On and off I have been practicing guitar for over a year now, with 1 to 5 hour sessions to my self. I don't really know alot of guitarist up here, so can't ask anyone locally.

I am looking to better my self with self practice methods, but online tutorials and stuff, doesn't help me hone in where I need to focus on, so I am feeling really confused on what to learn or to even pay attention to. My Father was an excelent musician, and during his last months, I strived to learn guitar to play on stage with him one time at least, to which I did get to playing Eric Claptons (Son and Sylvia) song where I was able to manage the background part. He was the one that taught me the song and a few other things, but with him not around anymore, I don't know how to learn. I want to learn so bad.

Where I am at so far with practice.

  • Play Barre Chords
  • Play most all open chords
  • Have an understanding of wwwhwwh theory, can't put it into play fast though really
  • I can finger style so so: like classical gas (but slow and dont know it all), and black bird are songs that I kinda feel comforitable attempting, just haven't memorized the song.
  • Use a pick: can strum various patterns, pick individually(scales)
  • maybe a few other things that I can't think off since its 4am and I just finished with some work.

I have access to Electric, Acoustic(steal and nylon) guitars.

What I need to know is basically:
  • In order to better play with songs, what should I focus on?
  • Are there things that I could focus on practicing that would improve my overal finger dexterity and understanding of scales?

And what I WANT to be able to do is understand when someone says, we are in the key of E, how to handle and play along with stuff like that.

And if it helps, the music I like to focus on is Blues(Eric Clapton, BB King, Robert Cray etc) and Singer-Writer style songs(IE Jack Johnson, Ray LaMontange, Amos Lee etc. )

I have also tried to do various online tutorials, and they all say something, and have helped. But I feel like I am missing something overall that would help me harness it all.

Thanks for any advice, I really appreciate it!

see my sig

also: look at scales. start with simple ones like the good old pentatonic then gradually you'll get used to using it and improvising with it

except from that just keep playing songs you like. worked for me
Get off this damn forum and play your damn guitar.
um, a teacher would really help at your stage. since you seem to have a grasp on all the playing side of things. maybe you should learn some theory. all good stuff man.
NSW Group FTW!

There's nothing incredibly interesting here.
scales are good ive started doing them 2 improve minor pentatonics are a good place to start, E minor at teh 12 fret and the 10th fret are good you can link them to gether and build up speed with them
Learn teh scalezzzz...

But seriously, don't get bogged down by them... it'll put you straight off. Start with some easy ones and learn all the positions you can do them in (no pun intended ). Then, but yourself Paul Gilbert's intense rock I and II, not just fanboying but I learnt so much from those DVD's and is perfect if you want to build up your speed. And also, the most important thing, ENJOY IT! treat yourself to a jam out to one of your favourite songs or learn one of your favourite songs to keep you incouraged and willing to practice each day

Hope that helped, Aidan.

Edit- also learning theory will help you massively!! But start basic and don't go into stuff like odd time signatures and modes untill YOU are 100% ready!
Last edited by bass wizard at Mar 22, 2009,
1. In order to better play with songs, what should I focus on?


The ability to listen and discern - train your ears to hear chords, intervals, rhythmic patterns, etc. Just paying attention works wonders.

Theory - learn everything you can.

2. Are there things that I could focus on practicing that would improve my overal finger dexterity and understanding of scales?

See my sig. Correct practice and finger independence for the former, theory for the latter.