ok so ive been playing for almost 4 years and i've hit a dead end in my playing.
ive learned the majority of the songs i have and basically memorized them and when i make up stuff for my band, it sounds almost all the same. how do i get out of this "funk"? do i try to learn new techniques or break into other genres or what? if you can give some advice that would be great
Well if you want to stick to one genre, then obviously dont switch genres....

If you want to sound a little original, try this. Stop listening to music for a whole week, and come back, and sit down specifically to write riffs. jam on the guitar and keep adding notes till you get a riff. If it sounds good, keep it. Dont get up until you have 4-5 nice riffs. How well can you play, etc, details?
Man I'm like suffering the exact same problem, except I've only been playing about 1½-2 years. Do what I'm doing now: take a break. Stop trying. Just start playing the stuff you already know. Jam, enjoy the guitar. Then, start trying to find some other bands you like, and learning their songs, and emulating their styles, then mix the different styles together. I can't really help much cause like I said I've got the same problem but I hope that helps.
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My advice: Listen a lot of different styles of music as much as possible. You subconsciously absorb influences from what you listen without even noticing it. The way I see it, your own style will be a big mix of your influences and if you want to get your playing more diverse, listen and play different styles of music.

Also, taking a break is a good idea. If I haven't played guitar for a week or two (which rarely happens) I notice coming up with a lot of new ideas and licks.
Lol this week I thought I had a really cool riff, I got it just by jamming on the bass. Unfortunately it was already recorded by DT, bad luck...
thanks alot guys, i'll try that.
and insideac, id say i play fairly well. i can play fast or slow. i know songs from dream theater to journey to metallica to eric clapton so i can play a good amount of things.
i guess lately ive been trying to play like john petrucci which is pretty damn hard.
ive been listening to their new cd alot so that might be the reason.
thanks guys, i'll see what happens
sometimes what I do to refresh my playing style is get a new piece of equipment (if you have the money), obviously the best thing to buy for this purpose would be an effect pedal but even some times a guitar does the trick. Like when I got ym Telecaster I felt like playing early led zeppelin songs and such and heavy blues.

Another thing is if you have cable with those music channels or something similar, listen to a channel and maybe even grab your guitar and figure out the key the song is in and solo along with it.
i had this problem a while ago and i decided to learn theory. Problem solved. I realized that i was just using notes from the riffs i learned before and after i learned theory everything opened up on the guitar neck and it was like a whole new world on the fretboard. With all those scales and modes i found that there was almost no limit to what i could write.
ya that might be another thing, i dont really know too much theory. ive been working w/ the steve vai 10 hour workout from guitar world if anyone is familiar with it. basically just exercises but it helps.

thanks guys