How To Learn Songs On Guitar

Table of Contents

One way I usually get better with a guitar is to learn new songs. It’s one of the things I recommend for new beginners. However, most of them would ask how to learn songs on guitar. If you find yourself in this situation, I will teach you the best and fastest way I used to learn songs on guitar.

I know it can feel like it’s something you cannot do. Well, I felt the same way when I started. I know if you follow the right method, you will get yourself through, notwithstanding the complex nature of the song.

Step-By-Step Guide on How to Learn Songs on Guitar

To help you learn songs on guitar, I will share a 5-step system that has helped me during my learning phase. Besides this, the system will ensure you don’t feel overwhelmed or lack the motivation to continue while removing any errors you might face. Let’s get started.

Listen to the song

I would recommend you listen to the songs before starting with the guitar. From experience, I can tell you that even the most straightforward songs can have a strange chord you didn’t plan for.

Therefore, before taking your guitar, ensure you familiarize yourself with the song. I use Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube to listen to the songs. Besides listening to the songs, I also write or print the lyrics to be 100% familiar with the structure. If you follow the points I noted here, you won’t face any challenges with the learning process.

The chords

Here is where things get started, as the song has to be broken down. I usually use both online and offline resources to write the chords I need in order to play the song. I play each chord in isolation after I break down the songs.

With this, I can accurately do so and strum every chord using upstrokes and downstrokes. Practice changing in-between the chords in the song you want to learn. In this phase, I would advise you don’t focus on the rhythm. Besides this, ensure there are no buzzy strings played.

The Solos, Riffs, and Rhythm

By now, I know you are confident about how to learn songs on guitar from the process above. I understand you will be slower as you play and change the chord between them in line with their structure. You need to add the riffs, solos, and rhythm patterns when learning the song.

Putting Everything Together

Now I believe you should have the parts to put everything together. I would recommend you visualize every component of the songs and what your hands need to do.

The Final Version

Here’s a three-stage process to finish the new songs on the guitar. Firstly, think about the song’s feel – the shade and lights. Secondly, you should try to play in line with the metronome at full speed. Finally, play along with the original track without slowing down your playing speed. Ensure you play along with the speed of the original song.

Tips on How to Learn Songs on Guitar

Let me share two important tips on how I was to learn songs on my guitar without any challenges.

Select the Right Song

I started with choosing songs with a little bit of a stretch because a difficult song will be above your skill level. Besides, it will make you feel discouraged when things don’t go as you plan. I advise you choose the particular song you want to learn to be within your skills. One reason I decided to choose songs within my skill level is to enable me to expand my song vocabulary, and it makes me want to stick to the process while learning the song.

Remember the Law of Diminishing Returns

During my school days, we were taught the law of diminishing returns. Although I am not talking about economics here, the law has broad applicability. I can easily explain the law related to learning new songs using an example.

Imagine you are supposed to score a song on your guitar using a 100-point scale. On this scale, 100 means you performed the song flawlessly, whereas 0 means you don’t know the score. According to the law, the effort you need to move from 0 to 10 is less than that you need to take from 10 to 20.

Just start and give it your best, and don’t stop until you learn the song that’s on your mind!

Jim Henneberry

Jim Henneberry

I love playing my guitar, and my kids got hooked along with me.
This is a family thing now - why don't you join the family fun? :)