Guitar Wisdom

Here are some tips & tricks I’ve accumulated over the years:

  1. The heavier the string gauge the more consistent the tone and intonation.
  2. The thicker the pick the more accuracy at higher speeds.
  3. Distinctive guitar tone comes predominantly from the fingers not the instrument or equipment.
  4. Fretting at the top of the fret, right behind the fret bar, gives the best tone and the most sustain.
  5. Your knowledge of the English alphabet is paramount to your ability to communicate in Western civilization, just as knowledge of the musical alphabet is critical to your ability to communicate in Western civilization music.
  6. Learning the theory behind the music you play is essential to building the confidence/ability needed to truly release creativity.
  7. The technical equation of your instrument is a desert you MUST cross in order to truly express yourself.
  8. 98% of being a good musician is having a good ear.
  9. 98% of everything is having a good attitude.
  10. To be a “great” musician typically takes a lifetime.
  11. There are three basic ingredients to Western civilization music: melody, harmony, and rhythm; the most important being rhythm. Without rhythm there can be no melody and without melody there can be no harmony.
  12. Reading music is critical to your ability to understand complex rhythms.
  13. There are two “systems” to a stringed instrument: the five-position system based on chord forms, and the seven-position system based on the Major/Ionian scale.
    Western theory is based on the works of the great composers. Theoreticians from 1500 to now (common practice period) studied the great composers’ music and noticed similarities in their writing techniques.
  14. The amount of reward is commensurate with the amount of discipline.