We have put together 10 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: 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 2: 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 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: 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 9: Your Song - Guitar Lesson
Your Song is one of the songs that put the songwriting team of Elton John and Bernie Taupin on the musical map that was evolving in 1970. Elton’s brilliant music and piano arrangements translate pretty well to the guitar, as do most well written compositions. In this lesson we look at how to imitate the piano sound with fingerpicking patterns and chord inversions.
Lesson 10: 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.