#1
I'm looking for general ideas on what to do with my currently neglected guitar playing ability.

I've played the guitar for something like 13 years, but I've never really treated it as a musical instrument. As weird as it may sound, I've always just kind of watched videos of really good players (Allan Holdsworth, Shawn Lane, Guthrie Govan, Al Di Meola) doing various tricks I thought sounded cool and tried to copy them.

In terms of physical ability, I'm on a very high level (from what I've observed). I can play very fast, sweep, two-hand tap, you name it. I can also improvise within a single key very well.

Unfortunately, I've never had any formal instruction. I lack even basic knowledge of music theory and I would probably get laughed out of a band audition. I've tried to learn theory on my own, but I've come to the conclusion that I just don't possess the intelligence to do that. I'm also short on time because I work 40 hours.

What should I do, honestly? I have this skill I've developed as a hobby, is there any feasible way to exploit it, or is it just doomed to useless obscurity?
#2
Try learning theory again. It's hard, I've only been studying it for a few years but trust me, you won't regret it. When you get the basics down then everything else just seemed to click together for me. I know I still have a long way to go. Even if you work 40 hours then you can still learn it, even if it is slowly. Good luck mate.
#4
Quote by jaybals
I think what you want... is a new amp!

Jokes aside,
get some friends who can play, and jam! The only way forward


This. It's how the guitarist in one of my bands learned to play guitar, and how the bassist in my other band learned how to play bass. (It only works however if there's someone in the band who is more knowledgable then you though)
#5
There are a lot of aspects to theory that are extremely off putting, but basic rhythm/chord/scale theory is actually very logical. It's always harder to go back and try to learn after you've been playing for awhile, so you have to find a way to approach the subject that appeals to your strengths and musical sensibilities.

I'm in a similar boat. It's important to structure your practice and do something musical with whatever it is you're learning. Don't just learn a scale pattern, for example. Learn how to build chords from it, etc. Learning theory is all about developing your hearing, so make it sound musical.
#6
Dude this may sound stupid and lame and it did to me at first, but with music theory and melodies in songs sometimes you have to just feel it. like startplaying stuff and you will know if it sounds good or not. if it doesn't change it.. as far as bands go I have no clue. But just start by making chords to a song and the solo/melody over top.. U just need to expirament alot.