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Tips For Learning Songs

Hi everyone,

Bobby here. Hope you’ve all had an enjoyable week.

Firstly, we’ve had a record number of new members join Frethub over the past week, so I’d just like to begin this blog, on behalf of Nick and myself, by extending a very warm welcome to you all and to assure you that you’re in good hands with us. We hope our video lessons help you become the guitar player you’ve always wanted to be. Incidentally, don’t forget, you can also follow us on Twitter and ‘Like’ our Facebook page.

Once again, I’m still on tour in Europe with Brit Floyd. We’re in France for the next few weeks and I’m writing this from back stage at the Zenith Amphitheatre in Orleans, where I’m due on stage in approximately 25 minutes…actually, make that 24.

Brit Floyd has been very busy on this tour. Not only are we playing a 3 hour show almost every day, but we’re also rehearsing songs for next year’s tour, beginning in the USA this coming February.

The majority of Brit Floyd’s members also play in a sister band, The Classic Rock Show, so additionally, we’re learning new material for that project, for our UK tour which commences in January 2013. Since both bands change set lists considerably for each tour, there are always new songs to learn from scratch and also old songs to re-learn that we might not have played for a few years.

It occurred to me that, when learning new songs for a set, there’s something I’ve been doing for the past few years to help me memorise and archive the guitar parts. This may also be useful to you, regardless of your current playing level, so I thought I’d share it with you.

Most computers these days have a webcam with video recording software. In the case of Apple, iMovie or Photo Booth are very easy to use. When working on a new song, whether it’s a cover version or your own composition, try recording each part (intro, verse, chorus, solo etc) on your webcam and saving it for future reference. You don’t even have to be plugged into an amp in order to do this, providing there is minimal background noise. The quality of the video isn’t important either, since it’s for your own personal use.

I’ve built up quite an archive of repertoire over the past three years using this method and it has come in very handy when I’ve had to re-learn material that I may not have played for a while.

If you don’t have a webcam, you can always record video on a smartphone. It certainly beats the days of recording parts into an old tape recorder or dictaphone, then, later, struggling to figure out the chord shapes or fretboard positions you played them in. I also find the webcam method preferable to writing out tabs, since you have both a visual and audio reference to work with.

Obviously, the purist would advise the age old, tried and tested method of writing everything out in musical notation, but personally, although I can read music, I find writing notation a little time consuming, since I can’t do it as quickly as playing a guitar part into a webcam.

The benefits of modern technology, eh? Anyway, I just thought I’d share this advice with you while it was on my mind. I hope you find it useful.

Okay, I’m due on stage in 5 minutes, so once again, have a great week, enjoy your practice sessions and thanks for continuing to learn guitar online with Frethub.

All the best,

Bobby and Nick

Brit Floyd live on stage. Photo by Dave Munn.

Brit Floyd live on stage. Photo by Dave Munn.