repertoire at a reasonable pace.

Every song you learn teaches new techniques and/or reinforces ones your familiar with. You develop your ear by experiencing the harmonic materials in context.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jan 5, 2010,
#9
If you're going to do that, I'd suggest forgetting tabs and learning them all by ear. Tabs are for convenience and for quickly communicating information, like writing notes. You will have much better feel and understanding for a song if you learn it completely by ear, not to mention it'll help you develop your ear. The more songs you do like this, the better you will get at it.
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#10
Wow, good luck
Really I think thats alittle too much of a piece to chew. I'd say learn a couple of well known songslike for example: Summer of 69, Knocking on Heavens door, Tears in Heaven, Back in Black, Born to be Wild, Thunderstruck, Highway to Hell, La Bamba, Living on a Prayer, Nothing Else Matters, Stairway to Heaven, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Sweet Child O'Mine, Yesterday.
Thats enough to keep your audience happy for a while and most of them are pretty basic and well-known.