Hi UG,

I've been playing the acoustic guitar for 7 or 8 years (self-taught) now and I would consider myself an intermediate. I can't seem to get any better and feel stuck; I can play songs that I hear and like pretty easily using tabs and chords but I want to write my own riffs and solos. I also want to get into the electric guitar but I'm not sure where to start.

I just recently saw James Bay and have some newfound motivation. Any advice?
You can't get any better because you're not pushing yourself. You're just doing the same things over, and over again that you've already done many times before.

Learn new styles of music thats above your current skill level, but not too far ahead that you can't get them under your fingers in a decent amount of time. Question yourself we need to have goals in order to know where we're heading.

Set some goals, and work towards them there's really no wrong ways, but an important thing to do when you want to make serions progress; is to set goals. Unless you continually set goals then you'll forever remain noodling on the guitar with no clear intent. Having clairvoyance, and focus is necessary.
Last edited by Black_devils at Dec 3, 2015,
When you get to that point (I did about the same time) take a break. It's fine, just make sure you come back to it from time to time inspiration will hit.

It sounds like maybe that inspiration has hit, GREAT! Now work towards what you want out of it. I personally have just got serious again about guitar and I've set a couple of goals, short ter I want my technique to be cleaner and more precise than it ever has been. In the long term I want to begin transcribing We Are Harlot's debut album. It's been a long time since I transcribed a full album and I remember how rewarding it was and also how much everything improved so that's a long term goal.

When practicing (and after nearly 15 years it's only just hit me) note it down. What you did, at what tempos did you do it, what do you notice is a weakness...work on it. Having a record of what you've done and the details of it, and being able to look back on it after a week you'll see you've improved, I've found this to be incredibly encouraging lately!!
Try listening to something new. I've been stuck before and that's what usually gets me out of a rut like that. If you decide to set goals and work towards them as suggested, I'd say make sure you really want to accomplish those goals, because a lack of enthusiasm can easily turn guitar practice into a nightmare.
"I feel like a one legged cat trying to bury a turd in a frozen pond."