#1
OK, I started guitar about 12 years ago, fell in love in an instant, practiced 6-8 hours a day more often than not. Then, I had no reason to play, no bands, no nothing. I stopped playing for about 6 years. I then moved, my GF's brother was looking for a second guitarist, I joined, brushed up,played with them for about 6 months, we broke up, I stopped playing. I perform in theater for a good deal of my income. We did a musical where the band is on stage plays, and sings. I thought hey, I can do that! But because I sing bass, they asked if I played bass"suuuuure", I said (but I didin't play bass so much ) fell in love with bass, busted my butt, played for several shows on bass over the past year. Then my band's drummer wanted to do a side project and have me on guitar and sing. So here I go again brushing up on guitar, but this time instead of just being able to pull it off, I want to be GOOD. Granted I don't think I'm awful, but in the grand scheme of things, I'm about average.

Yes, that was long winded, but I thought it might help somehow.

I'm in need of a set, program, or steps or something to improve. I practice, I work scales, I try to improvise, I try learning different voicing, practice songs, exercises, etc

I do all that, but I'm not improving. I'm improving in each category, but not as an overall guitarist. I guess, maybe I can't seem to make it all connect, and I can't afford an instructor (sadly) What I'm looking for is a program, (day 1, day 2, day 3, etc) or something of the sorts to help it all come together. I read sheet music, though much faster on bass clef these days, I know the notes on my fretboard with decent speed. I know my theory pretty well, the jazz progressions still throw me. I play nearly every genre with great love for them all (rock, blues, country, jazz, funk, alternative) For me jazz is the toughest to execute. I get it, but I just can't pull it all off on the fly.

ANY help at all is greatly appreciated, I feel like I'm running in circles. I know someone will say "well, what exactly is your goal?" My goal is to be able to play all of these genres proficiently. I need steps, a practice schedule, certain exercises, something to get me there. Whichever is best to start with I will do that.
I almost feel like I have all the ingredients but no recipe and no way to cook them.
#2
Unfortunately, I don't have a good suggestion in terms of a program, BUT...

...I did want to mention that I've experienced a similar "rut" where I was improving in small categories (scales, voicings, improv, etc.) but not overall as an instrumentalist.

The good news is, after keeping with those practice routines for long enough, things finally did come together and I made some big steps as a musician.

You may just be experiencing a temporary "plateau". I've found that, after practicing through a plateau for awhile, if I take a little break from playing (1 week to a month) then come back to it, some things sink in more and start to connect in ways that are practical to creating music.

Have you developed a practice routine that is interesting and exciting to you? I used to practice drills, scales, etc...things that are boring for most people, but then later abandoned any sort of exercise that was simply for the sake of exercising. Now I've taken the principles/techniques that I want to learn and created ways of practicing them so they are musical and enjoyable to me. Being bored, even a little, during practice was definitely holding me back as a musician.
#3
Hey man,

Check these out, great articles that helped me re-write my program.

http://chrisjuergensen.com/developing_a_practice_routine.htm

http://chrisjuergensen.com/where_do_you_go_from_here_article.htm

Also check out Vai's 30 hour workout, for great advice and ideas. Most important advice my teacher gave me, less exercises, more music. I was learning all the techniques but was poor at implementing them into my playing. So instead of playing hours of those boring chromatic and diatonic exercies that are every technique/chop building book, i started picking licks out of my favourite songs, slowing them down, transcibing them and playing them in place of standard exercises.

What i've discovered is that because i am applying the techniques in a musical context, i am better prepared when it comes to applying them to my writing/improv. On top of that because i am transcribing the licks, my ear is getting a killer workout.

Helped me a bunch in the last few months and i finally feel that i am improving as a player/musician, as opposed to being able to do mechanical exercises at high speeds but my writing/improv being void of interest.
#4
Quote by Exemonium
OK, I started guitar about 12 years ago, fell in love in an instant, practiced 6-8 hours a day more often than not. Then, I had no reason to play, no bands, no nothing. I stopped playing for about 6 years. I then moved, my GF's brother was looking for a second guitarist, I joined, brushed up,played with them for about 6 months, we broke up, I stopped playing. I perform in theater for a good deal of my income. We did a musical where the band is on stage plays, and sings. I thought hey, I can do that! But because I sing bass, they asked if I played bass"suuuuure", I said (but I didin't play bass so much ) fell in love with bass, busted my butt, played for several shows on bass over the past year. Then my band's drummer wanted to do a side project and have me on guitar and sing. So here I go again brushing up on guitar, but this time instead of just being able to pull it off, I want to be GOOD. Granted I don't think I'm awful, but in the grand scheme of things, I'm about average.

Yes, that was long winded, but I thought it might help somehow.

I'm in need of a set, program, or steps or something to improve. I practice, I work scales, I try to improvise, I try learning different voicing, practice songs, exercises, etc

I do all that, but I'm not improving. I'm improving in each category, but not as an overall guitarist. I guess, maybe I can't seem to make it all connect, and I can't afford an instructor (sadly) What I'm looking for is a program, (day 1, day 2, day 3, etc) or something of the sorts to help it all come together. I read sheet music, though much faster on bass clef these days, I know the notes on my fretboard with decent speed. I know my theory pretty well, the jazz progressions still throw me. I play nearly every genre with great love for them all (rock, blues, country, jazz, funk, alternative) For me jazz is the toughest to execute. I get it, but I just can't pull it all off on the fly.

ANY help at all is greatly appreciated, I feel like I'm running in circles. I know someone will say "well, what exactly is your goal?" My goal is to be able to play all of these genres proficiently. I need steps, a practice schedule, certain exercises, something to get me there. Whichever is best to start with I will do that.
I almost feel like I have all the ingredients but no recipe and no way to cook them.



Not really a program suggestion, but try getting into progressive bands. Learn tabs from prog bands and you'll have no problem getting better. To me it sounds like your thinking about it too much and I know you may be familiar with the theory part of guitar, but do you know why certain scales can go well with others and such like that? You can't sit there studying them forever. Learn some prog (protest the hero, born of osiris, the human abstract) and I guarantee you'll start to see patterns in the way they write and come up with ones of your own.
#5
Quote by Camo1902
Hey man,

Check these out, great articles that helped me re-write my program.

http://chrisjuergensen.com/developing_a_practice_routine.htm

http://chrisjuergensen.com/where_do_you_go_from_here_article.htm

Also check out Vai's 30 hour workout, for great advice and ideas. Most important advice my teacher gave me, less exercises, more music. I was learning all the techniques but was poor at implementing them into my playing. So instead of playing hours of those boring chromatic and diatonic exercies that are every technique/chop building book, i started picking licks out of my favourite songs, slowing them down, transcibing them and playing them in place of standard exercises.

What i've discovered is that because i am applying the techniques in a musical context, i am better prepared when it comes to applying them to my writing/improv. On top of that because i am transcribing the licks, my ear is getting a killer workout.

Helped me a bunch in the last few months and i finally feel that i am improving as a player/musician, as opposed to being able to do mechanical exercises at high speeds but my writing/improv being void of interest.


Thanks for the help and ideas. Camo1902, those articles were a good read in terms of everything I was asking, definitely gets me an idea, but I still don't know specifically what to do. I still need certain exercises and whatnot, but hopefully I'll figure something out. I'd like to maybe find something that helps me connect all of the CAGED scale patterns so I can see the neck as an entire scale. I've always had a very hard time with that. I still have to find Vai's 30 hour workout, so maybe there's something more there. What type of things have you taken out to work as exercises?

Quote by XylemBassGuitar


Have you developed a practice routine that is interesting and exciting to you? I used to practice drills, scales, etc...things that are boring for most people, but then later abandoned any sort of exercise that was simply for the sake of exercising. Now I've taken the principles/techniques that I want to learn and created ways of practicing them so they are musical and enjoyable to me. Being bored, even a little, during practice was definitely holding me back as a musician.



Xylem, what makes it fun for me is when I can notice results, see progress, etc. Most times it's very difficult for me to notice progress. I think it's because when I first started I made leaps and bounds of progress and was keeping up with people who'd been playing for a couple years in just a few months. But that of course levels out at s point, and now I feel as if I'm not learning.

Quote by arsenic27
Not really a program suggestion, but try getting into progressive bands. Learn tabs from prog bands and you'll have no problem getting better. To me it sounds like your thinking about it too much and I know you may be familiar with the theory part of guitar, but do you know why certain scales can go well with others and such like that? You can't sit there studying them forever. Learn some prog (protest the hero, born of osiris, the human abstract) and I guarantee you'll start to see patterns in the way they write and come up with ones of your own.


Arsenic, I'll try to get into the bands you listed. Not so much my style, I appreciate the music part though for sure! The screaming isn't my type of thing, but when they're not, I like it a lot. Kind of reminds me of a bit heavier Avenged sevenfold. I DEFINITELY overthink music. I went to school for it, and theory was my favorite part, but i also quickly found it affecting (stifling) my creativity. I felt I had to stay inside those lines that were set.
As far as certain scales going well with others, I may not know what you're saying about that. I mean I know a lot about theory, but again, I don't think I'm seeing the big picture the way it should be. Modes still confuse me how they should be used. Maybe I should say "could" be used, again stifled by rules