How to make songs your own?

Yeah that was me ^^
Englishman In New York is a fun “platform” to experiment on if you want to try something with a jazzier feel without digging to deep into jazz grips etc. It’s normal pattern is a good finger picking exercise and the song as a whole can be a wide range of things: from basic and easy to whatever you can make from it. It has some barre chords though but once again, that is good practice :wink:

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I think this is the biggest question.

There absolutely is no need to “make songs your own” if you don’t want to, and an awful lot of people simply aren’t interested in doing that.

There are, of course, lots of people who do enjoy doing that and, for them, it’s an enjoyable part of making music. But, is it required learning or some sort of essential skill you need. Does it make you a better musician, or somehow “more creative”?

Not at all. Otherwise Justin would have a series on it.

Learning songs is essential. “Making them your own” is an optional thing that some people will have a strong desire to do. And in my experience it’s a fairly small subset of people who want to do this whilst they are still deep in learning other things.

So, ask yourself, is this something you really want to do? And do you want to do it now, or is it something you might consider at a later point when you are more comfortable with your skills and song knowledge?

If the answer to either of these is “no”, then don’t do it. Simples.

And don’t let anyone tell you that you should be doing it. If they are insisting on this, then they are best ignored.

As enthusiastic amateurs, we learn guitar for pleasure. Or that’s what I believe. Learning an instrument is hard enough without feeling pressured to adhere to some other random person’s values or view of what you should or shouldn’t be doing, when those values have nothing actually to do with the process of learning.

On the other hand, if you think it’s something you would enjoy, are interested in trying it, or think it would encourage and support your learning, then go for it.

But do it for you, not for anyone else!