I'm about 3 months into guitar, and I'm very shy about my playing. I don't like to practice around anyone or play for anyone, and I was wondering if everyone goes through this. I'm also having trouble playing songs how I want them to sound.

If there's any tips anyone has, or books/lessons, also, I'd appreciate them!
I play 3 years now and I still have the same problem now and then. You shouldn't care about playing in front of people, most of them think it's very special that you're able to play an instrument. YOu don't have to play like Steve Vai. And about not being happy with your own sound and playing, just keep practicing till you feel like you got it right. Push your limits etc etc.
Hey dude don't sweat it, even slash has said he gets self conscious practicing around other people! Once you play longer and get more better confidence will come with it. As far as having a hard time getting things sounding right thats just gonna come with practice too. Lessons and books are good btw if you can afford it =)
Rock on or die

Guitarist 5 years, Had purpose in life 5 years

Quote by angusfan16
My name is NOT Anus Fan!
Practice, Practice, Practice...

youtube has some excellent "how to" videos to get started, find the people that have several videos (marty schwartz, truefire, there are lots)

as for playing for people, once you get the hang of some songs you will want to show them off. Or just go play in a park where no one is actually listening intently, but then you will get comfortable playing around people..

good luck.
Just keep playing. I was like you when I first started, I'm sure everyone was. 4 years later I feel like an arrogant douch when I play someone else s guitar.
Seriously, don't worry.
If you practice, and i'm not talking about strict regimes or anything like that (but if you want to, thats great) just practice a few songs or riffs/solos whatever, a day, you'll be fine in 2 years time.

But you know what, getting in a band or just playing with friends will gain confidence more quickly.
I've been playing for almost 4 years now, and I had that problem A LOT. I didn't even like anyone to be down the hall by my room when I played. My advise is to work your way gradually. First, play in front of a sibling (or pet). Then, work to your parents. Then, a friend. This is basically what I did over the years, but it doesn't mean I'm not nervous playing infront of people.
Eventually I played at my school's coffee house last April. There's nothing like having people cheering for you, and the adrenaline kick is amazing. Nothing else like it.
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I've been playing about 7 years and I still have that feeling. it depends on the person you are. someone with great confidence could pick up a guitar and play in front of an audience after 6 months, others have to work towards it. personally for me I just don't enjoy singing and its a pain in the ass because I have a good singing voice and everybody bugs me to sing, but i really just only enjoy it on my own with nobody around. remember you can have a talent but you don't always have to share
Relax man, everyone goes through those sorts of feelings. I've played for roughly 3 years now and i still get shy sometimes, especially if i know that someone who's listening can play alot better. I got a mate who works as a guitar teacher, he's a freaking wizard on the guitar. Before i even dare to try any song infront of him i have to practice it for like a month or two.

About the song not sounding "right" I got two hints for you! First off, i guess your playing from tabs since you're here on ultimateguitar. Not all tabs are correct (read: few of them are :P). Some are very close, some are pretty far off. So it's not always because of you it sounds wrong, as a rookie player it's not always that easy to tell if it's you or the tab that is the problem.
Second thing, as a rookie i remember i had a really hard time hearing on a song if it would be hard to play or not. some songs sounded very easy but turned out to be near impossible to play. Maybe it's the same for you? I'll give you an example of what i mean. 'Fear of the dark' by Iron maiden can sound like a very hard song to playt, but is actually quite easy once you can handle the speed of certain parts. 'Little wing' by Jimi hendrix doesn't sound like too much of a challenge, it's a fairly slow song, but i can honestly say it will take me many more years before i can play that one half-clean.

Hope any of this was of any help/motivation to you! Good luck with the playing and keep practicing!
It happens to almost everyone when they start out.

For me what helps the most, when someone asks me to play. Instead of trying to remember the first few bars of a song i learned 5 years ago... now I just play what I feel, who cares if they know let alone like what I'm playing.

I tend to beat box a little, get a solid groove going in my head. I lock into that groove and, then just jam along to it.

It doesn't have to be anything fancy or complicated a couple major and or minor chords works. And if your jamming something original nobody can tell you "your playing it wrong" which is always a nice confidence boost
Quote by MetlHed94

Well played, sir, well played.
Learning to laugh at yourself is very liberating......wow thats deep lol
Q: What do 9 out of 10 people enjoy?

A: Gang Rape
Pick a couple of easy (read: REAL easy) songs to 'perform'. Something that you can get down while thinking about something else: simple strumming/chords or linear melodies. Play these to people. Non-musicians think anything you play sounds incredible, even if you're sloppy or make mistakes.

Quote by TheBrightBeast
if you feel really self conscious, get an amp with a headphone jack.

Oh, and don't do this. This will make your anxiety worse. Remember, escaping your fears still leaves you terrified; you have to face them full-on to conquer them.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
Last edited by soviet_ska at Jun 10, 2011,
1. Record yourself with a video camera
2. Find some really crappy video's on youtube
3. Compare and feel good.
4. rinse and repeat with increasingly better videos on youtube.