Originally Posted by: olivecorduroy
So I have been trying to learn how to play guitar off and on for about ten years now...I'd pick it up for awhile, get pretty good, get discouraged, and then stop for periods of time...and this process has repeated itself repeatedly...
[br]I have managed to play open chords and strumming patterns proficiently...the same with power chords...but through all of this, I have never learned a single song...all I've essentially done is practice chord changes over and over...I guess you could say that I'm a technician...don't get me wrong, I've gotten good at the limited things I've practiced but for me, there has to be a better way than for me to just practice the technical stuff over and over...
So this time around I thought I would just learn songs by using what I already know and by just building on that by learning songs...essentially viewing a song as a project and seeing it to the end until it is complete...a way to establish a goal with the intent of accomplishing it...I'd take a couple of songs to work on...one or two that are similar in nature that are within my reach with what I know...and one that would be a long term project that would challenge me...in my case it would be a couple of the AC/DC songs that use open power chords and Hells Bells as my long term project...
I've heard that we are learning to play guitar to play songs...am I right with my approach this time around?
Like others said; you should be leawrning songs. More to the point, you must learn songs.
Think of it as a child learning to speak; if the child only could learn to speak based on grammitical rules but no practical application, that kids wouldn't actually be able to speak. Children learn by emulating the speech of those around them.
I would suggest that anyone who has got to the point of being able to play chords and maybe single string melodies, get right to learning songs. There is a point in a players journey where songs are more important to learn than the theory. To be clear, you don't ignore theory and such for ever but there is a point where you gain more just playing and learning songs that gain more than just humping through theory. That time in a plyers journeys to buold the skill of playing.
Get a bunch of songs under your belt. Have fun doing it.
Once you're at the point of being able to (even with a bit of work), play along with songs, you'll want to come back to the theory of guitar playing. You need to to come back to playing. You may even learn a new song and an instructors says that something is a 'major scale' or a note as a t 'interval X' and so on, you can dig info on what that means as you're lear ning the songs.
Songs are where skill and knowledge rubber meets the road.
Ultimately, the decision between theory and songs is a balance but you'll need both but just remember that the reason you're playing is to play songs and have fun. That is the top of reasons why we play.