#1
I've had my acoustic guitar since Christmas and haven't played it very often. I know most of the basic chords and can strum(with a pick) and fingerpick a bit. All I've been doing is trying different songs, and finding them too hard and moving on to other songs. I feel like I'm getting no where, and I could use a sense of direction.
So.... if someone could tell me what kind of things I could practice, that would be great.
#2
I would say scales. Make sure you always play alternate picking. My teacher in highschool just wanted us to learn easy stupid songs like hush little baby and I'm kind of pissed at him now because he never mentioned that stuff and now I have to try to get alternate picking engrained in my head even though I've been playing for 5 years or so.

And, be honest with how good you are. Don't try to play stuff that is too hard or you will get frusterated and stop playing. I (and many others) learned by starting with Blink 182 songs because they are easy and you will get confidnece because you shouldn't mess up much because they aren't hard. Many people here don't think so, but I think there songs are cool and if you can play stuff that you like it makes playing more fun and you will want to do it.
#4
If you're up to it, Blackbird by the Beatles is always a good tune to learn; fingerpicking song but shouldn't be too hard to learn.
#5
I break it down into specific parts of songs. Usually the parts i think are easiest first. it takes a bit longer but i like my overall results. i pick alot better then i strum chords so I go with that first. I do scales every night. Changing chords effectively is what's holding me back. It's a hit or a miss most of the time. I'm gonna work on that for a week straight before i try any other songs then the ones i'm working on.
#6
hah yea, blackbird, i remember learnin that 1.

Dust in the wind by Kansas is a good 1 too, travis style picking. once u get it down u will sound pro even tho it is easy as hell.

-B-
"TONE ADDICT"
#7
I played for a long long time before I really figured out what I was doing with the axe. Probably... two years? I kept getting better, but i was just learning solos and certain riffs from songs. Think I've been playing for three years now and I consider myself intermediate, kinda newbie still lol. My biggest mistake was starting out with a song and stopping when a part got too hard - so for the longest time I could just play a few cool riffs and really got no where.

I didn't really start to improve from a technical stand point until I learned to sing and play at the same time ( which for some reason took me forever to even TRY, but only took a few weeks to learn once i attempted ). My suggestion is to yes, start out with easier songs, but learn entire songs, not just parts of them. Also practice singing and playing from the beginning, helps keep the music organized and stuff. I have a friend who can melt your face with solos from songs, but can't keep the strumming pattern for songs like simple man down.
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#8
Heh, yeah. I think I'm intermediate with fingerpicking, but I can't strum simple songs, or keep a rhythm going. It's hard to switch over once you've set into something for so long.
#9
I was in the same boat as you man. I always got frustrated, but you just have to keep at it. Once you get the chords down you can make up your own stuff. Just keep at it and try out acoustic versions of songs you like.

good luck!
#10
practice your scales and make sure you get your pinky involved.... I played for almost 2 years without ever really using my pinky (i would use it but not efficiently).... then I figured out what scales were one day and took off practicing those, play till your fingers bleed, scales with alternate picking will help you greatly in both pick speed and pick accuracy as well as condition your fret hand... also try to learn songs that are just above your skill range, without challenge there is no room for improvement... if its too hard keep pluggin till its second nature, then find something else thats hard.... good luck with your endeavors