What Type of Guitarist Are You?
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Your Guitarist Type is: "Chordist"

You are a special type of guitarist. Your love of music is most keenly felt through chords and chordal progressions.

Your chord knowledge will be a crucial element in you enjoying your guitar journey.

You are well suited to playing rhythm guitar, but also you appreciate song composition. (If you haven't explored songwriting yet, this is definitely an area you could consider exploring more.)

You should try to balance out your guitar skills by learning more about lead guitar and theory.

As a Chordist you have a tendency to overlook scale-based guitar activities and this could make you become a lopsided guitarist.

Recommendation 1: Balance your chordal skills with some lead guitar work. This will help plug holes in your fretboard knowledge.

Recommendation 2: Learn about the CAGED system to take your chord knowledge to higher levels.

The Chord Roadmap
1) ​Open Chords are for beginners.
2) Barre Chords are for intermediate players.
3) CAGED system shapes are for advanced players.

Most importantly of all, believe in yourself and enjoy this wonderful journey.

Mike Kennedy - National Guitar Academy

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Your Guitarist Type is: "Hotshot"

Guitarists like you are rare. Your love of music is most keenly felt through melody and this manifests itself through scales, riffs, licks, solos and other aspects of lead guitar.

You play guitar for the thrill and glory and you don’t care who knows it! You unabashedly appreciate the electricity of feeling like a Guitar Hero.

Strengths: You don’t mind getting your hands dirty and working things out, note for note. You’re happy to practice with a tab.

You appreciate the finer details and want to get things right. (Only one in 10 guitar learners can do what you do, so this is a big asset for you.)

Weaknesses: Be careful not to let your love of melody and lead guitar blind you from the fact that CHORDS are the critical building block of the guitar’s fretboard.

Chords = Harmony; this is the other side of the musical coin. (Many guitarists of your type have poor chord knowledge and this can make them one-dimensional guitarists who never understand how things fit together.)

Recommendation 1: You probably already know the Minor Pentatonic scale (which is where all lead player should begin) so next you should learn all 5 box patterns of the Minor Pentatonic scale and then progress to the Blues Scale. (It’s ok to spend YEARS with just these two scales.)

Recommendation 2: When you feel ready the next step is to learn the full Major and Minor Scales in all 5 boxes.

Again it’s totally ok if this takes you many years. Your guitar is a friend that will be with you for your entire life. There is no destination here, it’s all about the journey. Why do you want to reach the end? Enjoy each moment right now!

From there you can progress to Harmonic Minor and move on to modes.

Remember: There is no rush, this roadmap is a whole lifetime of guitar fun.

IMPORTANT NOTE: It’s much better to pick one scale and play around with it for a year or more learning all it has to offer than it is to simply memorise all the scales and not know how to truly use any of them.

Don’t become a robot, reciting scales. Become a MUSICIAN, who creates music.

You are someone who can voice the beauty of every note in even the simplest scale.

Recommendation 3: Understanding the CAGED framework will revolutionise your understanding of the fretboard.

Focus on your open chords, E-shaped barre chords and A-shaped barre chords. (For many guitarists, this takes years and is all the chords they ever need to know.) If you want to get more advanced then progress to learning D-shaped barre chords (very useful for lead guitarists!) and G-shaped barre chords. Lastly, learn your C-shaped barre chords.

Most importantly of all, believe in yourself and enjoy this wonderful journey.

Mike Kennedy - National Guitar Academy

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Your Guitarist Type is: "Rhythmist"

You are a rare type of guitarist. When you listen to music you can feel it flowing through you and you play guitar for the joy of getting 'lost in the music’.

Strengths: Because you have a strong sense of musicality you are very focussed on your strumming and rhythmic ability. This is a big asset for you. (And something you probably take for granted.)

Weaknesses: The danger for you is you may not learn much about lead guitar and this can make you an unbalanced guitarist.

As a minimum, make sure you learn the Minor Pentatonic scale (and when/how to use it!) otherwise you can get stuck in a silo where guitar becomes ALL about rhythm and chords.

Lead guitar & scales are important, don't forget about melody!

Recommendation 1: You will benefit from having good chord knowledge because this will make you a more articulate guitarist; someone who can create a powerful and convincing mood when they play.

Spend time mastering open chords, then move on to E-shaped and A-shaped barre chords. (For many guitarists, this takes years and is all the chords they ever need to know.)

If you want to go deeper and truly understand the fretboard you need to explore D, G and C barre chord shapes too. (We call this the ‘CAGED system’ as it spells out the 5 types of moveable chord shapes: C, A, G, E and D.)

If you’re a beginner don’t worry about any of this! Just learn some easy stepping stone chords and enjoy playing songs that you love.

When you feel you are hitting a plateau, that’s when it’s time to move to the next level and learn some barre chords. Don’t worry if this takes many years. Learning guitar is a lifelong journey and you should enjoy each moment. There is no rush!

Recommendation 2: You would enjoy learning new rhythmic styles. For example, fingerpicking, string-slapping and percussive strumming techniques. You would love the extra variety this brings to your guitar playing. Being able to play new and interesting rhythms is something that would give you a lot of joy.

Most importantly of all, believe in yourself and enjoy this wonderful journey.

Mike Kennedy - National Guitar Academy.

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Your Guitarist Type is: "Theorist"

You are a unique kind of guitarist; the rarest type of all. You are deeply affected by music and appreciate it in a very particular way.

You want to know how guitar music works and WHY. You aren’t intimidated by detail and you are happy to take on dense and difficult topics.

This is a big asset for you (one that you probably take for granted).

Strengths: Your learning style allows you to access higher and higher levels of guitar technique and insight. This can lead to a deep understanding of the fretboard, scales and chord construction.

Weaknesses: People like you can often suffer from 'Analysis Paralysis' and don’t do enough practical 'hands-on-the-guitar' actual playing!

Learning a musical concept is only useful if we apply it, so it’s important you balance theory with lots of practice.

Recommendation 1: Good music theory knowledge is incredibly empowering for lead guitarists. Your guitar type goes hand in hand with lead guitar! If this isn’t something you’ve explore yet, get stuck in.

You probably already know these, but if not, learn the full 2-octave Major Scale and Minor Scale in their moveable patterns. (Just learn them in their standard starting positions.) Important note!

These scales are vital to know from a music theory point of view, but in practice, the vast majority of guitarists use the Minor Pentatonic scale most when playing/jamming/improvising. Therefore….

Recommendation 2: The Minor Pentatonic scale is where all lead guitarists start and you should begin by learning ‘box 1’, the classic 2-octave Minor Pentatonic pattern.

Then you should learn the other 4 boxes/patterns of the Minor Pentatonic scale and then progress to the Blues Scale. (It’s ok to spend YEARS on this.)

Recommendation 3: Balance your theorist side with practical work. Learn new rhythmic styles. (For example, fingerpicking, string-slapping and percussive strumming techniques.)

Recommendation 4: Round things off by exploring basic major and minor chord construction. Once you have that down move on to Major and Minor sevenths.Remember to balance your theory work with practical hands-on time! :)

Most importantly of all, believe in yourself and enjoy this wonderful journey.

Mike Kennedy - National Guitar Academy

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