#1
I've been playing for almost two years now. But pretty much the whole time up until the last half year, I haven't been really learning anything on guitar. Recently I've been playing a lot more and learning techniques, and I can finally say that picking has become very comfortable.

But now I'm a little stuck. I can play any scale up to a 120 bps rate within a few days. I've been doing every warm up that has been suggested, and work on new ones when I find them. So my technique is getting a lot better, but I feel like I'm making less progress now that I am at this level. I'm not saying I've mastered scales and picking, I'm saying that I at a level where I think I should move on to something else. What's next? Any suggestions on songs, that are more intermediate level and not just a few bars of solo and the rest of the song is chords?

Also, I've been playing a lot more blues than anything lately. I have a Epiphone Les Paul Black Beauty. But everytime I pick up a Fender American Strat, either at a guitar store or friends house, it always feels better when I play. Is it because I'm just tired of my guitar? Or that a Fender suits me more? Should I try to sell the guitar I have or trade it?

Oh, and if I were to get a strat, any suggestions on what kind? I've only played American Strats and I've loved them. Any others I should look out for? Any models in particular? I have a price range of 400-800 dollars.

Any suggestions would be helpful.
Own:
Vox AD30vt Amp
Epiphone Les Paul BB
Some old korean-made classic acoustic...

And looking for an acoustic
Last edited by Rzer at Aug 14, 2007,
#2
Can't think of any songs off the top of my head, but try the Tab Talk forum with regards to that. The guitar issue... try the guitar more and see if you really do like it and then make a decision based on which you prefer!!
#3
I've got a lot of older friends that play guitar, and I asked them about the same thing with the progress. I guess it happens to everyone, and if it doesn't, theres something wrong. I am actually going through the same thing. One friend told me to start looking up music theory, as in scales, and learning the whole fret board. Others have told me to just play songs and learn them, it will help in the long run.

Both of the suggestions are actually good, but I've really never took the time to do it. School is starting soon, so that means I'll have a little less playing time, hopefully I can squeeze in an hour or two in the afternoon.

Hope the above helped ya, don't know about the guitar though. I'm sure someone else on here could help you with it. I guess it's just personal preference.
#4
I'll second that, learning theory is a good plan. I started studying it recently because none of my music teachers for various instruments ever taught me any!! Except my guitar teacher, he does a bit with me.
#5
I'm learning theory right now with my teacher. The problem is, that kind of stuff isn't very hard for me, since I've been playing over 4 different instruments in the last 10 years. So even though I learn a lot from my teacher every week, and I get a lot to work on a weekly basis, I always get it all done with time left to spare to mess around on the guitar. I would rather spend that time doing something else, which is what I'm trying to ask here .

I guess I'll just play more. Eventually, sometime will come up hopefully.
Own:
Vox AD30vt Amp
Epiphone Les Paul BB
Some old korean-made classic acoustic...

And looking for an acoustic
#6
EDIT: That's your signal to take a week/two week break from playing. You WILL NOT forget anything, and when you start playing again, you will be more efficient and you will play much more cleanly.

No matter what you think about your current gear, just keep playing. The more you play and the more days pass by, the more your fingers will be able to pull off things you never thought you can do. You can have the best gear in the world, but if your fingers suck, then you will suck in general. It may sound a bit cliche, but it's the truth. Fingers affect sound more than the amp, to slightly quote Steve Vai.

You should try improvising and see what cool stuff you can come up with. It may seem hard at first, but after a couple of days of screwing around, you'll start to put together melodies that you can swap around notes and still get the same cool melody.

The difference between an expert and an intermediate is the fact that experts can improvise and come up with really good stuff. Intermediates haven't grasped that concept yet. Intermediates think inside the box and think they need to have everything theoretically "correct", while experts COMBINE music theory and improvisation to write great songs.
Jackson SLSMG Soloist (JB/Jazz)
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#7
There's ONE thing that separates the men from the boys: practice. After the first
few years of relative ease of learning, the learning curve gets steeper and crappy
practice habits don't cut it any more (if you want to make progress that is).

You've been playing only 2 years and can't think of *anything* you should work on?!
That's probably an illusion. You can probably think of lots of things, but you just
don't *want* to work on them. Try starting with all your weaknesses. I'm sure
you have them. Everyone does. The biggest weakness most people have is
practice skill. Mostly because they never really thought about it or it as a skill. But
it is and you can improve at it. Another thing about gaining practice skill is that
you won't have to wonder what you should be practicing. You'll know. You'll also
know that you'll never run out of stuff either.
#9
I don't want to make it seem like I think I'm a pro after 2 years of guitar .

Actually, I just took about a 10 day break from guitar and it feels a lot more comfortable then it did before.

It's not that I don't think I have anything to learn, I'm just not sure what the next step is! I can learn basically any song on the "beginner's list" that has been posted on this forum. Most of the advance songs are a little too tough. And all the scales seem repetitive of what I already practice.

I suppose I should look more into my weaknesses.

And as far as the new gear, I want to decide on that because of the style of play I've been into, not because I think I need better gear to sound better. I'll go ahead and visit some guitar shops and practice the few songs on the intermediate/advance listed in the tab forum. So far, I've been having fun with Snow (Hey Oh) by RHCP. I can play it nice a clean, but no where close to the record's speed.

Thanks for the suggestions .
Own:
Vox AD30vt Amp
Epiphone Les Paul BB
Some old korean-made classic acoustic...

And looking for an acoustic
#10
The "beginner's list" is a crap measuring stick. It means nothing. All that means
anything is what comes out when you play.

As far as scales go and being repetitive -- you're not digging deep enough. There's
an infinite number of patterns that go through a scale (and some are pretty vital
to learn). Just "going up & down" a finger position is not scale practice -- its only
a very very small beginning at scale practice. In the major scale alone there's a
lifetime of stuff to practice. Of course there's other things to learn, so you can never
get to all of it.

If you do it right, scale practice can be combined with practicing all sorts of techniques
and working on weaknesses as much as just discovering interesting ideas embedded
in scales for soloing.

Don't make the mistake a lot of people seem to -- they "learn" a lot of scales, yet
they really don't know any of them very well. The major scale (and modes) is
the most important and can take quite a while to really get to "know".
#12
What kind of amp are you rockin? Maybe upgrade your amp instead of a new guitar, that will help your blues tone a TON!

As for learning new stuff I dunno. How is soloing for you? Do you know allot of solos through and through?

Im sorta around where you are and thats what ive been trying to do... learn an entire solo perfectly (a difficult solo or medium difficulty solo) and make it sound great. Its hard tho b/c sometimes i get frustrated and want to learn some new riff.

_B_
"TONE ADDICT"
#13
Learn Slow Blues by Hendrix. Thought I'd mention it as its my favourite blues solo..

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/tabs/j/jimi_hendrix/slow_blues_tab.htm

Like DarthHax said above me, 'and make it sound good'

/e: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfnarOILIO8
Let me tell you about heartache and the loss of god
Wandering, wandering in hopeless night
Out here in the perimeter there are no stars

Out here we is stoned
Immaculate.