Acoustic Guitar Songs Take Practice

There are songs that lend themselves to easily being portrayed as acoustic guitar songs.

That's because they are laid out for fretboard friendliness. Take a song in the key of E, A, D, or G. These keys are good to begin to learn a song on the guitar. This is because the relationship of string pitch to fretboard makes sense to folks who are just beginning to “see” how the physical parts of guitar playing can be learned by observing how the notes move across the guitar neck.

Keep in mind I'm distinguishing between songs that can be sung using the guitar as accompaniment with chords and a few hammer-ons and fills, and those songs in which the guitar player will play the melody and an underlying harmony to be the whole sound of the guitar only.

What has been helpful to me in learning to play a song on guitar alone is to start with the tune, the melody. Base it over the keys mentioned earlier. That way the chord progression still works in these easier keys.

For example, playing in first position it is possible to play E, A, and B supporting notes in the melody on some open strings. Then moving into other keys like G or D, more notes on frets will be played, but once scales can be “seen” on the fretboard, it makes for a good start to play parts of the chords underneath.

As you advance beyond first position, new sounds are fun to try by moving to the fifth or seventh fret. Staying in a closed position will be important. In other words, you'll be moving your left hand up the neck keeping the relationships you played on the first fret. This gets easier as hand strength develops.

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