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Do You Have To Learn To Play Scales In Order To Play Guitar

By Maurice Richard

You don’t mind them too much. They can be interesting and fun to play. And sure they can be useful in the future. 

But right now, you are just starting to learn to play guitar. You want to learn to play songs and enjoy yourself and this is just not cutting it.

Do you really have to learn this to play songs?

Learning To Play Guitar Poses Many Challenges

You have a lot of other challenges you need to overcome when you first start to learn to play guitar. 

Most of them are physical. You have to learn to use your hand to fret notes and chords. You have to learn to use the other hand to hold a pick and strum or pick strings. 

Then you have to learn to do it all at the same time. This is very overwhelming for most people and takes time and effort and much concentration to accomplish.

To then add learning to play scales on top of this makes it even more difficult. They require you to make very detailed and finite movements with both hands. It adds another level of complexity.

Plus you are not making music when you play scales. You probably were happy to learn them at first but they got boring quickly. So you avoid them now.

Scales Are Not Needed When Learning To Play Guitar

Scales are very useful. But not for you and not right now. There are other more important things to learn when you first start to learn to play guitar. 

The reason most guitar teachers get things in the wrong order is that they tend to teach you the same way they were taught in school. Most guitar teachers out there were once in University and of course it works there. So they assume it will work for you and that’s how they teach too. 

But for most people like you and me, this is not the best way. There are more important things that you need to learn before you get to scales.

Learning To Play Songs Is A Higher Priority And More Motivating

What things? Well how about learning to play an actual song. In full. Something you can recognize, and your family and friends can recognize? 

How about feeling like you are actually playing guitar? That you are making actual music? The feeling that you are getting closer to your goal to be able to play?

How about learning the skills required to play those songs first? This is also a lot more fun and motivating than learning scales for most people.

Sounds good but how can you find someone who approaches teaching in that way?

Find A Teacher That Will Teach You To Play Guitar Through Songs

To find the best teacher for your needs you will have to do some research.

Start by doing a Google search in your area. Find online advertising websites where teachers will have ads posted. Some examples would be Craigslist, Backpage, Gumtree, Thumbtack or Kijiji. 

Create a list of potential candidates. Research their websites next. If they do not have a website that is a good indication they are probably only doing this on the side and should likely be eliminated.

Do they have student testimonials on their website? Do they have actual proof that they have helped others do what you want? If not, then you can probably eliminate them.

Finally, call the remaining candidates and find out more. Once you complete this step you should know who is best suited to help you learn how to actually play songs right away. 

Now it’s time to commit and go for it! You will not regret it! 

About The Author:

Maurice Richard is a professional guitar teacher that operates out of the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He has been a member of an elite guitar teaching mentorship program since 2007 and has taught many people how to play guitar and play songs right away