#1
I've been playing on and off for 10 years and I'm no where near the skill level I should be at or want to be at. Playing guitar just never came natural to me. I'm also self taught so that could also be a good reason I never progressed like I should have.

I'm ready to take my playing to the next level but I'm not exactly sure what I need to do. I've been doing some research and I see a lot of folks say that memorizing the fretboard and studying music theory took them to the next level.

Will learning the fretboard and music theory help me take my playing to the next level?

what took your playing to the next level?

I guess I'm kind of loss. I want to be a better guitarist/musician but I don't know what I need to do to get there. All attempts so far have failed.
#2
Quote by arh1192
Will learning the fretboard and music theory help me take my playing to the next level?

Very probably.
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#4
My advice: Find a (good) teacher, and stick with it for at least a couple months. He'll be able to identify the weaknesses in your playing fairly quickly, at least if he's good. I've found that having a weekly appointment with an instructor makes me practice better too, at the times when I don't have a teacher I tend to skip over parts that give me trouble but when my playing is being 'evaluated', for lack of a better word, I practice with a lot more focus.

It's also easier to learn music theory and the fretboard when there's someone who can answer all your questions. It is, of course, possible to learn theory without an instructor but can be a little frustrating.
#5
Quote by arh1192
I've been playing on and off for 10 years and I'm no where near the skill level I should be at or want to be at. Playing guitar just never came natural to me. I'm also self taught so that could also be a good reason I never progressed like I should have.

I'm ready to take my playing to the next level but I'm not exactly sure what I need to do. I've been doing some research and I see a lot of folks say that memorizing the fretboard and studying music theory took them to the next level.

Will learning the fretboard and music theory help me take my playing to the next level?

what took your playing to the next level?

I guess I'm kind of loss. I want to be a better guitarist/musician but I don't know what I need to do to get there. All attempts so far have failed.



1) No

2) No, it might make you a better musician and make you understand what you are doing, but it in no ways enhances your abilities to play.

3) Practice complicated stuff daily.
#6
Quote by Zeletros
1) No

2) No, it might make you a better musician and make you understand what you are doing, but it in no ways enhances your abilities to play.

3) Practice complicated stuff daily.

I'm pretty sure that being a better musician and understanding what you're playing would enhance your playing ability...
#7
Quote by Frank_Black
My advice: Find a (good) teacher, and stick with it for at least a couple months. He'll be able to identify the weaknesses in your playing fairly quickly, at least if he's good. I've found that having a weekly appointment with an instructor makes me practice better too, at the times when I don't have a teacher I tend to skip over parts that give me trouble but when my playing is being 'evaluated', for lack of a better word, I practice with a lot more focus.

It's also easier to learn music theory and the fretboard when there's someone who can answer all your questions. It is, of course, possible to learn theory without an instructor but can be a little frustrating.


I haven't had any luck with teachers. They just ask what songs I want to learn, then show me how. I can do that for free on youtube. I have some friends that are in the local music scene so I'll see if I can't find a good teacher
Last edited by arh1192 at Sep 20, 2011,
#8
Quote by theknuckster
I'm pretty sure that being a better musician and understanding what you're playing would enhance your playing ability...


Only mentally, physically you would not move a bit.


If we talk about practical use of theory, then I count improvisation= knowledge of scales as a good example. However, simply knowing the right notes is not even half of the deal. You need a vast library of licks in your fingers ready to be unleashed, you need technique, you need to have months/years of hard practice behind you to make use of it.
#9
Quote by arh1192
I haven't had any luck with teachers. They just ask what songs I want to learn, then show me how. I can do that for free on youtube.

Then you're finding bad teachers. A good teacher won't teach you how to play a song, but will teach you the knowledge you need to figure it out yourself.
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#10
Quote by arh1192
I haven't had any luck with teachers. They just ask what songs I want to learn, then show me how. I can do that for free on youtube.



Then that's not a good teacher. Try reading up on some lessons on this site. Just like warm up exercises, finger strength stuff, practice habits/techniques and some scales (c major scales) and just try to learn songs
#11
Quote by arh1192
I've been playing on and off for 10 years and I'm no where near the skill level I should be at or want to be at. Playing guitar just never came natural to me. I'm also self taught so that could also be a good reason I never progressed like I should have.

Being self-taught only works well if you're highly motivated and independent. A teacher makes learning much easier, since he'll have a more defined lesson plan and progression already figured out. Additionally, a teacher is able to spot mistakes in your technique and approach to learning that you wouldn't catch as easily.

I'm ready to take my playing to the next level but I'm not exactly sure what I need to do. I've been doing some research and I see a lot of folks say that memorizing the fretboard and studying music theory took them to the next level.

Will learning the fretboard and music theory help me take my playing to the next level?

It will give you some of the tools you'll need to take your playing to new heights. Knowing theory will make composing music and improvising easier if you learn how to apply it well and knowing the fretboard will make you more aware of what notes are at your disposal at any given time. However, knowledge alone won't make you a master musician. There are a lot of other facets, but knowledge is definitely important.

what took your playing to the next level?

I guess I'm kind of loss. I want to be a better guitarist/musician but I don't know what I need to do to get there. All attempts so far have failed.

Endless persistence got me to the point I'm at right now. When I want to progress more, I identify the area of my playing that I think is my weakest and I work on it until I'm more satisfied. Then I find something else to be dissatisfied about and work on that.
#12
Quote by Geldin
Endless persistence got me to the point I'm at right now. When I want to progress more, I identify the area of my playing that I think is my weakest and I work on it until I'm more satisfied. Then I find something else to be dissatisfied about and work on that.

This is how I taught myself.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#13
Quote by Ziggity
Then that's not a good teacher. Try reading up on some lessons on this site. Just like warm up exercises, finger strength stuff, practice habits/techniques and some scales (c major scales) and just try to learn songs


I recently started learning scales. I didn't know where to start so I just picked the E major scale. After I already started learning the E major scale I read I should learn C major first and here, you mentioned c major also. Is there a reason for starting with C major scale? Should I switch and focus on C or should I continue working on E major?
#14
Quote by arh1192
I recently started learning scales. I didn't know where to start so I just picked the E major scale. After I already started learning the E major scale I read I should learn C major first and here, you mentioned c major also. Is there a reason for starting with C major scale? Should I switch and focus on C or should I continue working on E major?


C major scale is made up from A B C D E F G notes without any sharps or flats, so it's like a perfect scale to learn first. Also might expand your knowledge of the fretboard.

But you should know, merely learning scales does nothing.

You need to utilize them.
#15
Quote by Zeletros
C major scale is made up from A B C D E F G notes without any sharps or flats, so it's like a perfect scale to learn first. Also might expand your knowledge of the fretboard.

But you should know, merely learning scales does nothing.

You need to utilize them.



Awesome. I will definitely start working on my C major scale tonight.

I usually practice my scales then solo over a couple backing tracks. So I believe I am utilizing it correctly.
#16
I would suggest, pick some scale, find a backtrack for it, and just play over it many times.

This way, you not only memorize the scale and get more experience in improvising, and it's also good overall practice.