Top Tips To Play Easy Eagles Songs on Guitar by Ear: A Guide for Intermediate Guitarists

easy eagles guitar music

If you’ve mastered the basics of guitar, you’re probably ready to play many more of your favorites. A great choice for personal enjoyment or as a crowd-pleaser is a tune by The Eagles, one of the world’s best-selling bands with over 200 million records. Use the following tips to learn easy Eagles songs on guitar by ear.

Determine if You’re An Intermediate Guitar Player

How do you know if you’re an intermediate guitarist? Opinions vary, but an intermediate player can play through at least a few songs from start to finish and are comfortable on their instrument.

You should know the basic chords and a few more complex ones. If you can name the notes on your guitar and execute multiple major, minor, and pentatonic scales, you’re likely an intermediate player. Intermediate guitarists also:

  • Can keep time while playing 
  • Understand how to read a tab or sheet music
  • Grasp basic music theory

If you meet most of these characteristics, you’re probably ready to play easy Eagles songs on guitar by ear.

Commit to the Easy Eagles Songs on Guitar You Want To Learn

When you love the song you’re learning, you’ll more readily stick to it when things get hard. Look for easy Eagles songs to play on guitar that you’ll enjoy enough to listen to repeatedly.

Be Realistic

Don’t try to replicate complex passages note for note at this stage. If you can strum the chord progression and pick out the melody lines, you’re well on your way.

When deciding which easy Eagles songs on guitar to play by ear, start with those that have a basic sequence of three or four chords that compose the verse, bridge, and chorus.

Popular choices include:

Another excellent recommendation is “Take It Easy,” which is (appropriately) one of the easiest Eagles songs to learn to play on guitar and their first big hit.

Get To Know the Song by Heart

Another step to learning how to play Eagles songs on guitar is knowing the music well in your head. You should be able to hum it or sing the lyrics confidently before figuring out the notes. Singing, humming, or tapping along is a great way to internalize the tune.

Find the Key

When playing easy Eagles songs on guitar, determining the song's key is critical to finding the right notes quickly. Begin by figuring out if the song is a more upbeat major key or a more plaintive or bluesy minor key. For example, “Take It Easy” is a bright, joyful rock song – a giveaway that this song is in a major key.

In most popular music, the key’s tonic note is the root of the starting and ending chords. The tonic might even be the song's first note and is usually the last note the lead singer sings in the melody line.

In “Take It Easy,” the first note that rings out on the guitar is a G. Test the major chords with a G in them to figure out the first chord and the song’s key.

When you compare the C, Eb, and G chords to the song, lo and behold! G major is your first chord and the key of the song. This technique can determine the key to many easy Eagles songs on guitar.

Figure Out the Basic Chord Progression

Determining the chords can be more tricky than picking out a few riffs. Remember which chords are in the key of the song you’re playing and listen for common patterns.

For example, you likely already know that many popular songs follow one of these progressions:

  • I-IV-V
  • I-V-vi-IV
  • ii-V-I
  • I-IV-I-V-IV-I
  • I-vi-IV-V

Just like a story needs a beginning and middle with some tension that resolves in the end, these progressions offer a satisfying aural experience. Many easy Eagles songs on guitar rely on these chord sequences or a variation. (Can you figure out which ones “Take It Easy” uses?)

Refine the Chords

Sometimes a chord fits, but it doesn’t sound quite like the record. Look out for dominant sevenths and minor thirds as bluesy notes that add a little spice to chords. Expect your dominant sevenths to pop up on your ii, iii, V and vi chords where they fit comfortably in a major key.

Sometimes a tricky chord is one that takes the song briefly out of its key to a closely related one to add some tension and sophistication. Also, look out for slash chords that use a different bass note than the tonic and create a unique harmonic layering.

Slow It Down

Popular video-sharing sites like YouTube or audio software let you play the song at a slower speed without altering the pitch. Use these modern tools to simplify learning easy Eagles songs on guitar, especially on complex parts.

Try Starting With the Chorus

Most people will naturally start with the beginning, but sometimes, you’re better off learning the chorus first. Since the chorus typically resolves to a tonic note and chord, it can help you find the key quickly and give you something to build toward if another part of the song is challenging.

Do a Little Daily

You get more out of practicing 15 to 20 minutes every day than trying to cram in long sessions because your brain needs breaks to learn effectively. For challenging songs, figure out a little bit every day when learning easy Eagles songs on guitar by ear to improve gradually.

As your mind picks up patterns and your ear improves, you’ll find you get faster and faster at learning songs by ear.

Keep Working at Learning Easy Eagles Songs on Guitar 

You’ll always have a party favorite when you’re playing Eagles songs. In fact, “Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975” ranks as a best-selling album of all time!

Playing by ear is a great way to learn easy Eagles songs on guitar. You should work on your ear training as well as your sight reading to be a well-rounded musician. When you need to find sheet music for Eagles and other top groups, check out our selection on Musicnotes.