7 Guitar Myths Busted

music theory practice Feb 16, 2024


Are you hindered from becoming the guitarist you aspire to be? In this blog post, I will debunk seven common myths that often hold aspiring musicians back. Drawing on almost 40 years of teaching experience, I will challenge misconceptions that may be standing in the way of your musical journey.

Myth #1: Practice Trumps Talent

Talent is a by-product of practice.  I have never met someone who excelled at something who was not disciplined and dedicated to their craft. My “star” students who initially seemed to possess natural talent were ALWAYS surpassed by my dedicated students who put in the effort and practiced strategically.

Myth #2: Capos Are for Beginners

Many rock guitar players dismiss capos as tools for newbies, associating them with simple open key songs. However, capos are essential for professionals playing in various keys. Living in Nashville, I witnessed top players using capos to navigate through diverse musical landscapes. Capos are not a crutch but a valuable tool for musicians at all skill levels. Many rock players(as I am) will say, "I've never used the capo in my life”(I DON’T say that though). Here is why!  Most rock songs are written in open keys but as soon as you ask one of those players to play the same song up or down a half step, they will be completely lost or will end up, tuning their guitar up or down a half step. Hence, why the capo is a valuable tool.

Myth #3: Reading Music is a Must

Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to read music to be a great guitarist. While reading music is a valuable skill, having a great ear is in my opinion, MORE important. The emphasis should be on disciplined practice and developing a deep understanding of your instrument, rather than relying solely on sheet music.

Myth #4: Music Theory is Essential

Dispelling the notion that music theory is a prerequisite for greatness, this myth argues that understanding chord and scale formulas is necessary. While some basic knowledge of theory can be beneficial, it's not mandatory. Mastery comes from learning shapes and understanding how to use them effectively, rather than delving into intricate theoretical details.  That said, the more you know, the more you know.

Myth #5: Music Theory Hinders Creativity

A misconception that understanding music theory stifles creativity is debunked. Instead, music theory serves as a guide, providing insights into the inner workings of music. Like a carpenter using a ruler, a musician employing music theory enhances their ability to create and innovate, rather than restricting their creative flow.

Myth #6: Music Theory is Difficult

Contrary to the belief that music theory is a complex subject, it is actually a very straightforward concept. Similar to learning any skill, it requires a step-by-step approach. The foundation of music theory is as simple as understanding the diatonic scale or counting the major scale 1-7. Rather than viewing it as a daunting task, beginners should embrace the basics and gradually delve deeper if desired.

Myth #7: Hand Size Determines Skill

The misconception that hand size dictates guitar-playing ability is refuted. While some players may attribute their struggles to hand size, it is often a matter of precision and practice. Whether your hands are large or small, consistent and focused practice is the key to overcoming initial difficulties, such as playing bar chords. Instagram is replete with, "disabled" and "deformed" hands, they can play guitar amazingly. If those guys and gals can do it without complaints, then any hand size will do, and…be honest about how much you practice.

Conclusion: Embrace the Journey

In conclusion, dispelling these myths is essential for aspiring guitarists to embrace their musical journey fully. Talent, capos, sheet music, theory, creativity, theory difficulty, and hand size are not insurmountable barriers. By focusing on dedicated practice, strategic learning, and perseverance, anyone can unlock their true potential as a guitarist. Remember, even the guitar legends started where you are now – with dedication, hard work, and a love for the instrument, you too can become the guitarist you aspire to be. So, let go of the myths, pick up your guitar, and embark on your musical adventure.


Ready to take your guitar journey to the next level? CLICK HERE


Start Your Journey: Get started today with my Build a Solid Foundation mini-course!
Click Here to Get Started