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Why (and How) We Should Learn John Frusciante’s Guitar Habits

If someone said you had stanky groove, should you take it as an insult or a compliment? I’ll give you a tip: as long as you have an instrument in your hands, you should feel honored.

Innate melodic tendencies, simple yet effective rhythm guitar parts built from triads, and a low-down, dirty, filthy, stanky groove are the key habits of John Frusciante’s signature style.

As I’ve continued to pick apart the methods of some of music’s most iconic guitar players, I’ve started to notice patterns–patterns that paint a bigger picture. For example, as if we needed any more evidence, triads are the root of all modern guitar playing, whether you understand music theory or not.

Another overlapping habit is the pursuit of memorable melodies, no matter the musical context. For example, Frusciante’s solo in "Can’t Stop" says more in a handful of notes than any solo I’ve ever written, and admittedly, playing with more melodic intention is one of the most difficult things to master.

The guitar greats do this with ease, however. See the video above for a full breakdown of John Frusciante’s guitar habits, and be sure to check out the full series of these types of lessons on my YouTube channel.

Tyler Larson is the founder of the guitar-centric brand Music is Win. His insightful, uncomplicated guitar lessons and gear demonstrations along with entertaining, satirical content about life as a musician receive tens of millions of video views per month across social media. Tyler is also the creator of the extremely popular online guitar learning platform, Guitar Super System. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Tyler has been teaching guitar for over a decade and operates a production studio in Nashville, TN.