16 song – 128 step by step guitar lessons!
In the intermediate acoustic guitar course, we don’t settle for just the basic open position chords. Instead, we move up the fret board to play what is called barre chords.
We also include bass lines, play vocal melodies, pentatonic scales and extended chords in these guitar arrangements.
Learning from these 16 songs will unlock the guitar fret board as we use the CAGED system to explore the fret board in the context of each song.
We discover how to use scales in an arrangement and, perhaps most importantly, understand how to write our own guitar parts. First, you’ll learn what I play, then we build a 2nd guitar part so you can play with me and the singer.
Studying songs in depth like this will help you understand how music works theoretically and practically, on the guitar fret board.
1. Hey There Delilah
In this first series of lessons in the intermediate acoustic course, we learn how to play Hey There Delilah by Plain White T’s, finger style.
We do this alongside learning about the CAGED system and how it helps us playing all over the fret board.
2. Mad World
To learn how to play Mad World, we break the song down into smaller sections and practice along to loops.
This is followed by playing in all areas of the neck using the CAGED system. Finally, we design a 2nd guitar part so we can play the song together.
Go to Mad World guitar lessons.
3. Whistle For The Choir
Before you learn how to play Whistle For The Choir, there’s a series of CAGED fretting exercises to complete.
This is essential since the song may only have four chords, but we play it in four keys, all over the neck, with two different singers.
4. Blowin’ In The Wind
Bob Dylan’s first hit, Blowin’ In The Wind, was originally played using a capo on fret 7, thinking in the key of G.
During the 8 lessons, you’ll learn it just like Bob played it but why stop there? We also play it with a capo on fret 2 (key of C) as well as without a capo (key of D).
5. Kiss Me
Learn the sugar sweet Kiss Me by Sixpence None The Richer and you’ll also learn about maj7 and dom7 chords, open position as well as using CAGED shapes.
As if this wasn’t enough, there’s a 2nd guitar part to learn as well so we can play it together.
Go to Kiss Me guitar lessons.
Babylon by David Grey has a very tricky verse lick that uses Hammer-On’s and Pull-Off’s. To stand a chance of playing this, we must first practice some exercises.
Once you can do this, we learn the song step by step, including a unique 2nd guitar part so we can perform it together.
Go to Babylon guitar lessons.
7. Fast Car
The epic Fast Car is a finger style masterpiece by Tracy Chapman. The seemingly never ending verse is actually sung over just two bars of music.
Once we worked this out, and developed it, we look at the chorus as well as how we can design a 2nd guitar part to go with the original part.
Go to Fast Car guitar lessons.
The intro, verse, instrumental, tag and outro of Angie all use the same chords but vary in rhythm and note choices.
The chorus and m8 has been created using the whole band as inspiration. Once you can play it on one guitar, we move on and play the vocal melody.
Go to Angie guitar lessons.
9. American Pie
What’s more epic than American Pie?!? This lyrical master piece must be played to be fully appreciated.
Let’s break down each section, practice to loops and then finally, invent a 2nd guitar part.
Go to American Pie guitar lessons.
10. A Change Is Gonna Come
To learn A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke may not be that difficult, if you disregard the intro.
Let’s learn all sections step by step, before we go further and learn more about scales, play the vocal melody and finally, construct a 2nd guitar part.
11. Sunny Afternoon
If you want to play Sunny Afternoon by The Kinks on one guitar, it is best to do so using a capo, the bass line is best included with a capo on fret 5.
This enables the 2nd guitar part (played without a capo) to really make this song come alive, let’s play it together!
12. Dreadlock Holiday
Dreadlock Holiday by 10cc is a hilarious pop reggae tune that is almost impossible to play on one acoustic guitar.
You’ll have to go all the way to step 8 to realize how this can be achieved without using an assistant.
13. I’m Yours
There’s plenty to learn from playing I’m Yours by Jason Mraz. Before we get into the song itself we look at hit melody writing in general and then 6 specific songs using the same chord progression as I’m Yours.
This is followed by a step by step guide, finished off with a 2nd guitar part.
Go to I’m Yours guitar lessons.
The relatively unknown Red by Daniel Merriweather and famed producer Mark Ronson has some fantastic vocal melody secrets to teach us more about music.
To fully understand this song, we have to actually learn about the modes and play the vocal melody.
Go to Red guitar lessons.
It’s not just the opening chord of Starman that is unique, the open position Gm is a one off too.
After we learnt the song in three steps we continue by digging deeper using the CAGED system as we study both chords and vocal melody.
Go to Starman guitar lessons.
16. I Can’t Stand The Rain
The final song in the intermediate acoustic course is learned in just five steps by practicing to loops for each section.
Following this we create a 2nd guitar part and play the vocal melody for both the verse and the chorus.