10 Guitar Quotes To Inspire Guitarists [And What They Mean]

Best Guitar Quotes From Famous Guitarists

So, here are 10 guitar quotes to lift you up.

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Guitar Quote 1 – Jimi Hendrix

Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you’ll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you’re gonna be rewarded.
Jimi Hendrix

Guitar Quote 1 - Jimi HendrixFirst, I thought I would share a quote by the late, great guitar master Jimi Hendrix.

Hendrix’ career may have been cut short by his untimely death due to a drug overdose, but the legacy he’s left us with is about as big as they come.

Here, Jimi admits that even he hated the guitar at times. What this should tell you is that persisting at something isn’t always easy, especially over the long haul, even if it’s something you love.

What’s funny is that I clearly remember a moment in my life when I just wasn’t feeling inspired playing the guitar.

I’d gotten good at the instrument fast and was a little disillusioned by how easy it was to dissect and simplify everything I once thought was difficult and complex.

And, I was only a year and a half into playing guitar.

Eventually, I overcame that mental block. I simply concluded there are always easy ways and harder ways of playing riffs and that was mostly a matter of playing style and preference.

It’s hard to explain exactly what I was going through back then. All you need to know is that my passion for the instrument was starting to wane.

I’m glad I stuck with it, though, because as Hendrix says, I was rewarded for my persistence. I kept getting better, and I’m still learning new things 17 years later.

Guitarist Quote 2 – Eddie Van Halen

A guitar is a very personal extension of the person playing it. You have to be emotionally and spiritually connected to your instrument.
Eddie Van Halen

Guitarist Quote 2 - Eddie Van HalenHere’s a quote by one of the most imitated guitarists in existence, Eddie Van Halen.

Here, he reminds us that no two guitarists are completely alike, and that’s a good thing. We should all learn to express ourselves uniquely on our instruments.

What’s especially interesting about this quote is that several professional guitarists report playing using Van Halen’s gear, only to find they still couldn’t achieve that famous “brown sound” Van Halen is known for.

Instead of sounding like Van Halen, they just sounded like themselves. So, gear isn’t everything after all.

This quote is also a reminder to stop trying to sound like someone else, and to tap into your own unique playing style.

Joe Bonamassa Has Guitar Quote 3

If you have a good riff with a vocal as well, then it becomes a devastating song. That’s why people love riff-rock: it’s the ultimate air guitar music.
Joe Bonamassa

Joe Bonamassa Has Guitar Quote 3Filtered through the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Johnson, Joe Bonamassa is a modern-day guitar hero. And, most of my heroes recognize him as such.

I think this quote speaks to the importance of a great hook. You could even it call it an earworm.

Guitar playing isn’t all about shredding and flash. It’s also about creating riffs that are hard to forget.

And, if shredding is all you can do, you’re probably missing something about what it means to play music.

I believe one of my heroes proves the idea of this quote quite well. Who am I talking about? Harem Scarem guitarist Pete Lesperance.

Have a listen to him and you’ll discover that many of his riffs are catchy while being simple (this isn’t to say that he doesn’t also play a lot of complex parts, mind you).

He knows when to unleash the tiger, but he also knows when to pull back and allow the song to breathe.

Quote 4 – Steve Vai

I loved the guitar, and I had all this music in my head. My passion for the guitar and the ideas for what I could create musically were equal. So that’s where I was.
Steve Vai

Quote 4 - Steve VaiSteve Vai, who originally found his professional footing with the legendary Frank Zappa, is undeniably one of the best guitarists alive.

Sure, he may have sold out from time to time. And, like many shredders, at times he indulges shredding in favor of playing well thought out musical passages.

But I still have a lot of respect for Vai, and what this quote reminds us is that guitar isn’t just about indulgent shredding – it’s about music.

I suppose you could say that’s what qualifies Vai to talk about this subject. He himself has abandoned music in favor of fast licks from time to time.

Regardless, focusing on the music is what makes us better players. You shouldn’t just practice a bunch of licks and look for a way to squeeze them into your next live show.

I’ve seen some guitar players play scale exercises on stage. Regardless of what speed you’re playing them at, that’s just tacky.

Instead, you should always be looking to complement the musicians around you. Everyone in the band will sound better as result.

Famous Guitar Quote 5 – Joe Satriani

Some of us are going to play faster than others. Hitting the right notes and getting your technique right is so much more than important than speed.
Joe Satriani

Famous Guitar Quote 5 - Joe SatrianiThis quote comes straight from the mouth of Steve Vai’s guitar teacher, Joe Satriani.

And, you could say that they are on equal footing, both in terms of their overall fame and technical ability.

This is certainly an apt quote from the mouth of a guitar instructor. It’s the same concept that was taught to me from day one. And, I wholeheartedly embraced it.

Practicing slowly and accurately is far more important than your ability to play fast, which arguably doesn’t make you a better guitar player.

I know there are some people who say guitar playing is all about speed.

To me, there are only three qualities that make a guitarist “good”. They are innovation, creativity and versatility. Everything else can be studied and learned through diligence and practice, including tremolo and sweep picking.

Guitar Quote 6 – Orianthi

Just never give up. Try to believe in yourself and don’t let negativity wear you down.

Guitar Quote 6 - OrianthiThe guitar world might seem male dominated, but the reality is that there are plenty of great female guitarists too, whether it’s Jennifer Batten or Nita Strauss.

Honestly, you might be surprised by the female talent out there – not that you should be. We live in an equal opportunity world, don’t we?

I like Orianthi’s quote. First, it lets you know that she’s been through some crap. Second, it shows that you can accomplish anything you want if you keep working hard.

To steal a lyric from KISS’ “God Gave Rock And Roll To You”:

If you wanna be a singer or play guitar – man, you gotta sweat or you won’t get far.

So, at times, you might feel like giving up but that’s when you need to keep pushing ahead. Keep the dream alive.

Guitar Quote 7 – John Frusciante

Any guitar solo should reflect the music that it’s soloing over and not just be existing in its own sort of little world.
John Frusciante

Guitar Quote 7 - John FruscianteWhen inexperienced guitarists play guitar solos, oftentimes they are only concerned with it looking and sounding flashy and technical.

But the real question we should all be asking is whether the solo serves the music. That’s all that truly matters.

I think John Frusciante, who is best known for his work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers nails this idea on the head.

Guitar solos have the potential to bring the song to a new place. They can evoke a new emotion. They can surprise and delight your audience.

So, don’t waste a guitar solo. Think about how you can use it to complement the music you’re playing.

Guitar Quote 8 – Alex Lifeson

I’m not that fluid when it comes to scales and modes. I just pick up the guitar and play. It’s all about exploration: just tune the guitar any way you want and start playing.
Alex Lifeson

Guitar Quote 8 - Alex LifesonThis is a quote from a humble man who often doesn’t get the recognition he deserves.

Let me put it to you this way – Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson must be a talented man to keep up with bassist Geddy Lee and drummer Neil Peart, who are arguably the best prog rock rhythm section to ever grace the planet.

Regardless, I like what Lifeson is saying. It’s almost as if he’s here encouraging us now, saying, “go ahead, explore, do it your own way – you don’t need all that theory stuff.”

And, he is right – you can come up with plenty of great riffs and licks just by “noodling” around.

To this day, I still don’t know everything there is to know about music theory, but that hasn’t stopped me from progressing as a musician and guitar player.

Active Modern Guitarist Quote 9 By Nuno Bettencourt

While you’re learning guitar, figure out the drums, too. Not only does it help you have great timing, but it helps you understand how a band works.
Nuno Bettencourt

Active Modern Guitarist Quote 9 By Nuno BettencourtNuno Bettencourt is arguably one of the best guitarists alive, though he is largely unrecognized.

Most known for his work with the band Extreme, and pop star Rihanna, Bettencourt has kept busy as a musician through the years, even if the gigs weren’t always big.

And, what Bettencourt is sharing with us here is that you can get a better sense of how a band works together to create a sound if you take some time to understand the drums, which provide the beat.

If you see a guitarist in the limelight, it’s only because of the band around her. She wouldn’t shine if not for the band that’s supporting her.

And, let’s face it. At a most basic level, gaining a solid foundation in rhythm will only help you as a guitar player.

Famous Guitar Quotes 10 – Slash

Guitar is the best form of self-expression I know. Everything else, and I’m just sort of tripping around, trying to figure my way through life.

Famous Guitar Quotes 10 - SlashThere is a reason why this quote deeply resonates with every musician who reads or hears it.

As musicians, we create music because we want to be heard. We’re giving voice to an expression that needs to be – but has yet to be – articulated.

Here, Slash shares that the only time he feels at home is when he’s playing the guitar. Whenever he’s doing anything else, he just feels like he’s tripping around, not knowing what he’s doing.

As I already shared with you, every guitarist sounds different because of the specific gear they use and the way they play.

That gives you access to a unique expression you simply can’t find anywhere else. No wonder Slash is so in love with the guitar.

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Now, there are a couple of things we must keep in mind as we look to keep progressing as guitar players.

First, though I may be able to inspire you, no one can motivate you except for yourself. Motivation comes from the inside, and it comes from doing the work.

Second, if you ever feel like you’re in a rut, I suggest trying something new.

For example, learning a classical piece might seem entirely unrelated to becoming a better metal guitarist. But ultimately, you never know how learning that piece might end up inspiring you.

Beyond that, just keep going. Learning an instrument isn’t always easy or fun, but it is rewarding and fulfilling.

I’m a big believer in the idea that the happiness that comes from persevering long-term is much greater than the short-term happiness that accompanies going to a movie, eating food, partying and the like.

So, learning to play an instrument is a skill that could end up paying dividends in terms of the happiness and satisfaction you create for yourself long term.

Best Famous Guitar Quotes Conclusion

Learning to play the guitar isn’t necessarily easy.

Even if you’ve already reached a level of competence on the instrument, there is always more to aspire to.

And, ultimately, there isn’t a clear destination for every guitarist to move towards – only a journey to enjoy.

But for better or for worse, that journey won’t always be fun. There will be some bumps on the road.

At times, you might lose interest in the instrument. Or, your life circumstances may dictate that you can’t spend a lot of time playing your guitar.

We all need a bit of inspiration from time to time. We need something to help us keep our passion alive.

I hope these guitar quotes help with that.

If so, please share this post with your favorite guitarist communities. 🙂

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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