Hey guys. This my first post, so hey! I am normally not overly active on message boards in general, but I have been coming here for a while and the people here generally seem to be willing to offer advice and ideas.

I am just really in need of advice as to where to go with my guitar playing. I have been playing for about 5 years, but I have never taken a formal lesson. I have mostly just taught myself from online lessons and books. As such, I feel that I have not progressed as much as I should in that 5 years. I'll admit, as soon as I could play chords and jam out some acoustic songs, I slowed down and took it easy there. Now, I really want to get better at some lead stuff and get more into the theory and understanding.

So basically, the stuff that I am comfortable with is:
Open Chords.
Barre Chords.
Power Chords.
Minor Pentatonic Scale in the first position.
Basic Theory.

My aspirations, as far as guitar is concerned are to be able to write my own songs, improvise solos, improve overall technique and possible join a band at some point. So where should I go? Get a proper instructor? Work on anything in particular first? What do you guys think?

I think that one thing you could do is to try to learn alll the postions of that minor pentatonic but also learn other scales that will help with the improvisation thing. Also getting an instructor is a good idea but ask around make sure you are going to a good teacher.
Join a band right now!! Preferably with another guitarist who is better than you:P I've been in a band a while with this old blues guy with loads of experience and cool story's about old gigs and stuff... i learned soo much from him, even though we only played together for a few months.
I would say learn what you would like to play. Of course learn all the theory you can, but keep in mind Music theory is nothing more than the study of music.

Alot of people have a skewed view on theory. They think scales and notation are all there is to music theory. They are a part of theory but there is so much more to it than that! Next time you listen to your favorite musicans start listening to the relationships between their dynamics, feel, articulation, tone, rhythm, spacing, phrasing, ect... those are all parts of music theory that most books and people never mention.

My guitar has the exact same notes as BB King... its those other things I mentioned that makes him much better than me
Quote by MetlHed94

Well played, sir, well played.
learn the minor pentantonic in all position
then major scale in all positions

practice solo-ing over backing tracks
start changing up keys

start learning theory for what you liek and why it sounds good
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If you want to improvise you need to learn to hit "target" notes at the right time and what sound/feel they have over a given chord.
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Quote by damian_91
Kurt Cobain, the best guitarist to ever live.

Learn how to build chords/arpeggios and why they sound the way they sound. This is rooted in knowing all your scales.

Learn the note names on the guitar, learn which tones are in certain scales, and learn to tie all these scales together based on the chord backing, etc.

On the side of this, learn everything you can from other musicians and if it confuses you theoretically, look it up. You don't need to be a whiz at theory to know how things work and have a curiosity as to how to make certain sounds. The more you can reproduce, the more you can improvise and develop your own style.

This doesn't mean learning all your scales in 1 position at 200bpm sixteenth notes - learn what notes are in them and where they are on the fretboard, and apply this to the music you're interested in. Just being able to do this, in the long run, will improve your writing/improvisational skills immensely, and a lot of people develop more quickly technically as well due to inspiration or general understanding.
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