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100 guitar things to do before you die…

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100 guitar things to do before you die…

Are you just starting out in your musical career or are you in your twilight years, playing some of the sweetest sounding riffs and licks you’ve ever created?

Wherever you’re at with your guitar playing, here’s a somewhat tongue-in cheek 100 guitar things to do before you die. How many can you tick off…

…realise that playing the guitar is amazing fun and playing with other musicians is priceless….

  1. Learn to play G, C, and D with the odd Em thrown in.
  2. Play through the pain barrier, watching your fingers shred before suitable calluses build.
  3. Learn to play Barre chords.
  4. Join a band.
  5. Leave that band on “musical differences”.
  6. Join another band.
  7. Play a gig.
  8. Play numerous gigs noticing your adoring following isn’t really adoring you or growing at all.
  9. Leave that band and join another who already has a steady following.
  10. Muscle out the other guitarist.
  11. Play with a plectrum.
  12. Ditch the plectrum and play with fingers instead as the tone is just “so much better”.
  13. Revert to playing with a plectrum – attempting to play like Buckingham or Beck leaves you feeling far too depressed.
  14. Learn the pentatonic scale (across the whole neck, not just one shape).
  15. Stick to playing just one shape of the pentatonic scale. Well, it works for Noel Gallagher and he’s minted.
  16. Write songs.
  17. Use a Capo.
  18. Write more songs, competing against your lead singer.
  19. Have a fight with the lead singer.
  20. See #5.
  21. See #6.
  22. See #10.
  23. See #5.
  24. Start your own band. You’re in control now. Nice.
  25. Ban songs in a “Major Key”. They sound a bit TOO nice.
  26. Buy an acoustic guitar.
  27. Buy another acoustic guitar (for the beach and outdoor parties/festivals). Cover it with stickers.
  28. Purchase a Fender Stratocaster. Tell your lead singer that, yes, the Strat did evolve from a Tele, therefore must be superior (in a somewhat Darwin-esque “intellectual” approach).
  29. Have another fight with your lead singer.
  30. Try to “understand” what on earth you’re animal drummer is actually going on about. Just nod in agreement every 30 seconds or so.
  31. Try to learn other scales. Fail miserably. See #15.
  32. Try to convince your band that hallucinogenic activities aren’t entirely the solution to write the next best song.
  33. Play that hallucinogenic inspired 60 minute masterpiece at the next gig.
  34. See #5.
  35. See #24.
  36. Get a girlfriend.
  37. Split with girlfriend as she can’t understand that the attraction of playing the same riff, night after night, is actually both therapy and fun.
  38. Pull the singers girlfriend instead.
  39. See #19.
  40. Audition a new singer, going through a whole range of people. Settle for the singer who has the best stage presence.
  41. At last the musical chemistry is there! Write, write, write and devote at least 4 evenings a week, focussed purely on jamming with the “New Beatles”.
  42. Get loads of gigs.
  43. Get more gigs outside of your local area.
  44. Get a friend to build a website to promote your material.
  45. Ditch that website, as it’s actually rubbish. “Sorry mate, but we’re using a Facebook page instead”.
  46. Get fired from your job as you’re too focussed on your band. Getting fired doesn’t bother you… its rock n roll!
  47. After a summer off work, watching daytime TV and wasting your dole money, you now desperately try to find employment to fund your addiction of purchasing effects pedals.
  48. Decide that BOSS pedals are for amateurs – boutique is the way forward!
  49. Your bass player, who you think is possibly the coolest person on the planet, tells you to get your head out your a***, BOSS pedals are great – it’s actually some of those boutique pedals you’ve got to watch out for.
  50. Buy a Telecaster. Sell your Strat and retract #28.
  51. Pimp your axe with some new pickups.
  52. Play more gigs. Build up a fan base and sell some t-shirts.
  53. Give some of your music away for free.
  54. Start to play with very heavy gauge strings. See #2.
  55. Regret selling your original Tele pickups on eBay.
  56. Go into a recording studio.
  57. Play at summer festivals. Convince yourself that it’s cool to wear an inflatable banana strapped to your back for the entire gig.
  58. Hit the next person at a festival if they start shouting “Oggy! Oggy! Oggy!”.
  59. Go on a musical tangent. Fuse different genres into your band.
  60. Attend your local Folk club; discover DADGAD.
  61. Get signed by a major label.
  62. Enjoy spending your “advance” at Vintage & Rare guitars.
  63. Your label sends you a stylist. Why? What’s wrong with my “Frankie Says…” t-shirt and mullet?
  64. Buy a delay pedal. One of those bad boy Line 6 DL-4’s. Now you’re The Edge.
  65. Practice your stage moves – windmills, jumping like a loon, the “Quo” rock, waggling your tongue.
  66. Lock yourself away to write a new album. The label is pressurising you. See #32.
  67. Get dropped by your label. That’s ok. See #46.
  68. Start your own label.
  69. Go all soft and retract #25.
  70. Release your own album on your own label. Sit back and wait for the phone calls…
  71. Bah! No phone calls! More gigs at the local boozer.
  72. Purchase a fleet of luxury guitars. How many is too many? Who cares!
  73. Convince the Mrs that you do need all those guitars, ‘cause they are used for different songs and genres.
  74. See #37.
  75. Purchase a full Marshall stack. Two 4×12” cabs with an equally impressive 100W all valve head. Turn up the volume to 10.
  76. Get evicted from your flat for noise pollution.
  77. Purchase appropriate Spandex to match your new full stack arrangement.
  78. The album really takes off. You have a huge underground following. Play more festivals.
  79. Headline THE summer festival.
  80. Buy a sports car with the money from the album sales.
  81. Smash your guitar up at the end of a storming gig!
  82. Regret smashing your guitar up the following morning.
  83. Grow your hair and your side burns.
  84. Go into obscurity, and write more.
  85. Release your next album. It’s more mature than the previous, with well crafted songs.
  86. Partake in numerous radio and TV interviews about your band.
  87. See #79.
  88. See #84 and become a recluse.
  89. See #5.
  90. Grow your fingernails so long, they curl up like Flo Jo.
  91. Don’t play the guitar for years.
  92. Cut off fingernails after a 10 year hiatus. Give your old band a call.
  93. Meet up, make up and play as a band for the first time in years. Enjoy every single minute of it.
  94. Listen to old recordings of the band. Rework some of the tunes.
  95. Play with as many musicians as you can. After all, the band is now “open to all”.
  96. See #56. This time, strictly for fun.
  97. Buy another guitar. Well, you’ve always wanted a Les Paul.
  98. Finally purchase another Stratocaster. It’s been a long time since you owned one and you need to complete your “arsenal”. See #28.
  99. Realise that playing the guitar is amazing fun and playing with other musicians is priceless.
  100. Watch your children become far better than you on the guitar and see them move on swiftly from #1…

How many items have you ticked off this list? Got any more to add? Share your thoughts with the guitarist community below…

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About the author:

Sam is passionate about talking all things guitar related and started GuitarJar.co.uk to help encourage all guitarists in their guitar playing journey.


  • 101. Storm off stage halfway through a song!

  • Wicked!!

    So i’m inspired to try see if i can do at least three a day – I will write in a very messy story when finished!

    I’m wondering how many of these Phil Lynott has actually achieved.. =]

  • Great read – it reminds me of so many things I’ve done over the years! Especially like #10 and #55… been there and definitely done that!

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