As a guitar beginner, what should I need to concentrate on? Chords or scales?
I see that chords and getting into the rhythm of songs is easier and more comfortable than learning scales.
Any suggestions on how to proceed?
Music: Practice & Theory Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for musicians, students, and enthusiasts. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
All musical instruments can play single note tunes, but very few can play chords. Arpeggios, yes, but not full 3 or more note chords. So, as a guitarist, you'll most likely be expected to play chords for a lot of the time. Apart from everything else, they make a full sound, so as a beginner, you are already sounding good!
With triads (3 note chords), you'll be playing sort of 'skipped scales' anyway, as a standard chord consists of 1-3-5 of the scale. When you play a chord and start to play scales, you find that you already know 3 out of the 7 notes needed. (Or 3 out of 5 for pentatonics!) Fill in the spaces.
Obviously, scales are the bits of music that join together in different ways to make tunes, so they will also be very useful to you.
So, both are important, as a beginner and all through your guitar playing life. Practise them all, but expect to play more chords than melodies in general.
And try to get yourself a teacher, it'll save so much time and trying to figure things out yourself.
I think a heavy focus on chords in the beginning pays off well. You can learn a simple version of some of your favorite songs, and that will get you hooked on playing.
You will need to practice technique to advance. You'll notice that when playing chords, you won't be playing them well initially... for example, fingerpick all the chords you know and you will notice some notes don't ring.
I recommend this routine
At this point you should be able to play a simple song comfortably (and be hooked on playing)
From here you will need to add in a few new focuses
This isn't exactly the same path I took, but with hindsight... I would definitely recommend it. Focus on what is fun and keep the momentum up.
It depends a lot on what you want to do and where you want to move your play style to, if you want to concentrate on rhythm and be the "not often solo player", you should practice chords and build a solid base, if you want to play lead guitar and be the one who does a lot of solos, you should practice scales. Although this is more of a long-term advice, when you're beginning, you should really practice chords and get comfortable with both the neck of the guitar and the tonal differences in the chords, you should get used to how the guitar sounds and learn (even if you dont know music theory) what sounds good next to what, basically, you should train your ear and build muscle memory for the chord shapes and get comfortable with the guitar neck.
You should practice both though, unless you never ever want to do solos or write your own riffs, you'll need to know scales, or else you'll loose too much time experimenting with what goes with what, First scale to learn, minor pentatonic and blues variation. A lot of rock guitar players solo their whole careers without going out of that scale :p
Scales build the muscles in your fingers. They're like jogging. You'll get in shape walking around town, you'll get in shape faster running around town. Per unit time / practice scales pay a lot of dividends when you're a beginner.
Chords help you hear the multiple notes in tune and get started with the rhythm of the right / strumming hand. Although it will be pain I recommend practicing tuning the guitar without a tuner sometimes as that's power lifting for your ear.
Above all, keep your hands on the guitar!
Both are important, but which to emphasize depends on what you enjoy playing.
In high school, I started off wanting to be a lead guitarist, playing mostly melodies and solos. So I practiced scales more than chords. I never got very good at lead, but I stuck with it for years because it was my dream then.
Over time, my tastes changed and I grew to prefer playing rhythm guitar. It turned out I'm naturally better at it. So I began to focus more on chords; in particular, non-standard formations, difficult chord changes and the like. I find it more interesting.
So in terms of practice, I suggest spending time with both. But also learn to play a variety of different songs. This will naturally guide you toward what you enjoy more, what your particular physiology is suited to, and thus where you should direct more energy.
Concentrate on chords first because the foundation of almost all popular music is harmony. Once you get familiar with chords, learn ways of connecting chord tones together (melodic lines). One way this is done is with scale tones, so at that point you would be learning scales!
There's no point in learning scales for their own sake. Scales are just a tool to help you create melodies and to connect chords together as the song progresses.