How to Play Guitar Like a Pro With These 11 Tips From Famous Guitarists

Brian May playing guitar on stage

We are supported by our visitors. If you click through our links & make a purchase, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

If you’re looking for inspiration to play guitar with confidence, this advice from some of the most talented guitar players who have ever lived might just do the trick.

Learning the guitar is like riding a rollercoaster of joy and frustration, isn’t it?

But fear not, we’ve uncovered 11 priceless guitar tips from legendary guitarists to help you conquer the frustration.

Whether you’re a beginner of 8 months or a seasoned player of 8 years, these nuggets of wisdom are here to uplift and energize you. They’re your secret sauce to supercharging your guitar skills.

When inspiration strikes, doubt takes a back seat, and playing the guitar becomes an exhilarating journey.

So, let’s dive into these golden tips and keep that guitar fire burning!

1. Jimi Hendrix Quote

Most people give up at this point, but it’s best not to. Just keep on, just keep on...

Electric guitar legend Jimi Hendrix on confidence and what to do if you feel like giving up playing the guitar.

“It was so hard for me at first. I knew about three songs. When it was time for us to play on stage I was all shaky. So I had to play behind the curtains.

I just couldn’t get up in front. And then you get so very discouraged. You hear different bands playing around you, and the guitar player always seems to be so much better than you.

Most people give up at this point, but it’s best not to. Just keep on, keep on. Sometimes you are going to be so frustrated you’ll hate the guitar, but all of this is just a part of learning.

If you stick with it, you’re going to be rewarded. If you’re very stubborn, you can make it.”

2. Slash Quote (Guns 'n' Roses)

I don't think that you could practise enough...

Guns ‘n’ Roses guitarist Slash explains why practice and using your ears are your two secret weapons when it comes to learning the guitar.

“Practise, and, you know, practise excessively. I don’t think that you could practise enough.

Basically, concentrate on listening to people that you really like their style and try and learn some stuff from those people.

Learn their techniques, try and figure out who they do certain things. I think listening is a huge tool to learning how to play the guitar.”

3. Brian May Quote (Queen)

Every guitarist has his (her) own signature and his (her) own spirit...

On being voted the greatest rock guitarist in the world in 2020, Queen guitarist Brian May on why he doesn’t rate rating guitarists ability.

“I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but the funny thing about guitar playing is that you can’t really rate it. You can’t really give it points.

That would be my response. I’m hugely honoured that people have [voted me the best rock guitarist in the world], but every guitarist has his (or her) own signature and his (or her) own spirit.

“I don’t know if it’s true with any other instrument, but it seems to me that the guitar is perhaps the most expressive instrument because anyone can pick it up and make some kind of noise which affects people.

So we’re all different.”

Interview on

4. Mimi Fox

I wish more players paid more attention to dynamics....

Jazz guitarist extraordinaire Mimi Fox educates us on why she thinks dynamics are such a critical element of great guitar playing.

“Someone I did an interview with recently was asking me about my dynamics. The fellow said that he noticed on my records how sometimes I would play soft and then get loud, and really vary the dynamics.

I said that I think it has a very big impact on people and they don’t even realize it.

And I wish more players paid more attention to dynamics. The way that you attack a tone – softly or roundly or piercingly – really affects people.

All of these different things feel different to the listener. It’s like speaking, and all the inflections that we use”

Interview on

5. Steve Vai Quote

...Be completely honest with themselves about what they don't know...

Steve Vai’s no-BS answer when asked what tips he’d give to people learning to play the guitar.

“…to be completely honest with themselves about what they don’t know. Do you know all the scales? If the answer’s no, then what you gonna do about it?

And so it’s really quite obvious; we just have to be very straightforward with ourselves, and that’s how we arrange our practising.”

6. Yngwie Malmsteen

No matter how f**ked up things are [...] I'm going to give 1,000 per cent...

Yngwie Malmsteen speed demon on the importance of keeping a positive attitude.

“My philosophy as a musician is to be the best I can. Some musicians on this tour let their guard down and they allow negativity to affect their performance.

To me, as a rule, no matter how f**ked up things are because of a personal or technical problem, that time I’m onstage, I’m going to give 1,000 per cent.”

Interview on

7. Angus Young (AC/DC)

For me, it's the rhythm thing that's way more impressive...

Rocker Angus Young of AC/DC tells us why being an outstanding rhythm guitar player should be your primary focus.

“I can’t deny that Eric Clapton’s and Eddie Van Halen’s lead stuff has influenced a stack of people, but for me, it’s the rhythm thing that’s way more impressive and important to a band.”

8. Eric Clapton

The beauty of it is that you can take one of those things and make it yours...

Speaking of Eric Clapton, when asked if he has advice for guitar players today, this is what the rock blues star had to say.

“Yeah – listen to the past. I’ve run into a lot of players in the last 10 or 15 years who didn’t really know where it was coming from.

They thought it came from Jimmy Page or they thought it came from Jeff Beck, or they thought it came from Buddy Guy or that it came from BB King.

Well, it comes from further back, and if you go back and listen to Robert Johnson, Blind Blake, Blind Boy Fuller, Blind Willie Johnson and Blind Willie McTell, there are thousands of them who all have something which led to where it is now.

The beauty of it is that you can take one of those things and make it yours.”

Interview on

9. Chris Cornell Quote (Soundgarden)

He doesn’t construct leads, he sits and plays over a song and comes up with strange sounds...

Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell on what he thinks makes bandmate Kim Thayil exceptional on guitar that you can copy and work on.

“His approach is more atmospheric and more stream of consciousness.

He doesn’t construct leads; he sits and plays over a song and comes up with strange sounds and approaches – sometimes that comes out as very hooky melodies and sometimes it’s very atmospheric guitar playing that can be effects-laden or just feedback even.”

Interview on

10. Jeff Beck Quote

They didn't do that nasty sort of industrial distortion...

Jeff Beck gives advice on how to get the best guitar sound if you are wondering.

“Listen to the great guitarists of the Fifties. They didn’t do that nasty sort of industrial distortion.

They played musical compositions as solos – Scotty Moore, Cliff Gallup, and Django Reinhardt. There wasn’t a bad note in any of those solos.

I listened to that and stayed with those rules.”

11. George Benson Quote

I listen to other guitar players, yeah...

Jazz blues guitar legend & singer George Benson on why taking inspiration from fellow guitarists is a smart tactic.

“I listen to other guitar players, yeah. It gives me new concepts and shows me where the instrument is going for the future, and it is going some places.

There are some musicians who are really putting out a good vibe with new theories. I try and keep up.”

How to Put the Advice of Famous Guitarists to Work in Your Life

Now that you’ve read the 11 inspiring quotes from famous guitarists, it’s time to put their advice to work in your own life.

Here are 6 actionable tips to help you improve your guitar playing and believe in yourself:

Remember, these are just a few tips. There are many other ways to improve your guitar playing. The most important thing is to find what works for you and to have fun!

  1. Set realistic goals for yourself. Don’t try to do too much too soon. Start by setting small, achievable goals, such as learning a new chord or mastering a simple scale. As you get better, you can gradually increase your goals.
  2. Practice regularly. The more you practice your guitar, the better you will become. Make time to practice every day, even if it’s just for 10 minutes.
  3. Find a good teacher. A good teacher can help you learn the basics of guitar playing and develop good technique. They can also help you identify your weaknesses and work on improving them.
  4. Listen to other guitarists. One of the best ways to learn new techniques and ideas is to listen to other great guitarists. Pay attention to their phrasing, timing, and tone. Try to incorporate some of their techniques into your own playing.
  5. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes when they’re learning to play guitar. It’s part of the process. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes and keep practicing.
  6. Believe in yourself. Believing in yourself and your ability to learn to play the guitar is important. Don’t give up if you don’t see results immediately. Just keep practicing your guitar and believe in yourself;  you will eventually reach your goals.

Summing it Up

I hope these 11 quotes from famous guitarists have inspired and motivated you to pursue your musical dreams.

Remember, it takes time, practice, and dedication to become a good guitar player. But if you’re willing to put in the work, you can achieve anything.

Here is a challenge for you:

Choose one of the quotes from this blog post that resonates with you the most. Write it down and put it somewhere where you will see it every day.

Let this quote be your inspiration as you work towards your guitar-playing goals.

Overcome challenges and amplify your musical skills

best guitarist female guitar lessons beginner intermediate how to play tips lessons free