Just starting to learn guitar and I have access to a good number of beginner material. In almost every single one they start with various chords at the low end - typically frets 1, 2 and 3. Also, they tend to focus on the EADG strings.
To me, as a beginner, all this seems like going for the hardest possible things up front. The frets at the low end are harder to press without buzzing, and the EADG strings are harder to reach and take more strength to press (thickness).
It's like you want to start weightlifting and they all say to start benchpressing 300 lbs on day 1, just keep at it and you'll eventually do 1 press and move on up.
Is this indeed the correct method for learning? Take for example these two scenarios:
Scenario 1: Play a couple chords for 5 minutes (been two weeks, edging closer to 10min now).
Scenario 2: Play scales near the 10-12th frets for 20-30 minutes.
In either case my fingers still hurt, but it just feels like I'm getting more out of the easier to play side.
Turns out that the type of strings the guitar came with had a huge factor on the comfort. The people at the local guitar place let me try a few different strings to find the easiest one for me - they said it is part personal preference. They also did something to the neck while lowering the action - the frets near the nut had a too high action but the high frets where I was doing scales were just fine.