I've been playing guitar for nearly two years now... and right now I feel completely stuck. I can't learn any new songs that I am interested in, and any of the beginner songs are easy to play and no fun.

I want to consider myself an intermediate player, and I can play some difficult songs (the most difficult being "Snow, Hey oh" by RHCP consistently and fast speed). But when I attempt to play "Little Wing" - Hendrix version, I can't even get the first two measures down.

It seems like any song I try to play past beginner-intermediate, I fail miserably at. Any suggestions on techniques I should master? Any must-know beginner songs?

Any suggestions would be appreciated... Ive been stuck at this level for a long time and feel like I'm making no progress in guitar.
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Figure out the fingerings and work on them at an extremely slow rate. Eventually bumping and bumping bpms until you're right on with the song. A more complex song like little wing will open your hands up to a new world of fun.
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don't try playing little wing note for note man. its not the thing. it needs the same groove, but u need to put 'your' feel on it. not jimi's.
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I just used little wing as an example, as some have recommended it as an intermediate leveled song to learn how to play.

I have of course tried other songs... most of them end up the same way.
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Epiphone Les Paul BB
Some old korean-made classic acoustic...

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hendrix songs require to play with your thumb wrapped over your neck, and fretting the low E string with ur thumb. little wing intro's bass notes are played like that.
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what i find is that i never seem to progress unless i try something that i think is really hard. this might be just me, i think if you work consistantly at something you think is above your level you'll make at least some progress.

in terms of technical stuff, have a look at some scales that you currently don't know/don't use/just seem plain wierd. anything of that nature will, i think, help improve your playing, even if you don't incorporate lydian dominant modes into your any original material you might come up with.

i also find when im stuck in a rut that listening to a new band and learning some of their songs can make your practice a little more varied and fresh, as opposed to playing the same riffs every time you practice.

good luck : )
take a break from learning new songs. seriously. i basically have to practice every day for several hours, but i'll only learn maybe one new song a week. i get bored of it. put on some simple, great songs that you like and just jam with them. practice improvising solos. it'll help your ear, help you feel what sounds good, and also help you technically. then go back to learning songs and you'll be a whole different, better, player.
bear in your mind one thing - NEVER learn songs you've never heard or don't like - it's pointless...so a question like: "what song to learn next?" is not in place...you need ask yourself what do i want to listen now... for example - you mentiond rhcp so i take it you're a fan...so i'm guessing you listen to them a lot - once you get used to one song you'll in time get bored by the sound and move on. apply the same thing in playing,
you should learn songs that you listen to intensely so you know how they song in each interval. you'll learn playing them waaaay faster that way...
it's nice to mix it up sometimea and try something new - but sticking to songs you like is the key to playing the stuff you'll enjoy...
A good song should make you wanna tap your feet and get with your girl. A great song should make you wanna destroy cop cars and set fire to the suburbs.

Practising technique is very important, practise running scales up and down alternate picking them and then doing them in triplets and quads, practising runs really builds on your picking and right hand technique, i generally do this with pentatonic and natural minor.
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I have to admit I never found running scales useful - having said tht I never did it I just didn't see the point, I didn't want to learn how to run up and down scales, I wanted to learn how to play.

TS, the problem you have is that you're trying to categorize stuff...there is no "beginner" or "intermediate" stuff, everybody learns in different ways at different speeds, some people take to certain techniques more than others, with others it's simply that their style leans more towards certain techniques.

Even so called "beginner" songs are debatable, whilst most of them may be simple it still takes a lot of skill to play them properly. Smells Like Teen Spirit is always thrown out as a beginner song and it's nothing of the sort...barre chords, a syncopated, off-kilter strumming pattern, left hand damping? That's an absolute nightmare for a beginner and way out of any noobies league. Yes they'll be able to fudge something out of it that sounds similar but inexperienced ears don't stand a chance of picking out the rhythm and strumming pattern through all that fuzz, and technique-wise it's a deceptively tricky riff.

Like has already been said, the worst thing you can do is try and play stuff you aren't already familiar with. There must be shedloads of stuff out there that you know well to listen too...doesn't have to be metal, or rock, anything you know. Look it up, find tabs or chords and try to learn it. Generally, any song that you can sing along to you'll have a much easier time learning because the sound of it is internalised, you subconciously know what it's supposed to sound like already.

Obviously there's certain visual clues with tabs....the old "If the tab looks like the seismograph from the Great San Francisco Earthquake then avoid" adage, but the biggest clue is listening to the song itself. Most of us can tell by listening if something is going to be easy, hard, or just a little challenging...learning to use your ears is the most important skill in guitar playing, even more than your fingers.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Oct 21, 2007,