Besides my passion for listening to music, making lists and talking about it for ages, I also play some guitar myself from time to time. For me, this really goes in phases. Sometimes I play every day and then all of the sudden the guitar is collecting dust again for another year. There are times where I just play classical songs, and then there are times where I play pop songs and attempt to sing along a bit. Do you also have a guitar lying around somewhere? Always wanted to learn how to play it? Let me give you some songs that got me started!
Actually, as a kid I took violin lessons. I love this instrument. But as a teenage kid it’s just not cool enough and I wanted to play more pop songs. When I was around 13 years old, I switched and started taking classical/Spanish guitar lessons. So much fun! But still no pop songs. So, a couple years ago, I started teaching myself some chords and strumming patterns and little by little I was able to play some sing-a-long campfire songs! If you want to learn to play an instrument, I would definitely recommend playing guitar! Even if you just know four chords, there are already so many songs you can play! I guess we’ve all seen this video, right?
Here’s what I did. Because my guitar experiences started with classical and Spanish songs, I was so fixed on my sheet music. And I have to admit, I still am. I’m just not very good at improvising stuff etc. So when I started learning pop songs, I saw the chords, I knew where to put my fingers, but I had no clue about strumming patterns or rhythms. I would try over and over again but it just didn’t feel natural. Then one evening, I just sat down, determined that I had to be able to do this! And here’s the video that got me through it. I know, maybe you have to get used to the guy a bit. But I think it’s a nice way to get familiar with the strumming patterns!
Uhu, this classic, Wonderwall, was the first pop song I finally learned to play! (Ok, actually the first one was James Blunt’s Your Beautiful during a music class in high school. But yeah, I’m not going to come clean about this, right?) After this one, I started watching more of those videos and with every new song the rhythms started to feel a bit more natural. As soon as you know a couple of chords, just go to this website and try out more and more songs! I always go to the top 100 tabs to find some easy songs to sing along to.
To help you get started a bit, here are some songs that helped me to start learning. They are still some of my favorites to play!
- Ed Sheeran – A-Team
- Ed Sheeran – I See Fire
- Radiohead – Creep
- Radiohead – Karma Police
- The Script – The Man Who Can’t Be Moved
- Paolo Nutini – Last Request
- Paolo Nutini – Rewind
- Passenger – Let Her Go
- Adele – Someone Like You
- Jason Mraz – I’m Yours
- Matt Simons – Catch and Release
- Bastille – Flaws
- Simon and Garfunkel – The Boxer
- Coldplay – In My Place
These were the songs that helped me learning strumming patterns. In fact, due to my classical background, I also really love to play fingerpicking songs (tokkelen in Dutch). If you want, I can also give you a list of some easy songs to start learning fingerpicking! In any case, you just need to get started and be a bit persistent. Let me know how it goes! And for those who already play guitar, which were the songs that got you started?