Topic: Complaint. sort of

Hi all!!!!

I don't know if it's just me, but alot of the songs that people say are easy look hard to me. Either they aren't playing the whole song (intro,solos etc) or I just really suck and should quit.
For example, Cats in the cradle is in some easy songbooks. Are you kidding me, the intro (which HAS to be played in the song) is a killer. I find stuff like this all the time. I've been playing for about 9 months I think. I am progressing fine. I know everyone progresses differently, but come on. Some of the songs that people who have been playing way less than me say are easy is blowing my mind. Another is bad moon rising, strumming is way too fast for it to be an easy song.

I just don't get it.

Another thing, while goining thru the songbooks I can't find anything I really want to learn and  I see the same songs everywhere.

Anyway thanks for listening to my rant!

Keep Rockin!!!!!!!!!!!

Keep Rockin!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: Complaint. sort of

Aww Man.... you would complain about being hung with a new rope wouldn't ya?  Just kidding!  Really!

  I know what you are driving at though.  I think part of it is the music we were growing up with.... tunes that are really familiar are seemingly not so bad, while others darn near insurmountable.  Been playing a few more years than you and frankly just can't seem to get a handle on Nirvana's Teen spirit.  But early stones and zeppelin stuff no sweat.  CCR same story.  Hang in there though and if you aren't finding stuff in other's books that you want to learn, gather up a bunch of stuff that you like.  One thing that I always try to do is find tunes that have chords and patterns that are unfamiliar and work through them to learn new fingerings and strum patterns to incorporate into stuff that I already know pretty well.  Kind of like "bluegrassing" a rock ballad, or "Rockin" a classic.

  Always learning something new around here, really keeps me coming back over and over.  Have fun and keep rockin' yerself!

Take Care;

"what is this quintessence of dust?"  - Shakespeare

Re: Complaint. sort of

Hey Z,

I know exactly what you mean but I must admit I have a quiet little smile to myself when I read a songbook comment like:

"I've been playing guitar now for 3 months and can play all these songs easily"

When you open up the songbook it's like a Who's Who of the most difficult songs known to living man!

So I've learned to be my own barometer of what's easy and what's not. If it was just about strumming the chords to a song then maybe a lot of songs are easy to learn but as you pointed out there's a whole lot of other stuff going on as well that distiguish the song from just a nice sounding chord progression.

I'm sure you're about to get a whole lot of good advice from some well seasoned players here but if I can just jump in with my 5 cents worth. Don't give up. Keep practicing and keep challenging yourself. Don't just pick up your guitar and strum the same stuff every time, find something new that's going to stretch your learning. For me, I tend to be learning in stages. I'll pick up some new skills in a hurry and then I seem to plateau for a while before I step up to the next phase.

Be patient, keep practicing and be your own barometer.



We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an is a habit.        Aristotle

Re: Complaint. sort of

Intro and solos?!?! Are you kidding me? Try doing all that sitting round a campfire or at a party with a good few beers in you. You're just starting out; make things easy for yourself. If I start to play intros all I get is "Ah get to the bit we can sing!"

One step at a time, eh?

Is anything really made up of zeros and ones??

Re: Complaint. sort of

If you want to sound like the records, then no songs are easy.  That's the cold, hard facts.  If what you are asking for are easy songs that can be played by a beginner who by definition is not skilled in technique or advanced in knowledge, and on which that beginner can sound like a seasoned recording artist with a band full of seasoned recording artists backing him up performing in a studio with a seasoned sound engineer, then you are asking for the impossible. 

If you are asking for a song that the chords can be strummed and the lyrics sung in something that's recognizable, then there are many of those.  These are what are usually recommended as beginner songs.  They are really beginner arrangements of songs. 

As Alvee33 says, one step at a time. 

If you want to learn to play songs rather than learning to play guitar, go to Youtube and search on Gold Hat Studios.  He has a lot of song lessons that will teach you to play arrangements of songs suitable for solo acoustic guitar players and many of them are appropriate for a beginner.  You will NOT be able to go through the song lesson one time and be able to play it.  The instructor does an excellent job of teaching the techniques to play that particular song, but you're going to have to pay attention and hit rewind a lot to really practice and nail down each little bit of technique.  If that's how you want to learn to play, and there's nothing wrong with that, then I recommend Gold Hat Studio's on-line lessons.  I use them myself and find them highly informative.

- Zurf

Granted B chord amnesty by King of the Mutants (Long live the king).
If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome! - Mekidsmom
When in doubt ... hats. - B.G. Dude

Re: Complaint. sort of

One thing alot of folks don't think about is, when hearing songs on the radio or wherever. The song by Bob Dylan, Neil Young or whoever. There is a band behind the singer and most singers are playing ryhthm guitar and have a lead player, drummer, bass player and lots of other effects . There are very few that are just guitar and vocals and they usually are a very very talented few.
Damien Rice comes to mind and if you have heard him, think what his music would be like without the cello and Lisa Hannigan on backup vocals.

Be happy that you can make music, there are millions that wish they could !

Later, Wayne P

Re: Complaint. sort of

These guys have it right.  When most people say it is an easy song, they are probably just strumming and singing.  That's mainly what I do and most of the songs are easily recognizable when I do them.  If you want to play exactly like the original, then it will be harder.  You may be a perfectionist and there is nothing wrong with that.  Just know that it will take you longer to learn a song.  We each have our own picture of happiness.  Don't be too tough on yourself.  And good luck, whichever way you go.

You can see all my video covers on [url][/url]
I have finally found happiness in my life.  Guitars, singing, beer and camping.  And they all intertwine wonderfully.

Re: Complaint. sort of

Thanks for all the responses, great info for me.

I wasn't talking about playing songs exactly like the recordings. I want to play it like I've heard other acoustic players play it. Like Cats in the Cradle, I wouldn't say I could play this song if I didn't know the intro. It's a must, for this particular song anyway. Another one is For What It's Worth, that little bass line thing IS part of the song and I've seen it played as such by a solo acoustic. I couldn't get it so I gave up that song for now.

I will check out Gold Hat. Being shown is exactly how I need to learn. That's part of my problem now, I can't find any video lessons for songs I want to learn. You're right Zurf, I just want to learn songs. Learning guitar is not what I'm after. Imitating gets me where I'm going.

Turret knows exactly what I'm talking about with the songbooks. 3 months and they can play 100 songs????????????? I'm at 9 months and have 12 songs I'm working on but can't play anyof them without mistakes. I know, I know, I should just pick 1 and get it right, but I get bored.

I spent like 2 hours in the songbooks last night and came up with nothing. I did find a few that I clicked on, then up pops the F and B. So out those went.

Ok rant time over for now.

Keep Rockin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Keep Rockin!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: Complaint. sort of

Z you brought up some good points.  I've been learning about 10 yrs and I find it's often a stretch when I read some comment about a song being "easy".  I'll say this in case you get something out of it.  Keep a couple harder songs on your longterm goal list and chip away at them.  One day you'll think those are easy.  In the meantime pick a couple you might like and if they don't click, move on.  You can always come back to them.  What will happen is you'll discover some songs can be learned really those a "gimme".  Keep adding those even if they aren't overly complex.  You'll find you can dress them up later with intros/outros/etc.  Knockin on Heaven's Door is a "gimme" that you can sing to even if just a beginner.   G, D, Am, G, D, B's or F's.  And when you're around other guitarists you can play that together.

Good luck and tell us some you find really are "easy"!

Re: Complaint. sort of

Here I go complaining again!!!!!

I don't want to learn Greenday, Coldplay, Jack Johnson, Neil Young, Snow Patrol, or The Eagles.

Oh my gosh!!!!!! Where am I gonna find lessons on song I want to play? I am stumped. That's 2 nights in the past week that I've spent 2 or more hours per night looking for something I might like and think I could take on. But to no avail.

Is it really that hard?

Any suggestions?????????????????

Thanks All

Keep Rockin??????

Keep Rockin!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: Complaint. sort of

Hey Z,
  Some songs are called easy becasue the chords themselves are not difficult, and the chord progressions seem easy. That is not necessarily so! To use your two examples, Harry Chapin was known for his heavy use of orchestration. Try that on an acoustic-BLAH! Bad moon rising has simple chords, but rapid chord changes, which does not really make it a beginner song. And as was mentioned, somtimes a backing band drowns out the acoustic all togetehr. On many of George Strait's songs (he plays rhythm), you can't even hear his playing for the band and the lead guitar. I know I found many of Bob Dylan's songs in beginner books. Sure the chords are easy, but he has a tendency to change strum patterns, and even change the key he is singing in. Again deceptively simple. Learn at your own pace, this isn't NASCAR. There are literally thousands of two and three chord songs, don't give up, you'll find some you like. May not sound like the Moody Blues, but as Ricky Nelson sang, you can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself.

But, here's the secret about the guitar: It's defiant. It will never let you conquer it. The more that you get involved with it, the more you realize how little you know.
                 Les Paul  March 2007

Re: Complaint. sort of

Zguitar -

You're getting pretty picky about your handouts.  If you've been surfing Chordie songs and other sites for hours each night looking for songs withing your skill level by artists you like and you can't find them, then you've got a couple choices left.  You're going to have to get less picky about what you like, or you're going to have to go old school and get the skills to play by ear (meaning practicing basics like technique, scales, arpeggios, and inversions, and ear training for pitch recognition) or you're going to have to spend some money buying beginner arrangements of artists you like from a music store or amazon.  Given the pickiness you're displaying on free chord charts, I'd recommend going to a music store to be sure the sheets satisfy you if that's what you choose.  By now, there's a few generations of guitarists who've learned to play by mimicking albums.  It can be done, but it takes some special skills that you'll have to learn and some real strong desire and the willingness to make a lot of mistakes and sound like crap for a while, and apparently to play "Cat Scratch Fever" for hours on end at high volume. 

Please note that I'm not saying there's anything wrong with being picky.  To the contrary, I think it's great that you know what you want your sound to be and don't wish to compromise.  However, given that, it does limit your selection of tools somewhat.  You've made a good solid effort on using free chord charts and it doesn't seem to be working out for you.  Time to try some other things.  Unfortunately for you, those other things are harder and take more dedication.  On the flip side, you're more likely to wind up sounding the way you want to sound.

- Zurf

Granted B chord amnesty by King of the Mutants (Long live the king).
If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome! - Mekidsmom
When in doubt ... hats. - B.G. Dude

Re: Complaint. sort of

Zurf wrote:

Zguitar -

and apparently to play "Cat Scratch Fever" for hours on end at high volume. 

- Zurf

Don't forget "Detroit Rock City" wink

Something that no one has yet pointed out about your first example, the intro to "Cat's in the Cradle" (and indeed, many songs by the late great Harry Chapin) is a Travis lick (fingerstyle, if you're not familiar with the term).  While it's not exactly a beginner technique, it can be learned pretty early if you are sufficiently determined.  If that is the sort of sound you're looking for (Harry Chapin, Dan Fogelberg sort of stuff), you might look for the book "Contemporary Travis Picking" by Mark Hanson.

Once you have the basic right hand patterns down, quite a few Chapin tunes start coming pretty easily.

Hang in there, and good luck.  Perseverance is the key to guitar.

"There's such a fine line between genius and stupidity."
                              --David St. Hubbins

Re: Complaint. sort of

Chordians are the best!!!! All this feedback is very helpful.

Zurf - I totally understand what your saying, but I think it's a little simpler than that. Heres' how I go about getting a song.

1) I look thru my collection of mp3's, find a song I would like to learn, then hunt for a video lesson.
2) I look thru the video lessons on my favorite websites and see if there is a song I like. 

1) I can't find a video lesson.
2) I can't find a song I like.

I don't know if I'm being overly picky. I not even really looking for a certain sound. I just want to play songs (that I like). Is it really that difficult. I can't be the only one with this issue.  There are tens of thousands of video lessons out there and more being made all the time. I find it hard to believe that I'm missing them or they don't exist.

I'm am actually going to pay for some lessons online from
I did Mark's free lesson and it is exactly what I need. He sends you a chord chart with an Mp3 of how he's playing it. By the end of the year I'm hoping to have started this. It's not free, but like Zurf said, I'm running out of options.

How do you guys learn songs? Am I missing something?

Thanks for listening

Keep Rockin!!!!!!!!

Keep Rockin!!!!!!!!!!!

15 (edited by Guitarpix 2009-09-09 22:00:45)

Re: Complaint. sort of

If you know what songs you want to play but can't find vids for them.... Why not just post here for help with them. I'm sure someone will know it and be willing to help or may have a link to vid online that you haven't found.. You may even get a vid made just for you. Note for note isn't really a problem just specify what your wanting... Most of the time when people ask for easy songs we/I just assume that they want easier arrangements of the songs. Cause we often hear "Where can I find an easy version of -------"
  Give us some bands/artist/songs that you like and maybe we can help you find something to your liking. -Pix

[b][color=#FF0000]If your brain is part of the process, you're missing it. You should play like a drowning man, struggling to reach shore. If you can trap that feeling, then you have something.
[/color][/b]         [b]Peace of mind. That's my piece of mind...[/b]

Re: Complaint. sort of

Z -
I have to agree with Zurf and Guitarpix. 

I think you're going about it exactly like the rest of us.  I think we stumble with the exact same problem.  To take it even further sometimes we find a good song and a good lesson only to learn it's not going to be within reach in a reasonable time.  So you just come back over time. 

What kind of stuff that you've found DOES meet your criteria?


Re: Complaint. sort of

Dearest Z,

I too have favorite songs I would like to play, however, you need to learn TO PLAY first.  Try learning a few of the old reliable's first, then you will naturally move into more challenging guitar songs.   I love the Beatles, just check out some of their songs/chords; some of the songs have 12 - 16 chords, too much for me right now!  But some of their songs are a bit simpler. 

Unless you have some music background or some prior exposure to musical instruments, I would suggest to you that you just be happy learning a new LIFETIME hobby and just let it take you where you want to go.  Don't rush have no time frame do you?


Re: Complaint. sort of

Hello again,

strumdoc - the beatles are way out of my league also. I can play 1 of there tunes tho.

steve - here's what I'm working on. Some I can "play", with mistakes of course. Others I'm working on. Actually they're all a work in progress, but some I can make sound descent.

Mad World - Tears for Fears
Stand By Me - Ben E. King
Last Kiss - Pearl Jam
Brown eyed Girl - Van Morrisson
Have You Ever Seen the Rain - CCR
Angels  - Robbie Williams
Free Fallin - Tom Petty
Save the Last Dance - Drifters
Lodi - CCR
All for You - Sister Hazel
Love Me Do - Beatles
Let Her Cry - Hootie
One of Us - Joan Osborne
Paise Adonai - Paul Baloche

That's my whole repertoire

Pix - I tried asking a long time ago and got the famous line of "feeling it out". I'm just not able to do that. But here are some I am looking for. This first one I've been dying to play. It doesn't look hard at all, even the solo looks doable. But I'm just not talented enough to be able to listen and do. Anyway here's just a few.

Deja Vu - John Fogerty
Our Country - John Mellencamp
Without Expression - John Mellencamp
Sister - The Nixons
Mr Recordman - Ugly Kid Joe

Pix, your vid on mad world are the kind of vids I'm looking for, maybe a little more in depth tho, if the song calls for it.

So I leave it up to the all knowing and wise Chordie veterans to maybe bless me with some more good info.

You guys are awwesome!!

Keep rockin!!!!!!!!!

Keep Rockin!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: Complaint. sort of

That's a pretty impressive repertoire for nine months.  I'm just saying...

- Zurf

Granted B chord amnesty by King of the Mutants (Long live the king).
If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome! - Mekidsmom
When in doubt ... hats. - B.G. Dude

Re: Complaint. sort of

zguitar wrote:

Hi all!!!!

I don't know if it's just me, but alot of the songs that people say are easy look hard to me. Either they aren't playing the whole song (intro,solos etc) or I just really suck and should quit.
For example, Cats in the cradle is in some easy songbooks. Are you kidding me, the intro (which HAS to be played in the song) is a killer. I find stuff like this all the time. I've been playing for about 9 months I think. I am progressing fine. I know everyone progresses differently, but come on. Some of the songs that people who have been playing way less than me say are easy is blowing my mind. Another is bad moon rising, strumming is way too fast for it to be an easy song.

Well... I've been playing for just a couple weeks.  I'm working on that easy version of "Cats in the Cradle" ... and it works for me.  I hear the intro in my head while I strum a couple chords for "my intro" ... and then off I go.  So IMHO it is a good beginner song.  If I remember correctly, Harry Chapin isn't even strumming chords thru the song, he reminds me more of a classical guitarist where he's playing all kinds of stuff at once.  On the other hand, Ugly Kid Joe has an entire band where someone's playing lead and someone else is just strumming chords.  I certianly am not about to finger pick anything... but then... I know for me I need to just learn chords for now.  I can pick out "Hush little baby" tho LOL! Very true, everyone progresses at a different speed and what I want to play can be rather different than what you want to play and the styles that go along with it.  I want to get "Cats in the Cradle" down enough that when I sing and strum it's recognizeable and people will want to listen or sing along with me.... I don't want to record it and make a million!  So, I can live without the intro and just play the chords.  Everyone's always been impressed by my dad's playing... now that I know a little more about guitar I have learned that he never even played anything more than "beginner" songs... interesting... but yet he impressed MANY with his "little" skill.

I think your list of songs you can already play is very impressive too.  Um... maybe your hunger for guitar is faster than your ability... I'm no vetran, but I found that if I slow down and practice for a bit on perfecting what I'm already doing before jumping into trying to learn a new song, I get a lot better and then that next song comes a little faster.  Good luck!

Art and beauty are in the eyes of the beholder.
What constitutes excellent music is in the ears of the listener.

Re: Complaint. sort of

According to some of the easy songbooks, I'm about 60 - 70 songs behind. I know I've learned alot since I started. Keep in mind I can't play any of my songs thru without mistakes and they are beginner versions. So I wouldn't use the word impressive. Really, the new songs I'm looking for are not much different than what I already know. So I don't think I've hit my first plateau with my abilities yet. A guitar issue has set me back withmy barre chords, but everyday is a learning experience. I just wish that the lessons I want were more readily available.

Thanks for the input

Keep Rockin!!!!!!!!!

Keep Rockin!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: Complaint. sort of

Z- If you haven't yet tried it, you may want to check out Justin Sandercoe's beginner course. … Course.php

Within each stage he offers beginners songs with video lessons, strumming patterns, tabs, etc. Highly recommended by many chordie folks (including me)!

Rule No. 1 - If it sounds good - it is good!

23 (edited by AccoustikNoyz 2009-09-11 01:20:36)

Re: Complaint. sort of

Z I think you'd like and easily play Gin Blossoms Found Out About You.  Check these simple chords …

Then, back to your desire to play Deja Vu.  Obviously it means a lot to you and there are no hard chords, so it IS within your reach.   For this song (and for many songs) the strum arm is going up and down the same pattern whether you strike the strings or not.  Down, up, down, up, constant speed.  You don't have to replicate his three strokes down, down, down at the end of a measure where the chord change is coming.  Just make it the same speed and go Down-Up-Down, rather than Down-Down-Down.  And change to the next chord on the last down.   But again, the strum hand keeps swinging even when you're not hitting the strings.  Hope that makes sense. 


ps It's a pretty cool repertoire, so keep rockin and add two more whether they're you're best choice or just ones you find easy.  They all help you grow.

Re: Complaint. sort of

Thanks Steve that strum works for me. But what about that little solo he does.

You posted this for me before:

"Two measures leading up to the bridge after he says "..all over again."

1111  1111  - Then the bridge.,,11 11 1111 11 11 11 11 1111
where 1111 is a whole measure and 11 is a half a measure and spaces are the chord changes.

I think capo on 2nd fret goes like this:     C G D C G Em C G ...
D would be full measure, and last G would be full measure.

Who'll Stop the Rain comes to mind"

I don't quite understand it. I tried to write it out, but it didn't fit together.

Keep Rockin!!!!!!!!!!!

25 (edited by AccoustikNoyz 2009-09-13 14:24:28)

Re: Complaint. sort of

Hey.  I'm pretty sure you're talking about a bridge when you say "solo" so if I'm correct here's some more help.  Use the Chordie post on Deja Vu at this location: … ranspose=0

..except on right side of your screen select transpose -2 semitones.  Excuse me if you already knew this.  Not talking down just taking it one step at a time.    So then, you'll notice the intro AND the bridge don't "transpose".  So you have to change them yourself.  The into goes Em G Em G and the bridge/solo should now be C G D C G Em D G.

bridge/solo is just a few fast changes and a couple slow changes.  If you hold the 1st D and the last G twice as long as all the other chords and just keep a strumming pattern you should hear the familiar song.

You're gonna get it and it's gonna be a nice song!  Don't give up, it's nearly in reach.