#1
I've been playing for over 2 years now, and practise every day (almost). For the last year or so I just haven't got any better at all, I'm just stuck in this rut of being a bad intermediate. I practice dexterity exercises and songs I like, and go over theory too. I've had guitar lessons with 3 different teachers and i don't feel like they are worth the money, and don't help much. Is there anything in particular you practised to become an advanced level player? I don't expect after 2 years to be amazing but I'd like to feel like im progressing.
#2
You are progressing, you just don't notice it. It's pretty usual that during the first year it feels like you are learning a lot of new stuff but after that it feels like you aren't progressing much. That's because during the first year you learn the basics. You have very clear goals and it's also very easy to see your progress. One day you didn't know how to play the C major chord, the next day you learned to play it. That's very easy to notice. But now you already know all the basics. Your progress is more subtle - you become better at the things that you can already do. That's how it goes. You don't become "advanced" in a year or two. It takes time. And I'm pretty sure you will never be completely happy with your playing.

I would suggest recording every now and then. I remember when I thought the same way as you did. But now I listen to some of my old recordings and they sound horrible. I thought I hadn't made that much progress but I can tell you I'm way better now than back then. My playing is way more accurate. It just sounds better. The progress is hard to notice because it's happening all the time, slowly but surely.


Another thing would be trying to play a challenging song now, then forget about it for a while and try it again in, let's say, 6 months or whatever.

Or maybe go back to some songs that you learned a year ago. Try playing them. If they feel easier to play now than back then, you have definitely made progress.

I would also suggest joining a band or just jamming with your friends. Maybe that won't teach you that much technique but it will teach you how to play actual music.

I wouldn't be too worried about technique really. Technique will improve over time. Start improving your musicianship. Start playing actual music. I mean, what's the use of becoming a good player if you can't use your skills? Start writing songs, start gigging. Train your ears, learn songs by ear. Learn to improvise. Play music that inspires you. Isn't that the point of playing an instrument - to play music? Start doing it.
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#4
record something every week and listen back to it.
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#5
Yes, I agree with MM.
This feeling is common, but it's an illusion. If you could hear a recording of yourself a year ago, I'm sure you'd hear the difference.

What's happening is simply that you're bored with the exercises and material you're working with. Your musical ear and thinking has got ahead of your technique, so it feels like the latter has stalled, when it's just not moving as fast as your other development. Either that, or you have all these "tools", and no "job" to apply them to.

You need to find something to excite and energise you, something that's more like fun than a technical challenge, but will absorb your musical sense. Jamming with friends (if you can) is excellent advice, but also just learning a new song - thoroughly - can do the trick.

Forget about exercises, and start playing some music. And not just in order to "get it right", but go beyond that. When you've learned a song, that's when you really start playing it.. When it's all correct and you can play it through without making mistakes (or only little ones) - that's just the beginning! When you have all the notes and rhythms correct - that's when you start adding feel and expression, when you start making it your own.
#6
You may have had teachers, but they must not have been that good. If you don't feel you are progressing, I think that must be because you don't have a proper goal hierarchy.

There is the ultimate goal where you'd like to be, then there are intermediate goals on the way there, and small goals as steps to get to those.

There should be obvious progression with the small steps, which should add up to obvious progression to those intermetiate steps, which should add up to obvious progression towards your ultimate goal.

Saying "I practice a lot and learn theory" Is kind of meaningless. What you practice exactly and how and what theory you are learning exactly is important.

Learning songs should always be useful, you are at the very least learning those, and the physical skill required to do so, and you can recognize that progression no doubt. But depending on your approach there can be large differences with how useful they are to you as a whole, towards your progress to your ultimate goal, whatever that may be.

A good teacher should be able to know where you want to be, and what steps you should take to get there.

The rate people learn at is also different. I don't know anything about you. That always makes questions like this hard to answer properly.

It's also easy, as mentioned by others, to sort of miss some of the progress you've made, but I think within a year, there should definitely be some things you can look at, and really know "I can do this now, whereas I couldn't before, and I can do this because of those things I practiced." It can take some hard work to be able to do that. "I can play this song, but couldn't before." counts, but if you want to progress in areas that aren't simply knowing more songs, and aren't, then I think that's because your practice time is not being utilized directed at that aim well enough.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Nov 9, 2015,
#7
What are the skills and techniques you are trying to get better at?

You will hit plateaus in your learning, during this time you will usually find your tone is improving. As others have suggested start recording yourself. This will be a good way to gauge if your tone is improving, something students often don't realise.
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