I've been playing for a year and a little over a month. I know some basic chords, some arpeggios, a few different positions on the neck for one scale, and some barre chords. I need some help with what I should learn first and how long I should spend on them. Like, do I practice one thing one day and one thing another and alternate like that? I wanna know and if anyone could help that would be greatly appreciated.
I've gotta say that one of the best ways to accel at guitar is to learn songs you want to learn. try them. don't limit yourself. If you find the song is too difficult to play, narrow it down to why and then focus on improving that part of your technique.

so simply, just look up songs you like listening to and try to play them. make sure you have a chromatic tuner in case you need to drop tune.
I definitely believe in the guitar equivalent of cross training. So start out working on scales to loosen your hands up and help develop your ear and feel for different keys (while also picking and fretting in a relaxed manner with a light touch so that everything flows fluidly) and then move on to some technique (legato, sweeping, economy picking, etc) for a while and then, as someone suggested, find songs you want to learn and play with those for a while, breaking them down into bite sized sections. Sometimes you might not want to study a song, but maybe part or all of a solo (like today, I was messing around with part of an Yngwie solo), depending on what your goals for the day are.

Everything you practice should be worked on until you nail it. It is also necessary to sometimes take a day off (say, once every couple of weeks) so that your brain can have time to rewire itself to give you the coordination you need for whatever it is you are trying to add to your technical or musical arsenal. Be patient, methodical and use a metronome.
I would give the advice to test out the method of practicing that rusty cooley have taught me and many others through his dvds.

Whenever you practice something ( lets say your trying to get down all 7 positions of the g major scale ), you practice it at the max speed you can play it perfectly, non-stop (equals playing it up and down all the time) for 5 minutes straight. It really helpt me alot, very useful for learning parts of solos and then put them together.

Just something you might try if you aint already.
I tried to teach myself guitar for a year and although I did improve and get a lot better I also ended up feeling frustrated cause there were tons of gaps, holes and missing links in my knowledge about guitar. It's definitely better to follow a structured course of lessons with a good local guitar teacher - if you can find one! There are so many 'fake' guitar teachers out there.
- Warm up with chromatic variations, scales, chords, arpeggios...etc

- Practice new riffs/techniques to get a good idea of how to play the guitar from a rhytmn standpoint

- Refine skills on the warm up exercises

- Try learning a new scale or something (harmonic minor, or dim7 arpeggios...)

- Practice with perfect posture/technique/minimal pressure\

- Set aside 20 minutes

Theres a lot more I could go into and maybe even some stuff that'd contradict the above!
Thanks. Sorry for the late reply. When learning a song should I learn the solo(s) if it has any? I have one song that I'm working on. The solos are fast but there's no sweeping involved.
Important advice to add. Make sure you take regular breaks and spread out your practice.

Have an idea of what you want to work on in your practice time before you start.

A top session musician who works with companies like the BBC once gave me and my class mates this advice: If you are walking on something scale based for 20 minutes, follow it up with some thing chord based, then maybe something legato based, and some rhythm...... So that your fingers don't get used to just doing the same thing over and over. It keeps your fingers used to doing different things all the time.

Lazy Quote- Thanks. Sorry for the late reply. When learning a song should I learn the solo(s) if it has any? I have one song that I'm working on. The solos are fast but there's no sweeping involved.


If you want to learn the solos then learn them, just be patient and take your time with it. Learn it a little bit at a time and piece it all together when your comfortable with it all. Make sure you practice it slow before you get fast.
Last edited by jkielq91 at Apr 30, 2011,