Why Songwriting Is So Important After You Learn To Play

great guitar lessonsLearning to play guitar gives you a tool to wield, letting you express yourself. When you first start learning to play, the goal is to get your hands and fingers to move as quickly as your brain is moving. As you continue to practice, this will slowly start to develop. That’s why it is so important to learn the right way. You need to learn the correct ways of developing speed. It is definitely slow going at first, but when you stick with it, what a joy the guitar can bring into your soul. You will develop your skills and you will “think” a D chord and your fingers will find it. As you progress, your fingers will start to move instinctually to the right places. It will become as natural and thoughtless as talking. Granted you think about what you are going to say, but you don’t have to think about how your tongue and lips have to move to utter the words. Your guitar playing will develop in the same way. Learn to play the correct way to help your guitar playing efficient and natural.

Once you finally start figuring out how to play, you need to incorporate songwriting in your learning.  Most influential musicians are songwriters, first and foremost and the staying power of the greatest guitar players is in their songwriting skills. Their guitar is a means to an end. The song is most important.

Here is a list of some of the best songwriters of my era. This is all strictly a matter of opinion. But in my opinion, the order goes something like this:

7. Neil Young-He is the father of grunge, but he started out writing many acoustic ballads.

6.Bruce Springsteen–A great songwriter and a great live performer

5.Tom Petty–Who doesn’t know American Girl and Refugee?

4.Sheryl Crow–She busted on the scene with All I Wanna Do and she has done all she wants to do.


3.John Mellencamp–Wrote many great songs about rural America and the average Joe.

2.Melissa Etheridge–Great songwriter and great rhythm guitar player.

1.Beatles–They have influenced every generation since they began in the 1960’s.

the beatles

The Beatles are the most profound of all the singer songwriters. They were the best performers of their own material and they continued to push the boundaries of their songwriting skills, using any means possible. They would release an album and other bands would try to mimic their style. Most other groups could not keep up with their ever changing and maturing songwriting. They refused to be trapped by the commercialism of any one particular style. Even today, over 40 years later, ask anyone, young or old, who their influences are and they will tell you the Beatles.

When I was a little younger, my friends and I would hang out after work. A friend and I would jam while we were partying. He would show off all his little licks and how fast he could play. I sang (and not very well) and played songs. Who do you think everyone wanted to hear? You can have the flashiest licks and riffs but if they are not used in the context of a song, no one really wants to hear it. Be the best guitar player that you can be, but don’t forget about the song.