So, hi guys,
I'm Nils, living in Germany and playing guitar for about 2 and a half year now on my Hamer Sunburst Archtop P90. Before that I played cello for around 4 or 5 years but not very good (the music I had to play was awful) and in my childhood I played a little bit piano and flute. My guitar teacher is really great, he studied Music in university and plays guitar for around 35 years I guess. My problem is: I'm goddamn lazy. I don't practice. Not even 10 minutes per week and that starts to pisses me off. At the moment I'm learning to improvise some solos using some licks and totally free. I can play around 10 to 15 chords, just the most common ones.
Enough about my background. The reason why I'm writing this is because I want to become better and better and better. The problem -> besides the stuff I get from my teacher I don't have any clue where to start. So now it's your task: What can I do to improve my musical skills. And I don't mean "please give me some songs I can play the whole day" but stuff like to know where every note is (fret and string) or about subdominant and so on. Maybe also some advices how I can train my hearing so I might be able to tune my guitar without an electric tuner or to recognize the chords being played in a song.
I hope you can help me and that this wall of text doesn't frighten you or something like that.

PS: Please forgive if my English isn't that well but I only learn Oxford English in school which kinda sucks because you never gonna need it in the "real" world

PPS: I'm not a fan of learning how to play a song but I want to be that good so I don't need to learn how to play a specific song.
Have you taken a gander at the lessons that are on this site? There's a boat-load of info there that can help you.
Yes, I've already read through many of them. But most of them are more like a complete introduction to the topic. I were looking for specific exercises I can do. Like commiting all notes to my memory so I don't have to think about where to put my finger. That may sound stupid but I think that's a good start. Stuff like that. I thought of trying to exercise 2 hours a day at the beginning but at the moment I don't have any clue how to fill them.
If you want to be good you need to practice. A lot. Its that simple.

To start off with your best bet is to spend whatever spare time you have in the week practicing what your teacher has given you.

If you really want to improve, and are willing to put the time and effort in, I reckon the best way to train your ear is by playing along to songs you know - play them over and over and work them out on your guitar til you can play along. At first it will seem almost impossible but as you practice it will get easier. I'd just try and work out the melody to start with though, leave the chords for later.

I still don't know my way around the fretboard very well, but its getting there - mainly from learning chord inversions. I basically picked a chord and broke it down into its component notes and then worked out where it was all over the fretboard. Works for me anyhow.

Have fun
Thanks for your response. Yes, I guess I have to do the stuff my teacher gives me to start off. I've just read some articles about harmony (don't know the exact English words for them) and the circle of fifths and I plan to learn all that stuff to get a better understanding of music. Do you guys think that would make sense? I would know about chords and how they are put together, about subdominants and so on and I would be able to know how the pentatonics work and in addition with knowing where every note on the fret is I would be able to play any pentatonic whenever I want. That seems at least to me as a good plan to get better regarding the music theory. Parallel to that I would exercise songs and everything my teacher gives me so I become better concerning my actual techniques. So is this a good plan or did I mess it up? :P
In learning all things, you need a goal, what is yours? have you achieved it? Maybe set yourself an outline of goals and theories to learn, read alot and often, it seems you know alot and may not be a beginner. Listen to others in this forum. I'm still a beginner though and w/o a goal, I would be lingering. Rock on!!
Last edited by vang0341 at Feb 10, 2009,