#1
I've been playing for about 2 years and 3 months (I took like a 2 month break this wrestling season, so I've had my guitar for around 2 years 5 months) and I figured something out. I still suck. I can't solo, I'm not good at improvising, I barely know music theory. I can't get guitar lessons because money's tight right now with the gas so high. When I try to solo, it just comes out sloppy, and my fingers can't move fast enough. It feels like my fretting hand can't keep up with my picking hand, and even so, I can't pick very well either, it just sounds bad.

I really want to get better and I don't know how to. Like I said, lessons aren't an option right now, and since I've been playing for almost 2 and a half years, and can't even play one song through, I need to either get better soon, or get rid of the guitar, because I'm at my wits end.

I know I'm clearly going to get "Practice" as a response, but I have no clue what to practice. Help would be appreciated.
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#2
Something called ''exercise book'', myself I ditched the metronome part and I did it my way, your call.

That or starters songs that are boring to play because you can't even nail them properly at the start, but sounds good after a lil' while, like livin' after midnight with the tiny winy lead part or stuff like that.
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#3
What motivates you?

And be honest. Like my motivation for learning a few songs on an acoustic guitar is to grab the chicks. So when I practice, I imagine myself playing for the chicks.


Now my motivation for bass is just that I love music, but besides the point.
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Oh yeah, and if guitar hero got you into the guitar? you're really playing for the wrong reasons.

there is no wrong reason to play a guitar, except for world enslavement and extermination of certain races, but those guys never make it big anyway.
#4
learn easy solos and play everything slow until you can do it at the right tempo, rushing into it is like.....(insert clever metaphor here), so yeah lol
#5
play what you like to play.
youtube has helped me learn to solo (satriani and gilbert lessons) and taught me a lot of music theory as well ug.

and warm up for like 10-15 minutes every day. and practice in moderation so you don't over work yourself.
#6
ya, just buy a book, its cheap and pretty helpfull..

or.. just quit if youd give up guitar for 2 months for wrestling youre obviously not motivated or dont care
#7
Try learning the chords and first solo of Knocking on Heaven's door. It's an easy song and the first solo is perfect for learning your first solo. It was mine. Just learn small stuff to get confidence. Start with your basic major/minor chords too.
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#8
Quote by Imperial
Try learning the chords and first solo of Knocking on Heaven's door. It's an easy song and the first solo is perfect for learning your first solo. It was mine. Just learn small stuff to get confidence. Start with your basic major/minor chords too.


ya man, thats the first solo i learned..
like 2 months ago

do u have any other suggestions?
#9
It all depends on the style of music you want to learn to play and get good at. For me, my favorite band was Metallica when I started, so I learned the rhythm guitars of some songs, and it really helped me with speed picking and different picking patterns. If you like the style of let's say RHCP, you'd practice a lot of their songs, you'd get the style down and your fingers used to it, then you can apply in in solos or other rhythm parts exc. I don't know how much help this actually was though.
#10
Thanks for all the help. I can do simple things, yes. I can play both "Knocking on Heaven's Door" solos. But when I say solo, I mean solo, like at least a decently fast part, like the fast solo riff in "Back in Black" is something I would like to be able to accomplish, but it seems too fast, my fingers can't keep up with each other.
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Holy crap!!! a talking penis!!!



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i wasnt 3, but i ate **** when i was 4 thinking it was chocolate


if someone sigs this i will murder them.
#11
Just practice it slow for a few hours and you'll have it down without even thinking about it. And those are some of my favorite solos too.
#12
It's like, I'm sick of not knowing weather I'm wasting my time on guitar or not. Is there a possibility I'm just not made to play guitar?
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Holy crap!!! a talking penis!!!



Quote by Rush Fan 06
i wasnt 3, but i ate **** when i was 4 thinking it was chocolate


if someone sigs this i will murder them.
#13
The first thing I would do in your possition is just go through some scales with a metronome. I know you said money's tight, but metronomes aren't to expensive, and if you use it right then you'll notice a huge difference in your playing. Start off really slow, and do it over and over and over until you can eventually play it without having to try, then just keep putting the tempo up and eventually you'll get up to speed. An important part of practicing is to practice slow.
Another good thing to do would be to find other musicians to play with, preferably better than you are. Playing with other musicians can increase your playing alot, and you'll get to know a few new styles and tricks. Learning songs helps alot, so I'd just pick one song you really like that's not to hard, and just learn it. Like I said, go slow, don't try to rush things, and eventually it'll come.

It's alot easier if you have something or someone that modivates your playing. You'll need to practice quite a bit, just don't take the easy way out. Whenever you have time, just pick up your guitar and practice. I think the most important thing to practicing, besides using a metronome, is to have fun while doing it. If you sit there and force yourself, you'll eventually lose interest.
#14
Everyone has the ability to play guitar, you just have to find your learning style. For example, I cannot memorize anything, I have to know how it works and understand it completely or not at all. Just find your quirks, you'll get it.
#15
Well first off, if moneys tight for you, you don't need to pay for guitar lessons, there's plenty of free stuff on the internet (and here on UG). Since you say your fingers aren't fast enough, I'd try chromatic exercises like the tried and true

--------------------------------------------------1-2-3-4----------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------1-2-3-4-----------4-3-2-1-------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------1-2-3-4-------------------------------4-3-2-1---------------------------------------------
--------------------1-2-3-4---------------------------------------------------4-3-2-1----------------------------------
----------1-2-3-4-----------------------------------------------------------------------4-3-2-1------------------------
1-2-3-4-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------4-3-2-1--------------

That should also help with your picking problem, If you really want to improve your picking you could always alternate pick that exercise also.

And don't get frustrated that will only make things worse, just be patient and practice hard.
#16
The only reason you haven't learned that much after 2 years is because you didn't know what to practice. For soloing, learn some scales, and learn some basic music theory to know how to use them. I'm sure you could find some beginner lessons on youtube explaining the basics.
And your hands aren't synchronized, so that's why it feels like your hands can't keep up with eachother. To solve this, take some sort of exercise or solo, and play it to a metronome. Start slow, and build up speed until picking just feels natural.
This video should show you some hand massages to loosen up your hands a bit, so they can move with ease: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrAaMLpP20k (skip to about 3:10)

If you don't have a metronome, this one is free and gets the job done: http://www.metronomeonline.com/

As soon as you can afford it, take lessons. Someone being there to help you can make you progress significantly more than having to figure it out yourself.

You should also read some of the articles on this website, they can help quite a bit.

Hope this helped.
#17
another easy solo but none-the-less fun to play?

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^^ the guy that said use the metronome site is right, practise how i practise sweep picking, put the metronome on a ridiculosly slow speed so you can play it perfect, but not only play it perfect but use all the proper techniques and not any bad habits. increase th tempo by 2-4 bpm everytime u play the solo 5-10 times in a row perfectly. itmigt seem like you are palying forever but if you focus hard enough you wont notice how long it is taking enad enjoy yourself.

i am teaching myself to sweep pick, and today i was learning selkies (throw myself in the deep end i know) i started out at 40 triplet 8ths per minute today and can already do it at 80 now.

when you do get frustrated with something you are practising, clear your mind by playing something else you do know, it will make you feel bhetter and clear your head up
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#18
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It's like, I'm sick of not knowing weather I'm wasting my time on guitar or not. Is there a possibility I'm just not made to play guitar?


You fail at perseverance.

Check out Rick Renstrom and realise how much fail you are made of.

Seriously; practice. Watch Freepower's lessons on correct practice and finger independence and break out the metronome.
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#20
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It's like, I'm sick of not knowing weather I'm wasting my time on guitar or not. Is there a possibility I'm just not made to play guitar?

Bull **** buddy. Anyone can play guitar. You could shred like any of the greats if you practiced well enough and had enough patience. Dont tell yourself this you CAN play guitar. Your problem is your desire and second guessing yourself. You need to want it and you need to be confident that with enough proper practice you WILL play the things you set your goals to.

That said if you do want it and stay determined why dont you learn that back in black solo. Play it slowly even if you have to play at 40 bpm and memorise the small motions required lick by lick. That solo is easy to break into bit size pieces. Learning the whole thing can seem like a big deal but if you just say im going to learn this lick right now and sit there and learn it get it down and then proceed to the next little part its not a big deal. Just make sure you are picking it correctly before you start to memorise. Take the time and focus on your practice technique and relax it should be fun dont worry about the amount of time you have had your guitar that doenst mean anything. It should be fun and rewarding and if you change your practice technqiue it will be. If you really want to play you CAN play. **** im gonna practice right now.
#21
Having played for 2 years is a pretty vague statement actually, for this kind of question. I've played for about a year, but most days for just 15 minutes. I can only make time for a multihour practice session about once a week. There are kids who play for five hours a day every day their first six months and they way surpass me. On the other hand I have friends who mostly have their guitars as interior decoration props...

So - how much do you play?