Guitar player of 8-years here. I've never shaken off the feeling that I still don't have a defined understanding of the guitar. I look at professional/world-renowned musicians and they seem to be doin' alright. I know for sure there's always musicians in general that at least seem to know their instrument rather than just playing.

Anyways, I wanted to ask those that have that sense: When did it "click" for you? When did playing become a fluid action?

I think every musician..artist of any kind ask this question..it is a personal evolution and inner struggle of when why how and all the rest are part of the journey we take..read some bio and auto bios of some well know people .. insecurity is interwoven in art - its NOT a desk job 9-5..its 24/7 with little or no pay and fame and fortune ARE small towns in Nebraska ..or is it Iowa..

Best I can draw it..It was when we pass from child to adult..yeah lots of confusion and little if any direction..now some seem to "know" early on what they are going to do with their life and how to get there..but even they meet with life on another level..nothing is free..

I have played with some very talented folks in my career..monster players..and you can try and ask them about your question..the range of answers you get will all be different yet all the same..

my direct answer is stop playing guitar and play music..expand your definitions..do you listen to classical..jazz..country ,,folk,,bluegrass..blues etc..can you play any of it..if not..why? Its all music..do you define yourself as a musician or a guitarist..again..if so..why..the "click" you want to hear is when you ARE the music and not a guitar (musician vs guitarist)

and in that realization comes the task of growth as a musician..pushing your self to accept more challenging aspects of music..on any instrument ..one of the first tasks is one of the most difficult..it is moving from where you are and learning new stuff..theory and harmony perhaps..finding musicians to play with that are far more advanced than you..this is the one thing that will show you where you really are as apposed to where you think you are..and hopefully motivate you to grow..

I play jazz and fusion mostly..I started with blues and rock..but wanted more .. I wanted to know why a Dmi6 is a G9 and what to do with that knowledge..and of course it led to wanting to know far more than that..I had no choice I had to study and practice and years went by and I am still learning new things ..about basic triads..really..so this morning at 5:30 I practice and out of the session I discover a new way to connect a chord run into a exercise I have been working on..another piece of the puzzle..what is the final picture..dame if I know.

Some eastern mystics say when asked what is enlightenment - its the journey not the destination

sorry if I seem to ramble on this..the subject comes up a lot in my dealing with people lately..anyway..hope some of it makes sense to you
play well

Been playing a while, and can do pretty well for myself. But in my honest opinion, it hasn't "clicked" for me.

The reason, IMHO, is I haven't put in the time & energy for it to do so. My ability to read music has atrophied. I never put much effort into associating chord names with their formation and positions. I just play.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!

I do end up having tunnel vision when it comes to the grand scheme of things. Usually I try to wrap my head around a certain approach towards music in a way that leaves me feeling inadequate. This is the main reason I asked the question. I feel that in some ways, being around people and being in situations where music is treated essentially like a meritocracy has brought about my own negative mentality towards it. Sometimes I associate technical prowess and theoretical knowledge as indicators of a "good" musician. Yet, I have found myself feeling my best when I just enjoy the music and when I seek out answers for my own desires, rather than treating everything like I need to learn EVERYTHING or else I'm not good enough.

I feel what you said does make sense to me. I'm still trying to get myself to a stable place mentally to be able to keep these things in my mind. Thanks for the reply, by the way.
Main click for me was the abandonment of trying to name things (notes, scales, chords, progressions).

A pitch may take multiple note names and the individual pitch may be playing the role of any scale degree names including accidentals.
A scale may be interpreted in different ways (the whole thing about whether modes are different scales or inversions of the same scale, for example).
A chords' name depends on the context... for example, if you play xx765x you could call that A major, but it might be part of another chord like AM7, B9sus4, C#m#5, DmM9, or F#m7.
Progression chords may be subject to "superimposition" in which their names are changed to be more easily understood from a re-harmonization perspective.

I have always played by ear, which presents everything as unnamed recognized identities. It took a long time for me to realize and admit that I was hearing directly far more of the music than was being revealed to me by untangling the naming of things. So I gave that up and never looked back.
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
I agree with PlusPaul. It took many years to have it "click" with me but once I stopped creating chord charts and worrying about what notes are in which scale I started to listen more and rely on my experience. At first It was a bumpy road but not for very long. Once I started listening to what was being played instead of thinking only about what I decided to play it opened my playing completely and my confidence to play in almost any situation. I started going with my instincts and relying on my experience. When I stopped struggling and memorizing and just played I found could do it in a relaxed way. I can't explain why it works for me but it does. I sort of go on autopilot. I know that sounds goofy but as I said I can't explain it. I am not the technical player I was 30 years ago and I don't practice reading music and I can't name every note of the lead I just played but I play 100% better than I was playing back when I was doing that. That's just me.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at May 30, 2017,