4 Reasons NOT to Start With Chords When You First Start Learning Guitar
1. Chords are not the easiest thing to learn on guitar
Despite what you’ve heard, chords are not the easiest thing to learn on guitar. Chords often use 2, 3 and sometimes 4 fingers on the guitar at one time. But the fact is, we haven’t yet learned how to play properly with just one finger, let alone 4! This can cause all sorts of problems with our playing down the track that are not easy to fix.
2. Chords don’t (usually) sound good straight away
Due to the fact we’re using 2, 3 or 4 fingers at a time, we often accidentally mute some of the strings which gives us that unpleasant “bnk clnk” sound where the notes don’t ring out clearly.
When what we’re playing doesn’t sound good to us, we develop a subconscious aversion to playing which means that pretty soon, we don’t even want to pick up the guitar at all. What starts as a slight aversion often leads to people quitting altogether.
This was one of the main factors that led me to develop the Easiest Guitar method. I believe the best way to get inspired about your guitar playing is to start by learning something that sounds really nice, straight away.
Now, of course, I’m not saying we shouldn’t ever do anything that’s difficult, I’m just saying that when you first begin, it’s very important to have a positive experience…first impressions last.
If you can come away from your first lesson able to play something that sounds great, you’re more likely to want to keep going. When you’re learning great sounding new music each week and finding it easy to learn, you get momentum. Your enthusiasm and enjoyment grow and this leads to big improvements in your playing.
3. It can take a long time to learn chords
First of all, it can take a long time to get even just one chord sounding good, with all the notes ringing out clearly. Then, to play a whole song, you need to learn more than one chord (usually at least 3). Then you need to be able to change between them very quickly for the song to really sound like a song. Most people struggle with this aspect of chords for months, sometimes years. Many quit before they master it.
At the same time, we need to be conscious of our other hand which is doing the strumming or picking and keeping the rhythm. On top of this, some teachers have the students looking at a piece of music at the same time. Sounds slightly overwhelming, doesn’t it?
4. There is a better, easier and more enjoyable way to learn guitar
In order to correct this problem, we need to take a couple of steps back and simplify it all.
What we want most, when we first pick up the guitar is to make something that sounds good to our ear. Something that sounds like real music.
…The solution…The Easiest Guitar Method
After making discoveries about chords, I began developing a method involving simple steps you can take before learning the chords (in the form of great sounding music) that make everything much easier later on.
I began collecting and writing specific pieces of music which sound great straight away, even for absolute beginners and at the same time lead the student on towards being able to play chords with ease.
I started trying this method out with my students and the results were remarkable. People were able to play something that sounded like music after about 5 minutes and by the end of the lesson, their excitement was tangible. I realised I was on to something. My students were very excited and found the music so compelling and exciting that they didn’t want to put the guitar down!
Once I had taken the student through these steps, they found chords easy. They found many other aspects of guitar playing easy too. They found their lessons more enjoyable. They were far more enthusiastic about getting their guitar out and practising at home.