#1
Alright, well I've been playing guitar for about 3.5 years now, and I'm starting to plateau. I've been practicing every day for a while now with not much result. I play a good amount of lead stuff and most of the time I just improvise on my own. Do you guys have any suggestions for things for me to practice to help improve my playing? I'm going for better accuracy and speed mainly.
Last edited by xeroxed216 at Dec 16, 2008,
#2
I had this same problem about a month ago (with a year and a half of playing self taught) If you havent already I recommend checkin out some lessons theyve really helped give me direction with my playing and to know exactly what I need to practice each week.
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#3
Same thing happened to me recently, I advise you buy yourself a mediocre accoustic/ classical and explore a new style. I learnt some andy mckee junk and then after a month or so went back to playing lead and it opened up vast new areas for me. Very refreshing.
#4
I've been playing for a few years, but i have to ask, what is plateuing?

Sorry :/
#5
Plateauing is when no matter how much you work it just seems like your ability is staying the same.

I play mostly metal and blues, what other styles would you guys recommend? and also some songs to learn in those styles would be great.
#6
jazz perhaps? Playing some swung leads may help improve your alt picking
#8
I think this problem tends comes from lack of focus. If most of your practice time consists of improvisation (noodling away) then you will find yourself playing the same old licks over and over again and never learning anything new. I generally tend to steer away from noodling and try to focus on learning something I find challenging and that will be useful to me. This might be learning a song or lick (I prefer musical examples rather than rigid exercises) that uses hybrid picking, funk rhythm, jazz chords/lines, octaves etc I will then take that and try to incorporate that in to improvisations. It really takes you to figure out where your weaknesses lie and what type of player you want to be and then trying to fill in the gaps. Another thing that has really helped me progress is picking up looping and slowing down software such a GDT (Guitar Drum Trainer) which will automatically loop any licks you are trying to learn at the speed you want; works wonders when trying to get licks up to speed or trying to nail those awkward phrases, it also keeps you focused on the task at hand.
#9
Quote by xeroxed216
Alright, well I've been playing guitar for about 3.5 years now, and I'm starting to plateau. I've been practicing every day for a while now with not much result. I play a good amount of lead stuff and most of the time I just improvise on my own. Do you guys have any suggestions for things for me to practice to help improve my playing? I'm going for better accuracy and speed mainly.


You say your working on accuracy and speed... How do you practice these two things, do you use a metronome? Because, I highly advise you use one if you don't already. Just pick a scale and play it up and down at any tempo you choose for a good ten minutes. I used to do that everyday, all though I haven't done it in a while. I need to start again though. Anyways, I'd advise you start with an easy speed and gradually build your way up. If you don't have a metronome, there's a free one online I used to use. I'm pretty sure the link is: metronomeonline.com. (I apologize if putting a link is against the rules, I wasn't sure though. It's not my site though, just so you know)

But if you still feel like your starting to plateau, then I'd advise you broaden your horizons. Start learning different kind of music, and definetly look into some theory. Even if you already know some, you can never know enough.
#10
I had the same thing half a year ago, a teacher really helped me with that. Also try some insanely difficult piece.
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#12
Quote by xeroxed216
Alright, well I've been playing guitar for about 3.5 years now, and I'm starting to plateau. I've been practicing every day for a while now with not much result. I play a good amount of lead stuff and most of the time I just improvise on my own. Do you guys have any suggestions for things for me to practice to help improve my playing? I'm going for better accuracy and speed mainly.

Sometimes i do too much improvising and spend not enough time on learning new pieces and working on areas of technique that i need to improve on. Improvising is fun and I get carried away playing over backing tracks. I do make up new licks and such but it doesnt get me as far as if I worked hard on some challenging peices.

This could be your problem. When you spend a lot of time improvising you probably spending lots of time playing licks scales and basically motions that you already are familiar with. Its definatly great to do and im not saying to stop but you can do it too much.

Maybe pick out some pieces that are challenging to you. If your going for speed and accuracy spend lots of time learning things note for note without improv and work on playing cleanly and effieceintly on something hard for you. This will imrpove you. Also you might want to try something of a different style or genre. Spend some time on slow technique based practice instead of improvising so much.

Ive been working on playing pieces that are hard for me in perfect time with relaxed feel and super clean at slow speeds and slowly working up. This is tedious but really helps you improve. Then i reward myself at the end of my practice by jamming on old songs i know and backing tracks etc.. That way i work on new skills not just repeat my repetiore that i already have down good.
#13
Quote by xeroxed216
Alright, well I've been playing guitar for about 3.5 years now, and I'm starting to plateau. I've been practicing every day for a while now with not much result. I play a good amount of lead stuff and most of the time I just improvise on my own. Do you guys have any suggestions for things for me to practice to help improve my playing? I'm going for better accuracy and speed mainly.


if you play simply to enjoy it, and don't focus on it like you would a sport or videogame, plateaus will be irrelevant, if not nonexistent.

- learn new stuff
- always stay musical
- don't measure your success with statistics, measure it by how much you enjoy playing.
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