5 Things You Do Not Need To Learn To Play Campfire Songs On The Acoustic Guitar

By Maurice Richard


You finally made the decision to learn how to play the acoustic guitar. Congratulations! That’s an awesome decision.

All you want to do is learn how to play guitar well enough so you can get it out and play along with your friends and enjoy yourself.

It does not matter if it during an actual campfire but this is the typical setting people imagine. It could be in your living room, on your back deck, whatever.

Here are 5 things you do not have to learn to play campfire songs so you can focus on what does matter and reach your goals sooner.

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1. Scales

Scales are cool. No doubt about it. They are a bit of a challenge to play at first, especially on an acoustic guitar, but once you get them they can be fun.

However, learning scales just for the sake of knowing them and having no reason to apply them is not a good use of your time right now.

If you want to be able to play a few songs on the acoustic guitar so you can join your friends at the next campfire, then this is one thing you should not be wasting your time with.

There are other more important things you need to learn first to get you the result you need on the acoustic guitar much faster.

2. Music Theory

Music theory is very cool as well. It’s definitely misunderstood by many people but when you know it and apply it music theory can be very powerful.

However, if all you want to do is learn how to play campfire songs there is absolutely no need to learn music theory.

You do not need to know the notes of all the chords you are playing. You do not have to memorize the fretboard. You do not have to know what keys are or how they work either.

Those are useful things to learn later on, after you have reached your goal and can actually play guitar, and can help you expand your guitar playing.

What you are first starting out you need to focus all of your attention and energy on actually playing guitar to get the result you want as fast as possible.

3. Barred Chords

Barred chords are awesome. They open up the fretboard of the guitar and allow you to play different chords not available in the open positions lower on the fretboard.

The problem with these chords is they are more advanced and require a basic skill level to be developed on guitar to learn them properly.

If your goal is to play songs at the campfire with your buddies then you want to hold off on learning them until you have reached that goal.

The reality is that the vast majority of campfire songs can be played without learning barred chords and if they happen to contain them a capo will usually allow you to play it anyway.

4. Riffs And Solos

Riffs and solos can be fun. And here is nothing wrong with learning one here and there.

However, if you want to learn how to play campfire songs this is not a priority and could be avoided until you are proficient enough to play.

Learning to play riffs and solos requires time and effort that can be better spent expanding your chord and strumming skills.

Unless you learn these for fun and to help keep you motivated you can avoid them to speed up your progress towards your goal.

5. Reading Sheet Music And Music Notation

Reading sheet music and notation is something that a lot of people believe they need to know to be able to play guitar.

I’m not sure why but there is a feeling that if they could read music it has some magical way to help them.

The reality is that when you are first starting to learn this is going to hinder you. Especially if your main goal is to be able to play at a campfire with friends.

You have enough to learn and deal with already at the start that learning this would cause you to progress much slower so your results will take longer to appear.

This does not help your confidence. Right now, you need to focus on learning how to physically play guitar and make it sound right. Not read music.

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Learn How To Play Campfire Songs As Fast A Possible

What’s more fun? Being able to play a song on guitar or being able to read a piece of music and know where the notes are but not be able to play it?

I don’t know about you but every time I learn a new song I feel good. Playing should be the focus of your attention when you first start. Period.

All the other things I mentioned above are not bad things, when you do them at the right time and for the right reasons.

But at this stage, when you are just starting to learn and all you want to do is play campfire songs? They are a waste of your time and will slow you down.


About The Author:

Maurice Richard is a professional guitar teacher that operates out of the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He has been a member of an elite guitar teaching mentorship program since 2007 and has taught many people how to save time learning how to play campfire songs on the acoustic guitar.