#1
I've been playing guitar for what seems like forever (probably around 8-10 years) and have basically got nowhere with it as the only way I've learned is by teaching myself bits of songs that I like (theres a few recordings on my profile for anyone that wants a quick laugh!). I have no theory knowledge at all and have never bothered to learn any solos.

Basically I want to know peoples opinions on what I should do to start taking my playing more seriously and what kind of route to take. (Lessons are not an option for me.)
Gibson SG
Ibanez K-7
Vintage (V99 or V100 not sure which!)
Crafter FX-550EQ

Korg Pitchblack
Boss DS-1
Digitech Bad Monkey
Blackstar HT-5 Combo
Line 6 HD500
#3
Quote by Zeletros
Start bothering to learn solos.


I meant to say that I've attempted to play a few solos and always been unable to, so no longer bother.

Also, I don't see how just learning solos would improve my overall playing
Gibson SG
Ibanez K-7
Vintage (V99 or V100 not sure which!)
Crafter FX-550EQ

Korg Pitchblack
Boss DS-1
Digitech Bad Monkey
Blackstar HT-5 Combo
Line 6 HD500
#4
Get lessons. Simple. And why are they not? There must be a lot of teachers in the UK.
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#6
You're asking us to give you a plan, a route to get somewhere. But you haven't told us what your goal is. `Taking playing more seriously' is a vague goal at best. You've gotta pick something and then make a plan to work towards it.

What do you want to become better at?

Willem
http://www.theloneguitaristblog.com
#7
Quote by Sakke
Get lessons. Simple. And why are they not? There must be a lot of teachers in the UK.


I work strange shifts, have no spare income and have no transport... do I need any other reasons?


Quote by plaa
Learn theory.


Where would I start with this?
Gibson SG
Ibanez K-7
Vintage (V99 or V100 not sure which!)
Crafter FX-550EQ

Korg Pitchblack
Boss DS-1
Digitech Bad Monkey
Blackstar HT-5 Combo
Line 6 HD500
#8
Quote by Obsolete80
I meant to say that I've attempted to play a few solos and always been unable to, so no longer bother.

Also, I don't see how just learning solos would improve my overall playing



Because, it may not look so, but solos incorporate very many small but important elements which makes solos sound so good. There are very many licks and techniques to learn. When playing just rhythm you won't learn even 1/4 of them. Basically, upon learning a lick or a technique, your brains and finger get used to them, and thus you gain the ability to abuse them. Think of it as of learning a language, the more your vocabulary of licks/words, the more you can express with your play/speech. Learning solos is always harder, and it seems so, because it has elements you cannot yet apprehend, and thus solo guitarists practice a lot. I mean, if it was easy, there'd be so much more good solo guitarists.
#9
Quote by willemhdb
You're asking us to give you a plan, a route to get somewhere. But you haven't told us what your goal is. `Taking playing more seriously' is a vague goal at best. You've gotta pick something and then make a plan to work towards it.

What do you want to become better at?

Willem
http://www.theloneguitaristblog.com



I don't actually have a goal or plan at all, I just want to improve my overall playing as basically I think I currently sound like shit.

If I was really pushed to come up with goals I think I'd like to be able to learn songs by ear or come up with my own stuff
Gibson SG
Ibanez K-7
Vintage (V99 or V100 not sure which!)
Crafter FX-550EQ

Korg Pitchblack
Boss DS-1
Digitech Bad Monkey
Blackstar HT-5 Combo
Line 6 HD500
#10
Buy a book or pick one from library? It's way better than any internet site. Check out "the guitar handbook" out.
#11
Quote by Zeletros
Because, it may not look so, but solos incorporate very many small but important elements which makes solos sound so good. There are very many licks and techniques to learn. When playing just rhythm you won't learn even 1/4 of them. Basically, upon learning a lick or a technique, your brains and finger get used to them, and thus you gain the ability to abuse them. Think of it as of learning a language, the more your vocabulary of licks/words, the more you can express with your play/speech. Learning solos is always harder, and it seems so, because it has elements you cannot yet apprehend, and thus solo guitarists practice a lot. I mean, if it was easy, there'd be so much more good solo guitarists.


I have tried a few solos in the past, I couldn't even manage the full intro solo to fade to black without completely messing it up
Gibson SG
Ibanez K-7
Vintage (V99 or V100 not sure which!)
Crafter FX-550EQ

Korg Pitchblack
Boss DS-1
Digitech Bad Monkey
Blackstar HT-5 Combo
Line 6 HD500
#12
So try harder.

The reason you "sound shit" is because you give up on things. Playing the guitar gets harder the longer you play, in that you have to put more work in for less gain. The first few months are hard whilst your getting to grips with the sheer mechanics of it all, but the next year or so is a breeze as you learn a lot in a short space of time. That doesn't last though, and eventually it gets to a point where you really have to sit down and force yourself to work at things which you obviously never did.

You don't need to spend hours practicing to get decent at the guitar, but you do need to see things through. If you want to learn a solo then learn one, don't give up simply because you couldn't do it after the first couple of tries. The first solo I learned was Highway to Hell by AC/DC, it took me weeks to be able to play it all the way through and even then it was pretty shit but that's how everything starts.

There's no such thing as "rhythm and "lead" guitar, it's all just playing the guitar. Solos may lean towards different techniques when compared to rhythm parts but ultimately it's all the same set of core skills - the better you get at them the more you can do with your instrument.

Finally a little understanding goes a hell of a long way on the guitar, a basic understanding of theory really helps you both with learning new songs and also composing your own. Learn the notes on your fretboard, learn how the major scale is constructed, how it functions and ultimately how you can use it - the Crusade articles in the Columns section are a good place to start.
Actually called Mark!

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#13
Quote by steven seagull

Finally a little understanding goes a hell of a long way on the guitar, a basic understanding of theory really helps you both with learning new songs and also composing your own. Learn the notes on your fretboard, learn how the major scale is constructed, how it functions and ultimately how you can use it - the Crusade articles in the Columns section are a good place to start.


This is the kind of advice I was hoping for, Thanks!

I think that once I get a starting point I should be able to make progress, I've just had difficulty finding that starting point!

All I need to do now is to start reading and actually pick a solo that is relatively easy and I actuaslly want to learn.
Gibson SG
Ibanez K-7
Vintage (V99 or V100 not sure which!)
Crafter FX-550EQ

Korg Pitchblack
Boss DS-1
Digitech Bad Monkey
Blackstar HT-5 Combo
Line 6 HD500
#14
Take it slow. There's no such thing as "guitar genes", people can inheritely suck at songwriting, hearing, they can have small fingers. But you need no skill to learn a song. Just play it slowly and build up gradually.
#15
Quote by Obsolete80
This is the kind of advice I was hoping for, Thanks!

I think that once I get a starting point I should be able to make progress, I've just had difficulty finding that starting point!

All I need to do now is to start reading and actually pick a solo that is relatively easy and I actuaslly want to learn.

Sometimes it helps to learn stuff you don't like all that much, simply for the sake of getting something under your belt - but it's also always good to broaden your horisons.

The stuff in your profile sounds pretty solid but it's possible you've gotten yourself into a bit of a rut - you've perhaps over-fixated on the first things you got good at. Rhytm parts tend to feature a lot of chords, repeated figures and in metal and rock often pedal tones and palm-muting. That means you've spent a disproportionate amount of time practicing and using those techniques - the longer that's gone one the bigger the gap seems between those skills and the ones you haven't worked on enough, stuff like bending, picking individual notes, even the simple act of playing through melody line. Solos and lead playing will use those techniques more, so getting even one under your belt will help you develop and improve those neglected skills.
Actually called Mark!

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People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

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i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


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#16
Quote by Obsolete80
I don't actually have a goal or plan at all, I just want to improve my overall playing as basically I think I currently sound like shit.

If I was really pushed to come up with goals I think I'd like to be able to learn songs by ear or come up with my own stuff


Setting a goal is good, because otherwise you can learn a tonne of new stuff and realise it's actually not very useful to what you really want.

What steven_seagull suggested is a great place to start.

I would suggest you initially learn the notes on the top two strings only. You can learn the rest later, but that is really only ever useful if you want to learn how to sight-read, in my experience.

You say you want to be able to learn songs by ear.

1)
After you've familiarised yourself with major and minor scales, next up is learning to play and identify intervals. This is crucial for being able to play by ear. Once you know intervals you can listen to something, say a melody line, being played (on the radio, during a concert, etc) and be able to figure out how to play it on the spot.

2)
Train yourself to listen to what the bass is playing while listening to songs. The bassline plays the roots of the chords (among other notes) and this helps you figure out which chords to play. Imagine a scenario where you listen to a song, you hear what the bass is playing and because you know intervals, you will be able to figure out the chord roots on the spot. The more you train this, the faster you will become at this.

As for learning to compose songs, more often than not this is where you won't need to know much theory. You can start experimenting with making up new songs straight away. The more theory you learn along the way, potentially the more you can refine this process, but ultimately it's about what sounds good and that's all about your ears -- not theory.

Hope this helps,
Willem
For more detailed articles on the above (learning intervals, figuring out songs), please visit http://www.theloneguitaristblog.com
#17
Learn theory, make your own music. That should keep you busy for a lifetime.
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