Did You Know That You Can Jam Along to Your Favorite Songs On Your Guitar Right Now?
The secret is knowing what key the song is in. Once you know the key, you just:
Play the song on your stereo
Find the key below and
Play any notes in the lead pattern on the guitar and you're jamming.
You can play along on your computer by pushing buttons with your mouse before you pick up your guitar. But first you need to find out the key of the song that you want to jam along with. There are a couple of ways to do this:
Figure out the key of the song yourself. See near the bottom of this page to learn how, or
Record your own back-up song and jam along with it by clicking here (it's as easy as rolling a die) or
Download a back-up song thatI recorded and play along with it. It's in the key of C. Right click here and choose "save target as". Save it to your desktop. Then double click on it so it starts playing. Then click on the link for the Key of C below and click on any buttons in that lead pattern and you're jamming.
The lead patterns are shown below. The first pattern (key of A) has buttons that you can click on with your mouse to listen to each note. This is so you can play along to songs on your stereo by clicking on the buttons with your mouse, before you pick up your guitar.
For example if I wanted to play along to a song in the key of A, I look at the list below and see that Badfish by Sublime is in the key of A. I play it on my stereo. And then I click on the yellow buttons in the Key of A Lead Pattern below with my mouse while the song is playing in the background. You can play any note and it will sound good because the notes in the lead pattern are in the same key as the song.
Once you get comfortable jamming on the computer, you can pick up your guitar and play the lead pattern on that instead. See the diagram below called How to Play this Lead Pattern on Guitar to learn how. Once you learn the pattern in one key, you can play it in all keys. You just slide it up and down the guitar neck.
If the song you want to play along with is not on this list, you just have to figure out the key. See the bottom half of this web page to learn how.
Play Along With Any Song By
Soloing On Lead Guitar
To solo over these songs->
play any of the notes in the lead pattern below
Songs in the Key of A Badfish - Sublime, Bombtrack - Rage Against the Machine, Is This Love - Bob Marley, Somebody To Love - Jefferson Airplane, Strawberry Fields Forever - The Beatles click here to see more songs in the Key of A.
Key of A Lead Pattern
Initially click each button once to activate it. If you don't see buttons just play the pattern on your guitar, see below. The green buttons are the main notes in each key.
How to Play This Lead Pattern On Guitar
The black dots show you which notes to play. The bottom of the diagram shows you which finger to use for each note. At first, play the notes one at a time in the order shown.
To play the firstnote, place your indexfinger on the 2ndfret of the low Estring and pluck that string. To play the secondnote, place your pinky on the 5thfret of the same string and pluck it.
To play the thirdnote, place your indexfinger on the 2ndfret of the Astring and pluck that string. To play the fourthnote, place your ringfinger on the 4thfret of the Astring and pluck that string.
To play the rest of the notes just follow the diagram. Then play the notes in the reverse order. Once you get comfortable playing the notes in order, then you can skip around as long as you only play the notes in this pattern.
Here's a back-up song in the key of C that you can use this lead pattern to solo over:
Songs in the Key of C Another Brick In The Wall - Pink Floyd, Taylor - Jack Johnson, Fly Like An Eagle - Steve Miller Band, One - U2, With My Own Two Hands - Ben Harper, The Unforgiven - Metallica, House Of The Rising Sun - The Animals click here to see more songs in the Key of C.
Songs in the Key of C#/Db Father Of Mine - Everclear, Mr. Brightside - The Killers, Sunday Bloody Sunday - U2, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2, Light My Fire - The Doors, Sweet Child O Mine - Guns & Roses click here to see more songs in the Key of C#/Db.
Songs in the Key of D American Girl - Tom Petty, Beautiful Disaster - 311, Betterman - Pearl Jam, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic - The Police, Hotel California - Eagles, Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd click here to see more songs in the Key of D.
Songs in the Key of D#/Eb 1979 - Smashing Pumpkins, Basket Case - Green Day, Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison, Born To Be Wild - Steppenwolf, Say It Ain't So - Weezer, Today - Smashing Pumpkins, We Are The Champions - Queen click here to see more songs in the Key of D#/Eb.
Songs in the Key of E Finish What Ya Started - Van Halen, For What It's Worth - Buffalo Springfield, Helena - My Chemical Romance, Peaceful Easy Feeling - Eagles, Upside Down - Jack Johnson, Yellow Ledbetter - Pearl Jam click here to see more songs in the Key of E.
Songs in the Key of F Flake - Jack Johnson, Free Fallin' - Tom Petty, Killing In The Name Of - Rage Against The Machine, Hey Jude - Beatles, Lose Yourself - Eminem, Outshined - Soundgarden, Purple Haze - The Jimi Hendrix Experience click here to see more songs in the Key of F.
Songs in the Key of F#/Gb Little Wing - The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Joker - Steve Miller Band, Tonight Tonight - Smashing Pumpkins, Undone (The Sweater Song) - Weezer, When I Come Around - Green Day click here to see more songs in the Key of F#/Gb.
Here's a back-up song in the key of G that you can use this lead pattern to solo over:
Songs in the Key of G Every Breath You Take - The Police, Father And Son - Cat Stevens, Knockin' On Heaven's Door - Bob Dylan, Hard To Explain - The Strokes, No Woman No Cry - Bob Marley, Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd, What's My Age Again - Blilnk 182 click here to see more songs in the Key of G.
Look up the key of the song if you have the sheet music or a song book.
1. Figure out the key by ear.
This is the quickest and best way to figure out the key. Play the song that you want to play along with on the stereo. While the song is playing click on any green buttons below and listen to which one sounds the most "at home". If you don't see any buttons you can play the notes on the guitar. See the diagram below.
If more than one note sounds "at home" to you, that's ok, you can alternate between keys you like. Figuring out the key of a song might take some practice but you'll pick it up quickly.
It gets easier to figure out keys when you start playing the lead pattern on your guitar. If you compare the patterns you'll notice that they are all the same shape, they're just in different places on the guitar neck. So once you learn how to play the pattern in one key, you can play it in all keys.
When you want to figure out the key of a song just start playing the pattern in any key and then move it up and down the guitar neck to find the "right" place. First play the lead pattern in the key of A, if it doesn't sound right, move it up a fret to the key of A#/Bb, if that doesn't sound right, move it up again. Just keep moving it around until you think you've found one or two places where it works.
I figured out the key of the songs in the song list by ear, which means that they may not all be correct.
Click each button while you listen to your favorite song to figure out the key
Initially click each button once to activate it
Or play each note on guitar to figure out the key
2. Look up the key of the song if you have the sheet music or a song book.
If you have the sheet music or a song book you can look up the key. Just look at the very beginning of the song and count the number of sharp (#) or flat (b) symbols. Then look up the key in the table below.
1 sharp (#)
2 sharps (##)
3 sharps (###)
4 sharps (####)
5 sharps (#####)
6 sharps (######)
7 sharps (#######)
1 flat (b)
2 flats (bb)
3 flats (bbb)
4 flats (bbbb)
5 flats (bbbbb)
6 flats (bbbbbb)
Note: Sometimes guitarists retune their guitars which changes the key of the song. If the beginning of the sheet music says, "Guitars tune down 1/2 step." This means the actual key of the song is one note lower.
So if the song has 2 sharps, it would be in the key of D. But if it said "Guitars tune down 1/2 step," it's actually in the key of C#/Db. A lot of hard rock bands do this some times.
Also some songs switch keys often or aren't even in a particular key so they're difficult to play along with. But the majority of popular songs stay in the same key.
Not enough information?
If you want to know more stuff you can download a free guitar e-book and subscribe to my free song making guitar lessons by clicking here.
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