SUMMER VOLUME 1: Thirty Songs to Learn for Your Next Party

There are undoubtedly decades of popular songs we all know and love, but the songs you most adore probably vary depending on where you live, what time of year it is, what generation of artists you grew up rocking out to, and so on. Most music lovers have a diverse taste in music, appreciating everyone from Johnny Cash, Hank Sr., and Louis Armstrong to the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix to Peter Tosh, Ed Sheeran, Metallica, Chick Corea, and Ice Cube. Also, let’s not forget the ever-popular EDM artists and modern DJs with remixes! The musicscape is so vast that it can feel unreal, and new generations are constantly opening themselves up to even more new music and fusion-based musical styles.

What do all these disparate artists have in common, though? A unique musicality—and a song. It might not even be a particularly unique song. In fact, many, many popular songs are relatively simple and don’t have anywhere near twenty chords. (This excludes fusion and prog groups.)

Music is our business—all day, all the time—and we want you to love playing music with confidence. The Fret Zealot staff members, in addition to being music lovers, have been to more than a fair share of concerts, local music events, and (dare we say) shindigs. Some of our “professional affiliates” even perform for a living. Using that expertise, as well as a healthy dose of deliberation, we have compiled VOLUME ONE of songs you should learn to play and sing at your next party:

1) What I Got, by Sublime

2) Come as You Are, by Nirvana

3) Folsom Prison Blues, by Johnny Cash

4) Stairway to Heaven, by Led Zeppelin

5) Pride & Joy, by Stevie Ray Vaughan

6) Hotel California, by The Eagles

7) Roadhouse Blues, by The Doors

8) Friends in Low Places, by Garth Brooks

9) Rambling Man, by The Allman Brothers Band

10) Landslide, by Fleetwood Mac

11) Burn One Down, by Ben Harper

12) My Girl, by The Temptations

13) The Joker, by Steve Miller Band

14) Proud Mary, by Creedence Clearwater Revival (or Tina Turner)

15) Brown Eyed Girl, by Van Morrison

16) Hey Joe, by Jimi Hendrix

17) I’m Yours, by Jason Mraz

18) Crazy Train, by Ozzy Osbourne

19) Fast Car, By Tracy Chapman

20) 3 AM, Matchbox 20

21) American Girl, by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

22) Take Me Home Country Roads, by John Denver

23) Purple Rain, by Prince

24) Crash Into Me, by Dave Matthews Band

25) The Cave, Mumford & Sons

26) You Shook Me All Night Long, by AC/DC

27) One Love, by Bob Marley & The Wailers

28) Gravity, by John Mayer

29) Set Fire to the Rain, by Adele

30) Simple Man, by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Including these songs, we now have over 50,000 songs available to learn in our app. If you want to learn something specific for your next shindig, please request it here, and we will do what we can to get it up in the app. Stay tuned to our social channels, and check out our newsletter to find out which songs have been added each month.

We want to hear from you! What are the most popular songs you like to sing, to hear, and to sing along to at a party?

As always, if you want any help learning the tunes or performing them with epic LED lights on your frets, then we’ve got you!

Learn These Chords and Scales on Guitar First

What is a scale and a chord anyway?

Note: This blog is best used with the Fret Zealot app on your mobile device.

The truth is playing guitar is all about knowing patterns and chord shapes. So before you get overwhelmed by the C Chord, G Chord, and E chord, and barre chords, remember, the basic chord shapes you learn can be applied up and down the fretboard, and the scales can be applied the same way.


All of these scales and chords are in the Fret Zealot app. Go to the app to see them. Then use the Fret Zealot and app together to practice them!

Start with the chords and the Pentatonic Scale patterns listed below.

Chords

Go to the Fret Zealot app to see these chords and use the Fret Zealot to learn them!

A chord is a group of notes played at the same time.

The first major chords you should learn on guitar are: C , A , G ,  E , D

VIDEO TUTORIAL:
You can follow along with Justin if you like. Here is his review of the G and C chord technique.  
https://www.justinguitar.com/modules/beginner-3-g-c-technique

For the Fret Zealot enabled version of these lessons, in the Fret Zealot app, go to “Lessons” -> “Justin Guitar” -> “Beginner”-> “Beginners Course” -> “Stage 3”

 

The first minor chords to learn are: Am, Em, Dm

VIDEO TUTORIAL:
Watch Justin’s quick lesson here:
https://www.justinguitar.com/guitar-lessons/the-amin-chord-bc-121

“Lessons” -> “Justin Guitar” -> “Beginner”-> “Beginners Course” -> “Stage 2” in the app.


Most of these minor chords simply remove a note from your major chord shapes, which makes them easier to learn.
Am is also the relative minor scale for C major scale, and Em is the relative minor for the G major scale. Dm is it the relative minor for F major.

These are shapes you can use along the fretboard as you progress.
They also can be used with the first pentatonic scales you learn.

Don’t give up! You have to build the strength in your hands and fingers to get the chords down. Only practicing regularly will help you do this. Practice often, even if it is only for 15 minutes at a time. Practically speaking, you will not build that strength if you only practice 15 minutes, and then you wait a week to practice again. So keep it up, and jam on!

Pentatonic Scales

A scale is a series of musical notes ordered together by pitch or sound frequency.
(There are many scales. Stay tuned for more on scales in the future.)

Pentatonic scales are 5 note scales.

There are major and minor Pentatonic patterns.


Pentatonic Scales are essentially just short scales based on the diatonic scale and are commonly used. You may be surprised how many players only use these with popular tunes.

Major Pentatonic Scales are 1 – 2- 3- 5 – 6  notes of the Major Scale.
C Major:  C – D – E – G – A

Video Tutorial:
Follow along with Justin to learn the pattern for the Major Pentatonic Scale.
https://www.justinguitar.com/guitar-lessons/major-pentatonic-scale-im-153


Minor Pentatonic Scales are 1 -3b – 4 – 5 – 7b
(This is from the Major Scale. Do not flatten the notes of the existing natural minor scale.)
Ex: A minor Pentatonic – A – C – D – E – G

Video Tutorial:

Learn 5 Pentatonic Minor Scale Patterns with Justin here:
https://www.justinguitar.com/guitar-lessons/minor-pentatonic-the-5-patterns-sc-304

 

Take your time. Use the Fret Zealot app in sync with the Fret Zealot on your guitar. The Fret Zealot is designed to help you see what you are playing on the guitar, and practice. Our latest features allow you to loop your own practice routines as well.


Find some songs you like, and start applying the chords and scales you have learned. Remember, a song can be available in any key you want. You don’t have to learn it in the original band or album key. Find a transposed version, or simply use a Capo.

Many, many, many, many, many songs only have three chords and simple pentatonic scale guitar riffs. So, get jamming!  If you have a suggestion for a song, please send it to us here