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Re: Approach to learning a new song
I do it much the same as you, and that's sitting at the guitar and searching for the best positions the melody calls for. Sometimes it takes transposing to another key to take advantage of hammer licks, open strings, or harmonics to embellish the melody in some tasteful way. When in doubt about chords, I'll resort to sheet music, but the actual arranging still comes from the head. If the melody requires repeating up front, I try to add an element of surprise the second time around to keep the listener's ear from drifting. That also applies to the head when closing the song. In other words, look for ways to keep the song interesting from start to finish without overstating yourself. A good listener can usually smell somebody trying to be clever a mile away. When that happens, you take away from both the song and your image as a tasteful player.
Last changed: August 02, 2015