What It Truly Takes To Master Songs On Guitar
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Today's lesson is all about you guys being able to play your favorite songs, and all the different stages of mastering said songs.
This is going to completely change your perspective on learning songs and what it means to truly master a song.
Obviously the timeframe for you to learn/master a song will depend on:
-The song difficulty
As for expectation, what I mean by that is when you try to play the Hotel California solo for example, that song is iconic so you have to play it note for note.
However, if you're playing some Taylor Swift songs, all you have to do is, learn the chords respect the structure of the song, while strumming, arpeggiating them, it really doesn't matter.
Here's a concise summary of the main points covered in this workshop, but I highly recommend watching the full video (Timestamps will be provided at the end) for a more detailed exploration of each topic. Let's get started!
Step 1: Listening To The Song
This step involves actively listening to the song multiple times.
Pay attention to:
- The song's structure.
- Chord changes.
- Emotional impact, and other elements.
By familiarizing yourself with the song, you can learn it faster.
Step 2: Learning the song
In this step, you start learning the chords, riffs, or other fundamental elements of the song.
There are many ways to Identify chords you could:
- Simply look them up
- Use your theory knowledge to accelerate the learning process.
In This song mastery level it is also advised to break down the song into smaller sections and practicing them individually before integrating the parts together. (This is basically my secret weapon).
Isolate weak spots:
-Practice a certain chord change, section, or lick you are having trouble with.
-Isolate the left hand, and practice switching chords with your fretting hand only.
This will help you get past those hurdles quicker.
Step 3: Play The Song With The Original
Once you have learned the basics, you can start playing along with the song.
You can play along with the original track, an audio track, or even a metronome.
This step involves integrating what you have learned and identifying any weak spots or mistakes.
Disclaimer: There is a certain dance, or back and forth between song mastery steps 3 and 2.
-Play with the song.
-Identify weak spots.
-Back to learning the song
Step 4: Learn The Song's Nuances
This step focuses on mastering the subtleties of the song, such as dynamics, rhythm, vibrato, and other nuances.
Paying attention to these details can elevate your performance and make it more authentic to the original.
This is very important when it comes to playing those iconic songs, remember when we talked about expectations? This is where it comes into play most!
Step 5: Play The Song In One Take
This step is all about endurance, now that you've learned the song, and you can confidently play all it's parts, it's time for you to play the whole thing in 1 go and here's the catch, you need to do this with no audible mistakes.
Step 6: Play The Song In Front Of Your Friends
At this stage, the focus is on performing the song in front of people you're close to, such as friends, family, or a teacher.
The challenge is to play the song without any audible mistakes, showcasing your progress and confidence, and this is way harder than it seems guys.
Step 7: Play The Song In Front Of An Audience
Taking the song to the stage or performing it live with a band adds another level of difficulty.
This step can be particularly challenging for those who are new to performing.
By this point, the song should be second nature to you, allowing you to deliver a confident performance.
This step involves proper recording, whether in a professional studio or at home.
Recording a song that may seem easy when playing casually can become surprisingly challenging.
Achieving precision and accuracy in terms of timing, chord quality, and overall execution can be demanding.
It often takes multiple takes to capture the desired result, even for seemingly straightforward sections.
Step 9: Record The Song In One Take
Recording a song in one take is considered the ultimate level. It is a highly difficult task that is often deemed nearly impossible to accomplish.
Requiring a high level of skill and proficiency, recording in one take ensures a seamless performance without any editing or stitching together separate sections.
Achieving this level of mastery demands rigorous practice and dedication.
Here's all the timestamps, feel free to check out any section you wish to dive deeper into, with more examples, and explanations.
1:01 Actively Listening To The Song
2:50 Learning The Basics of the song
5:51 Playing Along with the Song
7:45 Mastering The Song's Nuances
10:02 Playing The Song In 1 Take
11:10 Playing The Song In Front of Friends
11:40 Live Performance
11:53 Recording The Song
12:49 Recording The Song In 1 Take