#1
I started to play guitar around this time last year. I took 10-15 lessons then I stopped, I just didn't feel comfortable. I don't feel like I've learn much- I'm comfortable with chords and I get around the fretboard pretty well. I just know 10 or 15 songs. I feel like I don't deserve my gear, I've got shitty stuff (my guitar and my amp together are worth 300 euros) but still. I play every day but I dont play seriously, i just fool around for 15 minutes or so. I can't learn songs without tabs and I just managed to go from standard tuning to drop D by ear.
I want to join a band but I know that I'll just get butchered right now. I want to get serious about guitar, what can I do? Can you guys suggest me some exercises?
Hope this makes sense and I apologize if it doesn't.
I'll appreciate all the answers.
Last edited by EricLussiana at Oct 25, 2015,
#2
You can't force yourself to be serious about guitar. If the passion is there you'll have no issue with getting serious. Stop playing for 15 minutes a day and start playing for a couple hours instead. If you can't do that, well maybe it's just not for you. There's nothing wrong with that, it's not for everyone.
I used to be super serious with guitar for 3-4 years, playing minimum of an hour every single day, but the last couple years I play nowhere near as much as I did, and I'm fine with this. If you want something enough then it shouldn't be a problem to do so. It really just sounds like you're forcing the guitar on yourself at this point. If you're not enjoying yourself after 15 minutes then why keep playing? You don't want playing your instrument to become a chore.
Last edited by vayne92 at Oct 25, 2015,
#3
I used to be on the same boat as you about lessons. The first few months didn't felt right... I felt like my teacher was teaching me useless stuff that I would never need to improve my playing, etc. But then I realized how important his lessons were and I carried on for 1 and a half - 2 years. Had to quit due to money and time issues.

I've been teaching myself since then. I used to do lots of exercises when I had guitar lessons, but after I quit, I stopped doing them and don't even remember the ones I used to do. I started practicing the songs that I liked. Started with the ones that fit my level of skill better and worked on (and still working) from there.

Also, if I want to improve a certain technique, I pick a song that I like where that technique is used a lot throughout that song. For example, if I wanted to improve my downpicking, I would choose a Metallica song that I like and that requires fast downpicking to be played. This was obviously just an example, there are lots of heavy metal songs where the rhythm parts are mostly fast downpicking only.

So yeah, playing stuff that you like will make playing guitar even more fun and interesting. If you want to learn theory, there are lots of resources on the internet too.

Now about learning songs by ear. Yeah, it can be a bit of a struggle too. I still struggle with it. But I've found something that helped me quite a lot: Watch covers on youtube (the good ones) or watch my favorite bands playing live. That way, I can make a relation between the position of the fingers on the fingerboard and the sound coming out of the guitar. When I hear a riff, or a solo, I can see more or less where the notes are being played on the fingerboard and work from there.

I haven't worked much on learning solos by ear, but I've been doing it with riffs quite a lot lately. I start by figuring out the root of the notes being played first. Then I figure out the chords, the picking/strumming pattern and start playing the song with a metronome. I put it a slower tempo at first (as slow as I am comfortable with at first), and increase the tempo as I practice the song.

Learning a song by ear takes a lot of patience, experimentation and trial-and-error. It will be difficult and overwhelming at first, but you'll get the hang of it eventually!
#4
I love the feelings that I get from playing and when I see my guitar I just feel like picking it up, I just don't know what to play. I learned the minor pentatonic and now? What should i learn? I really don't know what to play.
#6
I was EXACTLY in the same boat as you. My dad bought an Eric Johnson fender strat for me for christmas and I got frustrated and didn't pick it up again until about a year ago. Firstly, I would learn every chord you can, and add them to your practice schedule. Learn where you can play these chords on the fretboard and how the shapes can be the same. Also, learn a scale set. Don't learn one pattern but learn to play that scale over the entire fretboard. Focus on the roots of the scales. If you learned the minor pentatonic, pick a key and find a backing track and jam a solo on it to make it more fun. After you learned that scale learn a new one. I found a teacher that I really liked and I have been with him ever since. He is probably my 5th or 6th teacher though, if one doesn't suit well with you find another.

Lastly, if there are two books I could recommend: "Blues You Can Use" - John Ganapes. This book really helps you understand how to put the pentatonic scales to use as well as really help you improve with chords. The songs are fun and super helpful. I would say I got 10 fold better after this book.
Next, "Chord-Tone Soloing" - barrett tagliarino. This book teaches you how to make any solo sound like it makes "sense" It also provides you with some awesome knowledge of the fretboard.

Both books are meant for people who have a basic understanding of the guitar and both go from intermediate to advanced. Good luck!