How Not to Be a Mediocre Guitarist

Guitar has a reputation for being hard which automatically ascends anyone who’s good at it to god-like status. What most mediocre guitarists don’t realize of course is that these guitar gods have done the unthinkable and actually learned music. By music I mean music theory and the ins and outs of how music works so that they can apply it to their instrument, in this case the guitar, and not a mediocre substitute such as the CAGED System.

Music theory is a universal system (largely unknown to guitarists) which allows for communication between virtually any instrument. The CAGED System is (not even a system) a crappy and inefficient substitute for guitarists that can’t be bothered to learn a universally tried and tested system yet want to spend years running patterns and shapes; and still not be able to communicate with other musicians. Indeed, guitarists have it all backwards. On any other instrument, you learn where the notes are; guitarists only begin to do this after at least 10 years of playing.

Basically, it comes down to this:

CAGED System/shapes and patterns: if you don’t know the shape, you’re screwed because you don’t know what notes it contains, and even if you did, you wouldn’t be able to find them on the fretboard that day.

Music theory: if you know music theory and the notes on the fretboard, you can play any chord, scale, arpeggio etc. because you know how to build them.

It’s a little like shitting in someone else’s house; if you run out of paper (shapes), what are you going to do?

So, if you don’t want to be a mediocre guitarist, learn some music theory.

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