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No. 283 / Learning to play the guitar

There are two ways to learn:

1) The most common way is learning how to read music. Learn the notes. Practice technique. Work your way through guitar books. Little by little, bit by bit, become a student and a scholar of the craft. Keep this up, you'll gain the capacity to cite read any piece of music. 

2) The other way to learn how to play the guitar is less common but more valuable. More valuable because the result of this kind of learning is creativity, not obedience. And this is the practice of failure. It's the art of trying technique after technique, mixing and matching styles, combining genres and forms until you come up with something original. That's what Mick Jagger did. And it's what the Beatles did. It's the search of something more enchanting than merely playing by the traditional rules. 

Sure, there is an argument for needing to know the rules before you can break them, but there is also a fine line between falling in love with the status quo and having the ignorance (or maybe innocence) to do something completely unique, something special. 

One thing is certain, you won't learn without practice. You can read every book on playing the guitar, but unfortunately, all of the knowledge in the world on the subject won't help you play any better.