Guitar is not everything

After a few years spent with the guitar
thinking about music is limited to “neck thinking”.

A habit and neural pathways are created
and we are slowing our progress with each passing year.

In the first year of learning, we make the most progress
then in next year our progress is smaller and smaller
if we can not(because we do not know how)make the appropriate changes.

One of the possibilities is to start learning a completely different instrument
instrument should be radically different
but music and its rules remain the same :slight_smile: fortunately.

The time has come to break all thinking habits :smiley:
I’d like to buy…xaphoon!

Someone of you playing on it?
I do not know which material to choose
Each xaphoon has a different key and scale,so
for lower tones I should choose harder wood or vice versa?

For a beginner, xaphoon in the key of C is best?
or maybe two different ones at once?

Hand grenade in the key of d-moll(ition) :smiley:


I guess I can relate, I recently started learning a new instrument, the cello, and I’ve found I get a lot of ‘aha’ moments on it now on a regular basis. I don’t get those on the guitar so much as I’ve played it for a lot longer. I also find it’s making me think about intervals more directly rather than ‘shapes’ as I typically do on guitar.

Another thing I’ve started doing recently is using a keyboard when transcribing music rather than guitar, it focuses me on the actual note names rather than the fret/string numbers and then once I’ve figured out the notes I go and work on finding the best position on the cello or guitar to perform it comfortably.

The guitar neck sure is a wonderful thing but as you said it can lead to a certain way of thinking, and playing melodies and sequences that ‘fit the fingers’ rather than from a more general musical direction.
Maybe that’s why even though I enjoy playing the guitar I don’t listen to guitar-based music that much these days.
It almost seems to me there’s an inverse relationship with many guitarists between their technical ability and their compositional skill. Most of the ‘shredders’ I find a little painful to listen to as the music can be a little one-dimensional. There are notable exceptions of course, for me Nick Johnston is a good example of someone who can melt your face but still write a memorable piece that doesn’t sound cliched.


As a guitarist, I completely challenge the premise of this thread. Guitar IS everything, and until my $#@!#@ fretting hand middle finger fingertip heals up, I don’t want anyone to try to tell me anything to the contrary! :rofl:



  1. Lack of concept (vision, style) at practicing technique.

  2. Lack of music elements (dynamics, accents, phrasing, form).

  3. Uninteresting in the background, important chord notes from the accompaniment

  4. Lack of tensions (dominants).

  5. Lack of leading voices in chordal playing

  6. Misunderstanding the work, simplifying it to the stream of sound

  7. Repeatability on the lowest level
    (licks played over and over again, schematic rhythm).

  8. Domination of the fingers above the ear, mindless playing .

  9. Sprint, starting from the maximum of virtuosity.

  10. Playing all the time “how much the factory gave”, lack of austerity and song development.

All these sins lead to the conclusion:
every note is extremely important and each matters,
and if for everyone, any played notes have meaning,
then she/he will not commit any of these 10 sins. - Adam Fulara

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I’ve seen Paul Gilbert talking about shredding and saying something like ‘when you play past a certain speed the individual notes cease to matter that much as they become more of a texture rather than anything melodic’. Which is fine as a musical device of course… but pretty dull if that’s -all- the music is. Light and shade, fast and slow, loud and quiet - contrast! That’s what makes music, a painting, a movie etc interesting.