Qualities Of Your Favorite Guitarists, And How Can It Help You?

Your musical journey would involve many influences and inspirations at different stages, and for different reasons...

If you sit back and analyze, there might be some specific qualities in your favorite guitarists, that attract you and I'm talking about things beyond their musical capabilities...

You'll also find that some of these guitar players share some or most of these qualities... what you should be interested in are the unique qualities that you would like to replicate in your learning approach...

Whatever these qualities are, they can help you develop your guitar playing and musicianship to a great extent...especially during times when you feel stuck in your guitar playing without too much progress...

I'll list down 3 of my favorite guitarists and what are the qualities other than their music, that inspires me...

Steve Vai

  • Passion:

  • Probably the biggest reason why I idolize him. Yes, bigger than the joy I get by listening to his music. You don't agree with me, then watch the above interview, where he describes what according to him is the key to making it big in music. It's this unending passion that has made him one of the best guitar players and musicians ever, despite the challenges he himself faced as a guitar player.

  • Continuous Learning & Improvement:

  • The best approach you can take towards your instrument, is to consider it as a never ending learning process, and look forward to every learning opportunity. The guy does everything from playing guitar like a virtuoso to being a master composer, songwriter, producer, transcription and many more things... The reason he can do all these things well is his hunger to keep learning and improving... So next time you start feeling like it's the end of the road for your guitar learning journey... look beyond and discover new avenues...

  • Involvement

  • One of the reasons why he's so versatile is his utmost attention to detail and involvement in the whole process... whether he's on stage, in the recording studio, transcribing ideas or just improvising... Involvement is the key to master something, and now you know why is it important to involve yourself 100% during practice sessions..

Yngwie Malmsteen

  • Mastery

  • Whenever I've felt stuck in my own playing, all I had to do was to watch or listen to Yngwie play... The level of mastery that Yngwie has in every area of guitar playing, be it picking techniques, legato, interesting rhythm guitar, arpeggios is hard to find...Keep pushing yourself one step at a time, and keep your eyes on the goal of attaining mastery over different elements of guitar playing and bringing all of them together to make mind blowing music

  • Pride

  • It's apparent that Yngwie takes great pride in his skills and achievements, which a lot of people misunderstand as arrogance or bad attitude... but if you look deeper, it's probably this pride that has enabled him to have tremendous faith in his music and style... and given us some unforgettable musical pieces...Take pride in your playing, no matter what skill level you are at... Do not compare your playing or style with others, try to be the best version of yourself everyday....

  • Performance Skills

  • It's hard to take your eyes of Yngwie when he's on stage... one of the reasons is that he blows you away with his music and skills on display.. but most of it is attributed to his attitude of not being afraid of being judged... he literally doesn't care about whether you love him or hate him... but he's confident that you cannot ignore him... implementing this trait during your practice will help you develop as a performer, whether in a band or as a solo artist. Watch the above performance and get your dose of inspiration today :)

John Petrucci

  • Focus

  • One of the things that amazes me about John Petrucci is the fact that he never gets distracted on stage, no matter what's happening around him. He goes about his business exactly how he wants it to be, and the results are extra ordinary. Imagine if you could go about chasing your musical ambitions, without getting distracted along the way? yes, life is full of distractions, and you just need to find some time consistently, to focus on the thing that you want in life for yourself.

  • Accuracy

  • It's obvious that he hasn't gained the level of precision he has in his playing by noodling around mindlessly on the guitar... anybody can make out that the guy has performed focused accurate practice of each and everything that contributes to his sound and musicality... This is by far the most important take away for you as an aspiring guitarist.... How you practice is more important than what or how long you practice guitar

  • Keeping It Real

  • You can see a spark in his eyes whenever he talks about anything that has been a revelation for him during his early days... he mostly breaks down complex concepts into simple to understand words for most beginner to intermediate guitarists... making you realize that he and every other player on this list has gone through the same process of working on their craft with complete dedication...I highly recommend watching the above series of lessons he's done for Guitar World

So there you have it, these are qualities of my favorite guitar players that have helped me develop as a guitarist over the years. What are the qualities of your guitar heroes, and how can it help you?

Write down these qualities and put them up near your practice area, along with the pictures of your favorite guitar players... this will ensure that you enjoy the journey to reach your guitar playing ambitions more..

Combine these with the right guitar lessons and you are on your way to play guitar the way you want to...

Feel free to share your thoughts through the comments, or email me if you need help with your guitar playing.