#1
hey guys... i really need some help here, i'm totally lost out in the water..

i've been playing guitar for about 2 years now. i picked it up myself, looked up some tabs, took lessons for a little while blah blah blah.

anyway i'm not taking lessons anymore and i'm kinda lost in the world of music.

i know my pentatonic scales and enough theory to form plenty different chords around the neck. my biggest problem is learning songs. i'd rather sit down to a blues album and jam for an hour than learn a new song, and it kills me. i've got a great ear and i can pick out what key most songs are in when i'm on the guitar. i'm really good at listening to music and improvising.. creating melodies and such, but when it comes to playing songs, my repertoire is minimal. i can play fragments from tons of different songs, but that's pretty much it.

so... i'm asking for help. have you ever been stuck like this? i go to learn a new song and instead i end up learning parts from FIVE DIFFERENT songs, you know? i can't stand it and it makes me feel like i've plateaued. i absolutely love music and love playing guitar and i want to keep them with me throughout my life, but i just don't know where to go. i don't have enough money to pay for lessons and it kills me to be nonproductive in my musical endeavors. i am not on a personal level with any professional guitar players, and i'm practically the best person i know.

what i need is to know what i'm supposed to learn next. what theory really improved your playing? since i improvise a lot, what can i do to further improve my improvisation? what songs do you recommend i learn?

i need something... ANYTHING!!
#2
I wish I could help you out, man, I really do. Truth is, I'm in the same boat. No joke. It sucks.

Edit: the only thing I could think of is just take a song you really wanna learn, and sit there and learn it... That's what I try to do, sometimes it works...
Last edited by thefirebeneath at Jul 24, 2010,
#5
wow to belive there where so many of us... social suicide?
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#6
sometimes i try to sit down and write a song, and i do have some original stuff, but it usually just turns out with me jamming and making stuff up, then forgetting what it was.
#7
Same here and it does suck. Here is what I do sometimes, I will learn the beginning of a song and then play with it for a while then maybe a couple of weeks later I continue to work on it. I just repeat this over and over until I finally learn enough to actually play the song. You are still learning fragments but then you can put those fragments together into the song whenever you learn enough of it. I hope this helps.
#8
The part about you not being able to learn songs isn't about getting better, that's just lack of concentration, and a bit of lazyness (as you probably just learn the best parts of the song), anyway!
Check out the church modes. And see how chords shape in them, rest on your pentatonic scalepatterns while playing with these scales (the church modes). Check out the chords used in the different songs you jam over, and try switching between the keys (so they follow the chords, or just use the notes that seperates the chords to rest on.

Go to your library and lend a good book on church modes or chords.
#9
If you don't want to learn songs, you don't have to.

I spend more time working on my technique, writing my own songs, and improvising than I do learning songs.
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#10
Sounds like you just need to focus and learn a damn song the whole way through. I was in the same boat for a while, so I gave myself a practice scheduel which consists of practicing chord inversions, chord progressions, sweeping, and practicing a choice song. Of course you'll want to modify your regimen to your learning goals, but if you do it every day you'll shatter your plateau and ascend to a whole new level quicker than you know. As for theory, just learn all you can. There's an awesome book by the "for dummies" guys called Guitar 8-in-1 For Dummies, it has sections on classical, blues, and rock guitar, music theory and a section which suggests different things you can practice to further your technique. Hope this was helpful, good luck.
#11
I'm in the same boat. I can't seem to get motivated to learn a song.
Skip the username, call me Billy
#12
Well the problem you guys are having is that you're probably trying to learn songs that are too hard for you. So learn some easy ones. Go learn Knocking on Heavens Door, the Bob Dylan version. See if you can play it all the way through with the record and rejoice in your new found skill.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#13
I only know one song. And know no parts to other songs. It's not a curse. It's who you are. I have a hard time sitting down a learning a part of a song, let alone an entire one.

I much prefer jamming over learning songs. That's for sure.

If you really wanna make it better though, learn songs that are juuuuuust out of your difficulty level that are fun. Nothin too hard if you're having this much trouble learning them, but hard enough to where you're still challenged.
#14
@ AlanHB. i could listen to that song and figure it out by ear and solo over it. that's the type of thing i'm able to do, and it's also the same reason why i get so sidetracked from learning songs and such.

but i will take your advice and learn that song. perhaps i truly do need to start learning songs from the beginning, since i have little experience with them in general.
#15
Quote by Goym
@ AlanHB. i could listen to that song and figure it out by ear and solo over it. that's the type of thing i'm able to do, and it's also the same reason why i get so sidetracked from learning songs and such.

but i will take your advice and learn that song. perhaps i truly do need to start learning songs from the beginning, since i have little experience with them in general.


Call it an introduction to playing full songs. It should only take you about 5 minutes to learn. The test is whether you can play it from start to end without stopping.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#16
Quote by Goym
since i improvise a lot, what can i do to further improve my improvisation?
Practicing improv, possibly? Seriously though, you said you could jam for an hour over a blues album. That's great practice. Doing stuff like that is perfect.

You don't have to learn full songs if you don't want to, but you do need to pull ideas from other music. You said you have a good ear: Whenever you listen to music, try to listen for specific things, try to imagine what they're playing. If you hear something really intriguing, pick up your guitar and learn it. You don't have to learn the not-so-intriguing parts.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
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#17
If you're two years in, maybe it's time to find some people to jam with. Not a whole band necessarily, but at least another guitarist. That's what really kicked things in the ass for me. The guys I was jamming with were more into bluegrass, reggae, and jambands. I'm not into reggae or bluegrass a whole lot, but I learned to play with others. I also learned some cool songs that I otherwise wouldn't have even bothered to check out.

Don't worry about not knowing enough. If you find some people to jam with, I think it's likely enough that they'll be patient with any shortcoming you may have, and even have some tips to lay on you. If they're dicks, well, find somebody else...
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#18
+1

what he said. Get in a band or play with others.
I was the same. I didn't learn songs cos I saw no point in it. When you're in a band its much more fun.
OR write your own songs. Write a song that you like and play it once everytime you pick your guitar. Then add another.
Make a setlist for your gig in your head. Make a CD with 10 songs that you like and play through the whole set everytime.
Focus on the rhytm guitar part more. Play the rhytm through the whole song even if it repeats a lot. Then expand by adding licks while still keeping the rhytm. That way you never stop playing during a song and you won't get bored. Sing or hum along. Get into the song. The more you play it the more you will like it.
Last edited by jrakus at Jul 26, 2010,