It’s always fun to play a few tunes that match the season. With Earth Day bringing in spring weather, why not learn a few easy guitar songs to play as we celebrate our planet? Here are a few songs that make us think about being outside and loving the earth!
Rush – “The Trees”
What better way to kick off our top five list than a song with trees in the title? This classic rock tune by Rush was recorded with fingerpicking throughout the song, but if it’s easier for you, you can play the intro pattern then revert to chords for the remainder of the song.
Rush is an interesting band that composes songs about topics that you might not normally associate with rock bands. However, that unique trait works out in our favor, as this song is a quintessential Earth Day anthem.
Joni Mitchell – “Big Yellow Taxi”
You might recognize this as sung by a different recording artist or group, but Joni Mitchell was the original composer and singer. As easy guitar songs go, this one is a cinch. It is played in open tuning, which means lots of barre chords and open strumming. The hardest part of the song is to get the proper strumming pattern and muffling down.
Joni actually encourages her fans to transcribe her music, and you can check out the transcription for Big Yellow Taxi at her website. Pay close attention to the notes at the beginning and end of the page, as there are a few helpful hints as well.
John Mayer – “Waiting On The World To Change”
In this more modern Earth Day song, John Mayer takes charge with this tune. Mayer’s sound is fairly unique, and the lesson linked above does a fairly good job of teaching you how to play the song while mimicking his style.
Even though John Mayer is an incredibly skilled guitar player, this song can actually be played fairly easily. The chord progression stays constant, and you just need to adjust to the high fret playing and different chord fingerings than you might be used to. If you want to give yourself a challenge, the solo adds a bit more complexity to the piece.
Neil Young – “After the Gold Rush”
Throughout his career, Neil Young has written a number of songs about the environment and been an advocate for environmental causes. Among his most famous songs, “After the Gold Rush” looks back at our planet’s past and ahead to a future when we might have to leave our damaged Earth behind.
You can play this song with just a few simple chords, which makes it very appealing to beginning guitarists. If you’d like to challenge yourself, the tutorial also includes instructions for accompanying yourself on the harmonica.
Kings of Leon – “Radioactive”
Normally when you search for online guitar tutorials, you find a talented guitar player that recorded him or herself in a basement while playing. In this video lesson, you actually can learn from the two guitar players in Kings of Leon firsthand.
While the song can be played on just one guitar, if you can layer two guitars and vocals, you’ll have a great tune to play for Earth Day. So why not try to encourage a friend or two to learn this song with you, and then the three of you can put on a show!
Explore even more guitar songs and techniques by taking lessons with a private guitar teacher. Guitar teachers are available to work with you online via Skype or in-person, depending on locations and availability. Search for your guitar teacher now!
Photo by MTSOfan