What song should I teach my guitar class next?

Tele295

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I teach beginning and intermediate guitar at a local adult education school.

My intermediate students (varying levels of intermediate) repeat the class, so I’m compelled to come up with new material each session. I try to pick my material based on their skill and interest level, and for certain concepts I’m trying to teach.

There are 3 more sessions left in this semester.

This semester, we developed an all guitar version of Del Shannon’s Runaway, and instrumental version Wicked Game (as Wilsey called it, Wicked Thing). In previous sessions, we’ve done House of the Rising Sun, Pipeline, Twist & Shout, Octopus’ Garden, I’m In The Mood for Love, People are Strange, and a bunch I can’t remember.

Anyway, can you recommend a song that would cover 2-3 weeks of group instruction? I wouldn’t dream of trying to teach them Django, Les, or Chet songs, or jazz tunes in any form, or anything too obscure (ie, all the music I like and play).

Tonight’s guitarist of the week is Chet, and next week is Gatton.
 

brookdalebill

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Love Is All Around by the Troggs.
It’s rhythmic, repetitive, and has a short interlude between the verse and chorus.
I loved it when it, and I were new.
 

SRHmusic

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Stairway to Heaven (a few different sections here)
Dust InThe Wind (good intro to finger picking, repeating r.h. pattern)
Back In Black
Blues tunes like Thrill Is Gone, or also JJ Cale's original Call Me The Breeze.

Glad to hear of your class, sounds great. Question- for Octopus's Garden did you teach George's opening lines? (Maj pent and triad based with double stops at the end) or just the chords? Curious what constitutes intermediate for these students.

I'll throw in my wish: For at least some songs, do you go over the key, chords and melody and how they fit together? This was the missing link (actual musical thinking) for a lot of self taught guitarists I know, me included (even after a few different teachers over the years, off and on).
 

Stringbanger

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Will You Go Lassie Go - Clancey Bros.
Amie - Pure Prairie League
Human Highway - Neil Young
This Boy - Beatles
All I Have To Do Is Dream - Everly Bros.
As Tears Go By - Rolling Stones
Gloria - Van Morrison
Lover’s Cross - Jim Croce
Dream Lover - Bobby Darin

Just a couple gems from my personal arsenal!;)
 

Kandinskyesque

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The Eagles' "Hotel California" has a good circular tension/resolve chord sequence.

OR...

Something with the I-V-vi-IV sequence which should apply to many hit songs from the late 70s up until the mid 2010s.
Axis of Awesome give a humorous take on it on YouTube.
The first song I learned with the I-V-vi-IV (C-G-AM-F) was "So Lonely" by The Police, but there seems to be an infinite number of examples.

 

markal

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While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Mix of major and minor - that’ll give ‘em something to think about.

Get Back would be another fun one.

Atlantic City, version by The Band.
 




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