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Should I Learn Chords or Scales?

Question by Naresh
(Hyderabad, India)

Responses in red!

I am absolute Guitar beginner (More than a month old).

I have a little idea about the notes and scales. And I don't have any music background or knowledge.

Currently I am learning chords. I am ok with Major and Minor chords and have picked up a couple of songs using the Major chords patterns mainly: A-E-D and G-C-D. Strumming at low speeds seems easy. Tried to increase the pace and the chord changings werent smooth. I will learn it in time. All goes well until here.

Increase the metronome in increments of 5 BPM.

Now I am not sure if I should pick up and start learning scales or should I go ahead and learn other chord patterns.

Like A7, Asus4 Cadd9, followed by Barre chords etc. There seem to be a lot of chords. Along with chords I want to learn a few songs too.

I would recommend learning some open chord variations and the E and A form barre chords before learning scales.

I was actually preparing myself to learn things in this order:

1. Chords
a. Open Chords
b. Chord progressions
c. Barre chords
d. Strumming - Goes with the flow. dedicating around 5 to 10 min a day for practice, excluding strumming during songs.

2. Scales Start with the major scale and pentatonic scales.
3. Alternate picking
4. Rhythm
5. Finger style

Do you think this approach is good to follow. If you feel I need to change my plan a bit, please let me know.

That looks like a great plan to me. Although remember that there are a lot of scales to learn. So it's more realistic to learn scales while you're learning the other lead/rhythm techniques.

Alternate picking is definitely the most important lead technique, so you're right to place it at the top of your list.

I am currently working on the chord changing exercises you provided in your website and they are working great. Spending an hour a day, I am improving well, thanks to you.

Glad they are helping. There are also barre chord exercises in the chords section for when you come to learning them.

Also I am not comfortable using pick. I prefer using my fingers for strumming as I feel, it gives the tone I feel comfortable with. Is it ok not learning to strum with pick?

Absolutely fine. Many players use their fingers to strum. Whatever feels most comfortable for you.

By the way, I am using yamaha F310 Acoustic guitar.

Great guitar to start out on. Good choice!

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