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learning chords?

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(@ultra)
New Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2
Topic starter  

okay so i am new to learning guitar. My question is should i learn chords or just pluck away at tabs of songs i like until i get them down? i understand how to read tab and can play it but i dont know the chords. I used to play the piano so i can read sheet music but tab is easier for me to learn the songs on the guitar. I am learning on an electric guitar btw. I am just trying to figure out if i need to just keep trying to play the songs i like or if i need to learn chords to make any progress. i guess i don't understand the importance of learning chords if i have tabs that tell me what string and fret to hit. It seems to me (and i may be wrong) that if i can read and play tab then i just need to practice practice practice right????? maybe not but i hope to get some answers soon.
thanks
scott


   
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(@musenfreund)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 5108
 

You should learn the chords. Sometimes you only have a lead sheet for music -- just the chords listed. Guitar music is built on two elements -- chords and scales. By learning the chords, you'll be more versatile as a guitarist and you'll understand the music better. And if you ever have to change key to accommodate a vocalist, you'll need to know the chords and chord progressions to do so.

You can start with this lesson on this site: Absolute Beginner: Chords.

Well we all shine on--like the moon and the stars and the sun.
-- John Lennon


   
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(@noteboat)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

The difference is what you can do with what you learn.

Memorizing songs from tab is like buying a paint-by-numbers kit. Learning chord names and other basic music theory is like taking drawing lessons.

Either way you end up with a song. But learning by only memorizing tab makes it impossible to learn anything that's not already tabbed out, makes it impossible to communicate with other musicians, and makes creating your own stuff really difficult.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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(@unimogbert)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 174
 

Take a look at any tab site. See how many songs are tabbed vs how many have chords and lyrics.

I think the case for learning chords wins.

(but do both :-)

Unimogbert
(indeterminate, er, intermediate fingerstyle acoustic)


   
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(@blueline)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1704
 

All great advice. What rings out the most to me is what NoteBoat said..."makes it impossible to communicate with other musicians". At some point, you will want to play with other musicians. Learning the chords will give you the basic vocabulary that you'll need. It will also give you the abillity to learn songs by ear. Or at least put you on the correct path towards learning songs by ear.

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


   
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(@ultra)
New Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2
Topic starter  

thank you all for your help i greatly appreciate it and i am going to put some time into learning chords. thanks again
scott


   
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