Let’s face it, the real reason that anyone picks up an electric guitar is because they want to play great music. Of course, you first have to get through the process of learning all the chords and techniques before you can get started. This can be rather frustrating if you are just looking for easy electric guitar songs that you can start playing now.
Well, the good news is that there are actually quite a few songs that fall into this category. Even better, they may what you love or you grew up listening to. Before getting started, though, let’s take a look at how you can play hundreds of different songs with little effort.
Are you ready for an insane statistic? Well, here it is:
Most popular songs are made up of the same four chords. The chords responsible for this miraculous phenomenon are E, B, C# minor and A.
Yes, you read that right and no, it isn’t a joke. Mind you, not all songs contain just these four chords but a startling number of songs do. Now, before you start going through every song that you’ve ever heard, let’s take a moment to analyze why this is so.
Basically, you have math and human biology to thank for this. The human ear finds the vibrations caused by these chords to be the most pleasing. Not to mention, people have a tendency to hear these chords as ‘familiar’ when played.
So, when you put these chords together in a song, it isn’t hard to imagine that a hit single is too far off. The music industry has put this knowledge to good use. The benefit here is that if you want to learn to play hundreds of songs, you just need to master these four chords.
In this section, you will find songs that you can learn easily on the electric guitar. They don’t necessarily follow the four chord theory but they still shouldn’t be too much of a challenge for you:
This is the ultimate, modern anthem. Regardless of what genre or type of music you prefer, Seven Nation Army will have you standing up and stomping your feet. Needless to say, this is why it is blared from speakers at sports stadiums so often.
This is actually a rather easy song to master because the opening riff is played on just one string – the A string. However, you should be prepared to move your fingers around quite a bit on the fretboard, though. You will be playing the following frets in this particular order:
Looking for something more contemporary or just not a big fan of rock n roll? Well, that’s not a problem because Shake It Off played on an electric guitar sounds absolutely awesome! Don’t believe this? Go ahead and give it a try.
What makes this a relatively easy electric guitar song to play is that there are just three chords involved. These are Am, C, and G. They are also the same all the way through so you don’t really have to worry about the song switching up as it goes along. Oh, as an added bonus, you need just two fingers to learn this song as well!
There are quite a few guitarists who can attribute this song to kick-starting their desire to learn to play the guitar. This isn’t surprising, considering that Smoke on the Water’s opening riff is one of the most recognizable in the world. It is also one that many novice guitarists cut their teeth on, considering that it is so easy to play.
So what makes this iconic song such a breeze to learn? This would be the fact that the riff consists of just two notes per chord. The progression ensures that your fretting hand just needs to focus on one particular section of the neck. So, prepare to start jamming in no time at all.
Speaking of iconic, Sunshine of Your Love is right up there as one of the more identifiable songs in the world. What many people are amazed to learn, though, is that this classic riff can actually be managed by less experienced guitarists as well.
While it does require you to strum several strings and chords together, it relies on just one-note picking. Furthermore, it isn’t too fast and so, you will be able to keep up rather easily. Since you will be relying on the A, E, and D string, here are the frets to familiarize yourself with:
Let’s end this list on a high note – with the ever-relevant Stones. Satisfaction is more than just recognizable, even to the untrained ear, it is also downright catchy. Once it’s in your head, you aren’t going to stop humming it any time soon. Therefore, you can practically owe it yourself to learn how to play this song.
Now, did you know that to recreate the opening riff (and chorus) you just need to play one string? That’s right! Just keep strumming that A string and you will come close to sounding like Keith Richards. There are also just three notes: E, A, and D.
As you can see, you don’t need hundreds of guitar lessons to sound like the pros. Instead, with some insight and a couple of tricks, you can play your favorite songs without too much trouble. Best of all, you get to impress your friends and act like a total rock star in the process!
One of the reasons music is so powerful is because it can be used to express intense emotions. Sometimes, when words simply won’t do, guitar chords in just the right progression can take their place. This brings us to the topic of sad chord progressions and how you can use them in a song.
First, though, let’s tackle the idea of ‘sad’ chord progressions. Much like grief, the concept of sad chord progressions can be intensely personal. Therefore, what may sound emotional to one individual can actually be a soothing sound to someone else. This is something you will need to keep in mind when constructing a song based on these chord progressions.
That being said, there are some universal ideas associated with chord progressions. This article will explore them closely so that you will find it easier to create a song that is melancholy in nature.
Before going any further, you need to familiarize yourself with what is considered the saddest key. For the most part, people in the western world tend to associate minor chords with sorrow. While this doesn’t hold true for all songs, most musicians will use minor chords to strike a more somber tone in their music.
Interestingly enough, scientists have discovered that humans tend to use this tone in their speech as well. However, it becomes a bit of a chicken-and-the-egg issue when trying to discover whether this chord appeared in speech or music first. Regardless, this is the most common way to communicate sadness musically.
Now, when playing the guitar, this theory will give you a starting point. By sticking to minor chords, you will be able to construct a progression that will make it easier to get a softer or sadder progression going. As a result, the song will sound more sorrowful, as a whole.
The next step, of course, is to know how to play minor chords. To do this, you will need to learn a bit more about how they should be played.
Perhaps the first thing you should know about minor chords is that there are three types. These are natural, melodic, and harmonic minor. Now, there can be some confusion since these types are often used in combination with one another. So, to get a clearer idea of what’s going on, you first need to understand what the natural minor is all about.
To avoid any mix up with this idea, let’s break down the main points that you need to understand about the minor chords:
Now, the scale formula for minor chords is as follows: 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
This means that the scale shares the same notes as those of the major scale, except three semitones above.
So, if the major scale is this – A B C# D E F# G#
Then the minor scale will look like this:
A B C D E F G
As you can see, to change the scale, you will need to flatten the scale degrees of the major scale.
To see why people refer to minor chords as the saddest, you need to do a little experimenting yourself. You will then be able to comprehend how to adjust the chords so that they are more melancholy.
It is simple enough to do this. First, find a major-based chord progression and play this on your guitar. After this, turn this major chord progression in a minor one by using the formula mentioned above. Once you play it, you will able to hear the clear distinction and the emotions that arise from playing in the minor chord.
Below is a list of some of the saddest songs and the beginning chord progressions. By testing these out, you should be able to get a better idea of how to play such a tone:
The notes and songs above should point you in the right direction of the style sad that songs typically are constructed in. Of course, one of the reasons you might be curious about such chord progressions is because you want to know how to compose your own song. In this case, there are a few more pointers that you need to learn.
For instance, feelings of sadness or pain are usually depicted in deep tones rather than high tones. Due to this, you should be mindful of your where your fingers are on the fretboard. To get a deeper sound, make sure to stay on the lower end of the fretboard. To give this sound even further depth, opt for the lower strings as well.
The other tip to focus on would be in terms of composition complexity. While sadness itself can be a rather complex emotion, this trait doesn’t have to be mirrored in your chord progression. This is because when you think about it, some of the saddest songs have the simplest composition.
To this end, keep the chords simple and by extension the chord progression as well. These uncomplicated melodies will tend to strike a more honest chord when you play them. On a similar note, don’t worry about doing anything too drastic either. Many musicians have used repetitive chord progressions to elicit a melancholy reaction from listeners.
So, to wrap things up, this is what you need to understand about sad chord progressions. First, minor chords are your friend when you are trying to play or compose something on a more grief-stricken note. Then, when playing sad songs try to create a deeper sound while also keeping it simple.
Now, it may take you some time to wrap your mind (and fingers) around the concepts mentioned here. However, with time you will be able to master them and make any listener tear up without too much effort on your part.
Learning guitar nowadays has never been easier. Thanks to modern technology, you have dozens of avenues through which you can learn or improve. This article will explain a few of the options available to you and what they would involve.
Back in the day, there wasn’t a lot of choice with how you learned. You either learned on your own in your room, or you took lessons from a tutor. It really was like in the movies. Some musician in town took you on as a student. That was when there weren’t so many guitarists around. Now, you can throw a stone and hit someone who knows how to play guitar.
Many guitarists give lessons on a one-on-one basis or in group classes. Depending on how you learn and the teacher you find, either one of these option may be best for you. Many beginners and intermediate players alike find in-person lessons the most effective because you can get constant feedback from a knowledgeable mentor. This is also ideal if you have a hard time disciplining yourself. A teacher can keep you in check with your practice.
If you are going to join a group class, remember that you won’t be getting as much individual attention, so try to go for as small a group class as possible.
There are countless instructors that you can find for a fraction of the price of in-person lessons if you just scour the internet. You can also find some more expensive but higher quality lessons online from some of the top guitarists in the world. Online lessons are conducted through video chat, and are not far off from having lessons in person. You will be able to get undivided individual attention from an instructor that fits your needs best. This option is especially perfect for people who don’t have easy access to good guitar instructors in their own area. All you really need is a good internet connection, a webcam, and high quality headphones/speakers and a mic.
MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses. There are scores of free online courses that you can take to get at least the basics of guitar playing, and often some even more advanced content as well. Many of these courses do indeed put you in touch with an instructor, and even more so allow students to work together, help to review one another’s work, and make long-lasting connections. Again, all you need is a good internet connection, some pretty basic software, and speakers or headphones and a microphone.
A surprising number of people learn all by themselves, perhaps more so now than ever before, thanks to technology. You won’t necessarily have to spend a cent on anything either. There are thousands of free videos, apps, and sites online that can teach you everything from the most basics to the most complex techniques and songs. Learn your favorites songs using apps and free software, get in touch with other players through forums and sites, and master the instrument with great ease. The caveat here is that you need to be disciplined. Without a teacher, it can be difficult to keep up a practice regimen. That’s why, if you take this route, it’s not just a matter of learning the songs you like as and when you feel like it. Playing guitar requires consistent, regular practice, even when you are not trying to learn something new or play in public. Without doing so, your progress largely deteriorates.
These, in essence, are the ways you can learn to play guitar. One or two of these may work better for you than others, so it’s a good idea to consider your learning styles and try a few to find out. Often a combination of two or more of these can be even better.
It can feel extremely tough trying to figure out the notes on the fretboard, but really all it takes is a bit of practice. Consistent and regular practice. Here are some tipsHere are some tips to incorporate into your practicing that will make learning the notes on the fretboard a whole lot easier.
It’s important for your playing to learn the notes of the strings plucked open first. They are E-D-G-B-E. Then, pressing down on each string at the 12th fret will give you the same open note one octave higher. A handy way to learn the notes is by pressing the bass E string at the fifth fret and then the D string open. Notice that they are the same? Likewise, the fifth fret on the D string is a G. The fifth fret on the G string is a B, but the fourth fret on the B string is an E.
Every day, spend a few minutes learning all the different positions of a single note. The first string plucked open, for instance, is an E. Now find all the other Es on the board as part of your practice every day until you can find them without trouble. Then move on to the next note, and the next, and so on.
Another way some people have found useful is to learn all the notes in order for each string from week to week. Go down the string naming each note as you go along, first out loud, starting with the open note. As this becomes easier, start doing this naming each note in your mind only. Then continue by doing it without naming. Finally, do it without looking. Then go on to the next one. If it is relatively easy for you, you can do this with all the strings instead of just mastering one at a time and continue with the same method.
First, learn the notes of each scale. This will help you to identify by name each note you are playing when you learn the scale on guitar. Spend each week or a couple of weeks at a time devoting a part of your practice to learn a new scale or mode. Make sure to learn it throughout the entire fretboard. Your ears must get used to the sound of these notes in sequence because they are what make up every song you will ever hear or play. Continue to practice a single scale until you master it and can literally play it with your eyes close before moving on to the next one.
This is a cheap fretboard sticker or sticker set that you can buy to put on your guitar. The sticker has little colored dots showing the notes on each fret. It can be removed and repasted as many times as you want. Many guitarists would advise against using one of these because they believe it to be something students will get dependent on. I disagree for the simple fact that over time, you commit the motions to muscle memory anyway. I do however advise that you remove the guide and try the other tips on this list as part of your practice before putting it back on again. This way you will benefit from the guide while also preventing a potential dependence.
In addition to all of this, it will greatly help you to learn to read tabs and to read guitar sheet music. It will make learning from different sources a lot easier and communicate with any other musician a breeze.
As a beginner, learning to play the guitar can be daunting and frustrating. As you progress, learning something new becomes a whole lot easier. But until then, the road is quite tough. Of course, it doesn’t need to be. There are plenty of nifty little tricks you can use to make sure you progress a lot faster. Here are a few to get your going.
One of the problems I had when I first started learning to play was that I couldn’t play for more than a couple of minutes without my fretting fingers hurting like crazy. It was an indication that I lacked finger strength. It’s not just strength that you need to build up, though. You need dexterity and flexibility too. Learning some good finger exercises, and some scales, and incorporating them into your warm ups, warm downs, and practicing will vastly speed up your progress. Here are some good ones to start with:
To speed things up, even more, give your hands a workout even when you aren’t playing guitar. You can get these hand exercisers at different strengths to give your fingers, wrists, and forearms a good workout. Start with what you can handle and then gradually work your way up. They’re not just for athletes, they are actually a not-so-secret trick that guitarists have been using for a long time.
Without fail. Even if you are busy, you have to make time to put in a bit of practice, at least for 15 minutes each day. This is essential so that your muscles stay active and your muscle memory doesn’t get thrown off. The longer you go without practice, the rustier you will get, and the more difficult it will be later to get back into the swing of things. Forgoing practice means that your progress will deteriorate and you will have to start from square one all over again.
Some of the apps you must have include tuner apps, chord dictionaries, and tab apps. These will help you learn without having to depend on your computer or lessons, or long searches online. You should also consider getting guitar software like Guitar Pro, which will help you to learn tabs, read music, and practice. Apps and software like this will help to teach you timing and give you speed training, among other helpful features.
There’s nothing quite like a real person to help you improve and polish your techniques. You may be able to learn a lot of websites, apps, and tutorials online, but only a real human can tell you what you’re doing wrong and how to do it right. Try to find an in-person tutor who will give you one-on-one lessons that you get full, individual attention. Alternatively, there are plenty of instructors who will charge very little for lessons online. You just need a webcam, mic, speakers or headphones, and a good internet connection.
You don’t have to perform for open mic nights or anything like that. But try to perform for friends and family, jam with other musicians in your circle, and just have a bit of fun. This is a great way to get used to playing in front of people, but it also encourages you to play better and to practice. This is especially true when you see your friends and family impressed with your playing or improvement. If you feel like it, though, open mic nights are a good idea too.
These are just some of the ways you can improve your playing quite quickly and markedly. The most important thing, however, is that you keep at it. That’s the one surefire way to know that you will improve, no matter what the pace may be.