Beginner performance tune
If you’re just starting out playing guitar, you may struggle with finding lesson materials that give you adequate challenge, but are not TOO easy. Often, beginners have issues with fret location, picking the correct string, and understanding notation as it relates to the guitar. If you find yourself in this camp, this post will help you! There are also many other posts in our beginner songs lesson materials. Oh, Susanna is a perfect tune to add to your practice routine.
Oh, Susanna is a perfect song for a 1st year student performance recital. If you need to refresh your memory on how it sounds, check the link here. Oh, Susanna has some challenges for a beginner student. The length (most beginner pieces are 8-16 measures) is the first challenge. Fortunately, there are a few motivic figures that repeat themselves in this song. Because most measures have a chord change every two beats, which is confusing to a student who is accustomed to a change every 4 beats. And lastly, there is activity on 3 strings. The melody is played using the high E, B, and G strings. The dotted half note may be an issue as well, but nothing that a beginner can not handle with time and practice.
Tips to keep in mind when practicing Oh, Susanna:
- Be careful that your picking hand is crossing from one string to the other cleanly, without excessive noise.
- Watch your fretting hand. Try to keep your thumb behind the neck of the guitar, aligned with your middle finger.
- This song is within the 1st position, meaning your index finger stays above the 1st fret, and all other fingers fall naturally to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
- Downstrokes throughout the whole tune is ok.
- As an extra challenge, try playing the whole tune with alternate picking
- If you’re comfortable playing this, try playing it standing up. Does anything change for you?
If you’ve mastered Oh, Susanna, take a look at our Beginner’s Song archives