A Novice's Guide to Learning Guitar Songs

Knowing most of the basics about a guitar will make learning guitar songs easier; the basic parts are the headstock, the nut, the neck, the body, the sound hole, the bridge, the strings and the keys. Most of these parts are pretty self explanatory; the strings run from the bridge over the sound hole, up the neck, are secured by the nut, and attached to the tuning keys to achieve the desired sounds.

The next difference is between the types of guitar, there are several, however most novice guitar players would only be concerned with the two very basic types, the acoustic and electric. Which someone would decide to learn guitar songs on, would depend on which type of music that person wanted to play; if the kind of music a person likes is played with mainly an electric guitar, the logical choice would be an electric guitar, or the same would be true with an acoustic.

Learning Guitar Songs: Pieces of a Song

Just like the guitars them selves, learning guitar songs, requires one to learn at least the very basic parts of a song; there are two ways to read music from a song, in the form of sheet music and in the form of tablature. Something a beginning guitar player can expect to learn is the three chords G, C, and D first. These are some of the most frequently used chords in learning guitar songs; and in formal lessons these are usually the first chords taught.

Trying Out a Few Songs

When someone is first learning chords and their way around a guitar, learning guitar songs can seem impossible; but once a player has mastered the three basic chords mentioned above there are actually several songs that exclusively use these chords, especially from the 1960's or 1970's. Trying to play songs can keep a new player interested in the instrument, although beginners likely won't be able to change chords fast enough to make it sound quite right, just being able to get down the general idea can instill confidence in a student.


The old saying practice makes perfect holds true with any instrument; for the guitar, besides remembering the position of the chords, one must also practice strumming, rhythm, changing chords, and how to recognize the correct sounds the guitars are supposed to make. Achieving a strumming rhythm is just as important as learning the chords, when learning to play guitar songs.

Choosing a Method of Instruction

A person makes the best teacher, they would be experienced and able to give constructive criticism, and be an active participant in the guitar song learning process. A close second for learning guitar songs are DVD instructional programs, these allow the student to watch and listen as if there were an actual instructor present. Also the DVD systems, allow the person learn at their own pace.

The next best method of learning is through a CD system; these systems may not have video instruction, but will often have good illustrations that are simple to follow. The least constructive, yet still somewhat effective method of learning is over the internet; learning over the internet is virtually the same as CDs, with the exception of an online teacher may have a forum, and some music or video clips, as a point of reference. The major downfall to learning guitar songs over the internet is that one must practice in front of their computer.