Playing the guitar is a wonderful tool for songwriters to have at their disposal. It allows for more flexibility in the songwriting process and can bring a new layer of creativity to the table. If you’ve never picked up a guitar before, it may seem daunting, but with these tips, you’ll be well on your way to strumming and singing your heart out.
1. Get a Guitar
Firstly, finding a guitar to play is essential. You can borrow one from a friend, rent one from a music shop, or buy your own. It’s important to find a guitar that feels comfortable in your hands and suits your playing style.
2. Learn the Easy Chords
Once you have your guitar, the next step is to learn some easy chords. Start with chords like Em and Am to get used to playing the guitar and switching between chords. Take your time and practice until you can easily switch between these chords.
3. Get a Capo
Using a capo can be helpful, especially if you’re just starting out. A capo allows you to play in different keys and can make learning chords easier. It’s a handy tool to have and can be used to play more songs. This way, you can practice by playing chords along with the song.
4. Pick an Easy Song to Practice
After you feel comfortable with these chords, find an easy song that the chords you know, and preferably only 2-4 chords repeated. This will be your starting point to learn how to play and sing simultaneously. Start by playing the chords and then add in the vocals once you’re comfortable with the chords. Some great beginner songs are “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty, “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay, and “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison.
5. Write With the Chords You Know
Don’t feel like you need to wait until you know every chord to start writing songs on the guitar. Even with just a few basic chords, you can create a simple yet effective song. Focus on the chords you know and experiment with different combinations and strumming patterns to create a unique sound. As you become more comfortable, you can start to learn new chords and incorporate them into your writing.
6. Play With Strumming Pattern
As you progress with playing the guitar, try experimenting with different strumming patterns and fingerpicking techniques. This will add a new layer of complexity to your playing and help you stand out as a songwriter.
In conclusion, playing the guitar as a songwriter is a great investment of your time and energy. It opens up new possibilities in your songwriting and can add a new level of creativity to your work. With practice, patience, and dedication, you’ll be strumming and singing your own songs in no time.