Whether you’ve just started playing guitar, or you’re a seasoned veteran who’s been playing for many years, reading and understanding guitar tabs can be just as important as knowing how to finger the basic chords. Learning how to play songs will also work to increase your overall knowledge of the guitar, and you’ll find yourself getting better every day. Every song across all types of music carries similar chords, motifs, and rhythms that can be learned and applied to many other songs that you play.
When someone starts learning how to play the guitar, their first instinct might be to play the hardest song they can find or learn their favorite song right away especially if they aren’t following a set training schedule or guitar lesson program such as the ones offered on Jamplay.com or GuitarTricks.com. Unfortunately, learning complex songs when you’re a beginner can sometimes be a bit too difficult, and the player might become frustrated and quit halfway through. That’s why it’s important to start off with simple songs that carry elements that can be used in other songs. If you learn a lot of easy songs, eventually intermediate songs will become less difficult and you can move on to learning more difficult ones. After you master songs at an intermediate level, you can start learning advanced songs that would have given you a lot of trouble when you just started playing.
Here are some of the top guitar tabs for beginners…
When you’re starting out, it’s important to learn simple melodies so you get a firm grasp of guitar basics. Happy Birthday is a great place to start because it can be played almost anywhere along the neck inside of any scale. Some users prefer to start off on a single string so they get more experience moving up and down the neck, but it’s also a good idea to play the song inside of a major scale. After you get used to playing the melody with one note, you can substitute in power chords or octaves, so you get better at moving chords up and down the neck. You can play a lot of variations on the same simple guitar riff, so it’s a great place to start if you want to increase your overall ability when playing the guitar.
Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple
Whether you’re learning the classic intro riff, or stretching to learn the entire song, Smoke on the Water is one of the best songs to learn when you’re starting out as a guitar player. The ascending riff played on the lowest strings will help you to improve your speed and accuracy when playing power chords. Don’t be afraid of playing the song slowly at first to get the riff right. Everything will come with practice, which is why it’s better not to worry if it doesn’t sound perfect the first time you play it. If you have any other friends who play guitar, there’s a good chance they know how to play this song, so you’ll have some people to jam with if you fully learn Smoke on the Water.
Wonderwall by Oasis
One of the most popular guitar tabs currently available, Wonderwall is popular with players everywhere because of its cool-sounding chord progression and popularity with singers. If you’re hanging out with your friends and playing the guitar, there’s a good chance you could start playing Wonderwall and they’d all know the lyrics and sing along. The song uses four open chords with slight variations, which gives the song a jangly and open sound. Not only is this song a great way to practice variations on open chords, it also helps the player work on quickly switching between chords. Switching between chords quickly is a very important skill for a guitar player and it can only be mastered through practice. After you learn enough songs, you’ll have a full memory of each chord and you can switch to any chord quickly.
Blackbird by the Beatles
An excellent song for anyone who’s interested in finger picking, Blackbird uses a simple picking pattern that’s easy to learn but takes a while to master. If you’ve never fingerpicked before, Blackbird is a good place to start. The song relies on the user playing a variety of open chords that run up and down the neck while picking two melody notes at a time. This helps users get more control over their picking hand without being too difficult for a beginner to learn. Don’t be afraid of playing the song slowly at first. Many players like to break the song into sections and work on each section separately before moving on to the next part. After you’ve mastered the first verse, the rest of the song probably won’t seem as difficult.
Come as You Are by Nirvana
A great song for learning how to synchronize your right and left hand, Come as You Are essentially has one riff that repeats throughout the entire song, and relies mostly on the user’s ability to play single notes accurately. The riff is played on the bottom two strings, so you don’t have to worry about any complex picking patterns or learning long riffs. This song offers the player a chance to practice picking with upstrokes and down strokes. One of the best ways to become a better player is to pick up and down with each alternative stroke. This will not only increase your playing speed, it will also allow you to play other songs in a much more relaxed manner because you aren’t struggling to play each note with a down stroke.
Iron Man by Black Sabbath
Regardless of whether you’re interested in hard rock or metal, Iron Man is a great song to learn because it helps you play power chords accurately. Power chords are used in nearly every type of songs, so mastering them when you first start off is crucial. The song only requires you to play a two-note power chord, but you can use some variations and play much larger barre chords if you prefer to practice those instead. When practicing the song, start off slowly and gradually work up to the speed of the original. By the time you master the song, you’ll be able to play power chords all over the neck with ease. The song can also be transposed and played on other parts of the neck, which helps the player learn how to play power chords in a variety of different positions. Simply start one fret higher than you normally would, and you can practice playing chords in a different position. This will help increase your accuracy over the entire neck, without making you to practice boring exercises.
Sweet Child of Mine by Guns N’ Roses
One of the most recognizable riffs in the world, Sweet Child of Mine is an excellent place to start for any player who wants to start soloing and playing lead riffs. The song starts out with a riff on the top four stings past the twelfth fret, which continues for the entire intro. This is an excellent place to start because the intro is the most recognizable part of the song. After that, the verses can be played with simple power chords, so you don’t have to worry about learning any difficult solos. The chorus of the song uses the same riff as the introduction, so once you master the introduction the rest of the song should feel easy. If you’re using an acoustic guitar and you can’t play above the 12th fret, the same riff can be transposed to a lower key by moving the riff down a fret.