#1
hi,
I have been playing guitar since I was 16, now I am almost 29, and I could never get passed intermediate level.
well of course I haven't been practicing every day and some periods of time I wouldn't play at all.
but I can't help wondering what is it that should make a big difference? is it possible that I developed bad techniques?
playing songs sure is fun, and it does improves me a bit, but not enough.
it is really hard for me to figure out the fretting patterns and also keep up with rhythm and I give up fast.
someone suggested me to learn scales? is this the thing that could get me to the next level?
I really love music and don't want to give up on playing, so I would be really glad for any suggestions and also good sources for learning.

thanks
#2
I'd say playing with other people and learning slowly and then speeding up gives you most opportunities to become better.

Also worth mentioning: if you enjoy playing, does it really matter how good you are?
#3
I K0nijn I
well, I try those.
the thing is yeah I enjoy it, but I care about how good I am cause I don't want to be limited with the songs I can play, right now I can play very simple things, I don't have trouble with chords, but anything else gets complicated for me.
#4
Perseverance is key. Remember it's not really about how much time has passed since you first picked up the instrument but how much time you put into it on a regular basis.
Playing in a band has definitely helped me improve my own playing but mostly because I was actually motivated to practice. I would recommend trying to jam with more experienced players or even try to join a band - don't be afraid to suck, we all did when we first started out jamming.

Also, scales might not be the most fun thing in the world to practice but they are god-send as a tool for soloing so if that's your goal go for it! Start off with the pentatonic scales and go from there...
#5
Apologies for the messy multi-quote here.

Quote by orsinai
well of course I haven't been practicing every day and some periods of time I wouldn't play at all.
If you want to advance, regular practice is probably the first thing you should work on. If you're regularly skipping out you'll end up wasting practice time trying to make up for skills you're not maintaining.

Quote by orsinai
is it possible that I developed bad techniques?
That's certainly a possibility; the biggest things to watch out for are excess tension or sloppiness (i.e. botched notes or open strings ringing out), both of which you should be able to notice on your own if you're looking for them.

Quote by orsinai
playing songs sure is fun, and it does improves me a bit, but not enough.
Songs are great for learning, as long as you're stretching yourself. Picking a song you know you can learn to play properly with your current skills won't get you anywhere, but finding stuff you can't play and practicing until you can play it right from start to finish will.

Quote by orsinai
it is really hard for me to figure out the fretting patterns and also keep up with rhythm and I give up fast.
These are things that you can only really get better at by doing them more. Practice is often not about having the desire to work on something, but the discipline.

Quote by orsinai
someone suggested me to learn scales? is this the thing that could get me to the next level?
Scales will provide a solid foundation from which you can progress further, and a better idea of what you're playing. On their own, they won't be an overnight solution to getting better at playing, but in the long term they'll certainly make it easier to get further.

Quote by orsinai
I really love music and don't want to give up on playing
Then don't. You can practice the guitar to improve, but you don't need to be playing just to improve. Plenty of people go their whole lives happily strumming cowboy chords.

Quote by I K0nijn I
I'd say playing with other people and learning slowly and then speeding up gives you most opportunities to become better.
This is sound advice to improve your playing all round.

Quote by FavDaddario
Perseverance is key. Remember it's not really about how much time has passed since you first picked up the instrument but how much time you put into it on a regular basis.
Playing in a band has definitely helped me improve my own playing but mostly because I was actually motivated to practice. I would recommend trying to jam with more experienced players or even try to join a band - don't be afraid to suck, we all did when we first started out jamming.

Also, scales might not be the most fun thing in the world to practice but they are god-send as a tool for soloing so if that's your goal go for it! Start off with the pentatonic scales and go from there...
This is all solid advice, too, especially the perseverance bit.
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Last edited by K33nbl4d3 at Jul 21, 2016,
#6
orsinai Good advice above, but I'll be blunt : There is a simple solution to your problem - practice 2 or more hours per day. Unfortunately, finding time gets tougher as you get older. My advice is to couple practicing unplugged with other activities such as watching movies, tv etc. whenever possible to get more hours in.

Don't obsess too much about what exactly you are learning - just learn, move forward and don't stop - if you put in the hours, it will pay off.
#7
Good advice above.

I'd just add set yourself goals to aspire to, and then go about finding out what's needed to achive your goals. From your message, sounds like you;re a rhythm guitarist. If you want to improve on that, then study rhythm (as in how time divides up, the effect of strong and weak beats, syncopation ... it is fascinating in its own right. Also, learn some about harmony and chord substitution. Also, learm other chord voicings of chords you alrready know.

If you want to play lead, then yes, scales are needed (to various degrees, depending on genre) ... but don't fall into the trap of thiniking scales must be used like ladders ... just going up, and just descending again. Scales are not about that (other than practice for initial familiarisation). Scales are better thought of as providing a sound palette to mainly choose from. A good teacher should explain to you how about tendency tones in scales, as well as chords they "work" with, and the chords that can be built directly out of the scale notes.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Jul 23, 2016,
#8
I'm actually going to throw a spanner in to this a bit: pure force of time is not necessarily enough to make you a good player. I mean, it depends what sort of player you want to be, but just putting in the hours isn't enough. You need to focus your practice and make sure you're doing things right, and then put in the hours on top of that!

I know it sounds like I'm trying to discourage you, and I really don't want to; the last thing I want is for you to give up. You need to properly focus, but you can do it if you put in the work!

More specific advice though... you'll need to ask a more specific question
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#9
Quote by FavDaddario
Perseverance is key. Remember it's not really about how much time has passed since you first picked up the instrument but how much time you put into it on a regular basis.
Playing in a band has definitely helped me improve my own playing but mostly because I was actually motivated to practice. I would recommend trying to jam with more experienced players or even try to join a band - don't be afraid to suck, we all did when we first started out jamming.

Also, scales might not be the most fun thing in the world to practice but they are god-send as a tool for soloing so if that's your goal go for it! Start off with the pentatonic scales and go from there...
Quote by K33nbl4d3
Apologies for the messy multi-quote here.

If you want to advance, regular practice is probably the first thing you should work on. If you're regularly skipping out you'll end up wasting practice time trying to make up for skills you're not maintaining.

That's certainly a possibility; the biggest things to watch out for are excess tension or sloppiness (i.e. botched notes or open strings ringing out), both of which you should be able to notice on your own if you're looking for them.

Songs are great for learning, as long as you're stretching yourself. Picking a song you know you can learn to play properly with your current skills won't get you anywhere, but finding stuff you can't play and practicing until you can play it right from start to finish will.

These are things that you can only really get better at by doing them more. Practice is often not about having the desire to work on something, but the discipline.

Scales will provide a solid foundation from which you can progress further, and a better idea of what you're playing. On their own, they won't be an overnight solution to getting better at playing, but in the long term they'll certainly make it easier to get further.

Then don't. You can practice the guitar to improve, but you don't need to be playing just to improve. Plenty of people go their whole lives happily strumming cowboy chords.

This is sound advice to improve your playing all round.

This is all solid advice, too, especially the perseverance bit.
Quote by reverb66
orsinai Good advice above, but I'll be blunt : There is a simple solution to your problem - practice 2 or more hours per day. Unfortunately, finding time gets tougher as you get older. My advice is to couple practicing unplugged with other activities such as watching movies, tv etc. whenever possible to get more hours in.

Don't obsess too much about what exactly you are learning - just learn, move forward and don't stop - if you put in the hours, it will pay off.


Quote by jerrykramskoy
Good advice above.

I'd just add set yourself goals to aspire to, and then go about finding out what's needed to achive your goals. From your message, sounds like you;re a rhythm guitarist. If you want to improve on that, then study rhythm (as in how time divides up, the effect of strong and weak beats, syncopation ... it is fascinating in its own right. Also, learn some about harmony and chord substitution. Also, learm other chord voicings of chords you alrready know.

If you want to play lead, then yes, scales are needed (to various degrees, depending on genre) ... but don't fall into the trap of thiniking scales must be used like ladders ... just going up, and just descending again. Scales are not about that (other than practice for initial familiarisation). Scales are better thought of as providing a sound palette to mainly choose from. A good teacher should explain to you how about tendency tones in scales, as well as chords they "work" with, and the chords that can be built directly out of the scale notes.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
I'm actually going to throw a spanner in to this a bit: pure force of time is not necessarily enough to make you a good player. I mean, it depends what sort of player you want to be, but just putting in the hours isn't enough. You need to focus your practice and make sure you're doing things right, and then put in the hours on top of that!

I know it sounds like I'm trying to discourage you, and I really don't want to; the last thing I want is for you to give up. You need to properly focus, but you can do it if you put in the work!

More specific advice though... you'll need to ask a more specific question


hey all, sorry for replying late, I have been away.
all the advices are helpful thanks!
I just I always had the problem with pushing the limits, that and of course perseverance.
if anyone has good source for lessons or things that might help for an intermediate player like me I would appreciate it.
In the mean time I been practicing and I can feel I am getting a little better, but I guess I aspire to be more accurate in my playing and that might take some time to get to.