A while back I wrote a popular email titled…

“What the robots are saying about learning guitar”

Well, today, I want to share some more thoughts on this…


Here are the thoughts of AI and specifically Chat GPT on learning guitar.

Have a read and tell me, who is right – the guitar teacher or the robots?


1 – Standard tuning should not be the starting point for beginners. Alternate tunings, which can create unique sounds, might be more engaging for beginners and make learning the guitar more fun.

Interesting. I love alternate tunings. For instance, “open tunings” can be excellent if you want to make music and you struggle with certain chord shapes and stuff like that – especially if you have limitations with your fretting hand. The problem is most songs you want to learn won’t use open tuning. Therefore, I’d still focus on standard tuning, but if you have more than one guitar, you can put that in a different tuning. It can be fun.


2 – Guitar teachers should prioritise music theory over technique. An emphasis on music theory is more important for long-term growth and creativity, even at the expense of technical skills.

Blah, blah. Blah. This is stupid. 9 out of 10 guitarists quit because their technique is bad. How many quit because they don’t know enough theory? Without good technique, all the theory in the world is not going to help you. Yes, theory is powerful, but it’s the icing on the cake. Solid core fundamental technique is the cake.


3 – Tablature is a crutch that hinders musical development. Relying solely on guitar tabs limits a student’s ability to read sheet music and understand music theory.

Me – I have to agree with this. If you only ever use tablature forever, you will be limited. I’ve been asked so many times over the years (especially on YouTube) for the TAB for songs. Sometimes I have been able to provide it, but sometimes there are copyright issues so I can’t. Even so, in my studio, I’ll get students to work out songs by ear or create their own TAB. It takes a little more effort but is worth it.


4 – Formal music education is overrated; self-taught guitarists can be just as skilled. Traditional music lessons aren’t necessary, and self-taught players can excel through online resources and practice.

Depends on what Mr Chat GPT means by “traditional music lessons”. Does it mean being taught by the iron fist old school headmaster? Or does it mean fun lessons where the teacher takes you by the hand and shows you what to do? Going to music college is not necessary, but watching random lessons without a plan is not going to do you much good either.


5 – The best way to learn guitar is by emulating your guitar heroes, not traditional lessons. Studying and copying famous guitarists is a more effective way to develop a unique style and skill set.

My first guitar hero was Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. He was quickly followed by Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin. Learning how to play their songs helped me, but it didn’t make me a musician. I was just learning riffs and melodies – but none of it made sense. What helped was piecing it all together, analysing the songs, looking for patterns, and creating my own ideas inspired by theirs. So yes, emulate your heroes, but don’t just do that – it will only make you a 2-dimensional player in the long run.


There we are…

The thoughts of the robots versus the guitar teacher.

Maybe the T-1000 from The Terminator will knock on my door and chase me down the road for my above disagreements…

Or maybe Kryten from Red Dwarf (I reckon most people reading this have never heard of him) will be a super famous guitar tutor…

Or R2-D2 starts giving out impromptu lessons.


Anyway, for now, I think we are safe from the robots.

…And as most of us play acoustic, I think it’s quite apt, really.

I mean, the acoustic guitar is the most awesome instrument in many ways.

No technology needed, and the instrument has not needed to change all that much over the centuries.

It can be played at any place, any time.

That is pretty wonderful.


Speaking of playing the thing, if you want help and advice on that (all taught by a human) then you might like to check this out.

Find out more about the 7-Day Transformation and Breakthrough Beginner Courses


I hope you enjoyed this and thanks for reading.

Dan Thorpe

Guitar Domination


P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of great tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.

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