A beginners list of web sites for guitar chords, lyrics with chords, etc.

This is an ongoing collection of a few links to interesting web site (and a few books) of guitar chords and song lyrics with chords. Some of these are more useful for beginners and some for more advanced players. You might check out the books before you buy. The web site will be revised from time to time.

Last Major Revision: Jan 18, 2018

  1. List of interesting guitar web sites: chords, music theory, etc.
  2. Guitar maintenance - tuning, changing strings
  3. Lists of songs with lyrics and chords
  4. Guitar and song lyrics books
  5. Guitar cord books
  6. Books on introductory and advanced fingering and picking exercises
  7. Skeptical Guitarist (Bruce Emery) books
  8. The Guitar Grimoire book series
  9. Miscellaneous useful related sites

  10. Introductory Piano/Keyboard books

  11. Books on adults learning music and the nature of music

1. List of interesting guitar web sites: chords, music theory, etc.

2. Guitar maintenance - tuning, changing strings

Tuning your guitar (Some use Adobe Flash and may not work without it or without the lastest version of Flash.) Changing Guitar strings (a few short videos)

3. Lists of songs with lyrics and chords

  • Ultimate Guitar Tabs with over 1,000,000 songs catalog with free Chords. https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/
  • Ultimate Guitar Pro Tabs is similar to Ultimate Guitar Tabs but with many additional features. https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/pro
  • List of many song lyrics with guitar chords (The Guitar Guy) http://theguitarguy.com/songs.htm
  • List of song lyrics with guitar chords (Chordie) http://www.chordie.com/browsesong.php/a.php?filter=
  • NIEHS list of song lyrics and audio for childrens and other songs: http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/music.htm
  • Browse Songs on Chordie - Guitar Chords, Guitar Tabs and Lyrics https://www.chordie.com/browsesong.php
  • Children's Songs chords and lyrics for many children's songs https://www.thoughtco.com/childrens-song-chords-and-lyrics-1712878

    4. Guitar and song lyrics books

  • Some useful books of songs with lyrics and chord names:

    Rise Up Singing: The Group Singing Songbook (Spiral-bound)
    by Peter Blood


    Rise Again Songbook: Words & Chords to Nearly 1200 Songs 7-1/2x10 Spiral-Bound (2015)
    byAnnie Patterson, Peter Blood (Editors)


    The Folksong Fake Book: (Fake Books) Plastic Comb (2001)
    by Hal Leonard


    The Blues Fake Book, Plastic Comb (1999)
    by Hal Leonard


    5. Books of guitar cords

    Note that there are many Web sites listing guitar chords (see 1. List of interesting guitar web sites: chords, music theory, etc.).

  • A book of over 2,000 chords layed out in a useful way:

    The Everything Guitar Chords: Rock-Blues-Jazz-Country-Classical-Folk: Over 2,000 Chords for Every Style of Music by Mark Schonbrun

  • Another useful chord book with spiral binding:

    Guitar Chords: All the Chords You'll Need...and More! by Paul Roland


    6. Books on introductory and advanced fingering and picking exercises

    These are useful going from basic introduction to more advanced exercises:

    7. Skeptical Guitarist (Bruce Emery) books

    The Skeptical Guitarist at skepticalguitarist.com (Bruce Emery ) has a series of introductory to advanced books that cover a range of topics. The books are all spiral bound making them much easier to use. Some of the entries do not have much in the way of descriptions, but the reader reviews fill in that detail. Also, there are more descriptions on his Web site as well as the ability to order the books from his Web site at skepticalguitarist.com. Some that might be useful are:

    8. The Guitar Grimoire book series

    Adam Kadmon has a series of more advanced books called the Guitar Grimoire that cover a range of topics. Some that might be useful are:


    9. Miscellaneous useful related sites

  • Bi-monthly magazine with music, musicians, instruments, videos (PDF download of the magazine if you subscribe) Acoustic Guitar Magazine:

  • Tricks for How to Memorize a Song:

  • Open source free audio recording and editing computer software: "Audacity"

  • A few on-line music stores:
    1. http://musiciansfriend.com/
    2. http://www.guitarcenter.com/
    3. http://www.hmtrad.com/ (House of Musical Traditions)
    4. https://www.mindamusicstore.com/
    5. http://elderly.com/
    6. https://www.sweetwater.com/
  • A few of THOUSANDS of free on-line guitar lessons:
    1. https://www.shutupandplay.ca/lesson-index.html
    2. YouTube search for "acoustic guitar lessons for beginners"
    3. https://www.guitarlessons.com/
    4. https://www.hawaiianshirtsonline.co.uk/ukulele-tutorials/

    10. Introductory Piano / Keyboard books

    Figuring out chords is sometimes easier to visualize on a piano or keyboard. Therefore, a few useful books and web sites are listed. A few books emphasize making your own music (i.e., not sight reading) by understand chords, chord progressions that make reading and playing music from a fakebook possible. [From Wikipedia] In a fake book "A fake book is a collection of musical lead sheets intended to help a performer quickly learn new songs. Each song in a fake book contains the melody line, basic chords, and lyrics - the minimal information needed by a musician to make an impromptu arrangement of a song, or 'fake it'". For example, here is an Amazon search for Fake Books for Piano. There are huge numbers of fake books that are available (e.g. https://www.amazon.com/fakebook/s?k=fakebook).
  • How to Play Piano Despite Years of Lessons: What Music Is and How to Make It at Home by Ward Cannel and Fred Marx (1981). (From Amazon) "This method is a truly entertaining approach to learning how to play the piano. Written by Ward Cannel of the Piano Consortium, the method breaks down music theory into visual concepts which are fun and easy to grasp, so you can learn to play the music you want to play! Perfect for those piano lesson dropouts!"


  • Piano For Dummies by Blake Neely (2009). (From Amazon) "Instruct: to provide with knowledge, especially in a methodical way. That is, in fact, what Phillips and Chappel of Cherry Lane Music do in this logical, pedagogic introduction to keyboard instruments, music theory, and piano technique. The chapter on the famous? or is it infamous?? "Part of Tens" includes information about past and present masters of the instrument, ways of expanding your interest beyond the scope of the book, and tips on finding a teacher. Printed musical examples are plentiful, and an accompanying audio CD is included. This book intends to be fun and funny and succeeds in a vaudeville sort of way. Students are encouraged "to continue to seek knowledge a bout your instrument long after you tire of the jokes" and told that "piano teachers and method books shouldn't be forsaken forever." The do-it-yourself phenomenon has made the "Dummies" books very popular. This one is particularly appropriate for school media and public libraries."


  • How to Play from a Fake Book (Keyboard Edition) by Blake Neely. (From Amazon) "Ever wondered how to create better accompaniments for the melodies in your favorite fake books? This "teach yourself" book introduces you to chord building, various rhythmic styles, and much more, so that you play the songs you like just the way you want them. Keyboard players with a basic understanding of notation and sight-reading will be on their way to more fun with fake books. The relaxed tone of the text and selection of fun songs keep How to Play from a Fake Book entertaining throughout - perfect for amateur musicians, or as a supplement for keyboard teachers and their students."


    Some useful piano Web sites with chords, sheet music, learning piano/keyboard


    11. Books on adults learning music and the nature of music

  • The Art of Practicing: A Guide to Making Music from the Heart by Madeline Bruser (Author), Yehudi Menuhin (Foreword). (From Amazon) "This landmark book enlightens amateur and professional musicians about a way of practicing that transforms a sometimes frustrating, monotonous, and overly strenuous labor into an exhilarating and rewarding experience. Acclaimed pianist and teacher Madeline Bruser combines physiological and meditative principles to help musicians release physical and mental tension and unleash their innate musical talent. She offers practical techniques for cultivating free and natural movement, a keen enjoyment of sounds and sensations, a clear and relaxed mind, and an open heart and she explains how to: Prepare the body and mind to practice with ease; Understand the effect of posture on flexibility and expressiveness; Make efficient use of the hands and arms; Employ listening techniques to improve coordination; Increase the range of color and dynamics by using less effort; Cultivate rhythmic vitality; Perform with confidence, warmth, and freedom. Photographs show essential points of posture and movement for a variety of instruments."


  • Piano Lessons: Music, Love, and True Adventures by Noah Adams (1997). (From Amazon) "Piano Lessons is Noah Adams's delightful and moving chronicle of his fifty-second year--a year already filled with long, fast workdays and too little spare time--as he answers at last a lifelong call: to learn to play the piano. The twelve monthly chapters span from January--when after decades of growing affection for keyboard artists and artisans he finally plunges in and buys a piano--through December, when as a surprise Christmas present for his wife he dresses in a tuxedo and, in flickering candlelight, snow falling outside the windows, he attempts their favorite piece of music, a difficult third-year composition he's been struggling with in secret to get to this very moment. ... more ..."


  • A Natural History of the Piano: The Instrument, the Music, the Musicians--from Mozart to Modern Jazz and Everything in Between by Stuart Isacoff (2011). (From Amazon) "A beautifully illustrated, totally engrossing celebration of the piano, and the composers and performers who have made it their own. With honed sensitivity and unquestioned expertise, Stuart Isacoff—pianist, critic, teacher, and author of Temperament: How Music Became a Battleground for the Great Minds of Western Civilization—unfolds the ongoing history and evolution of the piano and all its myriad wonders: how its very sound provides the basis for emotional expression and individual style, and why it has so powerfully entertained generation upon generation of listeners. He illuminates the groundbreaking music of Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt, Schumann, and Debussy. He analyzes the breathtaking techniques of Glenn Gould, Oscar Peterson, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Arthur Rubinstein, and Van Cliburn, and he gives musicians including Alfred Brendel, Murray Perahia, Menahem Pressler, and Vladimir Horowitz the opportunity to discuss their approaches. Isacoff delineates how classical music and jazz influenced each other as the uniquely American art form progressed from ragtime, novelty, stride, boogie, bebop, and beyond, through Scott Joplin, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Cecil Taylor, and Bill Charlap. ... more..."


  • Guitar Zero: The New Musician and the Science of Learning by Gary Marcus (2012). (From Amazon) "On the eve of his 40th birthday, Gary Marcus, a renowned scientist with no discernible musical talent, learns to play the guitar and investigates how anyone—of any age —can become musical. Do you have to be born musical to become musical? Do you have to start at the age of six? Using the tools of his day job as a cognitive psychologist, Gary Marcus becomes his own guinea pig as he takes up the guitar. In a powerful and incisive look at how both children and adults become musical, Guitar Zero traces Marcus’s journey, what he learned, and how anyone else can learn, too. A groundbreaking peek into the origins of music in the human brain, this musical journey is also an empowering tale of the mind’s enduring plasticity. ... more..."


  • The Power of Music: Pioneering Discoveries in the New Science of Song by Elena Mannes (2011). (From Amazon) "The award-winning creator of the acclaimed documentary "The Music Instinct: Science & Song," explores the power of music and its connection to the body, the brain, and the world of nature. Only recently has science sought in earnest to understand and explain this impact. One remarkable recent study, analyzing the cries of newborns, shows that infants' cries contain common musical intervals, and children tease each other in specific, singsong ways no matter where in the world they live. Physics experiments show that sound waves can physically change the structure of a material; musician and world-famous conductor Daniel Barenboim believes musical sound vibrations physically penetrate our bodies, shifting molecules as they do. The Power of Music follows visionary researchers and accomplished musicians to the crossroads of science and culture, to discover: how much of our musicality is learned and how much is innate? Can examining the biological foundations of music help scientists unravel the intricate web of human cognition and brain function? Why is music virtually universal across cultures and time-does it provide some evolutionary advantage? Can music make people healthier? Might music contain organzing principles of harmonic vibration that underlie the cosmos itself?" Note, you can see the video The Music Instinct: Science & Song on Netflix streaming video.


  • Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, Revised and Expanded Edition by Oliver Sacks (2008). (From Amazon) "With the same trademark compassion and erudition he brought to The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Oliver Sacks explores the place music occupies in the brain and how it affects the human condition. In Musicophilia, he shows us a variety of what he calls “musical misalignments.” Among them: a man struck by lightning who suddenly desires to become a pianist at the age of forty-two; an entire group of children with Williams syndrome, who are hypermusical from birth; people with “amusia,” to whom a symphony sounds like the clattering of pots and pans; and a man whose memory spans only seven seconds-for everything but music. Illuminating, inspiring, and utterly unforgettable, Musicophilia is Oliver Sacks' latest masterpiece."


  • Complete Singer-Songwriter:: A Troubadour's Guide to Writing, Performing, Recording, and Business (2nd Ed) by Jeffrey Pepper Rogers (2016). "he Complete Singer-Songwriter is the ultimate guide for the modern performer, chock-full of tips, tools, and inspiration for both aspiring troubadours and those looking to take their craft and career to the next level. Author Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers draws on firsthand interviews with songwriting legends and rising stars; expert advice from managers, agents, lawyers, and publishers; and his own experiences as a performing songwriter. He offers this invaluable companion for singer-songwriters on their journey from idea to song to the stage, studio, and beyond. New in the second edition: • A songwriter's guide to chord progressions • Understanding song form and rhyme • Dozens of songwriting games and exercises • Essential info on copyrighting your songs, music publishing, and digital royalties • Online companion at completesingersongwriter.com with playlists and additional resources. Songwriting tips and techniques from more than 100 artists, including Joni Mitchell, John Mayer, Paul Simon, Rosanne Cash, Jewel, Jeff Tweedy, Ani DiFranco, James Taylor, John Fogerty, Brandi Carlile, Richard Thompson, Jason Mraz, Rodney Crowell, Jerry Garcia, Dar Williams, and more."


    E-mail contact: plemkin@lemkingroup.com
    Web-site: http://lemkingroup.com/
    Revised: April 4, 2022