I read this somewhere on the internet from an guitarist and what he wished he new sooner in his guitar journey…
I would say there are some good advices here…
«Many things, here are a few I either missed or didn’t really understand.
- Rhythm is king - if you want to sound great you have to have great rhythm. Tuning is important as well but a slightly fuzzy concept, most people can’t perceive small differences in pitch except as a shift in timbre, but rhythm makes a person feel like moving to the music. Work with a metronome and play with others, after a while you’ll obtain a velveteen rabbit kind of groove.
- Alternate tunings exist and are useful - the guitar, though fretted, is an intoned instrument, your feel for playing will help you make it sound better. Over time your tuning will get more nuanced and appropriate to your playing, but alternate tunings hint that we should be thinking of efficiency when playing because some songs are easier to play in alternate tunings.
- The same pitches on different strings have different timbre - an A220 on the G-string is the same pitch as an A220 on the A-string but the timbre is slightly different. Train your ear and make purposeful choices regarding subtle sound differences. The same riff played on different parts of the neck is a legitimate artistic device.
- Simple songs often have great impact - don’t worry about being Ingwe Malmsteen, put one stone upon another and over time you can become an artist. Many greats are not virtuosos in the technical sense, they just get really artistic within what they know.
- Play guitar because you love something. This is far deeper than it appears. Basically there has to be some emotional and even a spiritual component to your playing.
- No music made by humans is perfect, so lighten up. What sounds amazing to an average radio listener might not sound so to an expert mastering engineer. Don’t fall for the trap of squeezing all humanity out of your music by over engineering.
- If rhythm is king, tone is the court jester. You know you want great tone, but it mocks you to your face with insults so subtle you can never prove it one way or the other. Better to learn the basics of tone control and let yourself shoot for dialing in tones similar to styles you like. Don’t be intimidated, eventually the jester becomes a friendly sage who was all along helping you with your insecurities.
How all of this comes together as your playing matures is not something to worry about, just keep playing and learning. We are all still learning, if we are wise. Also, make your own music. Don’t worry if you can’t play everything everyone else plays, seek to play what you can and play it well.»