Songs Worth Learning - 19

Songs Worth Learning - 19

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.

Amie - Pure Prairie League

amie-jpg

Pure Prairie League was one of the earlier bands to earn the title of “country rock” band. They initially had limited success selling albums and were dropped by RCA Records after two albums. But they continued to tour. Which paid off when radio stations began playing their song Amie and it became a radio hit. Which, of course, led RCA to re-sign them. They have had several personnel changes over the years but they still tour. 

Amie definitely has a “country”, or more accurately “bluegrass” flavor, but it also crossed over to pop audiences reaching #27 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. It has several interesting things going for it which make it worth learning. It is mainly an acoustic guitar song with clean electric guitar adding fills. It can can be played on electric or acoustic with equally good results. So grab your acoustic or bust out the Tele.

It starts with a cool voicing of an A chord (actually an A5 chord since it only uses A and E notes.) Start by placing your 1st finger on the 3rd string, 2nd fret A note (I find it more comfortable to just barre across the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd strings with my 1st finger) and then reach up to the 5th fret with your 4th finger (pinky) and barre across the 1st and 2nd strings (the A note and the E note). Pick the 3rd string, and then pick the 1st and 2nd strings at the same time. Keep alternating this pattern during the entire intro solo. 

The intro solo is quite memorable and worth learning. The intro solo is followed by a cool chord only interlude where you play an open 5th string A note then strum the rest of the A chord and hold it for two beats before bass note/strumming a G and D chord. Nice. The middle guitar solo is also a good example of acoustic guitar soloing. It features a 4 bar section the alternates between a D and a C chord which forces you out of the key of A and makes you “play the changes.” A common bluegrass soloing method. And it ends with a series of arpeggiated chords that grow more dissonant until they resolve with a pretty Asus2 chord.

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