As a guitarist I know we get caught up on learning scales, licks and what not but I wanted to know if a basic chord progression or strumming pattern sounds good to you is it good or what?
it would be in my book. the true test is whether others think it's good as well. 
It is if you have good taste.  If you like terrible music, than you might like your own terrible compositions. 
Record it, listen to it later, and if you still like it, maybe run it past someone who could give a more critical opinion. There have been times where I've liked something I wrote, made a quick recording and found that it sounded like shit a few hours later. 

Think of that next time you are not allowed to laugh.
Good is relative. To many, "generic as fuck" equates to good. To some that is "bad" because they have heard it so much that it lacks individuality or anything other than rote-copywork. To others, who have also heard it a lot, it is good because it just works. Neither is wrong. Don't get caught up in this idea that there is some objective standard of goodness outside of technical accuracy, especially not in regards to popular appeal (this is a logical fallacy for a reason). To a noise musician, a dissonant and sloppy guitar progression might be a cool thing to bounce ideas off. In a blues standard that same progression will probably be an insult to god and man. And so on.

Make a note of your work, listen to/play it, and then leave it a few days. Try again, maybe mix it up. If you're still unsure, identify your audience and see what they reckon. It's always worth asking what kind of goodness it is you're trying to get at (technical? musical? experimental? meaningful?).

Generally, my mark of "is it good" is "does it give me the kinds of feelings that I get from work by other people that I call good?". At that point, you need to move on to learning to deal with ego
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Last edited by Banjocal at Apr 13, 2017,
I don't think there are "good chord progressions" or "good strumming patterns". It has everything to do with context. A chord progression or a strumming pattern only sounds good/bad in context.

But yeah, if you like it and that's the sound that you are after, then it is good. But that is not a reason not to listen to other people's criticism. "It's my style" is not an excuse to write crappy music. Good and bad songwriting does exist, though it does have subjective elements to it and it has a lot to do with the artist's intention.

(And by crappy songwriting I don't necessarily refer to things like chord progressions or strumming patterns. It has more to do with structure and the "flow" of the song. It also has a lot to do with the use of contrasts.)
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Apr 14, 2017,
The word "good" in this context is transitive, meaning it needs to take an object, like "to me" or "to my band" or "to an audience", etc.

So what is the object of "is it good?" in the question "If it sounds good to you is it good?" ?

The intended default object when none is specified may be the universal quantifier as in "If it sounds good to you is it good to everyone?".

If so, the answer is "no" if there is anyone for whom it does not sound good.
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I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
There is a definition for the word "transitive" and the requirements to meet the definition have not been met. I'm pretty sure you want something closer to implication.

"Is it good to everyone" seems suspect as well, as if "it" was evaluated on how it treats everyone. The lack of parallel structure should suggest a contrast between the subjective nature of sounding good and the objective nature of being good.

Music, however, is largely subjective, and non-Western traditions can sometimes sound completely unlike their Western counterparts. Music is the sum of wholes, and while there are aspects that can be analyzed more objectively, music theory is systematic description and doesn't give a subjective evaluation in the​ way this question ultimately wants
good is subjective.
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As a guitarist I know we get caught up on learning scales, licks and what not but I wanted to know if a basic chord progression or strumming pattern sounds good to you is it good or what?

Sometimes people need to hear that the emperor is naked. It pisses them off to hear it, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't need to be heard. The simple truth is that guitarists believe that the guitar is the only instrument that matters, and the only thing that makes or breaks a song is the guitar. But keyboard players think the same thing about keyboards, bass players think the same thing about the bass. Singers think the same thing about the vocals. Drummers seldom think. 

The truth, which no guitar player wants to hear, and they'll usually get mad about it if anyone reminds them of it, is that music is only as good as the song, and the song is only good when it exceeds the sum of its parts. You can play the ultimate chord progression, that includes four of the five famous "lost chords", and is so exquisitely crafted and performed that other guitarists are shocking into slack-jawed silence when they hear it, but if it's not surrounded by a good song, everyone except other guitarists will just yawn. 
Gerdner, you make a good point. It's like how in baking, nobody gives a crap about the eggs (they only care about the dessert itself). Often the whole is much better than its parts (especially in Classical and the various forms of Electronic music). 

To be honest, there's only two rules in music. First is that you should at least try to keep in tune. Second is "If it sounds good, it is good". Everything else is merely a guideline. Besides, good music has many forms and can often be a matter of opinion. 

Speaking of "The Emperor is naked" ...
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).