Top of page

So You’d Like to Be a Pop Superstar?

Share this post:

Guitar, bass, vocals, drums, piano…the makings of any good pop record, right?

For our patrons out there who are looking to rock out to some pop music, we’ve got you covered. In a post from last September, my colleague Mary Dell Jenkins discussed our series of “Popular Music Lead Sheets,” which offers popular music selections in lead sheet format both in audio (Digital Talking Book) and braille. If you’d like more information about that series, please find her post at this link.

Besides lead sheets, the Music Section has quite a variety of pop music instruction to offer. Below you will find a selection of some of our pop music courses available for eligible patrons to request or download from BARD.

Starting with the guitar, here are some top 40 female rockers whose tunes you can learn:

Kelly Clarkson – Breakaway (DBM03034)
K.T. Tunstall – Black Horse and the Cherry Tree (DBM03029)
Sheryl Crow – The First Cut is the Deepest (DBM03168)
Pat Benatar – Hit Me with Your Best Shot (DBM02017)
Jewel – You Were Meant for Me (DBM02157)

We mentioned some Motown titles last week, but maybe you’re more of a Stax records fan? Check out some of these soul and funk titles for guitar:

Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine (DBM03021)
James Brown – Get Up (I Feel Like Being) A Sex Machine (DBM03062)
Wild Cherry – Play that Funky Music  (DBM02051)
Otis Redding – (Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay (DBM03016)
Sam Cooke – You Send Me (DBM03191)

And, just a point of clarification–the only artist in the above list who recorded for Stax was Otis Redding, who was one of their most successful artists.


A photo of the Stax Museum in Memphis.
Stax Museum of America Soul Music. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, Oct. 2008.


Now that you have the guitar down, time to add some piano. Here are some courses that will help you jam along with those tunes you hear on the radio.

Stevie Wonder – My Cherie Amour (DBM03319)
Righteous Brothers – Unchained Melody (DBM02304)
The Carpenters – Close to You (DBM02605)
Mariah Carey – Hero (DBM02597)
Billy Joel – Piano Man (DBM01755)

And to round out our pop band, you’ll need some drums…

Intro to the Drums for the Visually Impaired (DBM02318)
One extra in braille for the Latin percussionists out there:
Latin Guide for Drummers (BRM 24557)

And of course a bass…

Electric bass (DBM02195)
Intro to the Bass for the Visually Impaired (DBM02267)

And maybe some vocals:
Born to sing by Elisabeth Howard (DBM01527)
How to Sing Pop Harmony by Dan Huckabee (DBM01226)

And your pop band is complete!

This is just the tip of the iceberg for our popular music collection, though! We have much more than this, especially in braille. Please get in contact with the Music Section–we can help eligible patrons find courses and material that suits their needs.

Any pop songs you’d like to see added to the collection? Let us know in the comments!

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.