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Dumb Shit Guitarists Do: Playing in Boxes

One of the fastest ways to advance on guitar is not to create more work for yourself. Guitarists seem to be masters at this, and the 'how do I break out of scale boxes and patterns' stumbling block is a prime example. If you've been duped into learning the shitty CAGED system or can't be bothered to learn music theory, you'll be heavily reliant on shapes and patterns. While this is all well and good in the beginning, and will probably get you laid on a regular basis, you'll need to up your game at some point, or the only thing biting you in the ass will be those boxes.

I can see the attraction of scale boxes - they tell your fingers where to go to make the right noises over other patterns (chords). The problem with boxes is that at some point most guitarists feel the need to 'break out of them' as if there were some undiscovered notes on the fretboard that will elevate their lead playing to panty-wetting status.

To Box or Not to Box
This is the dilemma. …

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