The Top Guitar Noise Posts of 2011

Dec29

As 2011 comes to a close, we at Guitar Noise are taking a look back at our most popular lessons to find out what interested you, our readers. This year saw the passing of celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, Amy Winehouse, Clarence Clemons and Apple CEO Steve Jobs. It’s also the year where Guitar Noise slipped out of the “known world.” The known world online is what you find on the first page of Google search results. There are so many other guitar lesson sites now that we no longer appear in the top ten results for many popular guitar searches.

Never fear, Guitar Noise still reigns supreme when it comes to quality lessons for beginners, tuning information, guitar chords, easy guitar songs and advice on learning the notes on guitar. And let’s not forget that we still have the friendliest guitar forums with a community of players that are always ready to welcome new friends.

Owing to a recent drop in traffic, all of the most read lessons this year were published prior to this year. Let’s take another look at them. These are the Guitar Noise lessons that helped loads of other people learn guitar in 2011.

1. Hey There Delilah by Plain White T’s
Easy Song for Beginners
We didn’t do a best-of list for 2010, but this was still the number one lesson way back in 2009. Why did it jump back to the top? Just this past November, we finally started working with music publishers to post licensed versions of our popular song lessons. Hey There Delilah is an easy to play pop song that beginners can make sound great thanks to this great lesson.

2. House of the Rising Sun
Easy Song for Beginners
Because of copyright restrictions we had to make do with public domain songs for most of the year. House of the Rising Sun is actually a perennial favorite. It has been covered by too many artists to mention – although we would like to say both The Animals and Bob Dylan have recorded memorable versions. Our lesson gives you a couple of different fingerpicking patterns to try out.

3. Absolute Beginner Part 1: Chords
The Internet is a great place for beginners at anything. We’re not ashamed to be one of the number one destinations for beginner guitar lessons. If you can already play guitar like Steve Vai or Joe Satriani there’s not much more we can teach you. But if you’re just starting out this really is a helpful lesson for the absolute beginner.

4. Scarborough Fair
Easy Song for Beginners
We’ve been teaching the Simon and Garfunkel version of Scarborough Fair for years. No we’ve added a different version to coincide with David Hodge’s The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Guitar. While writing the book David came up with a great version you can play without a capo, and our maestro forum moderator Nick Torres supplied a haunting and memorable vocal you definitely won’t want to miss.

5. Horse With No Name – The Simplest Song
Easy Song for Beginners
This is where it all started. The first easy song for beginners ever came about by accident. To this day it is still one of our most popular lessons and it will be getting an improved treatment next month.

6. Where Did You Sleep Last Night
Easy Songs for Beginners
A lot of people are familiar with Where Did You Sleep Last Night because Nirvana performed it on their Unplugged in New York album. Kurt Cobain attributed the song to Leadbelly but it’s actually a lot older than that. David’s version, which he came up with while writing The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Guitar, still sounds great and so will you.

7. Man on the Moon by R.E.M.
Easy Song for Beginners
R.E.M. is a great guitar band and it’s a shame they decided to call it quits in 2011. Fortunately for us, around the time they were calling it a day we managed to negotiate the rights to use some of their songs for our easy songs for beginners lessons. Man on the Moon is a beautiful song that beginners can easily learn to play. Our arrangement adds some nice touches that will make it sound very cool even when being played by one guitar.

8. The Underappreciated Art of Using a Capo
This is another Guitar Noise classic that dates back to our early days. Most guitarists probably have one of these handy little capo devices, and if you make a little extra effort to learn more about your fretboard you can really unlock a lot of guitar secrets with it.

9. Silent Night
Easy Song for Beginners
Christmas may be over but Silent Night has always been one of my favorite Guitar Noise lessons. It’s short and sweet. The simplicity of this lesson means it will take you no time at all to learn something that sounds great and is recognized by everyone. Don’t wait until next December to try out this three chord song.

10. How to Play Guitar Chords on Keyboard and Guitar
It seems Guitar Noise readers can never get enough chord theory. And one of the best ways to cement what you learn on guitar, believe it or not, is to learn the basics of another instrument. This lesson takes some of the rudiments of music theory and shows you how it applies to the keyboard.

11. Tip for Those With Small Hands
Judging by all the comments this article has received, a lot of people still have a real hang up about the size of their hands. The article itself has some important advice, and the thoughtful comments people have left adds even more value. You’ll find all sorts of advice here about what guitars are easy to play.

I just want to add two more lessons to this list. In November we also added reworked versions of the R.E.M. easy song lessons Driver 8 and Losing My Religion. Since we spent a lot of time working on the deal to use these popular songs (not to mention money) we’d like to see even more people enjoying them. Check out both songs if you haven’t already.

We’re also looking forward to adding lots of new lessons in 2012. Thanks for another exciting year of learning and playing guitar.

Happy new year from everyone at Guitar Noise.

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About Paul Hackett

Bandmo called Paul Hackett "one of the most interesting webmasters in the online music world." Paul started Guitar Noise in the late nineties and still runs the site today. He can usually be found traveling and learning new languages. Paul's life outside Guitar Noise unfolds at paulhackett.ca.

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