Good guitar habits to develop

Whether you’re just starting out on guitar or have been playing for years, developing and implementing good guitar habits will help make your practices more productive and help you level up your skills faster.


Here are some good guitar habits to develop:


Play along with the radio 

Playing along with the radio (or streaming service, or another musician) is a great way to help make sure your rhythm is on point and consistent. It’s also a good idea to practice with a metronome.

Learn something new every week

Practicing the same scales and chords over and over again gets dull and doesn’t challenge you to improve. Try learning a new song that is more challenging, or learn a completely new style (flamenco guitar, anyone?) 

Record yourself (and listen back)

Listening back to your playing will help you see what’s working, and what needs improvement. It’s easier to be objective about how your playing sounds when you’re listening to a recording of it, rather than trying to listen as you’re playing. You’ll also get a better sense of how your tone sounds. To record yourself, you can simply use your phone’s voice recorder function, or use a simple software program like Audacity. 

Practice covers that are trending

Pick a song that’s going viral on TikTok, and learn how to play it on guitar. The song might not be your cup of tea, but learning and arranging new songs will keep your playing fresh. Plus, it’s great content! 

Practice playing standing up

If you’re a performer (or hope to be), practicing playing standing up will help you be prepared for the stage. 


Learn a guitar legend’s signature style 

Learning to play in the style of greats like Slash or Stevie Ray Vaughan can help keep your brain sharp – as well as teaching you some new tricks you can incorporate into your own playing! 

Practice good guitar maintenance

Your guitar needs some TLC to keep it in top condition. Check out this guide to guitar maintenance to make sure you’re taking care of your instrument. 

Famous songs that are actually covers

Sometimes an artist covers an already existing song and creates a version so iconic that it eclipses the original – think Whitney Houston’s version of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” or Aretha Franklin’s version of “Respect” (originally by Otis Redding). 


Here are some songs you might not realize are covers: 

“Hurt” – Johnny Cash (originally Nine Inch Nails) 

Typically you see newer artists covering songs from artists of a slightly older generation. Johnny Cash flipped that convention on its head in 2002 when he covered “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails (originally released in 1995) to much critical acclaim. Trent Reznor, who wrote the song, praised the cover to Alternative Press in 2004, saying “that song isn’t mine anymore”


“Feelin’ Alright” – Joe Cocker (originally Traffic) 

“Feelin’ Alright: was a huge hit for Joe Cocker – charting in the U.S. and Canada on its release in 1969 and again during its re-release in 1972. The song was actually written and released by English band Traffic for their eponymous 1968 album and was released as a single but failed to chart in the U.S. or the U.K. 


“The Man Who Sold the World” – Nirvana (originally David Bowie)

What did David Bowie think of Nirvana’s cover of his 1970 song? 

“I was simply blown away when I found that Kurt Cobain liked my work, and have always wanted to talk to him about his reasons for covering ‘The Man Who Sold the World'” and that “it was a good straight forward rendition and sounded somehow very honest,” Bowie said. “It would have been nice to have worked with him, but just talking with him would have been real cool.”


“Black Magic Woman” – Santana (originally Fleetwood Mac)

“Black Magic Woman” is one of Santana’s biggest hits, but it started out as a song for another huge band. The song originally appeared as a single for Fleetwood Mac in 1968 – founding band member Peter Green wrote it, inspired by his former girlfriend Sandra Elsdon, whom he nicknamed “Magic Mamma”. For Santana, the song charted at number four in the U.S. and Canada, making it the better-known version. 

“All Along the Watchtower” – Jimi Hendrix (originally Bob Dylan)

“All Along the Watchtower” is actually a Bob Dylan song, but Hendrix’s 1968 version is so iconic that it influenced the way Dylan performs his own song, to the extent that they’ve been called “covers of a cover”. 


“Girls Just Wanna  Have Fun” Cyndi Lauper (originally Robert Hazard) 

“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” is synonymous with 1980s chanteuse Cyndi Lauper, but the playful song was originally written and recorded by musician Robert Hazard, who had a completely different interpretation of the song. 


“I Love Rock and Roll” – Joan Jett (originally Arrows) 

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts popularized “I Love Rock & Roll” – the song is the group’s highest-charting hit. It was originally written and recorded by British rock band Arrows, as a response to the Rolling Stone’s “It’s Only Rock and Roll (But I Like It).  Jett saw the band performing their song on their weekly UK TV series while she was in England touring with The Runaways.


“Me and Bobby McGee” – Janis Joplin (originally Roger Miller) 


Guitarists who don’t use a pick

Most guitar players use a pick – or plectrum – but some find it more comfortable to simply strum with their fingers. Using just your fingers is known as “fingerstyle”  or “fingerpicking”, and is used in classical guitar, as well as folk, country, blues, and rock music. 

Here are some guitarists who said “no pick, no problem”. 


“Albert King” by mtphrames is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.


Albert King



One of the three “Kings of the Blues” (alongside B.B. and Freddie King), Albert King is revered as one of the most influential blues guitarists ever. As a self-taught, left-handed guitar player, King flipped right-handed guitars upside down and used open drop tunings in his playing. He also played without a pick, because he couldn’t hold onto one, King told Guitar Player magazine.” “I started out playing with one, but I’d be really gettin’ into it, and after a while the pick would sail across the house, King said. “I said to hell with this. So I just play with the meat of the thumb.”






Jeff Beck

Starting his career as one of the members of The Yardbirds, Jeff Beck stopped using a pick in the 1980s. Instead, he used innovative fingerstyle methods, using his thumb to pluck the guitar strings and his ring finger on the volume knob, while his pinky finger worked the vibrato bar. By adjusting the volume while playing the string, he was able to replicate a human voice. 

Lindsay Buckingham

“Lindsay Buckingham, Stevie Nicks” by dhaun is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsay Buckingham shuns using a pick, outside of occasional use in the studio.”I started playing very young and from early on, the people I was listening to had some element of finger style,” Buckingham told Guitar World in 2012. “It’s just the way I came up. I wasn’t taught. I just sort of figured things out on my own terms. I guess that was one of the ways that I became comfortable and it just kind of set in.”

Derek Trucks

“Derek Trucks” by CLender is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Former Allman Brothers guitarist and current Tedeshi Trucks Band guitarist Derek Trucks plays fingerstyle, like a lot of slide blues guitar players. Using your fingers while playing slide allows you to mute the strings that you aren’t playing to avoid buzzing.

Mark Knopfler

“Mark Knopfler en Bilbao” by aherrero is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Guitarist and singer/songwriter Mark Knopfler, who played in British rock band Dire Straits, started developing his signature fingerpicking style while playing in a band called Brewers Droop. He was hanging out with friends and picked up the only available guitar, an acoustic with a badly warped neck. He found the guitar impossible to play unless he used his fingers. “I was doing things with my fingers that I couldn’t do with a pick – really fast things and what have you,” Knopfler told Guitar Player.

U.S. presidents who played musical instruments

U.S. presidents are typically famous – or infamous – for their policy decisions or notable quotes. However, many past presidents also had musical abilities. 


Here are some U.S. presidents who played musical instruments: 

Thomas Jefferson

“Biography of Thomas Jefferson (Third President 1801-1809)” by Tony Fischer Photography is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Third president and Declaration of Independence author Thomas Jefferson called music “the favorite passion of my soul”. He played violin and cello throughout his life. Jefferson claimed that as a young man he practiced three hours a day and performed at weekly concerts at the Governor’s House while studying in Williamsburg, Virginia.


John Quincy Adams

While serving as secretary of state, Adams helped to shape the Monroe Doctrine, a foreign policy that opposes European colonization in the west. He was also an accomplished flutist. He wrote his own songs while attending Harvard, where he participated in the Musical Society of Harvard. 



John Tyler

Before he became the tenth President of the United States, John Tyler dreamed of becoming a concert violinist. He eventually gave up the violin to practice law, but returned to the instrument following his presidency, playing with his guitarist wife, Julia. 


Harry S. Truman 

Truman began taking piano lessons at age 7. His instructor once took him backstage at the Shubert Theatre in Kansas City to meet famous pianist Ignace Jan Paderewski. At age 15, he gave up studying the piano, resigned to focus on work. However, he did occasionally tickle the ivories in his professional life, including playing piano for the Kennedys and their dinner guests in 1961. 

Richard Nixon

“NixonPiano,1962” by Los Angeles Times is licensed under CC BY 4.0.

Nixon was able to play five instruments – piano, saxophone, clarinet, accordion, and violin – though he never learned how to read music. His mother had insisted that he practice the piano every day, and in seventh grade he took lessons with his aunt, who had attended the Indianapolis Conservatory of Music. During a 1963 appearance on the Jack Paar Program, the then- Former Vice-President Nixon played a song he wrote. During his presidency, he played “Happy Birthday” for Duke Ellington at the White House.


Bill Clinton 

President Bill Clinton famously plays the saxophone – he famously brought the instrument out on the Arsenio Hall Show in 1992 after securing the Democratic Party nomination. Clinton participated in school band throughout his early years, attending band camp in the Ozarks every summer. He even won first chair in the saxophone section for the Arkansas State Band. 


Barack Obama 

The 44th president of the United States, President Barack Obama showcased a talent for singing during his presidency, singing Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” at a 2014 fundraiser and then joining an all-star lineup of artists at the White House – including B.B. King and Mick Jagger – to sing the Robert Johnson classic “Sweet Home Chicago”. He also puts out an annual summer Spotify playlist.

Black guitarists who pioneered music genres

Music as we know it today would not exist without Black artists. Black musicians of the 20th and 21st created the genres of what we now call rock, house, country, jazz, hip-hop, R&B, blues, and more. 

While musicians like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and the Beatles are acknowledged as rock pioneers, their musical inspirations – African-American rock and blues artists – are all-too often left out of the conversation. But without the creativity of guitarists like Chuck Berry, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and Robert Johnson, there would be no Led Zeppelin, no Cream, no Rolling Stones. 

Black musicians created ragtime (which gave way to jazz), blues, and gospel music – the foundations for rock music. The banjo, a signature of American country music to this day, was created by enslaved Africans and their descendants. Many early country hits were taken from the melodies of hymns performed by Black preachers in the Southern United States. 

Here are just a few of the Black guitarists who pioneered music genres as we know them today. 


Robert Johnson 

Few figures in American musical history have inspired more mystique than Delta bluesman Robert Johnson. Born in Mississippi in 1911, not many details are known of Johnson’s early life. He recorded just 29 songs in his short life, but that body of work proved to be a powerful influence on musicians who followed, including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Keith Richards.

Johnson perfected a method of sounding like two guitar players at once. He played rhythm on the lower strings and melodies on the higher strings, while singing. He pioneered the boogie bass pattern, which was later used by artists like Chuck Berry. Johnson has been described as “an orchestra all by himself” (by Richards). Most famously, the lore around Johnson is that he “sold his soul to the devil” at a crossroads in exchange for legendary talent, a story he recounted in his song “Crossroads”. Johnson died at the age of 27. The definite cause of his death is unknown, but legend says that he was poisoned by the jealous husband of a woman he had flirted with. 


                              Chuck Berry 


With songs like “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Johnny B. Goode”, Chuck Berry earned the nickname “Father of Rock and Roll”. His lyrics spoke to a generation of teens in a way that hadn’t been done before – “He lit up our teenage years, and blew life into our dreams of being musicians and performers,” tweeted Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. “His lyrics shone above others & threw a strange light on the American dream.”

Berry pioneered rock star swagger before the term “rock star” was a thing, with his signature “duck walk”, punchy solos, and signature guitar (a hollow body Gibson ES-350T). His guitar playing welded together country, blues, and R&B to create the distinct “rock & roll” style we know today. 





Freddie King 

Blues legend Freddie King combined Texas and Chicago blues styles – from Texas, the open string style, and from Chicago, the bellowing tones he used.  He incorporated both thumb and fingerpicking in his style. A singer who often recorded instrumental tracks, King’s playing often included vocal nuances, as if the guitar was doing the singing. His attack style and explosive onstage presence – plus his 6’5” frame – earned King the nickname “Texas Cannonball”. 

King provided inspiration for generations of blues and rock guitarists, including Mick Taylor, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Lonnie Mack. He was one of the first blues artists to employ a racially integrated group onstage with him. 


Elizabeth Cotten 

Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten, born in North Carolina in 1895, was a master of American folk music, although didn’t record her first album until she was 62 – more than half a century after she taught herself to play guitar and banjo. She would secretly borrow her brother’s instruments when she could, flipping them to play left-handed. Cotten created a unique style of playing – simultaneously plucking the bass line while playing the melody on the higher strings. The technique later became known as “Cotten style”. Her song “Freight Train” – which she wrote when she was 11 or 12 – was one of the blueprints for “open tuning” in American folk guitar.

Cotten’s music – including her song “Freight Train”, which she wrote before her teenage years, was beloved by the folk revival moment in the 1960s, and she toured and performed up until her death in 1987. She won a Grammy for her live album in 1985, and her songs have been covered by Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead, among many other artists.


Jimi Hendrix 

“Jimi Hendrix 1967-cropped waist” by A. Vente is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame named Jimi Hendrix the “greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music”. Hendrix was of the pioneers of utilizing guitar amplifier feedback artistically, and helped to popularize tone-altering pedals like fuzz distortion, wah-wah, and Uni-Vibe.

Rather than using standard barre chords, Hendrix fretted notes on the 6th string with his thumb. The technique let him to sustain the chord’s root notes while playing the melody, a method sometimes called “piano style”. Hendrix drew from diverse genres including blues, jazz, American folk music, 1950s rock and roll, and soul to create his trademark style, and his music has helped shape the development of heavy metal, hard rock, post-punk, hip-hop and grunge music.

Hendrix influenced many great artists who came after him, including Prince, John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Robert Smith of The Cure, Black Sabbath , A Tribe Called Quest, Run-DMC, and Halsey. The Greenwich Village studio he commissioned, Electric Lady Studios, has been used by artists like U2, Kanye West, and Lady Gaga. Hendrix received many awards throughout his life and posthumously, including 1968’s “Performer of the Year” by Rolling Stone and was ranked #1 on the same publication’s list of greatest guitarists of all time. He was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1991, the Jimi Hendrix Experience was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and his debut album, Are You Experienced, was added to the U.S. National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress in 2005. 


Sister Rosetta Tharpe 

With a powerhouse voice and innovative electric guitar solos, Sister Rosetta Tharpe blazed a trail for rock music in the 1930s and 1940s. She included “shredding” in her performances before there was a word for it.  

Sometimes called the “Godmother of rock and roll”, Tharpe was one of the original great recording stars of gospel music, and one of the first recording artists to use distortion on her guitar. She was born in Arkansas in 1915 and started performing gospel music with her mother at age six. At 23, she signed with British label Decca Records and released songs like “Rock Me” and “That’s All”.  Her gospel music also was loved by rhythm and blues and rock and roll audiences, influencing Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Little Richard, among many others.She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. 

BB King

Known as the “King of the Blues” B.B. King is acknowledged as one of the most influential blues guitarists of all time. He released over 50 albums over his long career, utilizing his trademark phrasing, use of vibrato, and incredible tone. 

Riley B. King grew up singing in the gospel choir in his Mississippi hometown. The minister there played guitar during services, and taught King his first three chords. King bought his first guitar for $15, a month of his salary at that time. He joined a gospel group to play at area churches before following Delta blues musician Bukka White to Memphis for nearly a year. He performed on local radio programs and had regular gigs at a club in West Memphis. 

King’s nickname “B.B.” came from his nickname at a radio station, where he was a DJ and singer – “Beale Street Blues Boy”, shortened to “Blues Boy” and later, “B.B.”. He was a fixture of the Beale Street blues scene by the late 1940s and 1950s, playing in a group called The Beale Streeters. He was signed to RPM records, and began touring across the U.S. with his band, The B.B. King Review. 

King became one of the biggest names in R&B in the 1950s with hits like “3 O’Clock Blues”, “You Know I Love You”, and “Every Day I Have the Blues”. He started booking major venues like New York’s Apollo Theater, and in 1956 alone, he booked 342 concerts and three recording sessions. 

King prioritized quality over quantity in his playing, using his expressive phrasing to give his guitar a voice. “When I sing, I play in my mind; the minute I stop singing orally, I start to sing by playing Lucille,” King famously said. (Lucille was the name given to all of King’s guitars). 

He utilized a style that became known as the “B.B. Box”, using a pentatonic minor shape down the neck of the guitar and focusing on ⅘ notes. He also stepped outside of the traditional minor pentatonic scale and used microtonal bending – bending notes less than a semi-tone for a subtle effect. 

King was one of the biggest influences for a crop of young musicians in the United Kingdom, including Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin. King opened for the Stones’ 1969 American Tour. 



Prince Rogers Nelson possibly led the most innovative musical career of the century, beginning with his debut album – which, at 19, he was able to produce himself through an almost unprecedented clause in his Warner Brothers contract. With complete creative control, Prince pioneered the “Minneapolis sound”, which is a genre of funk rock with synth-pop and new wave elements. His music spanned funk, R&B, rock, new wave, soul, synth-pop, pop, jazz, blues, and hip hop. Prince’s sixth album, Purple Rain, was also the soundtrack to the film of the same title, which he also starred in. Purple Rain also inspired the first “parental advisory” warning label for an album. 

Prince is known for his skill at the guitar, which he taught himself – but as a multi-instrumentalist (he’s estimated to have played 27 instruments) he recorded most of the instrumentals on his albums himself. 

Prince struggled against Warner Brothers to protect his artistic vision over the years, during which he changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol. After his contract ended in 2000, he went back to his old name and was one of the first artists to put his music out online. Prince established Paisley Park Studios in 1987 – a first-of-its-kind record label to allow artists creative freedom. 


How much do guitar lessons cost?

How much do guitar lessons cost? Traditional private guitar lessons vary in cost based on factors like the length of the lesson and the city in which the lesson takes place. The teacher’s level of expertise also factors into the cost of the lessons. Highly skilled and experienced instructors who can take you beyond the beginner level of guitar will usually charge more for in-person lessons. 


Generally speaking, you can expect a 30-minute lesson to cost anywhere from $30 to $50. Hour-long lessons will of course cost more. 

Another factor to consider when weighing out the cost of guitar lessons is transportation. For in-person lessons, you may have to travel to your instructor’s home or studio, and potentially pay for parking depending on where they are located. Some instructors are able to come to you, however, that convenience may be included in the cost of the lesson. 

Depending on your musical aptitude and how much time you can devote to practicing, it can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to a year to become proficient in guitar. If you want to learn advanced guitar techniques including improvising solos, it might take longer. 

Lessons in major cities will cost more than in small towns. Here’s a breakdown of the average costs of lessons in some large cities:


Los Angeles: $40 to $90/hour 

Chicago: $70/hour 

NYC (Queens): $35 to $60/hour 

Boston: $38/hour 

Dallas: $40 to $90/hour 

Orlando: $27/hour

Online lessons can be more cost-effective than in-person lessons, and cut out the cost of traveling. 

Recently, some cities began offering free guitar lessons online through their local libraries. Library streaming service hoopla is now offering free Fret Zealot lessons. You can choose from thousands of lessons from top-rated instructors, from guitar basics to song lessons, to player study courses. 


See if your city offers free online guitar lessons by checking out this map. 

Why should you play guitar along with the radio?

February 13 is World Radio Day. 

Many successful musicians say that they learned to play guitar by playing along with what they heard on the radio, including Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain. 

Check out this interview with guitarists Tom Harrison and Sean Bishop of U.K. based band Tigress, talking about how playing along with a track helps with guitar skills! 

Here are some reasons why you should play along with songs on the radio (or a streaming service) while learning guitar: 


It helps develop your ear 

While learning music theory is important to learning guitar, it’s also important to develop your ear and listening skills. Playing along to a track will help you learn to replicate what you hear quicker. 

Learning to play guitar online. Senior woman studying at home, getting online courses, self-development. Caucasian woman using modern devices for education, spending time for new job or hobby.

It’s the closest thing to playing with other people 

Playing guitar along to a song will help you hear where the other instruments come in in a composition. You’ll get a better understanding of the rhythm and feeling for the song by listening to where the guitar fits in among the drums, bass, and vocals. 


It will help your rhythm skills

Learning the guitar part itself will teach you where the notes fall, but learning it with the track  will help you better understand the rhythm. It’s helpful to learn strumming patterns by strumming along with a track on the radio. 

Want to learn how to play guitar like Freddie King?

Want to learn how to play guitar like blues innovator Freddie King? Check out this Freddie King Player Study, which will teach you his signature style, including his unique picking style and lead playing.


Freddie King was born in Gilmer, Texas in 1934. He first picked up a guitar at the age of six, and his mother and uncle both taught him how to play. In 1949, King’s family moved to Chicago, where he stuck into nightclubs to take in blues performances by Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, T-Bone Walker, Elmore James, and Sonny Boy Williamson. Wolf began mentoring the 16-year-old King after hearing him sit in with a band. 

Over the next couple of years, King worked in a steel mill by day and played blues by night. He  formed his first band, the Every Hour Blues Boys, and worked as a sideman for several Chicago blues contemporaries. In 1956, he put out his first record as a band leader under El-Bee Records.He was rejected from Chess Records – the premier blues label which was at the time home to Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf – they thought King’s singing style was too similar to B.B. King’s. 

Freddie King got his big break in 1960 when King Records opened a Chicago office, and upon learning that Chess Records had turned him down, they quickly signed him.  King’s first recording session with King Records resulted in his version of “Hide Away”, which became a signature song for King. “Hide Away” hit number 29 on the Pop Charts, which hadn’t happened for a blues instrumental before. He turned out a series of other blues instrumentals which also became standards – including “San-Ho-Zay,” “The Stumble,” and “I’m Tore Down”. 

King was an inspiration to blues and rock guitarists throughout the 1960s, especially Eric Clapton, who added “Hide Away” to his showcase in 1965. Clapton would eventually perform alongside King and produced on King’s record “Burglar”. Following that release, King toured America, Europe, and Australia. In 1975, he released his second RSO album, Larger Than Life.

Sadly, King died in 1976 of stomach ulcers and pancreatitis at only 42 years old, often attributed to his brutal touring schedule. 


Both Texas and Chicago blues styles are reflected in King’s virtuosic playing style – from Texas, the open string style, and from Chicago, the bellowing tones he used.  He incorporated both thumb and fingerpicking in his style. A singer who often recorded instrumental tracks, King’s playing often included vocal nuances, as if the guitar was doing the singing. 

His attack style and explosive onstage presence – plus his 6’5” frame – earned King the nickname “Texas Cannonball”. 



During his short but prolific career, King created many classic blues songs. He provided inspiration for generations of blues and rock guitarists, including Mick Taylor, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Lonnie Mack. He was one of the first blues artists to employ a racially integrated group onstage with him. King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. 


Learn these ABBA songs on guitar with Fret Zealot

Swedish pop group ABBA has churned out massive, international  hits over the years, infusing irresistibly catchy melodies with surprisingly melancholy lyrics, making their music stand the test of time. Many of their songs evolved or changed during the writing process – especially when being translated into English from their original Swedish. 


Here are some ABBA songs you can learn with Fret Zealot. 



The English version of ABBA’s “Fernando” is about two veterans of the Mexican revolution. Björn Ulvaeus composed the English version after sitting out under the stars one summer night, according to a 2019 interview. The original Swedish lyrics are about an entirely different situation, and were written by ABBA’s manager, Stig Anderson.


Dancing Queen 

“Dancing Queen” became a worldwide hit for ABBA, and they wanted it to be the follow-up single to “Mamma Mia” – but their manager insisted that the more mellow “Fernando” should be next instead. 

Mamma Mia

ABBA’s music inspired a hit jukebox musical that took its name from this song – but it wasn’t originally intended to be a single for the group. In fact, ABBA offered “Mamma Mia” to British pop group Brotherhood of Man, which they declined! The song ended up being a huge hit.

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme!

The band released this track in 1979 to promote their upcoming tour – but they almost released another single, “Rubber Ball Man”, instead. The band felt that the disco feel of “Gimme” would be a better fit, so “Rubber Ball Man” stayed a demo. 

Money, Money, Money

This song, the second single off of ABBA’s fourth album, Arrival, was originally called “Been And Gone And Done It”, according to a 2002 interview with The Guardian. 


Want to learn how to play guitar like Noel Gallagher of Oasis and High-Flying Birds?

Check out this Noel Gallagher Player Study course – it’s so much more than “Wonderwall”. 


Noel Gallagher was born in Manchester, England, to Irish parents in 1967. As a teen, he hung around several Manchester-area hooligan firms, during which time he got six months of probation for robbing a corner shop, according to the VH1 Behind the Music episode on Oasis. During the probation, he began to teach himself guitar, playing along with the radio. He was inspired by The Smiths after seeing them on Top of the Pops

While working a construction job, Gallagher sustained a work-related foot injury and was given a less physically taxing position after recovering. This new job gave him more time to practice guitar and write songs – Gallagher has said that a few of the songs on Oasis’s debut album, Definitely, Maybe were written in the warehouse where he worked. 

Gallagher befriended a band called Inspiral Carpets in the late 1980s and became part of the band’s touring crew. In 1991, he returned home from a tour to find that his younger brother, Liam, had joined a band. Gallagher was initially unimpressed with the band’s performance. He agreed to an offer to join the band, with the condition that he would become the group’s sole songwriter. 


Gallagher is left-handed, but plays guitar right-handed. When it comes to his style, Gallagher is a master of melody – both in choosing chords that are rich and full-sounding and playing solos that complement the melody of the song. He often uses slides to change chord positions. 


High Flying Birds 

Gallagher is best known for his time in Oasis, as well as his tumultuous relationship with Liam. Oasis disbanded in 2009. Gallagher formed his solo project, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds in 2010. The project has released four albums and a compilation album.