what songs taught you the most?

TunedupFlat

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While I have played many styles over the years, there are few things that taught me more than having a teacher make me do arrangements for his band🤣.

Nuages by Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt (arranged to play violin and guitar at the same time)

Trying to play steel guitar licks from pretty much any song with pedal steel

Trying to play sax parts

Pinch harmonics a la everything Billy Gibbons
 

Chester P Squier

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I don't know which song taught me the most, but I can tell which song started me on the road to being able to determine which chords were being played.

It was "The Band Played On." Probably from the 1890s. The song that is. The guitar book I was teaching myself out of had that song and others. "The Band Played On" taught me that when the melodic line descends from the tonic, then you go from the tonic chord to the iii chord to the vi chord and then the I chord again.
 

hnryclay

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I have probably learned more by working out horn lines, and chord melodies to jazz standards. The one rock song I still work on all the time is Little Wing. I have played that song forever. I will spend an hour every so often just going back through it. I just really love that song, the vibrato, the tone everything about it. Not very difficult, but for me it was a great learning piece.
 

lousy13

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I would say T Bone Walker's Stormy Monday and Kenny Burrell's Chitlins con Carne. They allowed me to move beyond the I IV V and into more Jazz/Blues and West Coast Blues.
 

Fiesta Red

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Joe Ely’s “BBQ and Foam” with that dang Fm.

I still don’t play it right, but it sounds right, and it has heartbreaking lyrics.
 

VintageSG

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Not so much a song, but a player.
While I try to emulate Wilko's way of playing, it was East Bay Ray's fast shifts from near surf tremolo picking, to fast chords + fills, then swept chords that taught me dynamics in terms of playing 'force', controlling timing and interest. when to lay back, when to lay it on.
'Holiday In Cambodia', 'Police Truck', 'Too Drunk To Snuggle' and 'Kill The Poor' are great songs to learn, and the rapidity of the shifts belies the ease EB manages them.

From Wilko, 'She Does It Right' taught me 'Up Down Up Down' with the right hand ( oo-er ) and controlling with the left. Chords and fill-riffs. Make the rhythm and control it. Metronome with the right, interest with the left.

I'd class EB and Wilko songs and trying to either emulate them, or make it my own when I couldn't taught me the most.
 

Sounds Good

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I started with chord songs cant remember all of them now, Midnight Cowboy and some George Harrison songs mainly. But i really liked solos best, i learnt Maggie May, Sweet Child of Mine, The Rocker by Thin Lizzy, and quite a few others, was great really and held my interest for a while. Then after about a year i discovered Shawn Lane, his slow and and fast stuff, i really liked the challenge of that, was good at the time but mainly like slower stuff now, some fast still though and making my own songs up.
 

Beebe

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Smokestack Lightning - Hubert Sumlin (finger picking style)

Blitzkrieg Bop - Johnny Ramone (barre chords)
 

Marc Morfei

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CCR. Simple but very melodic chord-based riffs. I sat down and learned every song on Chronicle, and it broke me out of my elementary scale-based approach. Aha! Chords + scales = so many possibilities!

Steve Cropper. Master class in double stops. Aha! You don’t need to strum all 6 strings to play a chord! There are double stops and triads all over the place. So many possibilities!

Chuck Berry. Basically you can find the whole original rock, blues, and rockabilly vocabulary in one place.
 
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archtop_fjk

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I am mainly self-taught and in my youth I rebelled against rock and roll and instead learned all the Classical and Leo Kottke I could. The Bach “Bouree in Em” taught me finger independence and basic classical technique, and Leo Kottke’s “Stealing” and “The Fisherman” showed me how to do fast, melodic fingerpicking stuff. Later I began to use a pick and learn blues and rock.
 

percy

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Anything Pink Floyd !
Seem to screw it up , but I cannot stop listening and trying to play PF !
Saw Dwight Yoakam in his prime , 1988 , Calgary , Alberta, Canada !
It is now 2022 , I have never seen or heard a Martin D-28 strummed like that !
Garth Brooks , wow does Garth have some fun songs !
Happy Happy Happy !
 

Stringbanger

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what songs taught you the most?​


Great thread idea!

These three introduced me to playing runs and fundamental flat picking:

“Friend Of The Devil” - Grateful Dead
“Tell Me Why” - Neil Young
“Wish You Were Here” - Pink Floyd

Beyond that it was:

“House Of The Rising Sun” - Animals
“Dream Lover” - Bobby Darin
“Handyman” - James Taylor
“Dance, Dance, Dance” - Steve Miller
“Fire On The Mountain” - Marshall Tucker
“Operator” - Jim Croce

I began guitar as an acoustic player, and I still favor acoustic over electric. Maybe it’s because I prefer the more organic sound of an acoustic, and I can pick it up, tune, and play. I don’t have to fart around with an amp, pedals, etc. And don’t get me wrong, I love electrics too. I like playing my Tele through my Blues Jr. almost as much.

Honorable mention to Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen, all of whom helped to shape my sound.
 

Harry Styron

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Willie Nelson’s Crazy is both melodically and harmonically a very rich song. The melody has leaps and triads over the chords. The basic 1-6-2-5 jazz progression is there, with ample opportunities for interesting walk downs and turnarounds.
 

codamedia

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For me it wasn't a song, it was a style. A style I don't actually play.

Like most here... music came to me in bits and pieces with every song I learned over the years. The epiphany came when I was immersed in a Bluegrass camp for a week. The secrets to music completely unveiled themselves and everything I heard (regardless of genre) started to become very clear.

Most of what I took away from that week was general music understanding and approach... by that time my technique was already well defined and for the most part had a solid foundation. However, having a one on one discussion with Molly Tuttle about "picking hand" technique certainly changed my course of direction for the better.

You'll often hear a pro athlete say "there come a point where the game just slows down".... well, music "slowed down" for me that week. As a player I probably came out 5% better from that week. As a musician, I believe I came out 75% better!
 

ChicknPickn

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Many of us, I'll speculate, played it badly for a long time. Until we didn't. Zep's "Over the Hills and Far Away" was, I've read, one of Page's favorite finger-limbering tunes. Draws from old English melodies, I think? A nice piece of song-crafting and good for the fingers.
 

OmegaWoods

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12 bar form
John Denver stuff
Mustang Sally
Wind Cries Mary
Sunshine of your Love
Slow Dancing in a Burning Room
Hurt
Peg
Sweet Home Chicago

And many more!
 

That Cal Webway

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I love arranging Beach Boys songs for chord, bass and melody playing. And interspersed with lead fills.
Or for that matter any song I love I will... wreck it in the same way!
Stevie Wonder for sure.

The geezer song like I am a geezer, Midnight at the Oasis taught me alot.
Steely Dan songs, similarly.

Bach and a few other classical musicians.
Great players like Paul Gilbert and such- their pieces featured in top guitar magazines through the years.
I have five or six binders of music lessons articles from the magazines.

And Texas Swing like a mofo!! ❤️
.
 




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