#1
As the title mentions, I am terrible at the guitar. I've been playing just over a year now, and I have pretty much been plateaued for the past....several months. I was wondering if there is any advice you could give to help me improve. I'm not really sure where to begin, but I basically am just slow. I can't play the notes quickly at all, it is extremely frustrating for me, because the things I want to play, I can't. Of course, I know I should practice, but every time I try to, I just get so pissed that I suck I end up putting the guitar down. I only know one song, which is 'Diary of a Madman', all the way through, and a couple riffs from other songs. Usually when I do play, it is just me picking a random scale, which I usually fixate on for a month or so, and just playing notes though out the scale. Also, I am musically deaf essentially, I don't know which notes sound good together, and everything I play sounds more or less the same to me. Sorry for the whiny rant, but I don't want to quit guitar, but knowing I'm not making ANY improvement is unbelievably aggravating.
EDIT: This may be key as well; I play on a terrible Wal-Mart guitar, with a thin nut, and (I think) short scale. I'm broke...so maybe I just CAN'T improve with my current gear? I've been dying to buy my new Ibanez for the past few months, hoping it'd help, but should I get my hopes up?
Last edited by will0mon at Mar 20, 2008,
#3
work your ass off. Learn scales. If you think you suck then you're probably trying to play a song, and you shouldn't learn a song until you can play the guitar at all.

learn multiple scales

metronomes are your best friend. (metronomeonline.com or somethin like that if you don't have one)

and if you can't play it at the tempo you're at SLOW THE FUK DOWN. Play it so slow it makes you sick.
#4
I would like a teacher, but I have literally zero income at the moment, so I'll have to wait.
#5
you might want to consider getting a good teacher, and see what they can do for you. But i think the real problem is that you really just dont have enough discipline to practice and get better, you just need to sit down and learn the riff, you'll suck at it at first, but it's really cool when you can play it
#6
Quote by will0mon
I know I should practice, but every time I try to, I just get so pissed that I suck I end up putting the guitar down

theres your problem. you kinda have to practice, some people have to practice more than others to get good. it's also all about how you practice and you HAVE TO WANT TO PRACTICE. btw, you have to start off with songs that you can play, or at least bits and pieces of songs you can play. i started off with nirvana and simpler metallica stuff (the first song i learned was "come as you are" and the second i remember learning was the clean rhythm part to "sanitarium")
Quote by will0mon
I am musically deaf essentially, I don't know which notes sound good together, and everything I play sounds more or less the same to me.

dude nobody turns into vai or satch overnight and before learning music nobody knows which notes sound good together. the best thing you can do is learn and experiment and see what notes sound like what. starting off and learning your major/minor keys and what chords are in them and then messing around and finding simple 3 or 4 chords riffs is the best way to start imo. don't sweat being musically deaf, i was musically deaf for about the first 2 years or so. i mean TONE DEAF in a way that curses only very few. persistence is the only way of getting better.

my friends used to say "dude you're never going to get good" and now they say "wow i remember when i used to say you'll never get good" my response to them has ALWAYS been

"well if you do anything long enough you'll get good at it eventually"

you didn't really expect to start out sounding like clapton/dimebag/stevie ray/gilmour did you? or hell, even be half that good in the amount of time you've been playing for that matter.
#7
pick easier songs

ive only been playing a year and just graduated to
master of puppets - metallica (duh)
and
the trooper - iron maiden

awesome songs but still a bit of a struggle for me

i started with crap like greenday and slower slipknot ****
basicly painfully ****ty musicly but easy to pick up and get you to speed then start learning harder and harder ****

i have a feeling youre trying to play fast stuff like bodom or dragonforce and getting frustrated
in that case i cant play it either it takes years

and i cant write too well either

i also started with a target guitar and recently upgraded to a schecter so yeah....

hang in there bro youl make it
Quote by Kensai
Girls don't have to do anything to be good in bed. If she's got a pulse she's automatically an 8.

#8
Quote by aeon20k

i started with crap like greenday and slower slipknot ****
basicly painfully ****ty musicly


i like slipknot.... and green days older stuff.
#9
You gotta get in the right state of mind. Just stop trying to learn more things and perfect what you've got. Constantly check yourself- am I playing this accurately? is this how I want to articulate X phrase? what about volume level? is this bend in pitch? you've gotta be constantly trying to improve your sound and play everything well. Be AWARE of what you're doing and get in control.
Quote by Roc8995
Thin necks make you play faster because guitars with thin necks sound thin and bad, and you play fast to distract people from the bad tone.
#10
Quote by z4twenny
i like slipknot.... and green days older stuff.

i like the knot too

i learned duality for my first full song
and greenday... yeah older stuff is ok hate thier new **** tho
Quote by Kensai
Girls don't have to do anything to be good in bed. If she's got a pulse she's automatically an 8.

#11
Wow, thanks so much dudes. Sadly I went to that metronome site, and played 2 riffs I made and already feel improvement, lawlz. I feel less terrible about sucking now,thank you. P.S. I'm sweet at Diary
#12
To be honest, I think if you're really tonedeaf, you're not cut out to be a musician. But you might be able to improve your musical hearing over time.

Definitely learn easier songs. That will improve your confidence if nothing else.
#13
play songs that you know to boost your confidence.
learn music theory slowly but steadily.
find motivation to practice. motivation and passion is a big one.
you dont have that you shouldnt be playing.
#14
a better guitar would sound better (obviously), but i doubt it would help you very much. A good player can sound good on a bad guitar but a bad player can't sound good just because they have a good guitar.
#15
learn easier songs man
get the basics and just enjoy the ****in journey
forget where you are tryin to get to for the moment and go learn "LOUIE LOUIE"
#16
Quote by will0mon
Of course, I know I should practice, but every time I try to, I just get so pissed that I suck I end up putting the guitar down.


get better practice habits.

why do i suck at guitar? because i dont practice.

why dont i practice? because i suck at guitar.

do you see the downward spiral here? you will improve at a very quick rate once you get over the fact that yes, you suck at playing, but NOBODY can just sit down and say 'i am finally good enough to never practice again'. everybody has room for improvement everybody has to sit down and realize why they suck and fix it, its part of being a proficient musician.
#18
Quote by ouchies
If you are playing JUST to be great, then you should just quit.


The whole point of practice is to become "great".
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#19
Quote by Archeo Avis
The whole point of practice is to become "great".
Right.

You should play because you like playing.
You should practice because you want to improve.
You should want to improve because you like playing.
#20
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Right.

You should play because you like playing.
You should practice because you want to improve.
You should want to improve because you like playing.


^ that was my point.

If you really loved playing you would keep playing and practicing on your own, you wouldn't get pissed off at yourself all the time. Some frustration is normal but if guitar is just stressing you out, quit. Maybe its time to do something else if you're burnt out after 1 year.
#21
man just learn eaiser stuff like say.. all of the ac/dc crap its all easy and nirvanna b/c fankly kurt cobain sucked at guitar
#22
Quote by crazie_guitar
man just learn eaiser stuff like say.. all of the ac/dc crap its all easy and nirvanna b/c fankly kurt cobain sucked at guitar

so true

hes an inpiration tho
cuz if that man can suck so bad and get famous and not even want to
then we can all make it

cheers cobain

may you rest in peace
Quote by Kensai
Girls don't have to do anything to be good in bed. If she's got a pulse she's automatically an 8.

#23
As far as the tonedeafness goes, something that would be good for a lot of people to do is this. Learn a lot of really recognizable melodies from songs that almost everybody knows, like Christmas Carols, folk songs, and kids' songs. The trick is to do this all by ear rather than finding the tabs for the songs. By learning them by ear you are learning how the various intervals sound by experience rather than somebody telling you. As you train your ear, you'll find that it becomes easier to create music of your own, and the songs that you learn will be played more musically.
#24
Don't worry, I was like that for about a year and a half. The thing that helped me get through it was to find some people to play with, that is the best eay to get better.
Quote by jackson001
Ironbodom, I hate you.

Quote by SeveralSpecies
damnit Ironbodom.

Quote by Sleaze Disease
Yes, someone "was ate jam" while they were playing.
Brilliant observation.


Save SURGE
#25
Here's the deal, I've been playing for 6 months, and I can play faster and more efficiently than my brother, who has been playing for 3 years. My trick is, I never went for the easy songs, the first song I learned was Laid to Rest by Lamb of God then Raining Blood by Slayer, I knew if I could play something fast, I sure as hell could play a slower song. But, a good song to practice multiple skills is (this is gonna sound gay) Vampire Heart by H.I.M. There's some scale work, pinch harmonics, chord changes, power chords and that little clean part after the first riff is a killer if you're new at playing guitar. But, I used to practice for 12 hours a day doing scales and just random songs I clicked on while surfing around the tabs on this site.
#26
Quote by werty22
To be honest, I think if you're really tonedeaf, you're not cut out to be a musician. But you might be able to improve your musical hearing over time.

Definitely learn easier songs. That will improve your confidence if nothing else.


Even if you "suck" practice makes perfect.. And you're not gonna bother practising if idiots tell you you're tonedeaf and not cut out to be a musician.. Why bother posting on this unless you're gonna be supportive or actually offer some helpful advice?

Just practice man..practice and practice and practice.. you'll improve over time.. noone just got straight up as a baby and started walking without crawling first..everything takes practice.. and when you notice a flaw in your technique try to improve on that.. at the moment I'm trying to work on my solo and improvising skills because i've noticed i need improvement on that area
#27
easier songs might help

but in the end only determination, hard work and effort will help you, because it took me the entire 4 1/2 years i've been playing to get the "good player" status from most of my school/friends.
In U.S. of A, democracy rule you !!!

Equipment:
Fender Stratocaster (Deep Blue)
Peavey VTX Classic
Ibanez GBS Electric (Candy Red)
Arion Chorus Effects Pedal

Saving for:
Epiphone Les Paul
#28
Ive been playing about 2 years now, and I feel the same.

I've only recently been able to sweep pick at 100b.p.m (1/8 notes lol)
My theory is coming on quite well, and when I write stuff its usually ****ty and short.
And only last week I JUST memorised my open chord positions.

I think motivation has alot to do with it. More motivation = more practice = more
Im also self taught. But I may get a teacher if i get money in a couple of years since i always hear people talking bout how they make no progress during years 4/5 etc.

And as bangoodcharlote said play if you like playing, then play(more)

Also about the Ibanez, your better getting an amp first. I got an ibanez when i had a ****ty 10W G2 amp (starter pack kinda thing). The sound sucked quite. When I got my 30W marshall amp, the sound was better, and even my crappy G2 guitar sounded good.
|-----| Gear |-----|

Ibanez RG(cnt remember)
Marshall MG30DFX
Line 6 Guitar Port


YOUTUBE PR0NZZ
Last edited by iruka2998 at Mar 27, 2008,
#29
I had the exact same problem as you for quite a while, and it pissed me off to no end that i just couldnt get better, so i decided i wouldnt get better, i played the few songs i knew over and over, maybe 10 times in a row without a break, because i loved thse songs i could play, and then after about a month of playing the songs i knew i decided to have a crack and a song i couldnt play before.... and it worked

basically i had developed alot of muscle and dexterity in my fingers from playing those songs, and it had payed off, but after the next couple of songs i hit the same wall, so what did i do, i did the exact same thing....... now not only can i play some pretty great stuff without even thinking about it because its all in my muscle memory, i always have a good way to get past the walls i face....

so i would advise you to maybe do that, just play songs you love that arent hard, but make sure they have arpeggios in them and not all powerchords or you wont strengthen the muscles in your fingers... i would advice learning avenged sevenfold - unholy confessions, its nice and simple but mostly arpeggios, which is perfect to get started on

also you may be musically deaf but look for patterns in the playing, like unholy confessions has patterns, patterns are easier to learn, therefore it makes the song easier to learn and remember, and the more patterns you find the more you will find in the harder songs you cannot play, and then the easier it becomes to learn these new songs as you are now playing patterns rather than a slew of fast notes....

hoped this helped, if you need any more advice pm me
#30
sit at a piano. play any key (that roughly fall within your vocal range--you can also do this excersize on guitar, but for the love of god make sure its in tune). match that pitch and keep going for a while. id also recomend using the ear trainer at www.musictheory.net (after looking at the interval lessons).
#31
Quote by Slash_HuDsOn
get lessons from a good teacher?

I did that now I'm learning canon rock very quickly
let's shred!
#32
Try playing rock you like a hurricane by the scorpians its not as hard as it sounds and it will be good practice on sliding up and down the fret with the same finger position's it's like this

e----------------------------
b----------------------------
g-9-9-9---5-5--7-7--5--7 repeat like 3 times
D-9-9-9---5-5--7-7--5--7
A-7-7-7---3-3--5-5--3--5
E----------------------------

then verse
Palm muted on A and D string
3-3-3-3-7-7-7-7-3-3-3-3-5-5
3-3-3-3-7-7-7-7-3-3-3-3-5-5