I'm extremely musical; I've listened very deeply and practiced very deeply (with my mind and my voice and whatever instruments I happen to pick up) to pretty much every style and mode of music, including the 'difficult' ones.

I also write profound meaningful poetry off the top of my head as easy as pie. So it's occurred to me that I might as well learn the electric guitar and sing my poetry. So far I've found that all kinds of familiar guitar rhythms are easy/effortless to play but the chords are impossibly awkward and infuriating. And since I have tiny hands, it's easy for me to give myself an excuse and give up on progressing. Still, I know that getting 2 or 3 chord progressions down so I can play them in my sleep will be enough to let me sing a lot of songs before I run out.

Of course I've seen dozens of "how to learn guitar" pages on the web, but most of them seem to be way more technical/systematic than I'm interested in.

So my question is about "philosophies" for learning guitar -- the more metaphoric, spiritual, and poetic the better!

What are your own ways of understanding how to quickly gain a few useful chord progressions when you're an (albeit musically-comfortable) total noob to the electric guitar? What are the top "boring exercises" I devote my time to so as to "mold my brain"? What are the main opportunities for "reinforcing bad habits"? Again, this is all with a preference toward practical orientations/approaches to quickly gain some chops and move beyond the "that sounded kind of interesting in an experimental textural kind of way" phase.

1 Answer 1


Playing guitar is physically demanding. It requires a lot of coordination and dexterity. An ordered, systematic approach, as with most other subjects, is the best approach to the technical side of playing.

As for the artistic side: creating actual music, it is often a product of the technical/mechanical side.

e.g. The more songs and chord progressions you have learnt and analysed the more knowledge and experience you have to draw from when creating your own progressions.

This concept applies to all aspects of the artistic side: the more melodies, chord voicings, techniques, timbres, rhythms, lyrics etc etc you have in your repertoire the more sources you have to draw on to create the music you want without being restricted by a lack of knowledge.

Stand on the shoulders of giants.

To become great at something you must learn from the greats who came before you. In other words, learn and analyse as much music from as many sources as possible.

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