I think we've all done it at some point. We've looked at some incredible guitarist play and wonder just how
they got so good. Maybe we've even asked ourselves questions like…
- Are they just naturally talented?
- Do they have something that I don't?
- Will I ever be able to play like them?
If you can relate to these questions, then you can feel better by knowing that you're not alone. I
definitely asked myself those questions when I started learning lead guitar. And I know that many of my
students have asked themselves similar questions. It can definitely be quite intimidating watching someone play
with incredible skill…especially if you're new to lead guitar!
So how do you think these amazing players got so good? Well, clearly there is no simple one-size-fits-all
answer. With that said, the tips that I'm about to share will definitely help you to start moving in the right
direction. So let's take a look at them now…
#1: Don't Neglect The Basics
Often beginning lead guitarists can focus on learning really complex things but totally neglect the
basics. For Example: I'm often amazed at how many students that start lessons with me don't know all the
notes on the fretboard. Often they have played guitar for years, and still don't know them.
I can understand that learning them is incredibly boring, but it's one of those fundamental things that can
help you progress much faster. I mean, if you don't know the notes on the fretboard, then it becomes much
harder to apply theoretical concepts to the guitar.
#2: Learn How To Practice Effectively
You may have read about the 10,000-hour rule. This states that on average it will take you around 10,000
hours of deliberate practice to reach an expert level in a complex skill like playing a musical instrument.
(Side point: If you've never heard of this rule before, then I highly recommend reading The Talent Code by
Now, I don't know if that is true. But I do know this. Every great player I know has done a lot of
practice…and in some cases, an obscene amount of practice. So doesn't it make sense that learning how to
practice effectively would be very helpful? After all, if you learn to optimize the benefit you get from each
hour of practice, you'll become a better guitarist sooner.
How do you learn how to practice effectively? In my opinion the fastest way is to find a good local guitar
tutor to help you. They will be able to give you valuable feedback that you just can't get from a book or DVD.
If you just can't afford lessons, then ask any advanced players that you might know.
I know these tips might seem simple. But just because something is simple doesn't mean that it won't work.
And I know from my own playing, and my guitar teaching experience that they will help you a great deal in your
quest to becoming a lead guitar monster!