Five Incorrect Questions Guitar Players Often Ask And What You SHOULD Be Asking Instead To Become A Great Guitarist

By Tom Hess

A large percentage of guitarists ask incomplete and misinformed questions in order to fix the issues that prevent them from making fast progress in their playing. These questions are often built from old “conventional wisdom” that doesn’t work now and probably never did before either. By asking yourself these questions, you will make things infinitely harder for yourself when it comes to getting better in your guitar playing.

These are five common examples of incomplete questions I see guitar players asking and what you should be asking instead to massively speed up your own progress on guitar:

Common Guitar Playing Question #1: How Do I Become A Faster Guitarist?

Guitar speed is built only once you have mastered the various guitar technique elements that make playing with speed possible. Unless you master these things, playing guitar with speed will be very hard.

The entire question you should be asking yourself is: “Which elements of my guitar technique are keeping me from building speed and how do I master these elements to make my playing fluid and seamless?” Here is a tip: simply moving your hands faster is almost always not the answer for how to gain guitar speed.

A frequent example of a guitar technique mistake that makes speed guitar playing nearly impossible is zero control of unnecessary tension. Check out the video below where I help one of my online guitar students see where he is using excess tension that keeps him from playing guitar with great speed:

To understand all the other elements that go into building faster guitar speed, check out this guide about learning how to shred on guitar.

Common Guitar Playing Question #2: Where Can I Find Neat Guitar Licks To Add Into My Guitar Solos?

There is a false premise embedded within this question that playing great guitar solos is all about which notes you play or which licks you use. In reality, you can play killer guitar licks and solos merely by understanding how to play the guitar solo ideas you are already familiar with in much more creative ways. Spend effort on improving your guitar phrasing and you will always have access to great musical ideas to use in your guitar soloing.

Here’s a couple ways to do this:

1. Make up a small guitar lick and practice transforming it into 12 or so guitar phrasing variations. To really get as much emotion as possible out of every note choice, utilize guitar techniques such as vibrato, bending or legato to intensify specific notes in every variation.

2. Try to play highly memorable solos by thinking like a singer. This can be done by improvising a slow vocal-like melody and putting bursts of fast notes in between to connect each melody to a new one.

Understand more about how to do this right now by checking out this free eBook on how to play highly emotional guitar licks and solos.

Incomplete Guitar Playing Question #3: How Do I Get Over Stage Fright?

Becoming nervous and anxious while playing live is a symptom of a very solvable root problem. When you experience this, you can know for sure that you are simply not practicing enough for “real life” scenarios (such as playing up on stage). As soon as you begin practicing more often to make your guitar playing dependable in any scenario, your stage fright will go away.

Study this instructional article about how to practice guitar for better live playing to learn how to hone your live performance skills and neutralize the effects of stage fright.


Incomplete Guitar Playing Question #4: How Do I Find Motivation To Practice Enough To Become A Truly Great Guitarist?

Know that lacking motivation for guitar practice is a symptom, and sign of a greater issue. The issue in this case is that you aren’t getting much results from your guitar practice. To solve this core issue, you’ll need to practice guitar more efficiently. Once you can observe and track your guitar playing progress, you will become infinitely more motivated.

Here are a couple of approaches you can use to become more motivated by making your practice a lot more effective:

1. Use a highly effective practice schedule at all times, and never settle for mindless practice. By doing this, you will make a lot more progress in less time, even if you only practice for a little bit each day.

2. Track every single area of your guitar playing progress on a consistent basis. Once you are familiar with the elements of your guitar playing that prevent you from moving forward, you can simply change your practice focus and make faster progress.

Incomplete Guitar Playing Question #5: How Long Does It Take To [Insert Any Guitar Playing Goal]?

There are two fundamental problems with this question:

Problem #1: This question cannot truly be answered. Guitarists all progress at varying rates, even if they begin with the same skills and have great tools to work with, materials and tons of support for achieving their goal. Even if you study with the absolute best guitar teacher, 50% of your progress comes from your teacher and 50% through your own determination, work ethic and desire.

Problem #2: This is an extremely hazardous question to be asking yourself. Thinking too much about the time you will need to accomplish a goal takes your focus off of thework you must take to actually reach that goal.

This what you should do to achieve all your musical goals as fast as possible:

1. Don’t waste your time trying to learn guitar alone. You will make much faster progress by finding a great guitar teacher who understand how to create a strategy that YOU can easily follow to reach your musical goals. By focusing intensely (and only) on what is needed to reach your goals, you will become better at guitar in much less time. But don’t study with just any guitar teacher – search for one who has a solid reputation of helping guitar players just like you.

2. Make sure you do exactly what your teacher tells you to do, then do it consistently for a long period of time and you WILL see great results. Give everything you’ve got to this process and don’t allow yourself to become distracted by things that don’t really matter.

By doing both of these things, you will achieve your musical goals in the least amount of time possible.

To better understand how to use the ideas of this article to make fast progress in your guitar playing, use this free guide about learning how to shred on guitar.



Author's Bio: 

About The Author:
Tom Hess is a highly successful guitar teacher, songwriter and a pro guitarist. He uses the best online guitar lessons to train guitar players to reach their musical goals. Go to to get more guitar playing resources, guitar playing eBooks, and to read more guitar playing articles.