Hey Guys

My Name is Joey. I bought a guitar on black Friday last year. So I have only been playing for about 3 months now. I went straight to the youtube learning. I feel that I have learned a good bit at a decent pace. I guess like most people I just wanted to be able to sit down and play something, so I learned the CDGE chords and found stuff that had them chords and attempted to start playing them. I can somewhat play a couple Eric Church songs (my favorite artist). But recently I feel like I am in a rut. I can strum a couple songs and have been working on the pentatonic scale, but now every time I sit down to play on my guitar I end up playing the same couple songs and then working on the pentatonic scale. Can anyone give me some tips to get over the hump and continue growing with my guitar learning?

Thanks for taking the time to read this and even more thanks for those of you willing to take the time out of your day to respond.

Joey Bishop
The first thing I'm going to say to you is guitar lessons, if you get a teacher he/she will be able to open your mind to things you would not have thought of, be able to teach you new things and new methods that can not only help you improve a lot faster but help you to enjoy it more.

The best advise I can give you on your own though is to keep moving forward with new things, lets say you have an hour of playing, don't spend that hour playing the same chords and scales you did before, try to learn a new chord every time you pick up your guitar, if that is too much then pull it back until you're comfortable.

You might also want to search for songs you like, it could be that you will encounter those new chords as you attempt to learn new songs. The most important things though are

1. Try to enjoy it, have fun with it.
2. Keep it fresh, there is no need to go over and over on the same thing trying to perfect it all in one go, it's better to move on to something new if you hit a brick wall and then come back to the other thing later, a new chord, a new scale or a new lick, riff, chord progression, a new playing technique. Keep it fresh but at a comfortable pace and you will improve faster and enjoy it more.

But back to what I said first, having a teacher can really help you in structuring this specifically to you, and you might find enjoyment and direction in your playing that could move you forward a lot faster than if you sit around on your own getting stuck in ruts.
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Quote by Bigbazz
The first thing I'm going to say to you is guitar lessons, if you get a teacher he/she will be able to open your mind to things you would not have thought of, be able to teach you new things and new methods that can not only help you improve a lot faster but help you to enjoy it more.

I absolutely agree with this. Guidance, direction, motivation, regular fresh material, the discipline of having to face someone in person once a week (!)... Don't try to do it all on your own, life is too short!
Thanks! I am in the process of finding somewhere to take some lessons. I did read some other threads and saw the idea of picking a little more difficult song and working through it. I liked this idea, so I am also starting to work on she talks to angels by the black crows.
In words of Justin Sandercore, dont practice what you can do, practice what you CANNOT do. And now that I mentioned him, I recommend following his Youtube channel. His lessons will take you quite far even if you cant have a teacher for reason or another.

Also, can you read tabs? Learn them, get Guitar Pro program or some of its free equivalents, download tabs of your favourite songs from here in UG and play along with the program. Slowed down first and then upping the speed step at the time. You can learn theory and run through scales 'till your brain melts, but none of that will do you any good unless you can put them in practice. Not to mention its fun and so satisfying when you manage to do something complex right even if its just 50% speed.

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I haven't been playing very long at all either Joey, but I keep finding new ways to keep it interesting. I always challenge myself to do things I cannot do. I understand barre chords and adding the middle finger makes a major barre and removing it makes a minor ect. I know the pentatonic scale shape and I can perform it on any fret of the guitar, but I just do it now to warm up my fingers before playing. All of this is well and good and I got by on it for a while, but I too hit a wall.

I asked myself, "why am I learning to play this damn thing again? Oh yeah right, to learn my favorite songs and play them myself." So, then I told myself that you can't just jump into an Avenged Sevenfold Zakk Wylde or Dimesack riff or solo and pick it up...or can you? Anyways, I started picking songs with chords, tremolo picking, muting, what ever technique I wanted to learn, but instead of learning using boring scales and stuff, I could accomplish two things. 1) new techniques and 2) learn songs in the process. I strategically pick songs based on certain techniques I hear, whether I really like the song or not, but you can easily grade your progress on it. Is it pretty to start out with? Hell no. It's awful to start out with often not knowing the rhythm of the notes to pull it off and playing it very slowly, but it feels so damn good when you finally get it. You knew where you started and where you are now and you can see improvement. But playing the same songs won't get you that. You learn one song you move to the next. A more difficult song until you get that one. Before you know it, you'll be able to do anything. Well, I don't mean to make it sound easy because it isn't and it takes the most important thing...time. Eventually you'll be playing anything is probably more correct.

I do not want to spend money on a teacher, I am a self sufficient person who believes that you can do whatever you set your mind too and there is plenty out there this day and age to figure it out. I also find music to be relaxing as I have a stressful career so I have no issue with motivation. I don't find it to take motivation to do this.

Sorry for the long winded explanation, but I wish you the very best of luck and keep it up! Just challenge yourself and pick songs strategically to start out.

Might I suggest Orion by Metallica or The Ocean by Led Zep. Orion has a wierd chord on one of its riffs but it'll stretch your fingers out, it has muting, tremolo picking, an easy solo and tougher solo, power chords just about everything for a rock song. The song has no words so the guitar is the star of the song, so it's easy play along with too.

The ocean is an easy song to learn that everyone will recognize, plus it's main riff will teach your fingers how to move around the fret board a little bit in a new way.

Hope this helps!

-Mr. Crowley.
Last edited by BlizzardCrowley at Mar 14, 2013,