Hey guys,

I feel like I've plateaued playing guitar. I can play most songs with normal and bar chords like banana pancakes and some finger picking like hey there delilah. However, I feel like I haven't been able to grasp harder songs like, Hotel California, Stairway to Heaven, etc.

Is there something I can work on to build up my skill, maybe learn some theory and/or pentatonics? Where would be a good place to start this? I know when I started guitar, I used Marty Swartz and Ahola guitars on YouTube. Now I look at tabs and listen to the song. I don't want to pay for lessons - I probably should, but with a job and responsibility, I don't have the time or money to shell away for something that will only be a hobby.

I like playing campfire songs and songs that can just keep girls entertained (like main stream).

Thanks in advance!
That's rather hard to define your current level from your post. I understand your position about lessons, but if you want to extend your skill, I suppose it will be very helpful to meet a teacher, define your level with him and build a plan of further self-education. And, of course, you can find a lot of guitar lessons here https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/
As stated above its hard to address your skill level by that. But I've been in the same boat and I'm sure everyone has. That's how it goes honestly, I will take spells where I feel like I've hit a wall but then a week or so later I will climb the wall in leaps and bounds only to faced with another wall. It's all part of playing. But what has helped me to scale these walls is I found an amazing teacher who has helped guide me. My playing has improved so much since I got one and it's been more of a steady progress. I still hit walls but I feel as though they are more easy to handle know. I would suggest finding a teacher and working out a lesson plan.
lol not looking for in person lessons here peeps, but thanks for the replys. Looking for pointers on what I should work on to improve and a good hub where I can find some lessons one these things - whether it be scales or theory. I just don't know what to focus on next.

I'd say I'm intermediate.
Last edited by apatch at Dec 27, 2016,
Sounds like you might be about on my level, maybe higher, OP. I know jack squat about musical theory. But you know what? I bet I know more musical theory than Brownie McGhee, Lightning Hopkins, Robert Johnson, or John Lee Hooker knew....and I'd love to be as good as any of those guys.

I know this sounds trite...but just play a lot, and try to sound a little better everytime you play something. Musical theory can only help though and if you find a good source for what you are looking for, please inform me.
Go to the www.justinguitar.com site, there are huge amounts of lessons in each genre, and he has constructed two course platforms: beginner and intermediate. Perhaps you can take a look at the intermediate and see if you fit in to that section.
when i hit a plateau, i spend time playing songs in niches i don't usually listen to. that seems to wake something up.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
Learn all the chords and all the scales so you have a complete vocabulary to work from. Then choose 1-2 songs that are slightly above your current ability, break them down into manageable pieces, and make them your bitch. The only way to move forward is to stretch yourself a bit. I also believe playing live with others, especially players who are better than you, moves you forward. Never stop learning new ideas.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
learn everything you dont wanna learn
"ba doo doo ba doo doo ba doo daa"
- earth,wind, and fire
I think every player has been where you are, and as far as I know, there's only one cure: pick a song you really like but don't think you can play and learn it. Find it on YT, find the tab on here if you can, and practice it (or even just the part of it you like) until you can play it. Then take stock: what, specifically, are you doing now that you couldn't do before, and what other music does that open up for you?
Death to Ovation haters!

That is exactly how I learn. - I find a song on Youtube, then look for variations, then choose the versions I like and save copies. I open these in a sound editor and "dissect" them, using loops and slow down. For example, I'm currently looking at Ry Cooder's string damping skills in "Get Rhythm". I use freebie tab as support, but a lot of it is not good quality, so I don't rely on it.