Hey guys im looking for some advice about playing and establishing goals.
My first question is what do you guys consider to be an all round guitar player?
And how do you go about learning guitar? Do you learn a scale in every key and then move onto the next one or do you learn whats relevant to you?
Any tips about how you learn guitar would be appreciated
I would start off with learning about theory and how to read tabs. Having fun is a big part of learning so start off with songs that you really like. Learn a scale to start off like the major scale. Youtube beginner guitar techniques. Play with other people. Just jump in and have fun but if you start something try to see it through to the end. (like a song or scale) Even if you only fumble through it.
Also i consider an all around player as someone who can jam different songs from different genres. Pretty simple. Just "all around". It doesnt take long to be an all around player after you get started into it. People who play on occasion for the simple enjoyment of playing music.
Last edited by mabbamam at Jun 6, 2014,
Quote by alexriffs

My first question is what do you guys consider to be an all round guitar player?

My defenition of an all round guitar player is just that, a player that can play whatever he is asked to play. Now i consider myself an all round player (or atleast striving to be one) because of the fact that i play all styles, study all styles and appreciate all styles.

It doesn´t matter if i get hired to play a pop gig, a jazz gig, a rock gig or i am sitting an orchestra an playing one note the whole concert. They are all equal, and i think it lies in the character of an all round player to be able to appreciate everything and see the value of every style of music, and being able to take something in from that into ones own playing. This of course means you have to be good (or at least proficient) with all sides of music.

You should be able to know theory so when the bandleader wants you to substitute the A7 in a song for an Eb7 that you know how that works. If you are asked to play from sheet music you should be able to do that. If you are asked to learn a couple of tunes by ear you should be able to do that. You should be able to improvise over any style you are asked to. You should be technically proficient so you can play a hard solo if the situation calls for it, and at the same time you should have taste so you can restrain yourself to playing one note the whole song, if that is what the song calls for.

To be an all round player to me is being a mature musician.

Quote by alexriffs

And how do you go about learning guitar?

Personally i go about learning guitar mainly through the aural tradition. Listening to things and the imitating it on guitar, cause that is (in my opinion) how you learn a language, and music is a language.

I hardly practice technique based exercises, the only time being when i find a specific gap in my playing that needs fixing. (Not something vague like "my picking is bad", rather something like "i am having problem going from chord X to chord Y smoothly", a specific problem) I mainly learn from studying actual music, learning songs from great bands and artists within different styles. Unless i have work that calls for learning specific things, i go on a style-to-style basis, so i might learn a country tune, then move on to a funk tune, then move on to bluegrass, then to fusion etc.

But yeah, learning by ear + patience = my practice.

Quote by alexriffs

Do you learn a scale in every key and then move onto the next one or do you learn whats relevant to you?

I dont enjoy practicing scales for the sake of practicing scales. What i have done is that i have practiced scales, theoretically, meaning that i know the scales (or rather keys) in my head. (For example knowing the C major is all natural notes, and the only difference between C major and F major is to flatten the B to a Bb.)

Same thing applies here for me, i rather practice actual music. If i feel i am lacking in stuff to play over a progression that lends itself to melodic minor for example, i study music that i like that uses that and learn their lines instead of practicing melodic minor up and down all day. Scales are like an alphabet for music, but you are not going to get better at writing a word, a sentence or a paragraph by going "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz" and repeat it backwards.

I hope that was helpful to you.

Best Regards,
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”

Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
Thank you for both for the replies very useful
I've been playing for about 2 years and i am now without a teacher due to not having enough time. I've got to a point where whenever i pick up the guitar i just seem to start learning a song, get bored and never finish it so i have probably tried learning over 100 songs.
Therefore, i suppose my real question is how do i climb out of this 'rut' in order to make myself a better player?
Really break out of your box and start creating your own original music. You'll develop your own style as well. Then get a band together. Learn your music and expand on it.Then start playing some gigs! And keep learning
As for the learning songs thing and dropping it I know what you mean.
I think it's important when learning songs to differentiate between what is a good song and what is an INSPIRING song. I can never learn a song in full if it isn't inspiring to me. I'd suggest you start finding those songs that really resonate with you as a person and a player.
There's plenty of awesome songs out there, but only a handful that are truly inspirational.
Last edited by vayne92 at Jun 6, 2014,
I'd suggest deciding what style of music you want to play and working towards that as a goal - which means NOT working on a whole ton of stuff unrelated to that particular style. In other words, try to get good at one thing before you set out to get good at everything aka be an "all around guitar player".

Working on songwriting is a great suggestion as well. We all learn to play in order to express ourselves musically (either that or to get chicks), and playing other people's songs doesn't really allow much freedom in that area. Learn some theory and learn how to construct a chord progression in a key, then make up other parts to go along with it, then learn what scales work and which ones don't over your particular progression.

Working through a series of instructional books in the style you're interested in is good as well. They tend to teach you more theory and style-specific techniques than you get from just learning miscellaneous songs from tab. And some lesson books have websites where people who are using them post their renditions of songs and give each other feedback; it's pretty fun.