Is it difficult for you to play complete songs? Is there always one chord or chord change in the song that seems to “trip you up?” You are not alone. Most guitar players have a difficult time learning to play entire songs and get frustrated by overwhelmed when trying to learn to finish songs. The number of chords and chord changes in a tune can seem like it is too much for the beginning guitar to get memorized and mastered.
I have been a guitar teacher for many years, and I have noticed that difficulty learning complete songs often affects intermediate and advanced players almost as much as beginners. Actually, there are lots of good guitar players that can’t play very many songs all the way through from start to finish—they know lots of parts to many different songs but hardly any all the way through. These guitar players (both beginner and advanced) are lacking a simple systematic way to take songs (even complex ones with many chords) and break them into bite-sized pieces that are can be mastered and then assembled into the complete song.
The task of learning to play full songs on the guitar can feel daunting to the beginning guitar player. I remember feeling this way and many of my guitar students have felt this way, too. What I have found is that the best way to learn full songs is to break them down using a system that will help you quickly memorize all the chords and practice the chord changes in a simple way. The end result is that you will learn songs much faster and with less trouble and will have a much greater likelihood of actually finishing the entire song.
Download the Worksheet and watch the chord mastery and song lesson video that will show you how to complete songs now.
Here are the main problems that plague most guitar players when they try to learn full songs:
A. They rarely, if ever, learning anything all the way through from beginning to end.
B. They play just easy parts of the song and skip over or continually mess up the parts that are difficult.
C. They nearly always start playing at the beginning of the song each time they practice it.
D. They don’t know how to isolate and practice the difficult parts of the song so that they can learn and perfect them more easily and quickly.
E. They get stuck in a “loop” of not finishing songs. This happens because they give up when they get frustrated and select something different to try to learn. And then they continually repeat the whole process again without ever finishing anything.
The Solution For Completing Songs
Learning to play complete songs does not need to be a difficult task. Many songs have lots of repetition in them. Because of this, the number of chords in a tune usually isn’t all that many. Listen to some of your favorite songs and notice that there is usually quite a bit of repetition of the parts and not there is not usually a large number of chords in them.
Most of the time there are usually only a couple parts of the song that will give you the greatest amount of difficulty to learn. Many of the chord changes will be fairly easy for you to play with less practice than others.
If we analyze the chords and changes in this way, the task of learning entire songs becomes much less overwhelming much easier to break down. The real solution to learning and playing entire pieces of music is based on using a simple practice method so that you can:
1. Determine which chords you will need to learn and practice the most in that song.
2. Quickly analyze all the chords needed to play any song.
3. Create a practice plan for the chord changes so that you can master those changes in the shortest amount of time possible.
4. Put all the pieces together and play the complete song.
Use this guitar video and chord and song worksheet to learn exactly how to learn complete songs right now.
Here is the process:
- Write out the names of all the chords from the song. You can use the sheet music or tablature–go through the entire piece and list each chord once.
- Make diagrams of all the chords in the song that you just listed in step one. Diagram each chord just one time no matter how many times it is played in the song.
- Go through the list of chords and determine which ones you already know how to play well and which chords you need to learn.
- List all the chord changes out in pairs. Review the entire song and list each chord change once no matter how many times is appears in the song.
- Look at each chord pair you listed and determine which ones you can play easily and which ones are more difficult for you. This step is the most important part of this practice plan. You will need to invest your practice time improving those chord changes which are the hardest for you to play.
When you practice chords following these steps you are working directly on your weaknesses. This is the the key to learning complete songs: Taking the parts that are difficult for you to play and systematically practicing them until they are easy for you.
Watch the guitar chord and song lesson video to learn the step by step process to master the chords and complete any song. The video will show you exactly how to do this so that you can master any song you want from start to finish. Being able to play complete songs feels great and you’ll no longer be stuck just playing parts of songs.
About the author: Paul Kleff is a professional guitarist and guitar teacher. For more beginner guitar lessons and videos visit Guitar Lessons for Beginners Online.