So I've been playing guitar for a few months. I can play the solos of November Rain and a bunch of other songs. However I don't know what the heck i'm doing half of the time, because I'm just reading off of tabs (if that makes any sense). I'm in a beginner guitar course in my school but its way to slow for me. So how can I learn about notes and rythms and music theory and all that stuff?
The best way would be to get a private teacher. But if you either can't or don't want to do that, then you can just look for online lessons. There was a really good article on this site about theory at one point, but I can't remember what it was called... Ill link it to you if I can find it again
Definitely learn lots of covers from lots of genres. Everything from metal to old rock to whatever the fxck you can think of. Also, learn plenty of scales (major, minor, phyrigian, etc). Just google shit, really. I've been playing for 5 years (self taught) and that's all I've done. And I can spank anyone I know in a rock off, so it's been working so far. You should check out some lesson sites though. Guitar365 (I think) is pretty awesome.
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As for more specifics
- Do you have a practice routine?
- Do you stick to it?
- Do you vary it?
- Do you actually 'learn' songs (so you can play them faultlessly, without music in front of you while keeping a decent rhythm/knowing how far through verses etc. you are for fills)
- What theory do you know?
- Do you 'see' theory when you play?
- Do you use theory to compose
The only 6 words that can make you a better guitarist:

Learn theory
Practice better
Practice more
Last edited by doive at Jan 23, 2012,
Theory is the answer. Not like intense music theory. Take it slow. Start off by learning some scales, get good at improvising and such. When I was in like 8th or 9th grade I used to download the guitar pro (or powertab) files for my favorite songs and just mute the lead guitar and id play along with it. When the solos come up I just made sh*t up. It wasnt very good at first but eventually it got better.

Also jamming with people helps alot. I've been in a band for like 5 months now give or take and everything about my playing has gotten better.

And another important thing... always know what you're playing. Don't be one of those guys who refers to chords by what fret they are. Learn the notes on the neck and learn chord names.

And finally... practice. If you happen to live in the central jersey area i can (Which i doubt) i can give you a number for the best guitar teacher in Jersey.
A cost efficient way would be to do some kind of guitar school besides learning songs. I recommend from the Berklee Series "A modern method for guitar" by william g. leavitt. It teaches you the basic skills.