#1
I have been taking lessons for a while now and my teacher is great. We've gone through almost every technical skill with excercises for each and we've gone through a lot of theory and modes and such. I practice for at least half of my free time every day and usual go through most excercises and modes/arpeggios/chords that need work. Then I will play by myself and then with at least an hour of backing tracks.

The real problem is even with exploring and practicing new techniques I feel as though I'm not progressing at all. I really want to be able to improvise better and have song writing come easier to me. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can get through this?

Thank you.
#2
Well I changed my guitar approach a year ago. Back then it was 95% technique and 5% creativity. From then on it was like 100% creativity + constantly listening to new stuff I like.
I am getting really nice results.

Chill back and play whatever you like. Experiment with new things. When improvising to a backing track just relax and try to not have any restriction on your playing. (Let the inner you do the work)
#3
Think of what you want to play instead of thinking with your fingers. Don't get stuck to the same patterns you always use, the pentatonic minor scale for example. You don't get good at songwriting without actually practising songwriting. Train your ear, learn chord progressions, listen to music and apply it to your own music.
E:-6
B:-0
G:-5
D:-6
A:-0
E:-3
#4
Just keep doing what youre doing. You ARE getting better. Its like trying to observer continental shift. Its a slow process, but it does happen.

And ENOUGH with techniques! Technique is NOT music! Turn on the radio and when you hear a song you like or think is cool, LEARN IT and keep practicing it while seeking out other songs and MUSIC to learn.

Once you have the technical basics of guitar, its time to START PLAYING!

Lesson Ive learned/am learning....
#5
I really agree with steeping out of patters, what I guess I need advice on Is how often to practice patterns, I am trying to make it muscle memory so that in a given key I can just automatically realize the patterns with out thinking so that I have a greater control of the fretboard. Is that a flawed logic? Is there a better way to practice them? (I try to do it after I jam so it doesn't put a cage around my jamming.)
#6
I'm not entirely sure what you're asking. Do you want to get stuck in patterns or get out of using them?

It's good to be able to play scale and chord shapes whenever you want at any tempo you want. In that sense, it's a good idea to practice patterns and shapes so that you can become familiar with the feel of the instrument.

It's not good to be stuck using box patterns that you can't break out of, so it's important to know how to phrase around scales rather than inside of them.
#7
I'm not trying to get stuck in a box, I just want to be able to stay in the same key without thinking about it. Basically what I'm trying to do is, learn modes and patterns so that it is subliminal and my playing utilizes it but without thinking about it.
#9
The key is to keep improvising as much as possible you will get better at it the more you do it.

Learn songs as well they will teach you about songwriting even if you don't notice learning it.

and if it helps at all the easiest way to learn your scales all over the fretboard is to find the octaves. do this while you are improvising and you'll learn where each note is without really thinking about it so much.
#10
I agree with what some of the others have said about sticking with it. Most of the time when you feel "stuck" of like "all hope is lost" that just means there is a major breakthrough just around the bend. Stay in the habit of practicing and try to incorporate new and fun things with what you play. Above all else keep rocking!