O.K so you have a song which you really want to learn but what’s the best way to find the chords to play it?
Here’s What Most People Do
Most people tend to visit a giant tab site like ultimate-guitar.com and simply search for the song title or artist there. It’s actually not a bad resource and I’ve even used it myself from time to time.
Here’s My Word Of Warning However…
Many of the song sheets and tabs you’ll see uploaded on these types of sites are user generated meaning that they are uploaded by other users and are often full of mistakes. Conservatively I would say that over 80% of the song sheets I see online have mistakes which I need to correct myself before using them!
If you really want to develop as a guitarist the ideal thing would be to play the recording and try to figure out the chords for yourself but I know that many of you are not quite ready for that yet so instead you can combine the best of both worlds.
Go to a tab site, search for the song title and download the chord sheet. You can use this as your base. Play the original song (you can do this for free using YouTube.com) and check each chord for its accuracy just doing a single strum on each new chord.
When you find a mistake, highlight the chord and try to find the correct one to replace it with. It’s actually not that hard assuming you know what key the song is in. This is usually obvious as most songs start and end on the chord which is the key they’re in.
For example, if a song starts and ends on a G chord then there’s a pretty good change it’s based in the key of G.
Once you know the key you’ll automatically know which chords you have to choose from. By trial and error you can find the correct chord.
The “Key” Is To Know Your Keys!
Assuming you’ve been through my guitar course you’ll already know your keys and how to use them so it’s shouldn’t be too tough to do this. Plus, the more you practice doing this the better you’ll get.
With some time you’ll find that you can learn the chords to practically any song completely on your own. In fact, that should be your main goal starting from right now. The more independence you can develop the less you’ll have to rely on others to teach you .
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