Okay, I've been playing for about 4 years, so I do have a reasonable level of guitar playing skill. I never really 'practised' as such, I just messed around with a few songs I liked and ended up getting better at guitar that way, and I could feel myself steadily getting better, but I've realised that I'm not getting much better anymore, and it is getting ridiculously frustrating. I think it has something to do with my laid-back way of practising.

Anyway, have any of you guys got any tips on how I can improve my guitar playing or how to actually practice effectively?

Thanks in advance.
Watch Freepower's various videos for things about practice methods and such. For any better information than that you're going to have to define what you mean by "improve".

What do you want to do with the guitar?
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”

do you improvise?
look up backing tracks on youtube and try to solo over them.

once you've been doing a little bit of that, try learning a few scales. learn the scales ALL OVER the fretboard, learn all the cool licks in that scale, in all positions.

try a completely different style. try country music one week, try some funk the next, then some progressive metal or something. jut look up beginner instructional videos, best country/funk/etc song lists, and give it a go.

it opened up whole new worlds for me.
I felt the same way a few times, playing around 7 yrs now, like last month I felt like I wasshit. Then today I was like wow, I can play that pretty good, and it makes me feel great. I noodle a lot too, but I make sure to spend time on what I can't do well and stuff I actually hate, but it pays off. Vid yourself every few months, when you can see the change it inspires you a bit.

Yeah I play hrs over backing tracks, generic jam track lists on youtube and a bunch of other stuff I downloaded. It makes it way more fun. I don't play the real leads, I only improvise in the same style, it's more creative and easier.

Edit...I'm just assuming you want to play lead and know the major/min/pent scale pretty good
Last edited by Tempoe at Feb 7, 2013,
Well, first step to improving is being a bit more specific.

If you can decide on a bad habit you want to eliminate or a good habit you want to cultivate, then you can start working on it with practice and you'll improve.

If you can't think of anything, work on your ear training - start figuring out your favourite music by ear.
^ This, it took me ages to figure out the way to write good music is to imagine it in your head, and then transcribe it onto the guitar (or whatever instrument you play, or notation software, or whatever).

This being the case, ear training and transcription are so important and so underrated. I try to practice them a lot now and I still think I need to put a lot more time into it.
IMO, it comes down to knowing what your goals are. What type of guitar player do YOU want to be? Once you have figured that out, go from there.

However, based on your post here is my idea.

How much time do you have to practice? An hour a day? 6 days a week? two hours on this day, three on that.. etc...

Organize your practice. On the days you practice an hour follow a system similar to the following, changing it to follow your specific needs/interests.

5 minute chromatic warm up.
5 minute scale warm up.

10 minutes learning a new scale.

10 minutes ear training, learn a song by ear.

10 minutes practice a certain technique, like sweeping to tapping.

10 minutes writing.

10 minutes playing what ever...

You can use the same system every day, or you can change it day by day. Like on Monday work 10 minutes on writing, and Tuesday work 10 minutes on sight reading. Change it up how you see fit.

You get the idea? That is one way to get better.

In the end though, you have to know what you want out of the guitar and take the steps to get there.

With out more details on exactly what you want. This the best advice I can give.
Last edited by MEGADETHGOD at Feb 8, 2013,
Sounds like you need a practice plan, and some specific goals to work towards. Ask your teacher to guide you with that, and maybe get hold of some new learning material to work on. There's loads of sites round the net offering online guitar lessons these days, so just find some that takes your fancy!
I'm in the same boat. Been playing off and on since I was nine, but still just banging around.
Just started checking out JamPlay. All sorts of styles. Great teachers. Some of the teachers also do live chats every week so you can ask question. I'm more stoked about playing than I ever have been before!

One dude that I'm digging, Michael Ripoll, has a whole series on funk/r&b guitar. Never thought I'd be able to play licks like that, but he breaks it down really nicely. Here's a free trial, if you want to check it out: jamplay.com/trial/ripoll?code=nomad
Or hop over to YouTube and search for Funk/R&B with Michael "Nomad" Ripoll to see this guy in action.