Unleash the Guitar Super Hero Inside

Our guitar student Ethan playing Master of Puppets by Metallica - a rock guitar classic!

Everyone knows playing the guitar is awesome! It doesn't matter if your chugging away on some power chords or shredding a spine-tingling solo, playing the guitar is like life amplified. Unfortunately, learning to play the guitar can be an entirely different story.

That's why I put together three easy tips to help you unleash the guitar super hero inside.


TIP #1:  What Kind of Super Hero Are You?


Take a moment and picture in your mind's eye the type of guitar super hero you'd like to become.

What are your super powers?

Can you shred like Yngwie Malmsteen? Are your solos raw and evocative like Gary Moore? Maybe you can sing and play the guitar like John Mayer or compose iconic hooks like George Harrison?
It doesn't matter which super powers you imagine, so long as they inspire you.

TIP #2:  Identify Your Super Powers


Now that you discovered your super hero persona, it's time to write down your super powers.

Let's pretend for a moment you always dreamed of playing evocative guitar solos like Gary Moore. Great!

Gary's super powers are pretty obvious:

  • Vibrato: Superman's got super strength. Spiderman's got spidey powers. And Gary Moore had a vibrato that could level tall buildings in a single measure.
  • Bluesy Solos: Gary's phrasing was deeply influenced by blues guitarists like Albert King, Buddy, Guy, Peter Green, and Jimi Hendrix.
  • Sustain: When it comes to sustain, Gary Moore is nigh-invincible. In fact, the Avengers could thwart an invading horde of aliens led by Thanos the Mad Titan himself before Gary's note fully decayed.


TIP #3:  Forget Everything Else!


Now that you've imagined your super hero persona and isolated your super powers, it's time to forget everything else.

And before you ask, yes, there are a million great abilities to acquire playing guitar. Most of them are pretty awesome. But you don't need every super power to be a super hero.

Instead, target exclusively—dare I say heroically—on attaining your new super powers through consistent, focused, deliberate practice.

This might be the most difficult challenge of all, but anyone who said being a super hero was easy probably didn't have any super powers.




Brian Parham is the founder of the Rock Dojo in Portland, Oregon, where he teaches hundreds of kids between the ages of 6 and 12 years-old to play, perform, and compose their own original music on the guitar in after-school group guitar lessons. He’s also the author of three guitar method books including Guitar for Kids: Rock Dojo The Complete Belt System.