Songs Worth Learning - 17
There are certain songs that I think every guitar player should try to learn. Either they have cool guitar parts, or they will expand your playing skills, or they will introduce you to a style of music you may not have played before. I am going to recommend songs in several styles of music and explain why I think they should be added to your “play list.” Obviously, these are my choices, and no doubt, some will disagree with my choices. But each song has something good to offer so I think they are worth learning.
This will eventually be a huge list so I am going to post them one song at a time in no particular order. Take your time and enjoy each one.
Dust In The Wind - Kansas
In the 1970s guitarist Kerry Livgren was mainly an electric guitar player playing in the progressive rock band Kansas. He decided he wanted to learn to play fingerstyle guitar and he create an exercise to practice. That exercise was the chords found in the song “Dust In The Wind.” His wife heard him playing it and said “That’s really pretty, you should put words to it.” Livgren said “No it’s just an exercise.” But his wife didn’t relent and eventually Livgren wrote lyrics for it.
While reading a book of Native American poetry Livgren came across the line "for all we are is dust in the wind.” He took the idea and wrote the lyrics of the song based on that idea. Still, he was firmly convinced it was not a “Kansas” song.
Nearing the end of the recording process for the album “Point Of Know Return” the band needed another song. The band asked Livgren if he had any more songs. He said “Yes, but you won’t like it.” They said “Play it.” He played “Dust In The Wind” and the band said “We need to record that song!” Even then he fought against the idea. But they did record it and it became their only top 10 hit.
Since it started out as a fingerpicking exercise it is, indeed, good for that purpose. It has some uncommon chord shapes, but it is quite playable with some practice. If you are like Kerry Livgren was, mainly an electric guitar player, this one might be a good entry into the world of fingerstyle playing. And if you want to get really ambitious, learn the violin solo on guitar.