Guitar Lessons Atlanta: Top 10 Guitar Lessons Myths

Guitar Lessons Atlanta: Top 10 Guitar Lessons Myths

— by Jimmy Cypher

Be sure to see the accompanying text articles with each myth which includes info from guitar teacher Jimmy Cypher, not included in the videos as well as links to rare interviews, research and quotes from Eddie Van Halen, Lee Ritenour, Keith Richards, Malcolm Gladwell, Timothy Ferriss, etc.


“To learn guitar I must learn to read a piano treble clef.”  


“Many rock and pop guitarists who learn by ear have better ear training than studio, jazz or classical players.  Some of the most innovative guitar playing has come from rock guitarists (e.g. Jimi Hendrix) who did not read a note.” — Lee Ritenour

see the full guitar lessons atlanta text article



“Playing Fast is the Hardest Thing to Learn.”

  — FALSE!

When you’re first starting out, there’s always the temptation to hide behind distortion because it lets you get away with murder — Kirk Hammett

see the full guitar instruction text article


“In order to learn electric guitar, I must first learn Acoustic .”


“If you’re going to learn to play lead, get an electric guitar… Acoustic guitars aren’t good for learning lead…” — EDDIE VAN HALEN

see the guitar teachers full text article



“Practice Makes Perfect.”


“If you have chosen your instruments well, and miced them properly, you do not need EQ.” — Jimmy Page

see full guitar lessons text article



“More Practice Equals Better Results.”


“The difference between who you are and who you want to be, is what you do.”
Bill Phillips

see full guitar text article


“Metronomes are the best way to learn timing.”


“If you’re playing to a metronome, I’d be lousy too.” — Keith Richards

see the full text article on blues guitar instruction


“I’m Too Old To Learn Guitar.”  


“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.”


“You Either Have Talent or You Don’t.” 


“Once a musician has enough ability to get into a top music school, the thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it.”Malcolm Gladwell,

see the full text article for guitar lessons in atlanta, ga


“I Must Learn Everything about Guitar to be good.” 


“On guitar, there will always be someone who is better, faster and more versatile than you. Get over it and write great songs.” — Dickey Betts.

“Become the best at being you.” — Doug Doppler

see the full guitar teachers atlanta text article


“I Must Play the Song Tabs Exactly or I suck.”


“Don’t worry about getting all the notes right. Make sure the people in nosebleed in the back of the stadium see you smile and wave at them.” — MICK JAGGER

see the full guitar lessons atlanta text article



Guitar Lessons Myth #1

Guitar Lessons Myth #2

Guitar Lessons Myth #3

Guitar Lessons Myth #4

Guitar Lessons Myth #5

Guitar Lessons Myth #6

Guitar Lessons Myth #7

Guitar Lessons Myth #8

Guitar Lessons Myth #9

Guitar Lessons Myth #10


Play guitar your way.

The Cypher way.

Rock on —

Jimmy Cypher out!



You have to listen to recordings for that or go play with these musicians to learn this musical rhythmic “dialect.”  So it stands to reason that you’re going to have trouble playing pop music that’s based on all of these modern genres.  Scrap this clef idea and follow the model of your heroes! If you want to play guitar like a certain person, find out how that person learned guitar and do the same thing!  Do not be browbeat into using this archaic system for modern popular guitar because people are out there in the industry, in the trenches, where it is brutally competitive — making money, getting paid, honing thier unique sound and craft, making fantastic recordings, having fantastic musical experiences charting on Billboard who never ever use this. I should know, I’m one of them! I haven’t used it since music school!

It’s a bit like wanting to be a great American English novelist but the first thing you do is go to learn Japanese. Well, it’s great to know some Japanese when you have a publishing deal with Random House and you’re on the best seller lists and your book is being translated into other languages and you’re doing a book tour of Japan. Very handy for that but not to actually write a magnificent masterpiece work in English. I don’t know anyone who would say “yes that sounds like a great idea” and yet this is what is routinely done when you buy these guitar books off the shelf: these archaic guitar methods that are 50-100 years behind the times! I will post a link to the Lee Ritenour article below and hopefully you will see that reading or not reading off this clef has absolutely no correlation whatsoever to the quality of your guitar playing ands success in guitar lessons.  The people who read this stuff are paid to read: studio musicians being best, academic second, and down from there.

I have had incredible success tossing out this treble clef and relegating it to the closet where it needs to be for reference until you’re already an expert/professional guitar player. I can’t tell you how much faster you will learn when you start learning notation in guitar lessons for your instrument the guitar:  guitar tab and rhythmic notation only.  To understand the absurdity of this let’s just reverse the roles: imagine the looks that you would get if you insisted when someone comes to school for piano that they’re going to have to learn to read for their piano on guitar tab!  Now we start to see the folly of it in terms of paradigm shifting here to borrow from Thomas Kuhn and the role that social conditioning plays in this discussion. There’s absolutely no reason to start your guitar studies there and often not to ever use this at all depending on what you want to do as a career or hobbyist with the instrument.

See the full Lee Ritenour Article

Play it your way.  The Cypher Way.  Rock on — Jimmy[rev_slider Homepage-slider]

TOP 10 GUITAR LESSONS MYTH #1 | You Must Read Music | FALSE!

TOP 10 GUITAR LESSONS MYTH #1: In order to play guitar really well I must learn to read a treble clef that was designed for piano. FALSE!

This is about one of the most awful things that you can do. This is to be assiduously avoided when you are starting out in guitar lessons. It may or may not be a great thing to know once you’re a professional guitar player and you’re out getting work where you’re communicating with horn players or piano players and so forth but to actually learn the guitar, you want to stick with the notation system designed for guitarists.  The problem with the treble clef is that it shows you the alphabetic pitch for example (the middle C in this video) and on the piano that’s in one place so you know exactly where to play.  On the guitar it’s in multiple places five or six or more when you start generating harmonic overtones and different things like this.

“Many rock and pop guitarists who learn by ear have better ear training than studio, jazz or classical players.  Some of the most innovative guitar playing has come from rock guitarists (e.g. Jimi Hendrix) who did not read a note.”  — Lee Ritenour

see the full Lee Ritenour Article

There are so many reasons not to use a treble clef to learn guitar that I scarcely know where to begin. Guitar World  magazine took the treble clef out in year 2002 and now only put the guitar tab staff and rhythmic notation. Of the four most influential and innovative guitar players of the 20th century arguably Andre Segovia, Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, and Yngwvie Malmsteen, only Segovia reads off of a traditional treble clef when learning OR performing. Eddie Van Halen who was a concert pianist as a child does not read the clef for guitar in fact quite the opposite! As you can see in this Smithsonian interview, what Eddie was playing was so highly innovative that there wasn’t even a written language for it! They had to invent modern guitar tab – as he talks about in the Smithsonian interview – just to explain what he was doing because there was not a language for it. Jimi Hendrix never read a note of music.  Yngvwie Malmsteen when he was starting out didn’t read music. Only Segovia read music.

As, renowned studio guitarist and jazz player Lee Ritenour says in a guitar player anthology article, the secret of the classical guitarist is that most actually don’t read very well and are poor sight readers.  Most classical guitarists only read well enough to memorize the music that they are going to play when they’re looking at that piece of paper.  Usually, they already know the composition which shows just how hard it is to read off of this thing. It’s absolutely torturous: you’ll spend three years learning to sight read a treble clef for guitar and in that time you’re not necessarily becoming a better guitar player: in fact you probably won’t because you have to limit yourself to simple things that you’re able to read off of the thing!

Whether you should learn to sight read is very situation specific:  If you’re Brian Setzer orchestra and you have to score out parts for a 16 piece horn section, you need to know that language to communicate with your horn players.  If you’re Steve Vai and you’re playing with zappa, you need to read… but not with Whitesnake!  But if you’re in a guitar/bass/drum band or singer songwriter or solo acoustic player, you absolutely don’t need to do this and it will hold you back. I cannot tell you how many guitar lessons students come to me who struggle with this six months, nine months, a year, two years who can hardly play anything and within two weeks I’ve got them playing the kind of music that they want to and accelerating like they never have before. Duh!  It’s a notation system written for another instrument (the piano) designed hundreds of years ago if not longer. Before the phonograph was invented.  Or Pro Tools recording software. Or Appalachian country.  Or Mississippi Delta blues.  The rhythmic notation system doesn’t even capture things adequately like a simple 12 bar blues shuffle. And it certainly doesn’t capture Hendrix’s “Red House.”



Play it your way.

The Cypher way.

Rock on.

Jimmy Cypher out!



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