Ok, so I've been getting back into playing seriously for the past couple weeks or so and have forgotten how I used to learn songs, if that makes sense. For the year, I pretty much just played the same stuff I knew or make stuff up. After starting to listen to bands that I haven't heard too much of before, I learned that it was a lot harder than I remember. First off was Avenged 7x. Their stuff was pretty easy to run through for the most part. I didn't get whole songs down, but most of the songs on most albums. Same thing with BFMV. Was a little tougher, but I'd say average difficulty. What I'm currently stuck on: Children of Bodom. I haven't faced challenges like this since I was first starting out trying to play Metallica/Ozzy stuff . I'd give examples of specific songs, but it's just about everything lol. Is it better to try and learn a song no matter how long it takes? Or should I just give up on it for now and work on easier stuff? Beyond that, don't get me started on Jeff Loomis, because I can only play about 10 seconds of his stuff altogether
learn it in pieces man.

right now I'm trying to get down Concerto by Cacophony, and I've pretty much broken the song down in to single bars of music. I try to learn a few bars in a day, and practice them over and over until I'm able to string them together flawlessly.

I'd suggest that
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do what i do and just play your own stuff haha,im in the same boat,more fun doing your own stuff too.
i think you should try the song until you get it that how you get better by doing things you cant do now
I use GP5 and when i first start learning a song i just go all the way through it in one go seeing what parts i can play and singling out the parts that i struggle with then take those parts and spend more time on learning those bits while practicing the parts i can already play, then atleast once a session (normally at the end) go through the whole song again to see how far i have progressed through it, generally i record all this as well.

You should definatly learn the song if it is a challenge as if you just play easier stuff you won't progress past them
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analyze it, figure out what the chord progression is, what scales are being played, what key it is in, what time signature, etc.
listen for the techniques being used. If there are unfamiliar techniques, you need to learn them 1st before you attempt the song.
Make sure you practice with the song or metronome, so that your rhythm is correct.
Try to figure out parts by ear, it will help you train your ear, and make the song more memorable.
If you are using tabs, but dont have guitar pro software, get Audacity which is a free sound editing program. Its not fancy, but it has a feature that slows down music without altering the pitch, and another that alter different frequencies to bring out the guitar, so that you can hear the notes better and play along at a slower tempo.
most importantly, if you start a song, don't give up on it mid way (unless you come to find that it is impossible to perform at your skill level, so listen to the whole song and decide if you will be able to learn it or not).
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