Learn acoustic, electric or bass guitar near Rancho Bernardo (RB)

Home page

Developing a High Level of Musicianship

How to Go from Being a Good Guitarist to a Great One

If you yearn to find yourself among the ranks of the great guitarists, developing a high level of musicianship is critical. Great musicianship transcends mere proficiency. It requires paying attention to details that the average guitar player ignores. Far too many musicians settle for what they already know and become complacent in their playing. At the same time, they wonder why they haven’t progressed in their musical careers. Here’s how you can move ahead.

Timing is Everything

A sense of timing is a factor far too often ignored by the average (or less-than-average) guitarist. Although having a ragged sound has its occasional uses, it’s far better to have it as a choice than as a regular style. Control of timing is going to make you a much better and versatile player. Using a metronome is a great way to learn and maintain proper time keeping. You can buy metronomes in several varieties and at many price levels at any music store. There are also some metronome apps available for smartphones and tablets.



Learn and Play in Different Styles

It’s almost impossible to find a band that plays in only one style and doesn’t incorporate other genres of music. Learning and becoming proficient in multiple styles not only increases your musicianship in the genre you prefer, it will open up other possibilities and make you in more demand as a guitarist. If you are a country guitarist, learning a few rock riffs will add an edge to your playing. Likewise, the occasional jazzy inflection into your rock playing will add a touch of class.

Playing Unusual Chords

Chances are you’ve already mastered the basic major and minor chords. It’s true that this will likely constitute the majority of what you play. But knowing less-used chords (diminished, 7th, etc.) will expand your musical palette and add to your versatility. Plus, the challenge will encourage you to experiment further. Try them out!

Playing Basic Chords in New Ways

Take the time to study your fretboard and the notes you play with each string on each fret and use the note combinations to create chords at different parts of the neck than you otherwise would. It’s a great way to expand your creativity. After a while, you may also find it easier to transition between the chords of a particular song this way. In doing so, you’ll find your personal style developing, as well.

strumming guitar chords

Strumming guitar chords

Book Learning

Possibly the most important thing you can do to improve your overall musicianship is to study music theory. As this idea scares off many musicians, this is exactly why you should do it! This is a highly competitive field, and you should take any opportunity you can to get a leg up on your competition. Take a theory class at a local college or music school. Your local guitar shop may offer them as well. You will likely find yourself incorporating theory into your work over time, possibly without even being conscious about it. This takes time and effort so be patient and open-minded. What you’ll find, much like any artist, is that the more you know about the rules, the more you’ll be able to play with them and find that special style that is all you.

You do not have to settle for mediocrity in your playing. By using some or all of these suggestions, you can become more in-demand as a player.

Phone Glenn Sutton at: 619-306-3664.

Services include:

  • Acoustic Guitar Lessons
  • Electric Guitar Lessons
  • Bass Guitar Instruction
  • Classical Guitar
  • Spanish Guitar
  • Learning to Write Music
  • Advanced Improv Techniques
  • Performance Techniques
  • TABS or sheet music



  • Rock
  • Classic
  • Folk
  • Jazz
  • Improv
  • Blues
  • R&B/funk
  • Metal


  • Rancho Bernardo
  • San Diego
  • Poway
  • Rancho Penasquitos
  • Scripps Ranch
  • 4S Ranch
  • Sabre Springs