We have put together 15 lessons on songs by some of the greatest female artists of our generation. The lessons include strumming songs, fingerpicking songs, jazzy songs, piano based songs, and even a few in alternate tunings. Check out the details below:
Lesson 1: Midnight At The Oasis - Maria Muldaur - Guitar Lesson
Maria Muldaur burst on the solo scene in 1973 after a few years in New York with The Even Dozen Jug Band and other old-timey, swing folks like Dan Hicks. Midnight At The Oasis was on her first album and remains her biggest hit by far. The song features some jazzy chords and syncopated strumming patterns that will make it pretty challenging for most guitar players. The lesson breaks the changes down measure-by-measure and even beat-by-beat.
Lesson 2: Soak Up The Sun - Guitar Lesson
*Soak Up The Sun*is a catchy tune by Sheryl Crow, from her 2002 album C’mon C’mon. This lesson looks at an easy way of strumming the verse and chorus, a way to play the main riff using easy chords in the key of D, as well as power chords and inversions that are used in the bridge.
Lesson 3: Diamonds And Rust - Guitar Lesson
*Diamonds And Rust*is one of Joan Baez’s best-known songs, at least as far as her own compositions. This somewhat autobiographical commentary on her life with Bob Dylan features a rotating eighth note arpeggio-picking pattern with some nice melody lines singled out.
Lesson 4: You're So Vain - Guitar Lesson
You're So Vain is one of Carly Simon’s biggest hits and a song of much speculation on the subject matter. We will save that for another day and take a look at just playing it on the guitar. This lesson goes over the basic parts- strumming the chords and adding a little piano fill, but also includes a way to play the introduction that incorporates parts done on the bass, acoustic guitar, and piano as well. Important techniques that are covered are percussive strumming using the left hand to mute the strings, and right hand palm muting to muffle some bass notes.
Lesson 5: Time After Time - Guitar Lesson
*Time After Time *is a Cyndi Lauper song from her 1983 album, She’s So Unusual, that Eva Cassidy arranged for her own vocal style, or rather one of her many vocal styles. Her arrangements generally consist of gentle arpeggios with some extended chords (add9 for example) and perfectly complement her voice. This lesson looks at how she took this 80s pop tune and turned it into a classic.
Lesson 6: At Seventeen
At Seventeen was, and still is a huge hit for Janis Ian. She came onto the music scene as a 15-year old in 1967 with a somewhat controversial tune SocietyРІР‚в„ўs Child. In 1975 she was back on the charts with At Seventeen, from her album Between The Lines. The song features a gentle, light bossa nova feel with nice lines moving inside the chords. It is done with a capo at the 5^th fret and in recent years she has been playing it in a Dropped C Tuning. The lesson covers both arrangements.
Lesson 7: Big Yellow Taxi - Guitar Lesson
Big Yellow Taxi is from Joni Mitchell’s third album, Ladies Of The Canyon and is a lot of fun to play. It is done in Open D Tuning (D A D F# A D) using some pretty easy chord shapes. The challenge in this lesson is being loose and free with the strumming, not really thinking of it as patterns but more a matter of getting the accents in the right places.
Lesson 8: It’s Too Late - Guitar Lesson
It’s Too Late is obviously a song most people would associate with piano playing, as it was written and released by Carole King on her album Tapestry. Most piano songs can be easily adapted to the guitar and this lesson shows that the instruments are not that dissimilar. The main vamp, and the piano solo are covered in the lesson, as well as the basic accompaniment, using some standard strumming techniques.
Lesson 9: Leather And Lace - Guitar Lesson
Leather And Lace is a duet written by Stevie Nicks that was released on her 1981 album Bella Donna. Although she recorded it with Don Henley, she wrote it after being asked by Waylon Jennings to write a song with that title for him and his wife, Jessi Colter to perform. The song is a basic strumming one that uses a pattern that includes hitting bass notes on the first beat of each measure. There are good suggestions for getting this technique down included.
Lesson 10: Foolish Games - Guitar Lesson
Foolish Games is a song by American singer-songwriter Jewel. Taken from her 1995 debut album ‘Pieces Of You’, which later became one of the best-selling debut albums of all time.
The album version features a beautiful piano accompaniment, and the lesson will show how to play a similar arrangement on the guitar.
The lesson is presented in the key of Am, where the guitar is capoed on the 5th fret. It covers the chords, the progression and the picking.
We will also takes a look at the beautiful, melodic intro and outro and how to randomly fingerpick through the rest of the song.
Lesson 11: Kind And Generous
Kind And Generous is from Natalie Merchant's 1998 album Ophelia. The songs starts off with the Chorus, which is really just sing-a-long humming, and very catchy. Most of the song can be played easily with a couple different approaches to the right hand strumming tachnique, which is best done with the fingers.
The Intro from the original studio recording is another matter. It is fairly fast with som accented off-beat 16th notes. This is broken down in detail and played with a metronome and quite a few different speeds. Alternative, easier approaches are presented as well but if you have some experience with complex rhythmic tunes you will enjoy the challenge.
Lesson 12: Voices Carry - Aimee Mann - Guitar Lesson
Voices Carry was the title tune from the 1985 debut album by Till Tuesday. It was written by vocalist/bassist/guitarist Aimee Mann. The original had a bit of the punk sound of the day.
Aimee has recently been performing it acoustically and that is what we look at in this lesson. Part 1 is a Listen segment to see how much of it you might be able to figure out on your own.
The song is played with a lot of barre chords using an interesting, almost pounding type of strumming pattern, focusing on different string areas on certain beats.
Lesson 13: You Needed Me - Anne Murray - Guitar Lesson
You Needed Me is a beautiful love song written by American songwriter, pianist and producer Randy Goodrum.
It was a number one hit single in many countries, including the US, in 1978 for Canadian singer Anne Murray, for which she won a Grammy Award, the first to be awarded to a Canadian artist.
This lesson is partly based on her version and covers a fingerpicking arrangement in the key of G, where the guitar is capoed on the 2nd fret.
It features a relatively easy fingerpicking pattern, including some variations, and mostly basic open chords in first position. There are also several chords with bass notes other than the root.
Lesson 14: Breathe by Faith Hill - Guitar Lesson
Faith Hill is a multi-Grammy Award winning American singer and one of the most successful country artists of all time.
Breathe is taken from her best-selling album with the same name, released in 1999.
This lesson shows the chords in the key of G, the I, II, IV and V, and the progression.
The arrangement features some fingerpicking as well as strumming with half time feel. This could be done with either your fingers or with a pick. It is encouraged to be able to do both.
Lesson 15: I Love Rock N' Roll - Electric Guitar Lesson
I Love Rock 'n' Roll is a rock classic that Joan Jett made famous as a single in 1979. This is one of original rock anthems with a heavy four on the food beat that made this one great for dancing or head banging to. The guitar part is pretty simple and start, mostly revolving around open string power chords with a standard half bend on the minor third of the chord. The solo has some great musical qualities, revolving more around note choice and placement as opposed to guitar licks, utilizing the full range of the guitar from the low to high register, even including the whammy bar. It does have a fast 16th note descending line that might take a bit of practice to get under your fingers, but once you do, the rest of the song won't be too hard to get down.