So if you can tell by my UG join date, I started playing guitar on my 18th birthday, a little over two years ago. As much as playing is something I really enjoy doing (I really want to be in a band someday and write music), I'm finding it almost impossible to progress. I can look up tabs, licks, and riffs all day long but after two years I am still unable to play a single song all the way through and everything I play sounds just as bad as when I started.

I am literally getting to the point where I want to smash the damn thing because I'm so frustrated in how much time I put in versus the results I get back.

Any tips or suggestions?

I'm thinking it might just be a mental block and if I learn a song, maybe things will start to pick up from there.
find stuff you've never tried before, new bands, new scales, play using only certain fingers, etc. just be creative and you'll figure new stuff out
Soon, death metal's drums will be so fast only computers will be able to listen to it.

94? Not bad. It shall improve >=)

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Have you been to the musician talk forums? They have heaps of info for theroy and look in the advance techniques sub-forum in the musician talk forum to help improve your technique (that forum is also for beginners to).

Finally, have a look at the member Freepower:
and his lessons on youtube as he is a seriously great guitarist and shows how to do the basics well.

Once you are more aware of how to improve your technique the playing will soon sound ALOT better and you will enjoy it alot more.
Thanks for the advice guys.

I'm not sure if it might just be a mind over matter thing, can someone give me a fairly easy song to play, with an accurate tab. I'll record it and upload it to my profile, hopefully that should at least give me some temporary relief.
listen to music that you really like.
I never played a full song, that is, until finding muse.
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Try to have fun and use good technique. The first few years are the hardest! You are probably advancing and don't see it. Try recording yourself then again a few months later playing the same thing, you will see a big difference.
Last edited by Tempoe at Feb 1, 2009,
Maybe have a look at how you're practicing? If you're just logging hours noodling in front of the TV you might not be progressing because you're not focussing enough on how you're producing the motions, are you making sure you play everything to the best of your ability, or are you just playing?
Still play what you enjoy but maybe try to work on your practice approach so you can make sure you're getting the best results you can. A good teacher can also help you with this! Good luck!
from personnel experiance, trying to learn how to play guitar by looking up tabs is not a good way to go. i did that the first 4 years i played guitar and it took me no where really fast. i suggest taking lessons, learning scales and chords, etc.
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Find any lesson plan like http://www.justinguitar.com/ or about.com's guitar lesson and progress from there on. That's what I'm doing now.
I used to face the same problem as you and now I'm progressing, so don't worry.
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If you really want to make a career out of it, I would suggest you get knee-deep in theory. You are going to have to learn the language to be able to speak to other musicians.

Just my .02

*sees rcshadow's avatar

*returns 10 minutes later

I've had issues like that before. It helped me by listening to music that i don't normally care for, and try to play along. For instance, lately I've been listening to Brad Paisley's new album Play, because its mostly instrumental and has a surf song, a jazz song, a blues song with BB King, some country stuff, and some really amazing acoustic work on a bluegrass-sounding song called Kentucky Jelly.

Also, try jamming with others. Frequently. With as many partners as possible. I'm not so much a fan of bluegrass, but the genre has probably a hundred or more shows per year within a hundred miles of where I live, and there are always loads of jam sessions at each one. As difficult as it may seem to follow your favorite platinum artist, try following a dozen guys at all levels of ability!

Also, consider picking up a bass for a while. It helped me learn the fretboard a little better, since it's mostly single note playing, and it'll really sharpen your sense of timing. And as a double bonus, its a blast. You can lay down some simple rhythms quickly that sound great on a bass. And that's not meant to offend any bassists, I agree it can get complicated in the hands of a talented player, I just meant that exploring new things helps keep the interest alive (and the learning)
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I would try learning different types of music that you wouldn't normally be interested in. That way you can explore and learn new skills at the same time.
If you want something ridiculously easy then try a few Beatles songs, especially 'Revolution'.
Play with other people...I know someone said this and Ill echo it.....As players, we all hit "plateaus" and then one day it's like WOW, instant escalation of skills...I can't explain it, but it happens like that...just keep at it and dont get frustrated and one day soon you will get what I mean.
1 (maybe 2 Im long winded) more thing.....You will never get the groove of a song from tablature. That being said, dont try to learn every note and lick exactly before you get the entire groove of the song. Get the rythm down first, then the turnaround licks then work on the harder solo type stuff....but definately just start getting the main riffs first and if you are playing alone use a metronome or click track of some sort it will make you waaaaay better in the long run.