How to Learn Cover Songs Quickly
by Alex Cosper (11/18/12)

The key to learning cover songs quickly is to find a favorite musical mentor on YouTube. Watching experts demonstrate how to play songs on video helps accelerate learning, assuming the camera clearly captures hand movements. One of my guitar heroes for teaching me songs online is Marty Schwartz. I've learned a lot from Marty's videos because he understands how to communicate in a way that makes guitar playing seem easy. His clear communication and explanations have made me a better guitar player. His website is

Marty tells his story of how he started playing guitar in 1993. His father was also a musician. He explains how he got into jamming in his video How I Started Playing Guitar. Marty has made many how to videos for specific songs including "I Saw Her Standing There," "Need You Tonight" and "Sweet Home Alabama."

You can find videos on YouTube for many of your favorite songs. Just search for "how to play Stairway to Heaven on guitar" or put in any songtitle you like. Play along with the video and stop the video when you need to, or go back and watch early scenes again. Learning from videos can accelerate your guitar playing progress. Visual demonstrations help clarify hand positions for chards and fingering notes.

A way to help learn cover songs quickly is make a list of the songs and include the chord progression for each song. Memorizing chord progressions is a big part of learning cover songs. Memorizing lyrics and where chords change will make the job easier. The question becomes how much time are you willing to put into memorization?

Taking voice and musical instrument lessons from an experienced mentor is another way to accelerate your learning curve. Finding someone in the physical world who knows how to play your favorite songs the way they were recorded can be very helpful. The reason a face to face teacher is still important in this age of internet is that the teacher can answer your specific questions. The teacher can also give you objective guidance about your development as a singer or musician.

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