I picked up guitar last summer as a hobby, and began playing with no real clue as to what I was doing. I didn't use a pick, I could barely strum, I didn't bother to learn any of the basics. I picked up a few songs, then just played them.

Now, I'm finding that the way I play makes things very hard to advance with. I need to start using a pick for the metal stuff I want to learn, and I need to start finger picking correctly for the classical stuff I want to learn. I probably also need to learn to play in time properly, heh. I haven't really played seriously for about four months or so.

I guess what I'm asking is, if I'm coming from the ground up again, what should I make sure to learn to ensure I have a solid base for future playing?
i started off learning dwts by disturbed, its an easy and cool song. after that i just went and printed hundreds of tabs off the computer and tried to play them all. i know i sucked, but then i went on the puter and just started to learn a bit more about it. 1 year later, i have learned all that is to know about, powerchords. you almost just need to learn every little section of the "guitar playing puzzle" at different times. start with chords, then go to alt. picking. , then maybe trem picking, then soloing. thats what i did, and look where i am now..........i still suck.
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You're probably gonna hear a lot of this from a lot of people, but it is really good advice:
1. Always use a metronome when a tutorial says "use a metronome", and at other times too
2. Start slow. SLOOOOW. You want to hit the right notes don't you
3. Make sure you have control before you speed up things
4. Ehh... Practice practice practice

And try some online tutorials or lessons. Some of them are really good, and there are many good ones right here on UG.
Try Pick'nGrins Video Lessons, they are located under Columns -> Features: "Steal This Video: [...]".

EDIT: Dammit.. I need to start learning how to type....
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Last edited by SinnaSatan at Aug 17, 2006,
The first and most important thing you learn is timing and rhythm. Playing music is 90% about rhythm. It doesn't matter how fast you can move your fingers, 'cause if it isn't on time it'll sound like crap.

So, when you've mastered the basic rhythms start learning chords and learn to hold your pick the right way, loose but not so it falls out of your hand, and remember, ALWAYS relax as much as possible. If you feel tensed up somewhere chances are you are doing something wrong. Economic is the keyword here.

You should be able to tell the differences between pain and muscle tireness. If you feel pain, stop playing. You don't want Repetitve Strain Damage or Arthritis.

Play to a metronome once you mastered your rhythm. Remember, proper technique takes years of training, and you'll always improve.

Pick out songs you like and learn how to play them. At first by using tab, but eventually you also want to be able to listen to a song and play when you get more advanced.

That's about it for the basics. I'm sure I've missed something, but whatever.