The myth of the self-taught rock musician

The self taught musician and other myths

Myth (noun): A widely held but false belief or idea;  A misrepresentation of the truth;  An exaggerated or idealised conception of a person or thing. Today we’re going to explore the popular belief that most rock musicians were self taught on their instruments. Is it true? Here is a classic example of the headline answer […]

Why Youtube song tutorials don’t work

Type in the name of just about any song into Youtube and you can find a video of somebody explaining how to play it on guitar. Say you want to learn something like the Sweet Child o Mine solo. What’s stopping you? Just go on Youtube and find the video. Obviously you’ll have it down by the […]

Stop practicing this exercise

Pointless guitar exercise lead to wasted time

It’s time to talk Guitar Technique. Everyone who learns electric guitar will sooner or later encounter this exercise: There are many possible variations on the basic idea, like these: You might hear people refer to them to as warm up exercises, or the “Finger Gym” exercises, or “Technique” or “Speed Building” exercises. I’m going to refer to […]

Nice… but can you play Smoke On The Water?

Nice, but can you play smoke on the water?

Several years ago I started seeing this comment appear regularly under guitar videos on Youtube: “Nice, but can you play Smoke On The Water?” In case you haven’t seen the comment before, let me try to explain. It’s posted after someone has played something, usually something technical, and it’s an in-joke. It’s saying this: “Smoke […]