#1
Hey everyone Ive been playing the electric guitar for 4 years now self taught. I just dont seem to be progressing anymore, I dont do much exercises I just keep learning songs and thats how I advance my skill but, I dont think I am progressing quickly at this pace. What should I do? and also the only thing I cant do so far is sweeping and hybrid picking. I really want to learn sweep picking but all the excersie stry or the video i see on youtube are very confusing or the excersises are too ahr dot get familiar with. Also, I dont know how to use a metronome properly and that hinders my skill greatly.

Thx guys please tell me where I can go from here I really want to improve majorly. I dont suck but, I need a lot of room for improvement.
#2
Quote by Opethians
I just dont seem to be progressing anymore, I dont do much exercises


Bingo
#3
You'll reach (or have reached) a "plateau" - hope that's spelt correctly - and from that point onwards, if you want to progress you'll have to take practise and excercises more seriously. From that point onwards, progress might not even be noticable in the short term. Now is time to focus on LONG-TERM goals.
#4
Lets me make this simpler and more straight forward. I want a couple of exercises that will solidify and enhance my skill greatly in guitar playing if I practice them. Especially for sweep picking.

Thanks.
#6
Well, first of all, hitting a plateau is pretty common. After you've gotten through the first year or so, when all you have to do is pick up the guitar in order to see improvement, the improvement comes in little bursts, with periods in between where it seems like you aren't improving much.
The little bursts of improvement come when some aspect of your playing that was holding you back is improved enough to not hold you back anymore. The rest of the time, you really are improving, but the parts that are holding you back haven't reached "critical mass" yet to the point where you see that bump.
As far as exercises go, I'm afraid there isn't a single exercise or two that I could say "this is the magic bullet" and suddenly you'd be playing better in a few weeks. You have to find it out by looking at your playing and finding out where the areas are that you are struggling. To find that out, I'd find a song that's a bit more difficult (not the hardest song you can find, just something that's a decent step up the difficulty scale) than you are used to, and get to learning it. You will find parts that you really have a hard time with. Those will tell you what you need to work on in order to improve. Anaylze them. What movements/techniques are involved, etc, etc. Once you have that figured out, get to work!

Regarding sweeping, I'm no sweeping master (it's always kind of bored me a bit, other than the odd thing I'll find that seems interesting and cool), but it's a lot like everything else - start out slow and take it in baby steps. Practicing on a little shape on 3 strings, then start moving through different 3 string shapes, then on to 4 strings, and so on. When you start getting something going, start integrating little bits of sweeping into your improvising, and licks that you come up with. What's your theory like? If you know how to form different chords and chord inversions in different positions on the neck, this will help you a great deal, because sweeping is really just playing chords one note at a time.
#7
It's easy to fall into a comfort zone - I know as I was in one for about 5 years. You pick up your guitar and what you are playing isn't challenging enough. You still take a while to master a new song but are not really learning anything new and although you have a new track under your belt you aren't a better guitarist for it.

I broke out of my comfort zone when I found this video and tried to learn day tripper from it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vh4jGqvUGiQ - it sounds easy on first listen but after half an hour or so I wanted to punch myself in the face and I couldn't believe that I couldn't play it. The thing is, that frustrating feeling which makes you want to smash your guitar is when you are stretching yourself. Anyway, from that point on my 5-year comfort zone period was broken and I've found tons of other very difficult stuff which has given me hours of amusement and kept me stretched.

Anyway... when you say the exersises are to hard for you, this is good. After time, what seems impossible to start with will become something which is just extremely difficult, and then it becomes just out of your reach and so on until you wonder why you couldn't do it to start with.

As for the metronome - which bit don't you understand?

For practising a scale for instance:

-Set Metronome going at slow tempo
-Get foot tapping in time with beat
-Play one note on each click (or every other note for 8ths or every 4th note for 16th)

If you are struggling to play in time with the click (which is common if you are not used to it) then just start slow and practice something you know well so that you are not stretching yourself with the material you are learning. The exercise is to get used to playing with the click.