Coversongs and Beginners: Some Useful Tips

For this article some useful pointers for beginners to improve their skills to play coversongs.

All too often when people start out to learn coversongs they grab for some tabs from the net and get going with the given chords. Logical as the chords will give them the relevant information about the song they want to play.
What happens when the chords are wrong, or there are too many chords given in the tab, chords which are not relevant to the song?

One of the first things you should do when you are working with a tab: Check the chords against the recorded version of the song you want to play. Do the chords fit? If they do, use them and listen again to the recorded version.

Second thing you should do: Listen to the rhythm of the recorded version, do not only listen to guitar, listen to the drums, bass etc. The whole song does carry the rhythm. What you should do is find strumpatterns which work for you when you play the song on your own. The recorded version may have two guitars (or even three). Often those guitars together will form the body of the song. Again, try to find a rhythm which will carry the song on its own instead of playing a rhtyhm which forms only a small part of the song.
It may take you some time to find out what rhythm works, but it is a useful exercise, it will make your own playing (and understanding of songs and music) much better.

Once you have the chords and the stumpatterns of the song it may be an idea to start to change the shape of the chords. When you are completely new to playing the guitar you may not have any desire to this right now, because it may feel like starting all over again. If you have been playing certain songs for a while it may be an idea to look at different chordshapes, especially when you feel you tackle each coversong in the same way.

What to do when it comes to choosing different chordshapes is the material for next blog.