#1
Hey all, this is my first time posting. Glad to be part of this forum!

I've been playing guitar on and off for the past several years just for fun - and when I say that I mean 4 chord songs that are easy and fun to play along

I have decided to take up the guitar more seriously, and I've had pretty much the same dilemma everyone had when starting out as I did not know where to start. I've realized that there are several routes I can take (a guitar teacher would be last on the list if I can pull through) and I realized that there are a lot of techniques I had to develop.

I'm currently practicing the song: Stairway to Heaven (whose artist I'm sure I don't need to mention, if I do, then you're a disgrace!) and I've noticed that it pretty much covers several techniques I'd like to develop:

1. Fingerstyle (Intro and verse)
2. Picking (verse)
2. Off beat strumming patterns (chorus)
3. Soloing (bridge)

I'm no guitar expert, but it's amazing how you can go through several techniques using just one song!

ON TO MY QUESTION:

Do you guys have any suggestions for similar songs that you know of that I can work on that has some or all of the techniques mentioned?

I really appreciate anyone who can point me to the right direction. Thank you very much!
#2
I use songs rather than exercises aswell, its just more fun and the satisfaction is much greater imo.

I am not sure where to point though! I usually learn stuff that I like that happens to have some technical difficulties, rather than learning a song for the purpose of technique.
#3
in the same category as "stairway" very pop and guitar oriented...try Hotel California..its fun not that difficult and very chord/scale/riff based throughout the song..the writer Don Felder has an Utube ..note for note and he breaks it down fairly slowly...he was also one of the "Eagles" before legal and personal issues took over...

fun chord progression
tasty licks
good bending exercise song
can be played in several styles and tempos
play well

wolf
#4
wolflen

I appreciate your suggestion and will most likely have that next once I get the first song down. Hotel California's more of a "feel" rather than a "speed" song, and that's exactly what I'm looking for.

Hopefully my fingers have limbered up by then to take on the challenge

As far as practicing songs go - I go through each bar and repeat it until it feels natural under the fingers (sometimes it even takes a day). For the more experienced guys, do you just wing it as far out as you can and clean it up as you go, or do you also take the time to clean up each bar enough before you move on? (Different strokes for different folks, just want to know what worked best for you)

Thanks for all your input!
#5
antoniohiceta1 I try and find all the related chords scales etc to the song...establish the key first and see how the chords relate to it and see how the melody relates to the chords..In "HC" the use of triads and extended arpeggios are used .. with lots of tasty bends.. the solo work is based on the chord structure and not the melody. I would try to find "links" from one chord to another..the original key is in B minor..so study that scale and its relative D major..and see the chords that are in the D major scale..and their arpeggios..you then have an outline of the song..and you will hear a lot of material in the guitar parts..riffs runs etc..after you "draw a map" of the song you then know how far out you can go and how to "get back" without getting lost..

as far as "wing it" goes..that will only take you so far..and you will discover..you will try the same approach to almost everything you play..in time you will want to expand your knowledge..should that time come..the study of theory and diatonic harmony will open many musical doors..

hope this helps
play well

wolf
#6
Learning a wide variety of techniques means listening to a wide variety of music. I'd suggest working on whatever catches your ear. Chances are there's plenty of technique involved in all of your favorite songs.
#7
Quote by wolflen
antoniohiceta1 I try and find all the related chords scales etc to the song...establish the key first and see how the chords relate to it and see how the melody relates to the chords..In "HC" the use of triads and extended arpeggios are used .. with lots of tasty bends.. the solo work is based on the chord structure and not the melody. I would try to find "links" from one chord to another..the original key is in B minor..so study that scale and its relative D major..and see the chords that are in the D major scale..and their arpeggios..you then have an outline of the song..and you will hear a lot of material in the guitar parts..riffs runs etc..after you "draw a map" of the song you then know how far out you can go and how to "get back" without getting lost..

as far as "wing it" goes..that will only take you so far..and you will discover..you will try the same approach to almost everything you play..in time you will want to expand your knowledge..should that time come..the study of theory and diatonic harmony will open many musical doors..

hope this helps


I tried learning theory as much as I could, but unfortunately was sucked into learning more theory rather than playing. I guess that's a downside of trying to learn things by yourself. As far as theory goes, I've learned all the notes on the fretboard, the CAGED system and a bit of triads and scales before I decided to drop it for now and just start playing.

Your method of establishing the key and chord relations may sound like slow progress for some who just wants to play songs immediately, but it fits my needs perfectly. I'm 30 and I've gone past the stage of playing the guitar to show off and impress the girls. You make a great point. Learning how to play is just half of the battle and learning why you play it only makes you a better guitar player.
#8
Quote by cdgraves
Learning a wide variety of techniques means listening to a wide variety of music. I'd suggest working on whatever catches your ear. Chances are there's plenty of technique involved in all of your favorite songs.


I totally agree. However I wanted to take the jack of all trades master of none approach as a beginner THEN figure out what I really want to pursue. There are days where I want to learn percussive fingerstyle techniques. Then there are some days where you want to learn the solos and heavy riffs. So I decided enough of trying to bounce around and not finish songs and find those that offer a variety of basic techniques.You see, it gets a bit frustrating trying to learn Enter Sandman when you realize you have yet to develop your basics enough to even get past the first verse.

What songs I want are those that offer just a bit of a challenge for the core techniques I mentioned and not go way overboard for a beginner like me: basic finger style, pick playing, strumming, soloing. So far Stairway (and HC) fit the bill.
#9
These songs don't necessarily cover all the techniques but check them out if they match your preference:

Babe, I'm Leaving You/Over The Hills And Far Away - Led Zeppelin
Suite Madame Blue - Styx
Love Song - Tesla
Bella Donna - UFO
Dear God - Avenged Sevenfold
I'd Love To Change The World - Ten Years After
Simple Man - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Still Loving You - Scorpions
Fade To Black - Metallica
Sold My Soul - Black Label Society
Under The Bridge - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Don't Fear The Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
Wanted Dead Or Alive - Bon Jovi
Closer To The Heart - Rush
More Than A Feeling - Boston

That's all I can think of for now. They vary in difficulty but most of the shouldn't be much harder than Stairway. Hope you enjoy these songs =D
#10
I would say Fade to Black by Metallica.
1. Clean, picked out intro riff, with lots of string changing
2. Melodic intro solo with a couple fast licks
3. Chord progression with lots of picked out chords
4. Distorted power chord chorus with some quick changes and a little palm muting
5. Faster distorted riff and some harmony lines
6. Tasteful outro solo with some fast bits, but largely manageable for someone just starting out

Just my two cents.
#12
Try giving Opeth a listen. They are a progressive metal band that blend folk, jazz, metal and rock and have some really technically complex songs, often with very strange time signatures.

Good ones to try might be:

Blackwater Park
Deliverance
The Moor
Face of Melinda (great for fingerpicking)

They are a wee bit long and apologies if it's not your thing. I found learning their songs greatly improved my ability as a guitar player!
#13
antoniohiceta1 I've been struggling with a similar problem of getting frustrated with practice and instead finding it more rewarding and enjoyable to just learn some songs, not to mention certain phrases and licks I would have never thought of by using just scales and lessons.

Anyways, my suggestions are:

*Jimi - Smightly Stoopid
*A Passage to Bangkok - Rush
*1983 (A Merman I Should Turn to Be) - Jimi Hendrix
*How Soon Is Now? - The Smiths
*Super Colossal - Joe Satriani

Those would be a few groovy Easy/Intermediate songs to learn that have a pretty good ratio of chord to phrase ratios.

Give them a listen and if any of these sound up your alley by all means try it out, I automatically play these when I'm trying out new equipment and check for tuning. They are an absolute blast to play!

Best wishes!
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#15
Quote by solo9x
I would say Fade to Black by Metallica.
1. Clean, picked out intro riff, with lots of string changing
2. Melodic intro solo with a couple fast licks
3. Chord progression with lots of picked out chords
4. Distorted power chord chorus with some quick changes and a little palm muting
5. Faster distorted riff and some harmony lines
6. Tasteful outro solo with some fast bits, but largely manageable for someone just starting out

Just my two cents.


That is a fantastic recommendation - I would add Sanitarium from Metallica as well - it is also very accessible.

To that I would stronly recommend for a beginner to learn some songs from Black Sabbath 's Paranoid album - paranoid, iron man and war pigs are great songs to start out with - they are the foundation of metal and slow enough for beginners.
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