A philosophical post really, food for thought if you like.
In my general search for understanding of things in general (I commute by train everyday and read alot, it kills the time) I have read a number of books and articles on quantum mechanics.(bear with me)
One of the things that comes through again and again is that the ordinary non physicist or mathematician will generally struggle to understand the concept of the theories because the side of the brain which formulates linear thought always takes over.
The theory on this is that the brain is effectively divided into two halves (nothing new here I'm sure) but they are only connected by thin tissue which means that the two halves generally behave as if we have two seperate brains.
The left side of the brain controls the right side of the physical body and the right side of the body the left side of the body. so we use the right side of our brain to control the left hand on the fretboard.
Also the left side of the brain perceives the world in a linear manner, for example language which is linear. As you read this you flow along the line form left to right. The right hand side of the brain perceives the world as whole patterns. Maybe this is why plenty of people are great at learning scales up and down and all over the placein a linear way but when it comes to improvisation they cannot be as creative as others.
They have discovered that when tested seperately it is found the left side of the brain remembers how to speak words while the right brain cannot. BUT the right side of the brain remembers lyrics to songs!
I have been trying to apply this to guitar playing and wondering that if the general consensus is that people struggle to understand general irrational concepts about quantum physics then perhaps the same applies with musical creativity which is individual, cannot be written down and therefore is in effect an irrational process .
We right handers play with the left hand dictating the melodic and harmonic patterns driven by the right side of the brain, the side which is more whole concept but it is also the least used side of the brain and as we have evolved we use the left side much more for everyday life.
I wonder if this is perhaps why some players struggle more to be creative and to understand the whole concept of music, (which although logical takes irrational though and creativity to interpret originally) and apply it to their playing.
They have not "trained" the right side of the brain to grasp the concepts as a whole and always seek for the left side of the brain to try to grasp a concept which it is not good at.
If this is true then perhaps the level at which you are able to use the right side of the brain dictates at what level you will ever be able to play the guitar and in a way suggests that everyone has a limit to their ability based on the accessability of the right brain.
Perhaps we should also be teaching and learning how to free that side of the brain and at the same time free peoples creativity and the limit to their ability.
Does anyone know how the guitar developed with the fretboard played by the left hand for right handers?
Maybe this has something to do with it and good players with great natural ability have simply the natural ability to tap into that side of the brain more effectively and free their creative genius.