Hey guys! I've been thinking of this for a few days, maybe weeks, actually maybe months, but I been thinking about almost "starting over" with some of my guitar playing. Its been about 5 1/2 years now since I started playing, and I feel like I've made enough progress in this time to feel good about it. I've been self taught, So for the longest time, my learning has almost been random, I don't remember actually trying to sit down and practice or really focusing, and that's been fine and dandy and is good enough for the point I'm at for my playing, but I feel like if I'm wanting to move on, there are things I need to understand a little better and really fine tune to get from being good, to great, to amazing, to pro and so on you know. So What I'm needing from you guys is (please ) Is some ideas of what things are the most important things to learn and understand as a guitar player. Nothing vague, long explanatory answers would be the best for me, because tackling this idea alone is a bit difficult because like I said I'm self taught so theres a bunch of things I feel i skipped or am not aware of. I'm trying to figure out a way to word some examples of what I'm looking for, but its hard because It's such a big thing, the world of guitar, and there are so many aspects its hard to start somewhere. It doesn't have to be intermeddiate or advanced stuff, I'd much rather really master the easy stuff

Sorry for the rambling, but I'm trying to explain such a weird vague (how I see it) question for you guys So if anyone has an idea of what I'm trying to ask, giving me some insight and knowledge would be greatly greatly appreciated. Detailed replies please Thanks again!

Big things I'm looking at are: Picking, Fret hand relaxation, Chords (thats too confusing for me to think of where to start) things along those lines. Oh and I suppose wondering Genres of playing are important to note, I just wanna play instrumental music, no specific style really, just whatever can sound cool. So ofcourse lead playing is my priority
Last edited by SarwTheGreat at Nov 14, 2012,
What you ask is to complex and non specific to cover in one post.

Instead of focusing on technique focus on sound quality.

If you focus on the sound that you're aiming to achieve then the technique itself will naturally come along with it.

Once you've got your chops in shape focus on learning your scales, chords, music theory, training your ear, writing and even reading music. This will ensure that you're a flexible guitar player who knows and understands music.

Once you've done this listen to a shitload of music from classical to R&B to Pop to Heavy Metal to Reggae to Jazz-Hiphop to Trance to Dubstep to Djent to Disco etc... Pay attention to the melody, chord changes, and the rhythmic content. Eventually you reach this point where you can recognize the progression that you're hearing on the spot.

Once you've learned all of this stuff, forget all that crap and just play. Not exercises but actual music. At this point it's all about being able to create uplifting melodies along with catchy rhythms and play them immediately on the guitar. This is where everything you've learned comes together.

Last but not least practice using all of your techniques together. If you can alternate pick at 200bpm in 16th notes then you better make sure that you can transition from that technique to the next one in time for the next phrase.

Forget technique and pay attention to sound quality and music. You know when you're on the right path when you can play in front of people and get a good response.
Thanks Danny! But does anyone else have any thoughts? Id like as many people's thoughts as possible
You need to decide exactly what you want to do with your guitar playing.
Then you will be able to answer your own question. And if you cannot decide, then just pick something that appeals to you and focus on that for 6 months - that may turn into 6 years or 6 weeks, but until you do focus on one thing you will continue to meander around not sure of how to get 'better'

Good luck
Yeah John you're probably spot on there. I feel like this is something that I need to figure out on my own, but because I havent really "practiced" in such a long time (which is awful) I'm not sure where to start if there is a place I should start first. I don't wanna waste anymore time learning things that are not important or not learning at all. I guess I should make this dilemma less complicated, pick something and just run with it, because that will lead to another thing, another thing and so on I'm sure. Thanks for the input guys, I'll have to try something. There's just so much to guitar playing its hard to do all by myself. But I gotta do it!
I never post on these forums but I feel that you really hit the nail on the head with how I feel at the moment..

I can play any chords and finger pick but the biggest thing for me at the moment is playing and moving around the fretboard with a pick!

I just bought a Martin DCX1E electro acoustic as my previous guitar was just an acoustic and i'm now hoping (as i have a decent guitar) to put a lot more effort into taking my guitar playing to the next level!

I love blues music so I'm gonna start to learn to alternate pick and then possibly move onto some blues scales and then listening and playing some tabs from some blues players.. But yeah man, I totally understand what you mean..

Like the rest of these guys said, you need to decide what you want out of your guitar playing, what sort of genre you like playing and then practice it. I would definitely recommend learning how to alternate pick, it will only help you in the future.