Three secrets of a successful guitarist, or how to become a virtuoso from scratch?

Three secrets of a successful guitarist, or how to become a virtuoso from scratch?

This article is for those who want to learn how to play the guitar from scratch, continue learning or improve their skills in this matter. Here you will find some tips on how to be successful in mastering the guitar. These tips are not taken from the head, but derived from the study of the work of several very successful modern guitarists.

Before learning to play the guitar, you need to purchase this guitar itself! We recently did a study on how to choose the right guitar, the results are here –  “The Perfect Beginner Guitar” .

If you’re an aspiring guitarist and can’t afford an expensive guitar yet, don’t despair. The famous Korean virtuoso  Sungha Jung bought his first guitar for just $60 – it was a plywood toy. The quality of the instrument did not stop the young talent, even on it he played so well that his father was amazed and bought him a good guitar from the Cort company .


(Sungha Jung) Seventh #9 - Sungha Jung


So, the tool is selected, now it’s up to you. A great desire, perseverance and a few simple tips will help you in learning.

1. Learn everything!

To begin with, study everything that you will be dealing with. You must understand exactly what a  fretboard is and how it should be, how to tune a guitar, where is which note, how to make sounds. It is very good to learn all the notation of chords and notes. Learn it gradually, and so that it is clear to you. It is worth figuring it out once, so that later you just know it and not get distracted, not get confused, calmly move on. Be inquisitive and meticulous, do not miss anything you doubt!

Sharpen your knowledge constantly and don’t stop learning new data, even when you’re playing well. The same Sungha Jung, despite 690 recorded videos and 700 million views on the Internet, continues to study music.

Help here:

  • Courses describing basic concepts and skills. Example – ” Sergei Bolshakov’s course on the basics of playing the guitar “
  • Books and video lessons. An example is the excellent book “An Anthology of the American Acoustic Guitar”
  • Little tricks like sheet music stickers to attach to the fretboard , tuners for tuning, etc.

Three secrets of a successful guitarist, or how to become a virtuoso from scratch?2. Step by step.

First, practice playing one or two strings to such an extent that you practically do it with your eyes closed. Then learn the simplest chords and fighting techniques. Take your time to move on, hone them until they become native and natural.

Do not be afraid of corns and tired hands, keep exercising. Over time, the skin will harden, the muscles will train, and the fingers will become an extension of the tool: you will use them to extract what you want. Master more complex combat techniques and more interesting melodies.

Don’t get frustrated if things don’t work out right away, keep practicing. The world-famous Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel found “his style” only at the age of 35, and gained fame when he was over 40! All this time he did not get tired of training – and his perseverance was rewarded. Now he is one of the best fingerstyle* masters and a talented improviser.


Classical Gas [Mason Williams] | Tommy Emmanuel


Tom Me is known for one playing technique that he heard on early recordings by renowned American guitarist Chet Atkins. Tommy could not master it for a long time, until one day he had a dream where he performed this technique on stage. The next morning he was able to repeat it in life! That’s how Tommy was passionate about developing his skills: he continued to practice despite the failures.

3. Much and often.

Make time for your workouts—lots of time each day. Success is achieved primarily by those who work hard. Videos of famous guitarists whose playing inspires you will help here.

For example, recently become popular Swedish guitarist Gabriella Quevedo practiced at home, training with videos of her idol Sungha and other guitarists. And a year later, Gabriella uploaded her first video on Youtube, and two years later she performed with Sungha on stage! Watch the 20-year-old talent play with 70 million video views!


Tommy Emmanuel and Gabriella Quevedo


Some people achieve success at 20, like Gabriella or Sungha Jung, some need to train a little longer, like Tom mi Emmanuel. The main thing here is to love this activity, devote your time and effort to it, and success will certainly await you!


Fingerstile Finger – finger, Style – style; finger style ) is a guitar technique that allows you to play accompaniment and melody at the same time. To achieve this, different methods of sound production are used, for example: tapping, slapping, natural harmonics, pizzicato, etc. Percussion technique complements the style: hitting the strings, decking, any whistles (for example, it is easy to run your hand over the strings), etc. As for sound extraction, then they mainly play with nails, as in the classics, often instead of nails, they put on the “ s-claws pick ” on the fingers . Every fingerstyle guitarist has their own set of tricks. This game technique is one of the most difficult.​

The recognized master of  Fingerstile is Luca Stricagnoli , who is actively developing this direction, making it FingerFootStile ( Foot – English foot ) – even plays with his feet (see video):

Luca Stricagnoli - Misirlou (Pulp Fiction)


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