#1
Alright I've been playing the guitar for about 3 weeks now. Prior to this I had goofed around with the guitar wishing I had a clue what to do with it. Finally I got tired of wishing. And I started learning as much as possible at first I just learned some major/minor chords. And I tried to learn as many as possible but quickly became overwhelmed. (Found out there are over 2,000 chords...)

So then I ran into the chord theory lessons, ate that up. But then I quickly got bored of just playing chords and mixing and matching... Then I tried to play some songs just a few that everyone recommends playing first and a couple choice songs. (Smoke on the Water, Maggie May, Smells Like Teen Spirit, ect.)

And except for Smoke on the Water I noticed it all didn't sound right. Later to figure out I wasn't alternative picking because I didn't really consider that, not knowing what it was tell recently. As well I did have enough speed and all around concept of the guitar to make it sound right.

At that point I was considering giving it up, but I figured maybe I just need to try to learn more about the guitar as it's self then the songs.
So I started to learn some scales, blue scales, a couple majors, ect. Also reading and trying to learn the music theory. For the most part I got the concept down.

Anyway today I wanted to continue learning at full speed. So I've devoted probably 5-6 hours today working on the 5 basic pentatonic scales. And I have them down backwards and frontwards speedwards even though that's not a word...

I'm done practicing for the day but I want to continue full speed tomorrow.
I know that I need to practice alternative picking more. And I probably should practice arpeggios and more major scales as well.

Now getting to the point..
I'm not really looking to play any songs for awhile unless it's to grasp a concept. I just want to learn more about how the guitar works and learn as much as possible about it. So that I can write my own music.
So what are the next important things I should really focus on learning and perfecting? And should I take up a few lessons from a teacher?
#2
Take some lessons yeah. Just get one a week or something. I hear major scales are pretty much the building blockage of all scales. You can build any scale you want, if you know the major scale of it. Go through some of the lessons on this site about theory. Beginner theory etc. They are good lessons, and if you are as keen as you sound to learn it all, it shouldnt be a problem.

Btw, that is a lot to take in for 3 weeks dude. But its upto you i guess. I was gonna do the same as you, but sitting down studying was not in my interests at the time..(different now) annnd im not that bad of a guitarist. + im actually picking things up theory wise, even though im not studying theory.

*waits for seagull dude*
#3
Sounds like you've pretty much got off to a flying start! Start using what you've learnt. If you know some scales and you want to write your own stuff then maybe start improvising.

Couple of points though - did you learn 5 different pentatonic scales or the 5 shapes of the minor pentatonic?

Don't worry about learning every chord yet - start off with open major and minor chords and switching between them smoothly, then work on barre chords. You can add 7ths/9ths/sus/dims/augs etc later.

Give yourself a break. Don't expect to be able to learn everything at once - you're in danger of knowing a bit about everything, but not being able to use any of it. My advice would be slow down a bit and give yourself a chance to really understand what you are learning. You can't give up if you can't do it straight away.

Its not just about knowing the theory - you need to get your technique down too, and that will take time. Sounds like you should get there relatively quickly if your putting a lot of time and effort into learning, but its still gonna take time.

Songs probably don't sound right even if you are playing the right notes because you don't have the technique yet. Practice songs/riffs slowly, so you can play them accurately, then gradually speed them up to normal speed, but always practice at a speed where you can play accurately, otherwise you'll just end up getting into bad habits.

If you want to write you need to get to the point where you understand what sounds good with what - and the easiest way to do that is to learn theory - which you've started. You need to be able to understand what scales will fit with what chords.

Have you checked out some of the lessons on this site yet?

A teacher is a good idea, but make sure you get a good one. They can point out what you're doing wrong before it becomes a habit, and help organise your learning a bit, so you don't miss out anything major. Try and get some opinions on teachers in your area, and have a chat with the teacher before you commit and check he can get you where you want to be.

Its worth starting to record yourself from now on if you can - then when you are having a down day, feeling like you're not getting anywhere, have a listen to what you were like a few weeks/months ago, and you'll realise how far you've actually come

And have fun! :

EDIT: wow I just wrote an essay! Sorry!
Last edited by zhilla at Mar 18, 2009,
#4
I'm not really looking to play any songs for awhile unless it's to grasp a concept. I just want to learn more about how the guitar works and learn as much as possible about it. So that I can write my own music.


So start writing your own music now!

So what are the next important things I should really focus on learning and perfecting?


Whatever is important to the music you want to learn to play/make.

And should I take up a few lessons from a teacher?


Definately. Try www.RGT.org

And for free lessons on the net, check my sig.
#5
Quote by steeLmonkeyz
Take some lessons yeah. Just get one a week or something. I hear major scales are pretty much the building blockage of all scales. You can build any scale you want, if you know the major scale of it. Go through some of the lessons on this site about theory. Beginner theory etc. They are good lessons, and if you are as keen as you sound to learn it all, it shouldnt be a problem.

Btw, that is a lot to take in for 3 weeks dude. But its upto you i guess. I was gonna do the same as you, but sitting down studying was not in my interests at the time..(different now) annnd im not that bad of a guitarist. + im actually picking things up theory wise, even though im not studying theory.

*waits for seagull dude*
Thanks for the friendly advice. Yeah I pretty much understand studying can be a pain.


Quote by zhilla
Sounds like you've pretty much got off to a flying start! Start using what you've learnt. If you know some scales and you want to write your own stuff then maybe start improvising.

Couple of points though - did you learn 5 different pentatonic scales or the 5 shapes of the minor pentatonic?

Don't worry about learning every chord yet - start off with open major and minor chords and switching between them smoothly, then work on barre chords. You can add 7ths/9ths/sus/dims/augs etc later.

Give yourself a break. Don't expect to be able to learn everything at once - you're in danger of knowing a bit about everything, but not being able to use any of it. My advice would be slow down a bit and give yourself a chance to really understand what you are learning. You can't give up if you can't do it straight away.

Its not just about knowing the theory - you need to get your technique down too, and that will take time. Sounds like you should get there relatively quickly if your putting a lot of time and effort into learning, but its still gonna take time.

Songs probably don't sound right even if you are playing the right notes because you don't have the technique yet. Practice songs/riffs slowly, so you can play them accurately, then gradually speed them up to normal speed, but always practice at a speed where you can play accurately, otherwise you'll just end up getting into bad habits.

If you want to write you need to get to the point where you understand what sounds good with what - and the easiest way to do that is to learn theory - which you've started. You need to be able to understand what scales will fit with what chords.

Have you checked out some of the lessons on this site yet?

A teacher is a good idea, but make sure you get a good one. They can point out what you're doing wrong before it becomes a habit, and help organise your learning a bit, so you don't miss out anything major. Try and get some opinions on teachers in your area, and have a chat with the teacher before you commit and check he can get you where you want to be.

Its worth starting to record yourself from now on if you can - then when you are having a down day, feeling like you're not getting anywhere, have a listen to what you were like a few weeks/months ago, and you'll realise how far you've actually come

And have fun! :

EDIT: wow I just wrote an essay! Sorry!
Haha thanks for the essay of advice. It can be really fun & addictive learning some of this guitar but other times it seems like a chore. Though lately haven't really felt overwhelmed because I knew what direction to head in kinda of. When you don't know what direction to go in because there's so many paths, that's when it gets overwhelming fast. But you have a good point anyway! And for your question I believe it to be the 5 basic pentatonic scales, that go through 1-13 frets? And most of what I've learned has been off the lessons on this site and Youtube.


Quote by Freepower
So start writing your own music now!


Whatever is important to the music you want to learn to play/make.


Definately. Try www.RGT.org

And for free lessons on the net, check my sig.

Funny thing I've been just going through scales and chords and notes just basic improvising for fun. It didn't really click that I could write my own music now lol. Thanks for pointing out something obvious that wasn't so obvious to me.
I'll be sure to checkout your lessons.
And thanks!