Hello everyone! I have been playing guitar since January(08), and I am sorta at a dead end when It comes to my playing skill. Here are some details about what I can play:

A, E, Em, D, and G chords
Minor Penatonic Scale, I think in the key of A
I can play all of Sweet child o' mine, but I sorta improvise in the faster parts of the solos
A few riffs, such as:
"One" intro
"Enter Sandman" intro
"Master of Puppets" Riff
And a few others.

Basically, what I ask of you, is what do I learn now? Do I learn theory, or more songs? Chords, scales, or riffs? I honestly have little to know clue as to what I am doing, so I will just leave it up to you all.

(Favorite bands/influences: Dragonforce, Gun's n Roses, Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, Disturbed)

^I want to be able to play music similar to these guys, so giving tips on learning Blues or Jazz does not really help.
GnR uses lot of blues in their lead guitar playing
so you SHOULD learn that.
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add that:
Tips on blues and jazz absolutely help. If you think those guys only know what they play you're sorely mistaken; learning this instrument isn't about picking bits and pieces, it's about learning everything you can from every concievable angle, so you can be creative. By limiting what you learn, you limit what and how well you play.

Start off by finishing what you've started. The "riffs and intros" namely; learn the full songs.

Learn the rest of your open chords: B, Am, C, C7, D7, and learn about chord voicings.

Learn the blues scale. Complain all you want, but most metal and hard rock stems from blues, and just about every metal band you've ever heard writes riffs in the blues scale.

Learn major (barre) chords.

Learn the notes on your fretboard.

Learn a mode or two of the major scale. Also, relearn your scales. Don't just mindlessly memorize positions and boxes, learn the notes and learn how to move em around, play em differently. Go laterally (up and down) the neck as well as up and down the strings.

The key to playing well is learning your instrument (and music in general) inside and out. Don't be afraid to learn things that are outside your general realm of listening. You can pick up new scales, chords, rhythms and techniques by playing different styles of music. It'll only help you improve.
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Quote by shdowfox17
GnR uses lot of blues in their lead guitar playing
so you SHOULD learn that.

Really? I did not know that. Is there any specific scales or anything that would help me in learning? EDIT: Oops, did not see that massive post above mine. Thanks for the tips everyone, I appreciate it!
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Last edited by Dwarfish at Aug 30, 2008,
Dude, I have been playing since January too. Don't worry about Disturbed, the past week I have been learning Down With The Sickness and now I'm fixing mistakes on it, its super easy. But yeah, learn about half theory and half songs. Learn why they put what notes on there. That's what I try to do. Good luck.
Learn some more open chords, also maybe some chord embellishments to spice them up a little. Also bar chords are a must, they expand your playing by so much. Learn scale patterns... and if you like GnR, learn the blues scale, its easy, cool, and fun. Good luck to you!

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I would suggest to learn your favorite tunes. Try to learn all of the rhythm parts first. Beginning to end. Then try picking out the solos. In my opinion the foundation to understanding what you are playing starts with chords and rhythm. Like, what notes you are actually playing in the chords. And rhythm...staying in time.
learn all the basic open chords(C D E F G A B). after that try barre chords. some more scales would be good too. and for the songs, if you hear a song that you like, just try and practice it.
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learn a genre of music other than what you are used to, i learned (actually learning) jazz, i have been for about a year and i consider myself barely a beginner. not only do you learn idea's to take into your own playing (for me it is chords and playing over chords) but you also expand your music vocabulary, once i get decent at jazz i will attempt to learn some classical as well.

but i agree with all posts above me, don't just stop at your basic A,C,D,E,F,G chords and your pentatonic minor, then spend the next 3 years learning songs off tabs. if you have a teacher, then you are basically just paying money for something you could do on the internet for free. next time your teacher asks "what do you wanna learn today?" say "everything you can teach me."
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Although i guess the OP will have to get used to reading them if he's going to buy a bugera..
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In addition to other things mentioned on this thread, learn CAGED, a technique which allows you to get a handle on the entire fretboard. Good luck!