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Learning Songs

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Coolnama
(@coolnama)
Prominent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 590
Topic starter  

Do I really have to ??? Or Should I ? I mean I have a toolbox full of toolsand when my teacher teaches me a song I get it pretty quickly but I don't think I would have the will power to sit down and learn a song.

Well there are a few that are just so simple its hard not to learn them like when I was learning power chords I looked up a song that uses them and learned Blink 182's Damnit, a really simple song and I guess good for learning Power chords, but I'm not really interested in learning songs. But, Should I ?

I wanna be that guy that you wish you were ! ( i wish I were that guy)

You gotta set your sights high to get high!

Everyone is a teacher when you are looking to learn.

( wise stuff man! )

Its Kirby....


   
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Scrybe
(@scrybe)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2241
 

It depends. Why do you want to play guitar? If you to play with, or for, others then yes, you'll have to learn some songs. If you just want to noodle away in your bedroom forever then no, you don't need to learn songs. But you might find you want to anyway.

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


   
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Chris C
(@chris-c)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 3454
 

Hi,

There's probably a number of possible answers, but in my opinion it boils down to what suits each individual. It also depends a fair bit on what you mean by "learn a song".

At one end of the scale you have people who will rigorously study a piece and learn it bar by bar with every note and nuance in exactly the 'right' place. At the other end you get people like Walter Tore who play what he calls Spontobeat. Walter says that he never plays the same tune twice and makes new ones up on the fly every time he plays. Clearly, Walter knows how to play, and he has jammed along with many well known artists, but he simply won't 'learn songs' in the traditional way. His description of his approach at this link is interesting reading.

Walter Tore's Soundclick site with music and vid

I've had the chance to chat to Walter online and I liked him a lot, as well as his music. I'm nowhere near his league of ability, but I'm a little bit like him in approach. I never really learn songs either (as an experiment I'm trying to learn one all the way through at the moment...) and I can't even play any of my own songs from memory, even though I wrote them. Yet I can sit down with the guys in the group I play with, read the sheet music and/or chord sheet and join in the song.

This might seem odd (and I don't mind admitting to that... :wink: ) but I think that many players don't care for learning songs in a set way either. Instead they prefer to concentrate on learning the general musical skills that will enable them to put together their own arrangement of songs.

My feeling currently is that I'm much more interested in learning to get a good kit of general tools, and to be able to improvise. But on the other hand, if you go that way it's easy to fall into the trap of kidding yourself that you're better than you actually are (because you can keep sliding your way around the tricky bits... :? ). So one of my goals for the next year or two is to try and get the discipline to nail a few complete songs, using somebody else's versions.

Good luck, and have fun whichever way you go.

Cheers,

Chris


   
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Scrybe
(@scrybe)
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I do a mixture of reading songs from chord sheets and figuring my lines out as I go, figuring out the key riffs and progressions and then making it my own, and learning stuff note-for-note.

The note-for-note stuff used to be for exams. These days it is to develop my ear, and to work on my weaknesses.

Ra Er Ga.

Ninjazz have SuperChops.

http://www.blipfoto.com/Scrybe


   
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dogbite
(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

I believe learning songs is more than just learning a song.
when figuring out a song you also learn new techniques, new chords, new notes, new ways to listen.
the rewards are almost endless.
knowing a bunch of licks that have no context is useless.
unless you are into sound effects.

learn songs.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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cnev
 cnev
(@cnev)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 4459
 

Hmm interesting guestion...the short answer of course you don't if you don't want to...

The longer answer is it depends on where you want to be as a guitarist and where you'd expect to be using your guitar skills.

If you play for yourself then I would think that it's not that important but if you plan on playing with other people I think you'll find that you should probably learn songs unless you just want to jam all night and make things up as you go along.

Of course if you start writing your songs you'll need to learn them

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
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Coolnama
(@coolnama)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 590
Topic starter  

OK so , what songs should I go after ?

Like I look at alot of classes in here but I've never heard any of those songs in here X_X lol maybe cause I'm young and stuff and learning stuff via videos is a nono cause of my slow internet and old computer.

OK review ( for myself o.o )

1. I should learn songs

2. I should learn them for the technique I'm going to learn from them ( right ? )

Hmm what I guess really comes down to for me is discipline because I can spend hours practicing a technique but sitting down trying to learn a song sounds like hell for me, so I guess I should work on that, so thanks everybody.

I wanna be that guy that you wish you were ! ( i wish I were that guy)

You gotta set your sights high to get high!

Everyone is a teacher when you are looking to learn.

( wise stuff man! )

Its Kirby....


   
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Minotaur
(@minotaur)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1089
 

What kind of music do you like? There's printed music in books in stores, and tabs and chord sheets on the 'net (some better than others) for every genre. Do you have a cd or iTunes collection that contains songs you'd like to play? You can learn a song and apply its technique to a thousand other songs; you can learn a technique and thereby learn a thousand songs.

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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Chris C
(@chris-c)
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Like I look at alot of classes in here but I've never heard any of those songs in here X_X lol maybe cause I'm young and stuff and learning stuff via videos is a nono cause of my slow internet and old computer.

Don't completely write off videos, you may still be able to use them. In amongst the general rubbish there are some great video lessons on Youtube. If you have a slow connection it can take an age for them to load, but if you know how to do it you can save the videos and replay them later off your hard drive. I learned to do this when I had a slow connection, but I still do it for sheer convenience even though I now have good speeds.

I have a machine with Windows XP and a Mac with OSX but both will run the needed VLC player (a free download). The technique for grabbing the video file is different, but i can explain if required.

I can read music, chord sheets or TAB, but I still like a good video for learning new stuff. If I can see what the fingers are doing it saves me a lot of 'no fun' time plodding through scores or TABs.

Hmm what I guess really comes down to for me is discipline because I can spend hours practicing a technique but sitting down trying to learn a song sounds like hell for me, so I guess I should work on that, so thanks everybody.

Some form of self discipline is needed, but I prefer to look at it from the 'motivation' angle. 'Discipline' sounds kind of boring... If I can find a way to want to sit down and do the work then I'll do it. If it's too dull then I often won't. Trying to plod through songs certainly can feel like a chore, but it definitely doesn't have to, and there are many ways to make the process enjoyable. Another good motivator is the pleasure of achievement, and once you've nailed something you've sweated over there's a real buzz both from the end result and from the pride in the job you did. So it gets a little easier the next time... :wink:

Good luck with it all.

Cheers,

Chris


   
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dogbite
(@dogbite)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

it astounds me that you can spend hours learning a technique, but have no patience to learn a song (where you can accomplish learning a technique at the same time you learn a song).

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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unimogbert
(@unimogbert)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 174
 

it astounds me that you can spend hours learning a technique, but have no patience to learn a song (where you can accomplish learning a technique at the same time you learn a song).
Jamie Andreas, the guitar teacher book writer and internet guitar teacher indicates this isn't at all unusual among young male guitar students.

Most likely it's a difference in goals. Play lots of cool riffs and impress the other guys you hang with vs. play complete songs and get all the chicks ;-)

It'll probably correct itself with time. :-) (or there's another Malmsteen in the making....)

Unimogbert
(indeterminate, er, intermediate fingerstyle acoustic)


   
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Coolnama
(@coolnama)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 590
Topic starter  

it astounds me that you can spend hours learning a technique, but have no patience to learn a song (where you can accomplish learning a technique at the same time you learn a song).

Well the thing is that after I learn X technique I use it and try to do something else with that same technique not to "learn a cool riff to impress the guys" but to find something new to implement into my playing when I am going to jam or anything.

When I am learning a song I feel like I am limited to follow that, and yeah I should have a structure whenever I'm playing but learning some rhythm parts can get so extremely boring doing the same stuff all over again while when I learn the technique I can use the same technique and use it wherever I want.

Plus If I learn the technique learning the song would be easy, just do the same thing I've been doing just going from E to A to C to D ( for example ) instead of going from A to F to B# to E ( for example ) and just learn the strumming.

I wanna be that guy that you wish you were ! ( i wish I were that guy)

You gotta set your sights high to get high!

Everyone is a teacher when you are looking to learn.

( wise stuff man! )

Its Kirby....


   
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unimogbert
(@unimogbert)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 174
 

Here's Andreas' discussion of why it's important to learn songs. Several.

http://www.guitarprinciples.com/GettingBetter/imp_of_repertoire.html

It's all advice that may or may not have any meaning to a person at a given time. But it might mean something later.

If you're learning songs to strum to I can see that might not be sufficiently challenging. Maybe it's time to try a complete song that's challenging? I dunno.

Unimogbert
(indeterminate, er, intermediate fingerstyle acoustic)


   
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Hornfinger
(@hornfinger)
Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 23
 

What better way to practice than to learn songs? You entertain yourself while you practice! If you don't learn songs, you're just learning to play random bunches of notes, surely? Unless you're just improvising solos or whatever, but still...


   
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Raistx
(@raistx)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 78
 

In some way you have to learn songs at some time, maybe other peoples songs or your own.

It sounds like your saying "I want to spend all the time and effort (and money) to learn how to work all the controls of an airplane, but I never want to fly". :roll:

I always thought that practicing, doing excercises, learning new techniques was to be able to play songs, and the songs will get more challenging/interesting the better you get.

Each to their own but at some point you might get bored.


   
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