#1
I really need an instructor but I do not have the money for one right now. I've been playing for 6 years! I play like I've been playing for a year. I've only had guitar classes in high school to help me which helped but not a lot because unfortunately I never payed attention. Other than that I'm teaching myself. I can't tell if I'm beginner or intermediate. I can play simple chord changes but I'm very bad at lead guitar. I'm still getting used to using a pick so I'm all over the place when it comes to picking the correct string and what not. I don't know any scales (forgot the ones I learned in high school) and basically don't know anything besides the few songs I play (some Mumford & Sons and Of Monsters And Men songs). I definitely need to practice more but it feels like I'm playing really easy stuff, and if I try playing a song with lead guitar stuff rather than chords it's too hard. I can't seem to find a balance to find something good to practice. Any advice here? I was reading a thread about playing by ear and there's this girl I like and her ex boyfriend was able to play guitar by ear, and I have to be better than him so I'm going to learn to play by ear. I'm hoping this helps me become a better guitar player. Can anyone else relate to this feeling of being stuck?
#2
You gotta love music. You gotta love playing. You gotta play a lot. You gotta learn lots of songs, and enjoy the hell out of playing each one. Don't worry about how "easy" the songs are. Being good at lots of easy songs will lead to you being able to learn more difficult songs down the road.


regarding lessons….. I always see people complain about not being able to afford lessons, yet they usually have high speed internet, an X-box live account, a smart phone, and a computer or 2. It's a shame because lessons are often the very thing they need.
#3
When you say you've been playing for 6 years, is that every day or just since you first picked it up? It doesn't sound like you're very comfortable with the instrument in general (can't hold the pick, not knowing where strings are etc.). Personally I don't like the word "practice", it makes it seems like a chore - even though it can be at times, for the better. But you absolutely have to play the guitar every day. You have to be so comfortable with it that it just feels likes part of your body. You can only get this from consistency.
#4
Quote by GuitarMunky
You gotta love music. You gotta love playing. You gotta play a lot. You gotta learn lots of songs, and enjoy the hell out of playing each one. Don't worry about how "easy" the songs are. Being good at lots of easy songs will lead to you being able to learn more difficult songs down the road.

Ok. I'm going to work on learning some bloc party songs. They have easy lead guitar in a lot of their songs.

Quote by WhiskeyFace
When you say you've been playing for 6 years, is that every day or just since you first picked it up? It doesn't sound like you're very comfortable with the instrument in general (can't hold the pick, not knowing where strings are etc.). Personally I don't like the word "practice", it makes it seems like a chore - even though it can be at times, for the better. But you absolutely have to play the guitar every day. You have to be so comfortable with it that it just feels likes part of your body. You can only get this from consistency.

Since I first picked it up. I lost interest in practice because I got tired of the same chord changes and easy songs. The thing with the pick and not knowing where the strings are, that's because I've never used a pick but just starting trying to get used to one for the first time and it's taking a while to adjust. Thank you, I will continue to practice. I'm going to start working on lead stuff rather than songs with chords. I hope it works out. I can get myself to practice, but my issue is finding something that is worth practicing to help me improve.
Last edited by auhsoj at Jan 18, 2014,
#6
Quote by WhiskeyFace
Please tell me you at least know the minor pentatonic scale? If not, learn it, and get very good with it. You can play thousands of lead guitar parts with just that scale shape.

I know nothing! Haha, thank you. I will do that. Whatever will make me a better player I will do. I am determined to put in the effort but need some guidance as to what direction I should be going in.
#7
Quote by auhsoj
I know nothing! Haha, thank you. I will do that. Whatever will make me a better player I will do. I am determined to put in the effort but need some guidance as to what direction I should be going in.


Look man I think it would be best if you focused on your rhythm playing. It will help you to understand music better with everything timing, and feel basically it will make you a great guitarist I don't know of any great lead player that doesn't have great rhythm chops work on that first.

People get caught up in all the finesse of lead playing and forget the most important thing about the song which is the rhythm not even the song music in general.. You don't want to limit your self I'll post a link if you want of a course that I think you should take it's a great course especially if you want to be lead in the right direction. Remember playing guitar isn't a race it's not about who gets there faster. It's not a process you can rush if you want to be a great guitar player like you said then you're going to have to put in the time it's totally worth it.

Work through the course link I posted and I promise you that you'll be heading in the right direction. Practice everyday and remember it's not about the quantity of the practice it is more about the quality of the practice you can gain more than a person who practices 5-7 hours sloppily with 1 hour of quality focused practice.

What you're having from what I've noticed is a common problem in guitar world, people don't progress because they play the same song over, and over again for years at end. They never challenge them selves with more difficult songs to improve their overall playing. Another good tip I can give you is don't practice what you can do practice what you can't do or it's not practice at all that's called playing.


http://justinguitar.com/en/BC-000-BeginnersCourse.php
Last edited by Black_devils at Jan 18, 2014,
#8
Quote by auhsoj
I really need an instructor but I do not have the money for one right now. I've been playing for 6 years! I play like I've been playing for a year. I've only had guitar classes in high school to help me which helped but not a lot because unfortunately I never payed attention. Other than that I'm teaching myself. I can't tell if I'm beginner or intermediate. I can play simple chord changes but I'm very bad at lead guitar. I'm still getting used to using a pick so I'm all over the place when it comes to picking the correct string and what not. I don't know any scales (forgot the ones I learned in high school) and basically don't know anything besides the few songs I play (some Mumford & Sons and Of Monsters And Men songs). I definitely need to practice more but it feels like I'm playing really easy stuff, and if I try playing a song with lead guitar stuff rather than chords it's too hard. I can't seem to find a balance to find something good to practice. Any advice here? I was reading a thread about playing by ear and there's this girl I like and her ex boyfriend was able to play guitar by ear, and I have to be better than him so I'm going to learn to play by ear. I'm hoping this helps me become a better guitar player. Can anyone else relate to this feeling of being stuck?



Take your time and learn things perfectly instead of quickly. If you practice and accept slop, you'll play that way also.

Best,

Sean
#10
Thanks guys I'm learning Sunday by Bloc Party and this is exactly what I needed. Very fun, challenging but not too challenging, and I can't stop playing it. I'm starting to feel in control and accurate when playing it and it's all lead.
#11
Personally, you have to play something you have fun with. You don't want to make guitar something you feel forced to do. Guitar is all about patience and having fun, if you're trying to get better by playing a super hard song you don't enjoy, chances are you're going to drop the guitar and make excuses to why you can't play. Similar to my excuses for not working out, because I don't enjoy it.
#12
When you practice you really have to think about what you are playing, and how you are going to change the way you play to make it sound better.
#13
Quote by Black_devils
Look man I think it would be best if you focused on your rhythm playing. It will help you to understand music better with everything timing, and feel basically it will make you a great guitarist I don't know of any great lead player that doesn't have great rhythm chops work on that first.


Yeah I agree. The first thing you should be getting down TS is learning your open chords and get switching between them quickly. At the same time work on getting a fluid strumming motion. These two things are fundamental to all guitar playing of any genre.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#14
if you dont have the money google Justin sandercoe or marty schwartz. 2 of the better free online guitar courses. everything else was already said above this.
My Soundcloud

My beginner rig:

Epiphone Goth G-400 SG
Line 6 Spider IV (Don't judge me, I was young and stupid)
Stagg SW203N
Yamaha APX500
#15
Quote by BjarnedeGraaf
if you dont have the money google Justin sandercoe or marty schwartz. 2 of the better free online guitar courses. everything else was already said above this.

Thanks I'll check it out. To the ones saying I should work on rhythm, I can already do rhythm decently. I can make quick chord changes and know all the basic chords
#16
Quote by auhsoj
Thanks I'll check it out. To the ones saying I should work on rhythm, I can already do rhythm decently. I can make quick chord changes and know all the basic chords


If you can play all open chords it's probably time for the "dreaded F chord" which Justin (as mentioned earlier) has a good lesson on.
My Soundcloud

My beginner rig:

Epiphone Goth G-400 SG
Line 6 Spider IV (Don't judge me, I was young and stupid)
Stagg SW203N
Yamaha APX500
#17
Hey, man. I recommend buying some of Rockhouse method's DVD's. I've been using their videos since I started playing about 8 months ago and I feel like they are extremely helpful. They are a good price too. Here is a link to one of their DVD packs if you want to check it out, http://www.amazon.com/John-McCarthy-Learn-Rock-Guitar/dp/B003YCW2ZC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1390321489&sr=8-3&keywords=rockhouse+method
#18
Quote by BjarnedeGraaf
If you can play all open chords it's probably time for the "dreaded F chord" which Justin (as mentioned earlier) has a good lesson on.

Dreaded F chord? Not sure what you mean by that, but I can play the F chord barred if that's what you mean.
#20
Quote by auhsoj
Thanks I'll check it out. To the ones saying I should work on rhythm, I can already do rhythm decently. I can make quick chord changes and know all the basic chords


How is your strumming considering you're still getting used to a pick? How are your barre chords?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#21
1. Learn Minor Pentatonic Scale, in five shapes.
2. Practice those shapes using alt picking, slowly at first, both from high string up and from low string down, preferably with metronome.
3. When you have at least one of those five shapes memorized, find a chord progression backing track (lots on YouTube) for a simple rock or blues progression in a given key, and then just play notes from that pentatonic scale shape, in whatever order feels / sounds good to you, so you get practice paying the notes in the scale out of sequence, and you get the feel of a lead improvisational solo.
NOTE: For step 3, you need to understand the basic concept of key, and maybe relative minor versus major (i.e., for a backing track in C major, you would play the A minor pentatonic scale).

Step 1 and 2 may not be the funnest thing in the world, but you can do it watching TV or whenever. And Step 3 is pure fun, because you are improvising your own music the whole time.

You then expand Step 3 to improvise in more of the five shapes till you can do it in all five, and at some point you move between the scale shapes in the middle of your improvising, so you can move up and down the neck.

I've been told that when you get really good, you stop seeing the scale shapes at all, and you do not see the neck as a series of boxed scale shapes, but instead you have a sense for any given note where the others are in relation to it and you can move up and down the neck at will, but I'm personally not there yet.

I'd focus on these three steps and try not to worry about any other steps for now. This will teach you alt picking really fast, and when you try to learn a lead solo, for most rock songs, you will being to "see" how it is a version of the minor pentatonic, so it'll make more sense to you beyond rote memorization.

I also think that given your poor study / practice habits, you'd do well to try to take the learning process in small bites, not worrying about the long-term comparisons to what you need to be a professional quality shred master or anything, and trying to find practice routines that are fun (like improvisational soloing over backing tracks) versus, say, spider exercises. Personally, I find that learning a challenging solo is NOT fun, compared to just jamming / improvising, but both help me with my picking, string skipping, sliding, bending, etc. I'm assuming you'd be the same way, so I'm suggesting you forget about learning to cover solos at the moment, unless you REALLY are finding it fun. The last thing you want is to burn yourself out and hate playing because you are forcing yourself to do too much stuff you don't enjoy.

Ken
Bernie Sanders for President!
#22
Quote by macashmack
Do you know how to construct the major scale?
Do you know what intervals are?

No and no,

Quote by AlanHB
How is your strumming considering you're still getting used to a pick? How are your barre chords?

Strumming is fine, it's the note playing that's difficult, but it is starting to get a lot better. I'll still accidentally pick the wrong string at times though.
#23
Thanks krm27. I'll look into that and work on it.

This here is going to be the hard part:

"For step 3, you need to understand the basic concept of key, and maybe relative minor versus major (i.e., for a backing track in C major, you would play the A minor pentatonic scale)."

I would love to learn how to do that, but am pretty clueless. Google should be helpful though.
#24
Quote by auhsoj
No and no,

Okay, you're at the beginning.
This is a pretty good website on music theory stuff. Start with

interval lessons, then go to
lessons on scales and key signatures, then
the chords section (it's called chords) then
diatonic chords section, then finally
Chord progression section.

and that should be good for the basics. The site doesn't set it up in the order that I would, but save my post and go through it that way, really take the time to learn and understand what's being taught.

http://www.musictheory.net/lessons
Last edited by macashmack at Jan 21, 2014,
#25
Quote by macashmack
Okay, you're at the beginning.
This is a pretty good website on music theory stuff. Start with

interval lessons, then go to
lessons on scales and key signatures, then
the chords section (it's called chords) then
diatonic chords section, then finally
Chord progression section.

and that should be good for the basics. The site doesn't set it up in the order that I would, but save my post and go through it that way, really take the time to learn and understand what's being taught.

http://www.musictheory.net/lessons

Thank you!! Very much appreciated I will put some time into that.
#26
^^ all that stuff is important, but plz consider it secondary to actually playing music. If you sit there trying to learn nothing but theory with no balance in playing actual music, then it will bore yo. Music theory is good for ear training and analysis.

Youtube and Lick Library has a ton of lessons for songs note for note if you have trouble figuring stuff by ear (most people do). When you get your chops up, it's faster to find stuff by ear too.