Okay, to me this sounds dumb but I want to be a better guitarist. I sit down and play what I know but I dont know where to go from there. I dont really know what I need to learn to get better. And by no means am i saying that everything i try and play comes easily although I cant find a gap between really easy and really hard, and I am tired of learning riffs that are nearly completely composed of and palm muted open e. So does anyone get what I am saying and could I get some advice? Or do I just need a brick to the head?
listen to bands that arent metallica or slayer for starters. Maybe learn some scales, modes (ionion, dorian etc) improving alternative picking is pretty important as well as building up strength in your left hands fingers

practise and time and you'll get there
I highly recommend practising scales. It will help you get both quicker and more accurate.
A simple chromatic scale like this works wonders:

And just vary it.

Also, if it's songs you're looking for, what type of music do you play?
If its metal, I suggest just playing songs you already know at faster tempos against a metronome.
But I'm sure you can find some songs at your skill level. Try listening to new bands.
Last edited by Horvat at Jan 17, 2007,
learn hammer ons, pull offs, powerchords and tremelo picking, it really strengthens up both ur left and right hands. but lyk the other guy said u hav 2 giv it practise and time
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its good that you practice what you know, look for things you can improve on there. also learn new thngs. a good idea is to try to learn one new scale a day
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The one new scale a day thing I get thanks I will try that. But I can hammer-on Pull-off I Kinda practice tremelo picking although I dont really like doing it very much. And the only new band I like is Trivium because I dont like screaming (I only listen to the Crusade before I get bashed) I like lots of music and would like to start learning some diffrent styles besides metal but I dont know who to listen to for other genres (as dumb as that sounds) like blues (pre-jimi hendrix) and maybe flamenco or jazz. Just stuff that has lots of pitch range and gets kinda complicated, suggestions on artists would be appreciated. Thank you all for the input. And I know a few scales besides chromatic I still warm up with chromatic though because I use all my fingers with it.
Megadeth is good for metal and Iron Maiden is EXCELLENT they vary alot of their stuff so its not just open E its alot of Licks instead of Riffs and for other wise just go to like the clearance bin of a store and see if you can find any cheap blues Cds thats what i used to do
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Definitely learn some scales and techniques. The more of those you know, the easier it will be to make up your own stuff. There are so many techniques to master. There comes a point when it's time to write your own stuff, after you become bored with playing other people's music. Keep playing.
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its good that you practice what you know, look for things you can improve on there. also learn new thngs. a good idea is to try to learn one new scale a day

New scale a day? WOW, if you mean memorize, then I am way behind, I've been trying to memorize the locrian scale for like a week man, I can only remember like half the notes... =\
^^Who wants to play the locrian anyway ? (To me) it sounds like crap, I can't imagine using it. But I guess it doesn't hurt to learn it.
Just brows the lessons forum and see if any thing stands out to you. I know when i wasn't sure what i wanted to learn or work on i went there and found lots of stuff i didn't even know existed.

And when you feel comfortable with a scale you have learned try this site for some backing tracks http://www.jamcenter.com/jammachinea.html (this one is in Am but you can choose others). It allows you to pick a key and it gives you suggested scales you can use for the track playing, it also gives a picture of the scale you select. It has help me learn my scales.
When you're done practicing with a scale, go back, try to make tunes and combinations with those that you've learned so far.

... at least that's what I'm doing for now. want to be better, too... lol!