#1
ive bin playing for about 5 years now, and i feel like im as good as sum1 who has been playing for about 2. i dunno why, i just see all these guitarists who are better thn me and have been playing for less. i play mostly everyday, i just dnt know why i havent improved. im finding it hard to improvise for sum reason, its putting me down a bit. ive kinda moved onto drums now, and focusing on tht atm. does anyone feel like theyre in the same situation as me? would be good to here sum of ur stories. get back to me.

Ben
#2
I used to feel like this a good while ago, at the time I was hopelessly ****e, and was stuck in a rut. I then got to know a few musicians and formed a band with them, and since then, I've been improving on guitar substantially, and not only am I the songwriter for my band, I've been working on a hefty solo project too. I think the best thing you can do is find like-minded musicians and jam, the music should flow to you. And get into other styles of music too, such as funk or jazz, that'll give you new ideas, and upon those ideas your playing will improve significantly.
DARK_MATTER, Instrumental Post-Metal from Ireland


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#4
Well, I think that evolving in your playing includes evolving in your music taste as well.

For me, I've been playing for only a few months. I knew of guitarists like Steve Vai, John Petrucci, etc. but never thought much about their music. That is until recently. I watched a video of Steve Vai play "In The Name of God" with an orchestra on youtube and I was blown away. Now, I am kinda backtracking and discovering all of their music now.

Point is, that it was incredibly inspirational. The music is pretty technical. So that might be just the thing that will motivate you into more technical playing.
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#5
Quote by uldhppi
Remember the story of "The Tortise and the Hare."



definitely. I have been playing for nearly 3 years now and I feel that in the last year i've barely improved. I'm horrible at teaching myself and lack the discipline to do so, I just got a job to save up for a new amp and a new guitar, going to scrap the new guitar and take up lessons again. If you already take lessons you need to talk to your teacher, tell them you don't feel they are getting you anywhere and that you need to take a new approach.

Determination and self-discipline are the key, unfortunately I only have hopeless determination lol


edit:

Quote by dcloud
Well, I think that evolving in your playing includes evolving in your music taste as well.

For me, I've been playing for only a few months. I knew of guitarists like Steve Vai, John Petrucci, etc. but never thought much about their music. That is until recently. I watched a video of Steve Vai play "In The Name of God" with an orchestra on youtube and I was blown away. Now, I am kinda backtracking and discovering all of their music now.

Point is, that it was incredibly inspirational. The music is pretty technical. So that might be just the thing that will motivate you into more technical playing.


sure you aren't talking about John Petrucci (i.e. Dream Theater) ? Maybe I'm just not aware of In The Name Of God by Vai
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#6
Been playing for 5 years. For around three of those years I just learnt pretty easy songs and barely improved my playing much. I could pretty much learn any song I wanted (with a lot of practice on the difficult ones) but my playing wasn't really improving except on the rare occasions I did learn the more difficult songs.
But a few weeks ago I decided to do the guitar grades from the beginning (can whizz right through them since I already have the technical ability to take me through the whole lot) and that has REALLY improved my playing, from learning so many new chords, scales and theory. I recommend them alot.
#7
^ this is also something I've contemplated doing, now that I see someone else who has tried it and recommends it I definitely will do so! Thanks
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#9
Quote by Steve The Plank
Been playing for 5 years. For around three of those years I just learnt pretty easy songs and barely improved my playing much. I could pretty much learn any song I wanted (with a lot of practice on the difficult ones) but my playing wasn't really improving except on the rare occasions I did learn the more difficult songs.
But a few weeks ago I decided to do the guitar grades from the beginning (can whizz right through them since I already have the technical ability to take me through the whole lot) and that has REALLY improved my playing, from learning so many new chords, scales and theory. I recommend them alot.



Is this a book or a tutorial or what?
#10
^ In the UK there are music examination boards for most instruments, you buy a book which comes with a CD (all the songs from the book + backing tracks to them) gives you the theory, scales, chords that you need to know for the exam as well as a number of musical pieces to learn. Goes from grade 1-8. I don't know where you're from but I'm sure other countries have a similar thing. Your local music shop would sell them
Quote by Kutanmoogle
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Gear:

Hamer Vector
OLP John Petrucci
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#12
Well, I just began playing about 4 months ago, so I am still in the stage of rapid improvement. I am hoping that I never stop improving, but I am sure I will slow down or stop sometime.
“My vocation is more in composition really than anything else - building up harmonies using the guitar, orchestrating the guitar like an army, a guitar army.”- Jimmy Page
#13
Tip: Don't compare yourself to other musicians.
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#14
Quote by FoolOnThePlanet
Tip: Don't compare yourself to other musicians.


good advice.....but if your a lead guitarist and you say you havent done it.....your a liar.
#15
to tell you something, you could be better at writing the music then improvising. Thats how i'm i have wrote of 2 songs of my own with solo's that are way better compared to when i improvise. But also dont put ur self down!!!!! You just get ur playing style and apply that the guitar, learn some scales of all kinds. It should really open ur mind on how to improvise, i learned some Middle eastern and European scales. Once they stick in ur mind and u got them down, there are endless ways to use them.
LOL
#16
I recommend learning new things. Learn new scales, chords, some theory, etc. Learn to improvise better. This will boost your skills really fast, or just bring out your hidden skill.
#17
yeah, i've been playing for nearly 4 years now. in the first two years i was mainly into punk and grunge and all that kind of stuff, so my playing wasnt really that great, cos all i really needed for that was powerchords and **** like that. in the last 18 months or so, i've been listening to a lot more technical music - metal, prog, shred - and my playing has improved no end because i've had to adapt, and get better, in order to play the kind of music i listen to. I feel like I've been making a lot of progress recently and long may it continue. flat spots are teh suckzorz, but we all get them.
#18
I've been playing 8 years, I get better in bursts, my interest comes and goes in bursts. These bursts aren't always synchronized.
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#20
Quote by dcloud
Well, I think that evolving in your playing includes evolving in your music taste as well.

For me, I've been playing for only a few months. I knew of guitarists like Steve Vai, John Petrucci, etc. but never thought much about their music. That is until recently. I watched a video of Steve Vai play "In The Name of God" with an orchestra on youtube and I was blown away. Now, I am kinda backtracking and discovering all of their music now.

Point is, that it was incredibly inspirational. The music is pretty technical. So that might be just the thing that will motivate you into more technical playing.

For the Love of God.
#21
i've not been playing for long, so i might not be able to help you much...
but i find that whenever i've been stuck at the same point for some time, i play something else a little bit more difficult...
then practice that until i can do it...
#22
The real secret is making sure your skill at practicing keeps growing along with
your guitar skills.

Generally at around 2-3 years you'll peak with any old crappy practice skill. From
that point on, your progress will be really slow if you don't make a big change in
how you practice.

Practicing IS a skill and a bit of an art as well. Its just most people don't realize
it until they've spent a few years suck in a rut wondering why they aren't getting
any better. Even then, they usually don't realize it and that's usually the person
that will quit playing at some point.
#23
Quote by edg
The real secret is making sure your skill at practicing keeps growing along with
your guitar skills.

Generally at around 2-3 years you'll peak with any old crappy practice skill. From
that point on, your progress will be really slow if you don't make a big change in
how you practice.

Practicing IS a skill and a bit of an art as well. Its just most people don't realize
it until they've spent a few years suck in a rut wondering why they aren't getting
any better. Even then, they usually don't realize it and that's usually the person
that will quit playing at some point.


So what are some changes I could make to my practice technique? How should I practice?
Quote by MavataR
thats one hell of a find. Did it have change in the case? cause you probably stole it from a busker who was off taking a piss.


#24
I find when I'm in a bind with guitar I just stop playing. I know that goes against all rules in normal 'sports' and **** like that, but for me it works. A week off usually gives me time to clear up and think of new ideas. I know my situation is different from yours. I think you're looking at the technical aspect which doesn't affect me too much. However, I will run out of ideas for writing songs and I'll just spend a week listening to various artists and take from them.

I honestly have no idea how the pioneers of music just pulled all that **** from their heart. I have a few (what I hope) parts that are completely original, but in the vast world of music someone has to have used it before. So for them going into cold turkey is amazing to me.
#25
+1

I dream of the 60's and 70's when I was a kid listening to Boston, AC/DC, Molly Hatchet, Stones, The Stooges, Hexdrix, etc., etc. of all that dangling fruit of virgin territory
#26
Quote by theyab
So what are some changes I could make to my practice technique? How should I practice?


"Principles of Correct Practice For Guitar"
"Beyond the Basic Practice Approach"
"The Deeper I go, The Deeper It Gets"

All from www.guitarprinciples.com

Those are about the only things I've found that are actually focused on practice
skills. They're good too.
#27
I was a bit like that, I've been playing for about 2 years, and I felt that some people that have been playing for a lesser amount of time are better guitarists. But then I realise that I'm better at writing songs, I'm better at keeping time, and I'm better at chord theory.

Never judge a book by it's cover.
#28
I'm this way too....I see people playing crazy stuff early on and I can't play tons of songs that are considered milestones for 2 to 3 years of playing...I learned how to play bass and I really like it but I still love my guitar...I'll always play but I do feel bad about my skill most of the time....
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#29
Also remember the story of the Scorpion and the Frog. (Evil's nature can't be changed) Maybe you just aren't meant to play guitar. Don't think i am either...

I played for five years and i KNOW if it was something else, or some other way i would be soo much better. But i guess in the end it's all down to practice. People learn at different paces.

NEVER EVER fall into the trap of "OMG MY FRIEND IS BETTER THEN ME AND HE'S BEEN PLAYING FOR LIKE A MONTH"

WHO CARES?!??! your friend will brag, he/she will laugh at you if your worse then him, but it doesn't matter. If you learn a solo in a month or a year, it's still learnt isn't it? Also consider the possibilty that people are worse then the lead on.


just my two cents. Keep at it
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#30
ive been playing for 2 1/2 and im the better than a couple people that i know that have been playing for 6+
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#31
Quote by Storm_Bringer_

sure you aren't talking about John Petrucci (i.e. Dream Theater) ? Maybe I'm just not aware of In The Name Of God by Vai


He means this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Lb9h0J_ajA

I don't understand it when people listen to/watch Vai and then say he has no soul. That is some of the most passionate guitar playing I've witnessed in my life.

Just look at his face at around 1:08, and then how his expression is almost insane by the end of the vid. It's like he's been touched by the divine.

As for your original question, I don't think I'm personally qualified to answer, but many of the more technical guitarists recommend structured practice... divide the time you have into studying theory, actually sitting down with a metronome and getting that lick 5bpm faster each day, improvising, learning to sight read. Also learn to set yourself reasonable personal goals that you want to acheive. There's an article about this stuff at Vai's website, I think -- at least there used to be.