#1
Hello everyone, second post here, so far great community.

To the point, I've been playing since last Christmas, and not to bragg, but I think I've gotten decent. The problem is, I seem to be going through the plateau effect you get with this and also with lifting weights, you seem to gain skill at first, but then get stuck.

I'm sure many of you have gone through this, any tips on how to get out of it? Thank you.
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#2
It can help to listen to more advanced musicians. Look into guys like Greg Howe, Brett Garsed, Al Di Meola, and other fusion virtuosos. They will definitely give you both more to learn and more motivation to learn.
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#3
Thank you, I shall do that.
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#4
I feel like that all the time...

However, if I think about what I can play now, compared to what I could play a few months ago, I definitely feel like I've improved a lot.
#5
It's just naturally how one progresses at a learned skill, don't worry about it. If you got 100% better each month or week or whatever that is normal, but it can't continue due to limitations.
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#6
Quote by Mick313
Hello everyone, second post here, so far great community.

To the point, I've been playing since last Christmas, and not to bragg, but I think I've gotten decent. The problem is, I seem to be going through the plateau effect you get with this and also with lifting weights, you seem to gain skill at first, but then get stuck.

I'm sure many of you have gone through this, any tips on how to get out of it? Thank you.

Sorry, but you've just discovered the law of diminishing returns...the better you get at guitar, the more effort you have to put in for less percieved improvement. That's why people like Steve Vai still practice craploads and still work on simple stuff, because at his level that's what you need to do just to maintain your skill, let alone get better.

You just need to lower your expectations, be patient, disciplined and continue practicing...after all you don't learn to play guitar in 12 months, you don't even learn in 12 years.
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#7
I'll assume you're using correct technique and stuff, in which case: try learning songs that you find difficult but can still do. Something that requires you to play at your peak. That should improve your playing.
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#8
At the point you're at, I' say don't even focus on how high your skill level is. Just find songs that you really like, and work on playing them as accurately as you can. You'll see improvement if you're persistent and don't worry about it too much
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#9
Protest the Hero and Between the Buried and Me. When you look at their music and realize how good they are then try to learn their stuff, its very inspirational (and humbling). But I started to be able to play some PTH at the one year point and its really fun stuff to learn
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#10
Thanks for all the responses people.
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#12
I find for myself, which I don't like but my schedule also sucks. I just put it down for a few days...or weeks. Then pick t back up and can play were I was at and in a few days I can hear a noticable improvement. Whether it is just being cleaner in playing a song or making it past that sticking point that had me put it down to start with.
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#13
I'd advise you to try and compose your own music. It will really challenge your capability and creativity and then you will find the 'musician' in you. Being able to play exercises and other peoples songs and solos is well and good, but creating your own which other people can critique will challenge you and further your understanding of music as a whole. I think that should get you off that 'plateau' you're stuck on.
Good luck.
#14
Quote by wise1man
I'd advise you to try and compose your own music. It will really challenge your capability and creativity and then you will find the 'musician' in you. Being able to play exercises and other peoples songs and solos is well and good, but creating your own which other people can critique will challenge you and further your understanding of music as a whole. I think that should get you off that 'plateau' you're stuck on.
Good luck.


This is also a great thing and you just reminded me that I need try and write a song or two. It's about that time, thanks.
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#15
Practice with the metronome.
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#16
I'm going to start sounding like a broken record saying this, but PLAY WITH OTHER MUSICIANS. Preferably in a band, but jams are OK too if that's what you can find. You'll discover that when you're playing in a band, you'll always have stuff to practice, songs to work on, songs to write, overdubs to play etc. So not only will you learn to actually be a musician by playing with others, but you will also have much more valuable things to do in your practice time. You will get better fast, and you will do it in ways you couldn't do without the band.
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Last edited by Even Bigger D at Dec 22, 2009,
#17
Since you've compared guitar playing plateaus to weight lifting plateaus I will do the same...

When you hit a plateau in lifting, the general advice is to change your lifting regimen. In other words, change the exercises you do while still targeting the areas you want.

This follows through with guitar. Learn some new scales or chords. Recently I hit a plateau with my playing and started learning songs in genres of music I don't regularly listen to. The next band practice we had I was astonished at the sound and riffs I was writing. Also, there was a post about a month ago about people playing a song for each letter of the alphabet. I thought that was cool so I went through my iTunes and picked a song that started with each letter of the alphabet. Forcing myself to learn to play a wide variety of music; with elements I wouldn't normally write (but still like to listen to)

Basically my advice boils down to: Flip the script on what your practicing. Do stuff you've never done, push yourself to try something completely out of your comfort level.
#18
take some time off. sometimes these things are strictly a mental block, and you just need to take your mind off of it for a while.

I was getting frustrated because I hadn't seen any improvement in playing in a few months, and just decided not to even open my guitar case for a month. Came back into it, and most of the problems I was having weren't even an issue anymore.
Last edited by wisdom_cube at Dec 22, 2009,
#19
last christmas? thats one year... you are far from a plateau. watch yourself play on the mirror, record yourself playing, you'll probably hear and see a lot of little things you could fix.

most of all, get a teacher if you dont already have one, because 1 year on the guitar really isnt much.
#20
This is important! The first thing you want to do is really dig into technique. Learn what the best ways to play are and stick with it. For example, don't anchor, always reduce tension, maintain proper fretboard technique, etc. If you can stick to that you're going get a lot more out of your practices than the average guitarist.

Most importantly, just stick with it and keep it fun. That's what it's all about.