How to Learn Your Favorite Guitar Song

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Several Ways to Learn How to Play the Songs You Love

One of the most inspiring things you can do as a musician is to learn your favorite song. This may be easier for you if you are already an experienced player. If you are just starting out, however, there are many different avenues open to you. Today we are going to look at several very effective ways that you can learn how to play your favorite song.

Sheet Music

Most popular songs are published in sheet music form. Sheet music is available at most music shops, and online at websites such as and Sheet music comes in two basic forms: Standard notation and tablature. Tablature shows you in diagram form where to place your fingers and what strings to hit to achieve the desired note. It is a great way for budding guitarists to learn songs easily.

Most sheet music, however, is published in standard notation, so it is an advantage to learn how to read music. It is not as difficult as it may seem; once you break it down into easy-to-manage parts, you can learn most popular songs after just a bit of effort. A music instructor can help you with this; once again, it is a very valuable skill.

One of the best resources available for guitarists and bassists alike is Many great songs are broken down into chords and tabs for your perusal. Often you will find alternate versions of tabs and chords of your favorite songs to compare and contrast. There is also a link there to Tab Pro, which has extra features such as backing tracks, tempo control, and a virtual fretboard to make learning songs easier. is free to use; Tab Pro is available as a lifetime membership for $39.99 (as of this writing).


Of course, no discussion of guitar- and song-learning resources is complete without mentioning YouTube. Countless songs are broken down into easy-to-follow instructions on this website. Best of all, they are free. Some videos contain links to paid websites which expand on what is shown and offer additional breakdowns of songs; others are provided by people who simply want to share (or show off) their knowledge to the world. Either way, this is a great resource and a good place to start.

Figure it Out for Yourself

Your success at taking this approach will probably depend on your level of experience. But typically, if you can figure out what the first chord is, you can use a key chart to figure out what the other chords are in short order. (There are always exceptions, but they are few and far between.) If you have a really good grasp on chords, you can typically figure out what notes are being played. It’s a good idea to have manuscript paper available so you can mark down the notes if you are familiar with standard notation or tabs.

The Amazing Slow Downer

This software, available for Windows, Mc, iOS, and Android, lives up to its name. It can slow a song by up to 200% without changing the pitch. It is an indispensable tool for those who want to really break a song down and learn it. You can get it from

Get cracking!

These are several ways you can learn to break your favorite song down and learn it. May they inspire you!


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