I have been playing for about 2 months, I can do a lot of random little riffs, but the the things I can play that are really worth mentioning-

Smoke on the water
Ironman (Apart from solo's)
Californication (Everything apart from solo)
Intro to The Pretender
Knocking on heavens door
Random bits and riffs from some Metallica songs, most notably the intro to Enter Sandman and One.
I can play the minor pentatonic scale un under 6 seconds without looking.
And apart from that, a bunch of random stuff....

Anyway, taking my current skill level into account, what are some songs I should start to learning now, and what are some things I could expect to be playing in another 2,4 and 6 months.

If it helps, my favourite genres of music are metal and rock, and I only have an acoustic guitar at the moment.

And as hard as I try, I simply cannot play Smells like Teen Spirit, I can do it slow, but after hours of practice, I cant speed it up.
hmm bro all i can say is go out and jam with some friends, and if you dont have any that play guitar go find some, because you'll get a lot better from that then learning songs on your own , also try to do the ironman middle solo, it looks a lot harder than it is, it might take a few weeks to get down but trust me man it'll be worth it
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same here
i can play a bunch of little riffs from a bunch of songs but i only know a handful of songs

a song to try might be through glass from stone sour.. it was one of the first i learned
or island in the sun by weezer
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Last edited by chris88kolate at Mar 29, 2009,
practice practice practice practice practice practice practice practice.

Try and do several different types of scales. When you understand scales and can play them fairly easily, it will make catching on to songs alot easier. You'll eventually figure out every scale is related somehow.

And you should definitely get an electric guitar. It helps to practice on both or at least that's what i think.
Teen Spirit isn't actually all that easy, ignore the people telling you it's a "beginner's" song because it's just bollocks.

It's "easy" to play it badly with a load of distortion and have it sound close enough to give a newbie a sense of achievement, but it's difficult to play properly and if you're the kind of beginner who actually listens to what he's playing then no, it's not going to sound right...so props to you for having the good sense to use your ears

Right hand damping, choppy off-kilter rhythms do not a beginner song make.

For the time being concentrate on the basics, building blocks that will provide the foundation for your playing. The bulk of what you should be doing is learning chords...don't just learn the shapes, learn the theory behind chord construction too. That means you won't need to memorise shapes, because you'll just know how to create chords on the fly. With you having an acoustic it's probably even more helpful to go that route, particularly as a lot of lead techniques don't sound too great on an acoustic and are also a lot harder to execute.

It might not seem like what you want to be learning but it's incredibly important knowledge that will be relevant to anything you ever want to learn. It's like Mr Miyagi whith his wax on stuff, the best way to learn guitar is to first spend time learning those crucial things that will enable you to learn everything else. What's immediately important for you is improving your picking control and accuracy, fretting accuracy, left hand finger resiliance, synchronising both hands and also improving your sense of rhythm and timing. You also want to be learning how to pick out the rhythm from a song and learning some commonly used strumming and rhythm patterns. The last thing is simply learning how to listen - listening to a wide variety of music helps you to zero in on the guitar parts and get a feel for different ways the instrument can sound or can be used.

Look up chord sheets for classic rock and even older songs, and make sure you expand your musical knowledege to help you progress. You can't be blinkered if you want to play guitar, you need to listen to as much stuff as possible. To make the most of your time with the acoustic I'm going to give you a few songs to hunt down and learn, they all work well as acoustic chords, just look for the chord sheets on UG. Eventually you'll run into barre chords - take time to practice the technique in isolation before worrying too much about trying to incorporate them into a song. Again, make sure you make the extra effort to learn how barre chords are constructed and why they work the way they do.

Neil Young - After the Goldrush, Heart Of Gold, Rocking in the Free World
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Bad Moon Rising, Proud Mary, Have you Ever Seen The Rain, As Long as I Can See The Light
Oasis - Wonderwall, Champagne Supernova
Bob Dylan - Knocking on Heaven's Door, Like a Rolling Stone
Poison - Every Rose Has it's Thorn
Green Day - Good Riddance
The Animals - House of the Rising Sun
Queen - Crazy Little Thing Called Love, 39 (if you're feeling brave)
Don McLean - American Pie
The Who - Pinball Wizard, Behind Blue Eyes
Rolling Stones - Paint it Black
Small Faces - All or Nothing
The Passenger - Iggy Pop
Actually called Mark!

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Last edited by steven seagull at Mar 29, 2009,
Theanks for that, that was really helpful. What are some good beginner theory lessons. All the ones I see start talking about octaves and pitches without explaining what they are simply. Im trying to learn theory but all I know so far is that chrods are named after the root note.
Wow, I just heard Wonderwall for the first time, I want to play it, but I dont have a capo.
You can still play it without the capo, sure it's not in the right key, but it should still be recognizable.
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Wow, I just heard Wonderwall for the first time, I want to play it, but I dont have a capo.

Just play it without one, you won't be able to play along with the record but thankfully it's easy enough to remember what it's supposed to sound like....it's only going to be a half-step lower.

For theory have a read of the first couple of Josh Urbans Crusade articles in the columns section.
Actually called Mark!

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People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

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i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.

Black Sabbath has alot of great riffs that you could try playing besides Iron Man and Paranoid such as "The Wizard", "Snowblind" and "Symptom of the Universe"