The DIY ethic in modern popular music-- rock-- is something that has dominated. The idea of being in an originals band is glamorous, but it's important to remember that the reason that the rock legends (Beatles, Stones, etc.) write their own music is because songs in the style that used the now standard lineup of guitar / bass / drums didn't really exist in those days. At least not in the style that now defines "rock."
That recent history has led a lot of new players to believe that they should jump straight to originals, and more or less ignore one of the most important and central parts of learning an instrument: learning songs.
Every formal mode of instruction includes this. Songs are effective exercises in learning phrasing, keys, and the mechanics of playing the instrument (changing chords, etc.) in context. They also help new players to be expressed to new or different musical ideas and influences, which helps to build a repertoire of styles and approaches to playing (and eventually writing) music.
Don't overlook the importance of learning songs. You can't progress as a musician without it. It's not lazy, it's not cheating. It is, in fact, one of the most important parts of learning an instrument and learning to be a musician.
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