Evolution of a Guitarist
Written by Brandon D'Eon on Nov. 2nd 2019
I once posted a video called “Evolution of a Guitarist” which became my most viewed video ever. The reason why is because when people watch videos like that, they compare what they see in the video to themselves. I know guitar players extremely well and I know the video was accurate. So, in this blog post I’ll be explaining the 8 stages of a guitar player.

1. The noob phase

We all have to do it. There’s no way around it. It can last months or even years depending on the person. Some have been known to conquer this phase within a few weeks. It always depends on the individual. The more serious you are, the faster you escape this phase. 

     Traits of this phase include:

     • Only playing riffs/parts of songs
     • Lots of unnecessary buzzing sounds and open strings
     • Guitar is usually out of tune

2. Rock phase

Rock is a guitar player genre. Most of us pick up a guitar because we liked listening to rock songs. At this stage in your playing you can make it through some easy rock songs, but forget about soloing. Oh and the less barre chords the better.

     Traits of the rock phase include:

      • Going to the guitar store to buy picks
     • AC/DC obsession
     • Chord transitions are actually not bad

3. Metal phase

Eventually rock becomes too easy and you want more of a challenge. That’s when it’s time to starting learning harder songs from Metallica or Iron Maiden. Those riffs that you learned when you started sound better now and you have actually learned more of the song. Forget about the solo though.

     Traits of the metal phase:     
     • Experimenting more with amp settings
      • Butchering solos but at least you’re trying
      • You want to jam with others even though they don’t want to jam with you

4. Easy soloing Phase You’ve finally mastered the pentatonic scale, but only in 1 position of the fretboard. Now you feel invincible! Your soloing is almost mediocre but to you it sounds like heaven! You’re also playing solos now that were once too hard for you like Smells Like Teen Spirit and Californication. 

     Traits of the easy soloing phase: 

     • Pentatonic scale mastery in 1 position (the box shape) 
     • Successful execution of famous easy guitar solos 
     • Finally starting to think you’re kind of talented 

5. Fast Soloing Phase Wow you’ve made a lot of progress with your soloing. Now you’re able to play more challenging solos like Crazy Train or Sweet Child O Mine. You can’t improvise solos very well, but your technicality has increased and for some reason you think you’re insanely amazing at guitar. 

     Traits of the fast soloing phase: 

     • Technique is pretty decent
     • You start to look down on noobs and get annoyed by their lack of skill 
     • You can play along to your favourite solos but forget about playing them alone with a                        metronome 

6. Theory Phase You’ve acknowledged the fact that your original soloing sounds pretty bad compared to the fast solos you can play and you think you should be better. You’ve finally decided to put down the guitar and crack open the books to get to the bottom of this problem. You’ve become bored with what you already know and feel insecure about your lack of theory expertise. 

     Traits of the theory phase: 

     • Practicing with an actual metronome now 
     • You read the theory books even though you kind of dislike it 
     • You start to realize that maybe you aren’t as great as you realized 

7. Jazz Phase With your newfound theory knowledge, you’re excited as hell to apply it! Applying it to metal was too easy so you’ve decided to challenge yourself with jazz. Unfortunately you have too much “metal guy” in your sound and real jazz musicians can tell. You’re starting to realize how little you know about the genre and how difficult it really is, but you keep at it because it makes you a better musician. 

     Traits of the jazz phase 

     • Humble musician level reached 
     • Understanding of how music works and can apply it to guitar 
     • Deep desire to make your improvisation sound like an amazingly written solo 

8. Meme Phase You’re really talented now. You’ve been playing for a long time and can do almost anything on guitar so you decide you want to have more fun with it. What can you do to make things more entertaining for yourself? You don’t take private lessons and you’re working on a YouTube channel or Instagram page and people are actually watching. 

     Traits of the Meme phase 

     • Your desire to make yourself laugh trumps your desire to impress people (but you still do anyway to let them know)
     • Insane level of musicianship 
     • Might have students of your own 

Brandon D'Eon

Brandon D'Eon is an online guitar personality who helps people reach their maximum potential on the instrument. He is an expert at using data and measurements to track progress of students and making the processes simple to follow. If you're interested in talking with Brandon 1 on 1 (for free) then definitely reach out and request a free strategy session today.
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