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spunko

Simple acoustic songs + singing

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As I think I've mentioned here previously I'm very new to acoustic guitar (maybe 50 hours practice?) - so still at a very basic level. If anyone can recommend simple folky songs to learn along with learning the lyrics, or do you all just play guitar and never sing? Most of the videos I've watched on YouTube of guitar tutorials it's clear they cannot sing and admit as much, which is fine, but I love to sing along.

I've so far learned to play & sign to Tracy Chapman - Fast Car and Don Mclean - American Pie (easy version) so can handle easy chords with practice. But part of the fun is also singing along and I'm low on ideas of songs to try next. Anyone got any recommendations?

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I used to be able to play Closer to the Hear by Rush on acoustic.  I was dead pleased when I mastered the tricky intro.  The guitar must see the light of day again some time as it's been in that case for ?fifteen years.

 

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4 hours ago, spunko said:

As I think I've mentioned here previously I'm very new to acoustic guitar (maybe 50 hours practice?) - so still at a very basic level. If anyone can recommend simple folky songs to learn along with learning the lyrics, or do you all just play guitar and never sing? Most of the videos I've watched on YouTube of guitar tutorials it's clear they cannot sing and admit as much, which is fine, but I love to sing along.

I've so far learned to play & sign to Tracy Chapman - Fast Car and Don Mclean - American Pie (easy version) so can handle easy chords with practice. But part of the fun is also singing along and I'm low on ideas of songs to try next. Anyone got any recommendations?

Google Ultimate Guitar, a website that has lots of music and tabs and chord sheets. Paul Simon has a massive catalogue many of which you will of course know. Eg. For Sound of Silence there are simple strum chords and finger picking for the same song. I would recommend trying out ‘Power Tab’ which is free software (not protab) which gives proper music and an associated TAB which you can listen to and follow on screen to get the timing right. Learning to read proper music is difficult but worth it in the end, TAB has its place as of course do basic chords. The site also has the finger picking versions of Fast Car and a Power Tab for American Pie.

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Mega classic melody with sinch chords. Actually I can't play so I'll take this guy's word for it..

Btw if this is doable after 50 hours you've got us all tempted.

 

 

Edited by crashmonitor

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18 hours ago, crashmonitor said:

Mega classic melody with sinch chords. Actually I can't play so I'll take this guy's word for it..

Btw if this is doable after 50 hours you've got us all tempted.

 

 

Thanks, I think I would be able to play that with practice. 50 hours isn't much really, it's only one hour a week for a year. I try to play 2-3 times a week though.

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There are songs that sound meh when you hear them on the radio but are great to play. The meh part might come from overexposure to them. Me and Bobby McGee for example.

The open chords A, D and E can be done with the first, middle and ring fingers and it doesn't take much practice to get the changes smooth. Gives you a wide range of songs to play. Melanies Garden in the City works well with A, D and E. 

Get yourself a capo and you can use the same fingering to play  in different keys. Within reason.

If you're ok with retuning or have an electronic tuner, try tuning to a chord. G is good as lowering the pitch of a few strings is all that is needed. Means you can play a 12 bar blues simply by using your index finger to barr the frets. The 3 chords are Open/5th fret/7th fret although it sounds better imo if you don't play an open G. Do 1st fret/6th fret/ 8th fret instead. Or get fancy and use a slide.

For a very good example of 'less is more' acoustic guitar work, check out Janis Ian. 

 

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'Horse with no name' by America. Em is one of the chords used. Can't remember the name of the other main chord but it is easy enough. Em is 2 fingers on 2 adjacent strings, 4th and 5th string on the 2nd fret. Move each finger to the strings next to them. ie. 3rd and 6th string on the 2nd fret. 

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On 11/10/2018 at 19:04, crashmonitor said:

Mega classic melody with sinch chords. Actually I can't play so I'll take this guy's word for it..

Btw if this is doable after 50 hours you've got us all tempted.

 

 

I think this guy is the business for any player at any level.

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Unknown Legend. Neil Young.

You have to sing it like someones dropped a breeze block on your foot though.

Which is what makes it the bollox. 

Here's Justin to talk you through it.

Heres Tommy to take it a level (or 10) higher.

Go slowly and stick with it. A good acoustic is a friend for life.

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From complete beginner to a slightly slower and less confident  rendition of Tommy's Angelina took me 2 and a half years at 3 to 4 hrs a day 7 days a week. I don't use a plectrum tho. I like thumb and fingers that takes a while too but once you've got it lots of stuff opens up to you. Keep at it.

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The trick is finding a nice arrangement of a song you like that works with just one guitar. 

Here's a nice solo arrangent for The Joker. It looks harder than it is. It's all just open chords with a bit of flat picking. From where you are it's probably a bit of an effort but worth it I think.

This is tuned down a tone, so instead of tuning the guitar EADGBE every string is tuned two semitones (or two frets) lower to DGCFAD. Obviously once you've picked it up you can just play it in standard tuning if your voice has got the range.

 

 

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This is a White Stripes arrangement of an old Bob Dylan song. It's quite sparse, so works well on solo acoustic, but you need to be able to play bar chords to do it.Can you do that yet?

His voice is quite affected, so it's a bit wierd to sing along with him. 

This girl sings the same arrangement, but she sings it quite straight, in a much less affected way, which I found helpful as a reference in picking up the vocal part. 

I've played guitar for a long time, but I'm not so good at singing.

xD

 

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If you want to learn simple songs with simple chords a great foundation start would be three chord blues/country and western and learn a few licks within the 3 chord structure of the key you are playing in. Then learn skiffle/boogie woogie/rock nRoll. Keep it simple as there are so many great songs that are simple at face value but your technique in how you play them is what makes them great ie strumming style/rhythm. For me learn the beatles early stuff progressing to their later years. The chords in their songs is a great template to learn from. If you want to sing learn from the Everley Brothers and how harmonies work. Like you Im still learning and like to learn something new every day.

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