I'm a beginner going on 8 months of almost 45 minutes of guitar playing every day. I have definitely improved a whole lot. I can play many solos, play some chords in songs, and just mess around a lot.

My question is... what should I be doing now to further improve my skill? I have not gone even slightly into music theory. All I do is look up tabs, videos, guitar pro tabs, power tabs, and just learn it through that. What's sort of the next step to help me improve drastically and explore new areas? Should I continue doing what I'm doing now?

Should I consider getting a new guitar? I'm still playing the shit out of my Epiphone Les Paul Special II. It's a decent guitar once you get the action set right.
Last edited by bonoz at Jul 21, 2010,
I would upgrade that if I was you but if it works for you go with it, You should learn theory to some level even if its just the names of the chords or notes on the fretboard it will help you be better and try new things. Thats what pushed my playing along but writing songs is fun and you should buy a recorder and start getting ideas down or recording covers. How you ever heard yourself play? Its good for seeing what you actual areas of improvement are.
Look into scales, both the theory and the practice of it. Allows for whole new ways to play if you know which notes match which on the fretboard. Start out easy with minor pentatonic/blues scales and work up from there. Even if you only learn a single scale in a single key you'll have a whole new bag of tricks to work with.

And mix it with what you're doing now and you'll soon start recognising how songs are built up, and be able to improvise on them.
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Make sure you know everything properly. Make sure you can play it with a metronome and off by heart. Then you can take stuff from each song and develop your own style. Get a band. Work out songs by ear. Learn theory and how to read music.
Jamming with other musicians, I imagine, would really propel you forward. Tis a damn shame I don't know any.
A new guitar wont improve your skills. Try learning scales or making your own matieral. Idf you are good and confident enough join a band