I started guitar around a year ago but I had a musical background before that so I know a lot about theory. The thing is I learned from a few youtube videos and playing songs so I know chords and stuff but I need advice on what to practice next. I'm terribly slow, not sure I'm even picking correctly, and want to be able to solo and play fast challenging songs.

Any advice on what to practice to become faster, more skilled, and with better technique in general?

If else could someone tell me how they started to learn and the things they practiced to get where they are now?
Take lessons?
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Quote by Rith93
Any advice on what to practice to become faster, more skilled, and with better technique in general?

Time and practice. Grinding hundreds of hours down with a metronome will work best for improving speed, but i know for a fact 99% of people (myself included) wont actually do that because it's too boring and tedious.
There's no shortcut to playing at lightning speeds. It's going to take you many many years so you should get the idea out of your head that you're gonna be the next Paul Gilbert in a month. It's not gonna happen in a month, it's not gonna happen in a year. Probably wont even happen in 5 years.

Lessons will definitely help improving your technique for sure. A professional guitarist (lets hope they're professional at least) should be able to pick every minor detail of the faults in your picking hopefully. I know my classical guitar teacher did anyways.
Don't worry about speed.

Learn songs that you like -- preferably songs that are fairly easy to play from beginning to end. Play along with a recording, imitate the rhythm guitarist's part, pluck out the melody by ear. Get songbooks that have standard notation and use your reading to learn the fretboard. Have fun!
Thanks for the help guys. If anyone still wants to let me know how they learned, I'd appreciate it still.
I do exercises AND songs.

But exercises are not just up and down scales, but rather on problems, specific difficulties.
I focus on string crossing and skipping (example : arppegios alt picked).

And I learn songs that I like, but I spend more time on songs than exercises because they are very very boring. (you need to have always fun ).
"Sans la musique, la vie serait une erreur" Nietzsche
Its hard to recommend what you should practice as we dont know what you can play and what you want to be able to play - you should practice relevant to your favourite genre/style (if what your practising isnt relevant to becoming the musician you want to be then it is going to be a far more boring waste of time). If you want some analysis of your picking technique I think theres a thread stickied for that where you can post a video of you playing.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Last edited by Hydra150 at Mar 5, 2012,
I'm not sure what or how I practice really. It depends on the individual. I'm a perfectionist so I'm pretty hard on myself. I still think playing scales and progressions are important even though they're incredibly boring. They will help with finger strength and independence and especially with accuracy if you're playing is not that clean. I'm actually considering playing with an instructor again. Sometimes we all hit a wall in this and playing fast and clean takes a very long time to master. Keep up the practice and make sure you incorporate songs you like. At least that way you won't feel so much like you're just twiddling your thumbs.

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