guitar lessons Edinburgh

How to build your repertoire


A big part of enjoying playing guitar is having songs and pieces that you can play.

As you progress with your guitar playing and learn more ways of playing chords, build your speed with switching chords, learning more ways of strumming and picking chords and develop your rhythm and timing, more songs become available to you.

You already understand some really key aspects of learning to play songs including:

-Working on each chord change in isolation

-Playing the sequence for each section without strumming

-Working on strumming using muted strings

-Integrating chords and strumming one section at at time.

Soundtrap gives us some great tools for accelerating our skills with songs and pieces. The biggest help is the looping capability, so you can have a reference for how things are supposed to sound while you are working towards new or faster chord changes. The capability of recording your own playing against a drum track or metronome is also really helpful


Choose at least three songs, pieces or riffs

For one song, you want to work towards playing the complete chord and strumming, or features like riffs.

For the others, you can choose which level you will learn them to – to be able to play along at a simple level, or adding in more of the detail.

Example: Someone You Loved

Base of the pyramid – play each chord on beat 1 of the bar.

Middle of the pyramid – play each chord all the way through the bar with downstrokes

Top of the pyramid – play each chord all the way through the bar, picking the strings separately, then strumming, then switching to power chords when the dynamic builds.

Example: Rescue Me

Base of the pyramid – play the root note of the chord or the chord on the beat where it changes

Middle of the pyramid – play the chord through the bar

Top of the pyramid – play the guitar parts that use picking in more detail through the bar.

Example: Renegades

Base of the pyramid – play the root note of the chord or the chord on the beat where it changes

Middle of the pyramid – add an extra strum

Top of the pyramid – play the full strumming pattern all the way through the bar. Alternative top of the pyramid – play the guitar riff.

Song ideas

If you’re not sure which songs or pieces to work on, here is a list of songs you may have played in the past to ‘base of the pyramid’ level that you can now approach in more detail. The list has some other songs that can be played chords and rhythms you know.

Rescue Me – One Republic
Counting Stars – One Republic

Stand by Me – Ben E. King

Hotel Yorba – The White Stripes

Hey Brother – Avicii

Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen/Jeff Buckley

We Didn’t Start The Fire – Billy Joel

When September Ends – Green Day

When I Come Around – Green Day

Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Green Day

Killing Me Softly – Roberta Flack

Ordinary World – Green Day

Paradise – John Prine

Superheroes – The Script

Hall of Fame – The Script

Someone You Loved – Lewis Capaldi

Run – Snow Patrol

Shotgun – George Ezra

Wake Me Up – Avicii

How to use Soundtrap to work on your choices

Tell us which songs you want to work on

Join the Key To Music soundtrap account using this link:

We add you to a soundtrap project that contains the audio for your choice and we make sure you have the right chords/msuic.

You work on the chord switches and strumming, and use the loop function to isolate shorter passages.

You start recording yourself playing along as you work towards the base, middle and top of the pyramid.