Learn Songs On The Guitar - Best Way To Learn A Song On Guitar

How To Learn Songs On Guitar From Start To Finish

By Simon Candy


Learning Songs Guitar Pic 1Do you have the music of a song you want to learn on guitar, as well as the technical skills to play it, but you are experiencing difficulty trying to play the song proficiently from beginning to end?

In this article, I share some effective methods for learning songs on the guitar. It's a common challenge that can be frustrating for guitar players of all levels. Merely having the tablature and recording of a song is not a guarantee that you will be able to play it from start to finish.

I can certainly relate. There were many times in my early years of playing that I would become very frustrated when learning songs on guitar. I had absolutely no clue how to go about it. On the surface it seemed pretty simple, you start at the beginning of the song and work your way through to the end.

But there is much more to it than that.

You need proven methods that work in getting a song down so that you can play it all the way through, from start to finish and that is what we are going to explore in this article.


How To Learn Those Hard Parts To Any Song

Learning Songs Guitar Pic 2Trying to tackle a song you are learning in one big piece is crazy. Playing the song as a whole is the end result, not a starting point. There is a lot of muscle memory that generally needs developing to be able to play songs, not to mention the different skill sets required from you, the player, to be able to play them all the way through. 

So to combat this, we need to break the song down into smaller sections. One of the best ways to do this when learning the song, is to divide it into it’s natural sections such as Intro, Verse, Chorus, Bridge etc. You would then go about working on these areas in isolation.

But here is the really important part. Don’t get bogged down in any one area of the song. You must rotate through each section you are working on regularly. 


There are two main reasons: 

1. It's quite common to get bored with a song you're trying to learn, and this often results in giving up on it and moving on to something else. One way to keep things fresh and avoid this from happening is by rotating through different sections of the song that are likely to be distinct from one another.

2. By rotating through various sections of a song, you can enhance your guitar playing skills in the most effective way possible. This means not only switching between different parts of the song but also mastering different techniques like chord changes, strumming, picking, solo and riff playing, among others. This approach of regularly switching between different areas of guitar playing is a highly efficient practice strategy that allows you to learn a song while also improving your skills.


Simplify The Song So You Can Play Through From Start To Finish RIGHT NOW!

Learning Songs Guitar Pic 3While the above is very important to do when learning a song, it is equally important to also be playing along to the whole song.

But how do you do that?

Isn’t that why we are breaking the song down in the first place, because we can’t play it all the way through yet?

To be able to play the entire piece, it is best to simplify it as much as necessary. This may entail omitting the challenging parts and simply playing the chords.

If you encounter some difficulty even with that, you can skip the strumming to give yourself more time to transition between chords and complete the song from beginning to end.

What's the point of doing this?

Well, breaking down a song into smaller parts allows you to work on specific skills as a musician and guitarist that you wouldn't necessarily focus on otherwise.

Think about it. At no point when you break the song down, sometimes into very small parts, are you working on keeping time, or on the feel of the song in regard to the varying dynamics from one section to the next, or learning the actual format of the song (ie. what things happen in what order).

However, when you simplify the song your are learning, so that you can play it all the way through, you ARE working on all these skills. Not only that, but you also get to hear the more detailed parts, that you are working on when breaking the song down, in actual context. This will make it a lot easier for you to put them back into the song when these parts are ready.


Why Do All Of This?

Learning Songs Guitar Pic 4You may be thinking, isn’t it just easier to learn the song from start to finish?

Certainly, there may be a few songs that you can easily play with just three chords and some basic strumming. However, for most songs that you wish to learn, it is essential to break them down and practice each part separately, as demonstrated above.

By consistently practicing and learning songs on the guitar in this way, you will gradually build a repertoire of music that you can confidently play from start to finish. Your playing skills will improve significantly, and you'll gain more confidence in your abilities.

Over time, the process of learning new songs will become faster and more efficient, as you won't need to simplify them as much as you did in the beginning. Eventually, you'll be able to impress your friends by playing entire songs without any difficulty.

With practice, you'll become skilled enough to play in bands or jam with friends. Most importantly, you'll develop a strong belief in yourself and your abilities to play guitar.

Check out the video below to discover my three-step approach to mastering any song on the guitar:



To get a full and complete method of how to go about learning songs on guitar so that you can play them all the way through from start to finish, check out this free ebook and audio on how to learn songs on guitar.