Hey all,

So, I'm a little discouraged. I've been playing the guitar for about 7 years, since I was 14 or so. In terms of technical proficiency, I'm pretty good. I can b.s. a guitar solo with the best of them. But it just struck me that I know nothing about my instrument. I have played in bands, written songs, and convinced lots of people that I am good at guitar, even though I am not. I know 0 (zero) music theory, and I always use the "i just play by feel" excuse when anyone asks me. I'm embarrassed to jam with actual musicians, because I always just play bullshit--which sometimes sounds great, and other times it sounds awful. How do I take control of my instrument? I love the guitar. I call myself a guitarist. But I really don't know how I can learn to really and truly understand my instrument. I'm sure this is a weird-sounding, open-ended question, but I really need to know. How do I learn to understand what I've been doing all these years?
You've pretty much answered your own question in your post.
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^

"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.

Yeah man, just learn theory. Chord construction, scales, modes... the list goes on. At first it can seem hard to understand but for the most part it's actually pretty simple. The good news is that with the internet there's lots of places you can find free theory lessons, and if you don't understand something there's always forums like this one where you can ask someone to explain it for you. Check out http://www.musictheory.net/lessons (not specifically for guitar, but it has a lot of stuff) and http://www.zentao.com/guitar/theory/ (obviously make sure you know the basics before you move on to the more advanced stuff).
Learn theory. I hate to give that as an answer but it will help you understand what you are doing musically more than anything else ever will. If you're technically proficient, then the theory will just more or less explain why what you've been doing sounds good and it will give you a language of sound that makes it much easier to communicate ideas to other musicians
I am very average but I try to always have a song I am learning that is beyond my ability...It keeps you moving forward...also I try to learn a new piece of theory once a week.
Quote by Peaceful Rocker
I'd start by learning the fretboard. Knowing the names of the notes

+1 Excellent advice. How did you do it? TS could benefit from your experience.

My 2 cents as well:

There are lots of different ways... anything that leads to increased knowledge is good... I would suggest the following small journey:

- Intervals
- Consonance and dissonance
- Construction of the major scale using intervals
- Construction of chords using the major scale

Once you've got that down you'll understand the basics of soloing as well...because chords and solos relate....
Quote by AlanHB
It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.