#1
I have never learned a full song and I feel really frustrated. When I try to learn songs it never sounds right when I play so I just give up and just learn parts of songs an example is green river by ccr I just learn like the main riff and stop. I've also looked at songs people say are easy like stairway to heaven and wish you were here and can't even come close to playing any part of the song, but I found I can play almost all the riffs by Ritchie Blackmore/Tony Iommi/Jack White but I still can't play the entire song.

So for the last few months i just gave up and focused more on my technique, and I have been following Justin Guitars beginner course and I can play a few open chords and do chord changes easily. I'm also comfortable with barre chords, tremolo picking and bending/vibrato. I can also keep in time and have been playing some scales along with a metronome.

Is it possible to learn to play the guitar without learning any songs? Can I just go straight to music theory and start making my own stuff?
#3
Would you expect a budding author to able to produce good work without having read any books?

I have had this problem before, though not to the extent you have, but what got me through was finding a song I really liked to play, and just buckle down and learn it. Set the goal and set out to achieve it, not stopping until I did what I set out to do.

You can learn theory and make you're own stuff, but music theory is easier to learn if you take a break from learning and start analyzing a song to practice using music theory, which would be a lot easier if you learn it.
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
#4
Learn chords. That's most likely why you can't play any songs. Can't play chords, can't play songs.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#5
Find a song you want to play, rather than a reccomendation. When I was starting I was like "I wanna be EVH!" So I went through almost every VH song and thought I sucked. Then I heard "Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love" and I was inspired to learn it. From then on I've been on a roll constantly learning new songs.
#6
Quote by TheDirkDiggler
I have never learned a full song and I feel really frustrated. When I try to learn songs it never sounds right when I play so I just give up and just learn parts of songs an example is green river by ccr I just learn like the main riff and stop. I've also looked at songs people say are easy like stairway to heaven and wish you were here and can't even come close to playing any part of the song, but I found I can play almost all the riffs by Ritchie Blackmore/Tony Iommi/Jack White but I still can't play the entire song.

So for the last few months i just gave up and focused more on my technique, and I have been following Justin Guitars beginner course and I can play a few open chords and do chord changes easily. I'm also comfortable with barre chords, tremolo picking and bending/vibrato. I can also keep in time and have been playing some scales along with a metronome.

Is it possible to learn to play the guitar without learning any songs? Can I just go straight to music theory and start making my own stuff?


When I first started to play guitar I was like you, Just wanted to compose stuff right off the bat. I was also really stubborn and thought music theory was too complicated to learn. This kinda resulted in crappy songs and I thought only geniuses were able to create songs the songs I liked.

At first I started with really easy songs that I really didn't like much (easy pop songs so to speak) just to get a feel for learning songs.

I also worked hard in trying to understand music theory(just started recently) and learning songs as much as possible. Learning songs is a good because you'll actually pick up some nuances from the artist. Do this in conjunction with learning music theory and you could create songs decently and understand what you're doing.

Maybe start with easier songs? Learn chords and theory.
#7
Quote by rockingamer2
Would you expect a budding author to able to produce good work without having read any books?
THat analogy would be like a budding musician not having listened to any songs.

A better analogy might be would you expect a comedian to be any good at writing original jokes if when was learning how to tell jokes he only ever learned the punchlines.
Si
#8
Quote by 20Tigers
THat analogy would be like a budding musician not having listened to any songs.

A better analogy might be would you expect a comedian to be any good at writing original jokes if when was learning how to tell jokes he only ever learned the punchlines.

I agree that an author having not read anything is like a musician that never listened to music, not a musician who never copied another musician... but your analogy is a bit difficult to fallow and kinda confusing.

I would argue that it's pretty difficult to find an adequate analogy cuz pretty much every other job I can think of is just learn the concept and then do it, music not really being proceedure based makes it difficult to pull from other professions....

even other arts, you don't need to copy DaVinci to be a great painter, or Michalangelo to be a sculptor, or Speilburgh to be a director, or Mark Twain to be a good writer, hell you don't ever need to copy anyone to be good at any of those things, you just need to do it. Learning how to analyze these things will make it easier, but I would personally argue that you do not need to learn anyone elses songs to be able to write songs. I'm not against learning songs, in fact I recommend it, but I would say that it really isn't 100% necessary.
Quote by Dirk Gently
Some pieces are only meant to be played by people with six fingers on their fretting hand. Sorry.
#9
Learn whole songs!

When i was young I tried to learn to play and went through all you describe. I gave up after a couple of years having made no real progress.

30 years later I picked up an instrument after watching my kids learn and started learning whole songs. Within three months I was playing in public and after 18 months playing paid gigs. The only difference was learning whole songs instead of giving up halfway through. I still try to learn a new song every week.

The songs don't sound right because you are used to listening to versions with several instruments mixed together. Go on you Tube and search for acoustic covers of the songs you are learning.

I quite like this guy http://www.youtube.com/user/educationalmaterials#g/u but there are thousands out there.

There's nothing wrong with learning riffs but you need more.

Have fun
#10
I had the same problem. I would learn verse and chorus of a song and then lose interest and start something else. You could certainly learn theory and start writing your own stuff, but it never hurts to have a few tunes in your locker (as amazing as you think your new song is, most people would rather hear you play Wonderwall).

In case you're interested, some recommendations of songs you could be playing by this evening:

Flash Of The Blade - Iron Maiden : Not that hard, nice riffs, sounds harder than it is = +1 rep with friends.

Hotel Yorba - White Stripes : Just 3 chords, popular acoustic song, easy.

American Pie - Don Mclean : Pretty easy, great song.
#11
you need to work on playing other parts of a song then just the riff. I would suggest starting with easier songs. Work on it until you can play the whole thing all the way through. Start with a song that is just chords and practice it until you can play the whole thing all the way through then move up to a harder song. But mainly just dont give up til you can play the whole thingh.
#12
fix that. i see you like jack white, learn simple tunes that he does (st james infirmary, death letter, we are gonna be friends, astro, i think i smell a rat, when i hear my name) off chord charts--there easy and fun. then practice playing away from the chord charts, along with the recordings.
all the best.
(insert self-aggrandizing quote here)