Hello i'm a intermediate guitarist with 3-4 years experience i've been struggling since i feel like i haven't improved much for the time span of 4 years. i know some basic scales and sweeping patterns but i'm not really sure what to do with it and i haven't mastered the notes on all the frets. i try improvising with some pentatonic scales but all i can do is run down the scale,i can never improvise without starting from the root note. The hardest songs i can play are avenged sevenfold songs specifically the song "afterlife" and it took me 1 year to kind of master it. i'm very inspired by the style of synester gates and john frusciante. i like blues,jazz,country,rock and metal music. so my question is what should i learn first? i really want to be able to improvise and play clean and fast and i want more knowledge on different type of techniques. if i'm leaving out stuff about myself feel free to ask. thank you for reading!
For Pentatonic soloing you should listen to Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, ZZ Top and Slash for inspiration.

Get your technique correct and practice over a suitable backing track, such as ZZ Top's LA Grange is one I sometimes use.
Go to a website with scale fingerings (such as all-guitar-chords.com) and choose a scale you want to learn (such as G Major), go to youtube and search for a backing track in that specific key or relative key (G major or e minor), study the scale fingering diagram while you play along with the notes in the scale using the backing track.

You should learn all the major, minor, pentatonic and blues scales in every key. Learn all major, minor, dominant 7, minor 7 in every key. If you want to go into jazz, prog etc. you have even more scales (harmonic minor, melodic minor, whole tone, etc.) and more chords (extended harmony such as maj 7, min/maj 7, min7 b5, dim7, 9, 11, 13, etc.)
Last edited by stevenjmal at Dec 1, 2016,
Quote by JamesGSixx
i really want to be able to improvise and play clean and fast and i want more knowledge on different type of techniques.

There is some good advice above. to that I would add: start learning songs and solos by ear. Start with slow blues from people like Albert King or SRV or some classic rock where the player doesn't play too fast- pick a song or section where you can hear the notes clearly - always use the studio version and make sure you're tuned to the music ( SRV tunes to E flat for example). Then take very small sections, like 4 bars at a time, and repeat them until you can figure out what is being played through trial and error. Use software to slow down the music if necessary.

If you want to be good at improvising and creating music this is probably the most important skill you need to work on - improvising basically means imagining a phrase in your head and then playing it instantly on guitar - transcribing by ear helps you bridge the gap.

Great improvisers learn by ear - all of them. That's not to say you can't ever use transcriptions, but make sure you spend a lot of time working things out by ear. I really can't stress this point enough.