How do I know when I am good on guitar?

How do I know when I am good on guitar?

A question that my guitar students sometimes ask is when will they be ‘good’ on the guitar. This also seems to be related to “how much do I need to learn?”

A useful place to start with this discussion is thinking about what you want to achieve – your guitar goals! Some players just want to learn a few chords to be able to strum a few Songs and others aspire to be virtuosos. Most are aiming for something in between, often looking to get good enough to play in a band.


Here's a chord


The famous copy of the fanzine “Sideburns” has an illustration of 3 chord grids – captioned, “This is a chord, This is another, This is a third. Now form a band”. (This is often said to have appeared in another Fanzine called “Sniffing Glue“) The illustration was later reproduced in The Stranglers’ fanzine “Strangled”.

Of course it is useful to learn a little more, but that punk ethos of “just do it” is a great motivator – some great bands started this way.

The main point is to learn enough guitar technique to do what you want to do. One great way to learn this is to learn to play the songs you like and inevitably you will come across bits that you find difficult to play – by learning these parts you will be improving your guitar playing as well as increasing your repertoire.

I suppose in the final analysis your friends will judge your guitar playing by what you play – in other words your repertoire. “Can you play [insert name of obscure song here]?” So it is always useful to have a few fun songs up your sleeve. Obviously following the tip above will help here.

I think the important thing to remember is that if you play things that people like and/or enjoy then they will consider you a “good” guitarist.

Guitarists are another kettle of fish! I leave you with a joke.

Q: How many guitarists does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Just one to change the bulb, but another 100 to tell you how they could have done it better. 😇


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