There is no doubt that millions of people have had more free time in the past year and a half than at any time. For most adults, the last time they had an extended period of free time would have been either during school holidays when they were younger or during a gap year.
However, the pandemic has given many people time to reflect, take stock and try something new. If you were, or are, looking for an awesome new hobby, then listening to music is a good choice. It might seem like a lazy option for a hobby, but taking music seriously allows you to explore new genres and discover artists you might never have heard of.
Again, you can instead choose to play your own music while learning an instrument. Choosing a ukulele can be a cheap option when it comes to the first instrument, or you can go with the current trend and try out the guitar.
No matter what you choose to learn, you’ll probably want to learn some of your favorite tunes. And you’ll want to know what’s the best way to go.
Should you be practicing other people’s music?
Before you dive into the easiest ways to learn other people’s songs, you might want to ask yourself if this is a good idea.
The idea of writing your own songs and playing them in front of thousands of people in an arena could be the reason why you bought a guitar in the first place. Realistically though, you need to set your goals somewhere lower.
While Mozart was composing at the age of five and writing his first symphony at age eight, most other musicians start out a little differently. The Beatles didn’t just practice practicing people’s music while they learned their art, they also actively recorded it.
And there are a lot of options to explore …
According to The Richest, the five best rock albums of all time include some serious songs that beg to be learned on the guitar. Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven is a record often played by budding guitarists and is the butt of one of Wayne’s World’s favorite jokes.
Fleetwood Mac’s Bat Out of Hell and Rumors also make the list. Just like Pink Floyd and AC / DC which take the first two places.
So, you’ve decided that there’s nothing wrong with learning a few staples while you’re trying to nail the guitar. How do you start though? You may be aware that you can get some basic guitar effects pedals for beginners. These will help you reproduce certain sounds you hear on tracks such as fuzz and reverb.
However, you need to master the basics before you jump into special effects, pedals, and loops.
The thing that you will need to learn and understand more than anything when playing guitar, piano, drums, ukulele, or any other instrument is that you have to practice.
With the guitar, it is important to practice regular sessions. These do not need to be too long, however they should be frequent and regular. No need to start a one-day session every two weeks. Much better and more productive to do half an hour each day.
Some of the methods for learning to play your favorite songs are also the same ones you can use to familiarize yourself with the instrument. Choosing a song that you like to start with will give you extra motivation to learn it properly.
Find yourself a guitar teacher
If you talk to a guitar teacher saying you want them to teach you Smoke on the Water, they might not be as interested as you hoped. But if you tell them that you want to learn guitar seriously and tell them about some of your influences, you will make more progress.
Using a guitar teacher is one of the traditional ways to learn the instrument, and many famous musicians have taken this route. Many others left after a few lessons.
Once you’ve taken a few lessons and got to somewhere, you can explain a specific song that you want to learn. A good teacher should be happy to let you use this as a practice and they will test you on your progress. Smoke on the Water is also a good song for beginners because it is quite easy to learn.
Use computer or mobile applications
When learning a new instrument, there is nothing wrong with getting help along the way. If you are using a teacher or learning on your own, try searching online for some of the best music apps.
Garageband is a very popular free software from Apple that allows you to record and mix music at home. It has been used by millions of hobbyists, but also by many professionals.
Perfect Piano is a very different kind of application because it doesn’t work alongside an instrument, it is the instrument. This app is a piano simulator which teaches you the instrument and uses a large library of sheet music to do so.
Yousician tries to replace a real teacher by offering lessons for a group of instruments including ukulele, piano, bass and guitar.
When it comes to learning chords, there is an app called Chordify which can remove chords from any song you want to download. Learning guitar chords is essential for you to be able to play your favorite songs.
Find YouTube tutorials
This is where you’ll find a way to learn Smoke on the Water without approaching a teacher or paying for a lesson.
You will find lessons on how to read music and write lyrics. You can follow real tutors by video and learn how to play the chords well. There are videos that simply give advice to aspiring young musicians, and some can be invaluable.
YouTube is also a great place to find all the classic songs you want to learn. You can download some of them to practice while you are offline. If you are lucky enough to understand the game by ear, you can sit around noodles while learning new songs.
If you want to learn and play Bohemian Rhapsody chords, YouTube can help you with any of the apps mentioned above. Then you can remove the chords, display them on the screen, and start learning.
Another way to learn is to find a friend who has been playing for a longer time to help. This avoids the more formal method of sitting in a room with a teacher, and while you can pick up bad habits this way, you might find that you have a lot of fun. Enthusiasm goes a long way in learning.
Guitar sales have exploded during the pandemic according to Guitar World, so if you find yourself at home with a middle-aged guitar, don’t be too surprised. It’s never too late to learn how to play Stairway or try out a bit of Jimi Hendrix in front of the kids.
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