How to Learn a Song on the Guitar in Five Steps

Are there any tricks to learn a song super-fast? What should I do to master complicated and fast solos? What steps can I follow to be able to play anything I want? Those are very common question that I get from students. Today we are going to talk about some tactics to better pick and learn songs on the guitar.

Step One: Create Realistic Goals

The first rule is very straight forward: You should have realistic goals and know where you are on the instrument. If you bought a guitar yesterday chances are that you will not be playing Van Halen solos by tomorrow. Learn the basics of your instrument before trying to cover your favorite artists. Picking the right songs is very important to avoid frustration.
If you keep your guitar teacher updated about your goals and favorite artist, a competent instructor will help you pick songs according with your desires and skills.

Step Two: Actively Listen

After you have a target in mind, listen to the song over and over again, even if you grew up listening to it. Remember that now you are trying to mimic the guitar part. Pay special attention to the instrument. You may be surprised by guitar lines that you have never heard before even though you have listened to the tune for years.

Step Three: Acquire the music

Make sure to get some tablature and/or sheet music for your song. You want to see what you are about to play. Plus it is always good to have for making notes.

Step Four: Break into Chunks

Break down the song into sections and learn a little daily. It can become frustrating to try to work on an entire song at once. It is best to divide the song into parts and master the verse, for example, than butcher the entire song every time you play.

Step Five: Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice slowly at first. Speed will come with time. There are some cool apps out there nowadays (Amazing Slow Downer, Audacity, Guitar Shedthat can slow down the original song so you can practice along with your favorite band slowly first and little by little achieve the original tempo of the tune.

Rod Ferreira has been teaching guitar in the Phoenix area for over 10 years. Learn more about his background and book a lesson with Rod​>>>


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