K, I basically spend at least a few hours a day on guitar. I review tihngs i know, practice licks and scales to keep my hands nimble etc. I also know a lot of music theory, just don't know how to apply it very well to compose the stlye i'm wanting (Hard rock/Metal)

What should I do to keep progressing, and improving my own composing? It would be helpful to have people around that like my stlye of music, and can help me practically, but aroung where I live, there's close to know experienced metal guitarists or musicians. I would have also like to join a band for the same reason, to learn more around people of similar tastes, but this has the same problem.

What exactly can i do? what resources are best to keep improving? At the moment, my riff improvisation sounds watery, no matter how theorectically or untheoretically i am, I cant make a chord progression i like, and can stick to, It's just frustrating!

So what do you guys think is the best cause of action?
Well, you could always move! lol, but otherwise I'd say your best bet is not to try and compose an entire song at this point. Try to compose a phrase at a time, don't be afraid to play around with it and see what you can do.. Then add the next phrase. Also you should really try to dissect the music you listen to, look up the tab of some songs you like, sit there and figure out everything about it.. what chords are they using in this part, what scale are they using in that part.. what position. Are they skipping chords? How do they use techniques like slides, bends, vibratos, so on and so on. Listen to the song as you do this, after you figure out what they're doing.. figure out how that sets mood.
is theory the driving force in your writing? forget it for a second. get something going in your head, without thinking how to play it. then use the theory and figure out how to play it. i like to think of theory as a tool or guideline, not a list of rules to follow. it should put a little emotion into what your playing, and gives it purpose. sure did for me. even if you dont exactly love it from the beginning, you can always work on it to make it better.
In speed versus emotional playing, i think of an M16 versus an M24. You can have 650 rounds per minute, or one round, one kill. Both should be in your arsenal.

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Last edited by ajreciever14 at Jun 25, 2010,
Yeah, theory isn't a bunch of directions on how to play or write. It's an explanation for it all. Just play without thinking about theory and see what you can come up with.