The 10 Laws of Guitar Mastery

The 10 Laws of Guitar MasteryAre you a guitar player? Do you have the desire to improve and become a better guitarist than you already are?

Observe these laws, and you will master your instrument.

  1. Practice all the time. Some of the best guitar players known to man had a compulsion to practice all the time, everywhere they went. You should take measures to avoid injury from overplaying, but also you never know when inspiration could hit. Make sure to prioritize practice time above fun time.
  2. Jam frequently, especially with musicians that are better than you. It has often been said that birds of a feather flock together. Where you find one accomplished musician, you are likely to find others. Get around the people that challenge you and push you to be better.
  3. Don’t accept shortcuts. There are no shortcuts. Play slowly, play accurately, and practice with a metronome. Be precise with your movements, and practice everything at a more-than comfortable tempo, even if you know you can play faster. Focus and accuracy will lead to better results; prioritize them.
  4. Ask for feedback, especially from qualified professionals. It’s one thing to ask your friends or family how you are doing. Certainly they will notice when your playing goes from “that wretched cacophony” to “it’s actually starting to sound like music.” Besides that, unless they are musicians themselves, they may not be of much help. Seek out advice from the pros, and take action on their instruction.
  5. Listen to music, especially guitarists and bands you enjoy. Don’t expect all of your development to come from playing. Moreover, even if you can read tablature and sheet music, it’s still a good idea to work on your ear. A skilled musician without an ear does not sound musical.
  6. Observe other guitarists while they are playing. There are scientific studies showing that guitarists learn the guitar intuitively. In fact, they are often better at learning by observing than they are at studying a sheet of music. From concerts to DVDs to YouTube, there are a variety of ways to study your favorite players.
  7. Learn to read and transcribe music. Guitarists aren’t generally known for their ability to read music. That does not mean that they shouldn’t learn. If you can read, transpose and even transcribe music, a variety of new opportunities could open up to you. Not only that, but you can also compose and write parts for other musicians.
  8. Learn as many chords as you can. Learn inversions and alternate ways of playing the same chords. Learn how chords go together, what notes are used in each, and how they sound.
  9. Memorize the neck. If you want to be musically free, you need to know the neck of the guitar, up and down. Get to the point where you can visualize all of the notes on the neck in every position.
  10. Learn scales and how to apply them. Everything you learn can be applied to some other facet of your playing. If you can’t apply something, there’s no point in learning it. Figure out how every new concept you learn connects to another.