Well besides songs I play for church which is just acoustic strumming so that doesn't count.

I get the main riffs down and try to learn the rest but then I get bored so I move on to another song...process repeats. It's not that the song is too hard...most of them are in the "Beginner's song program" but that I just don't feel like finishing it.

Should I force myself to learn a song the whole way through? Or is it better just to have fun? (I'm pretty beginner....played since April, know some ACDC, switchfoot, August Burns Red...stuff like that)
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Dude, I've been playing for a few years now and I'm the same way. I can play maybe two songs all the way through. I learn parts of songs I really like, or the solo's that I like or think will help me with something I'm working on. In my opinion it's really nothing to worry about. I find learning somebody elses material is very boring for me, no matter what band/song it is, I'll always get bored. Don't get me wrong, learning alot of stuff from bands can help you alot, but being a good player dosn't just mean you play stuff other people have written. I'd much rather hear somebody else play what they wrote instead of hearing a cover.
I would say an extremely high percentage of people do the exact same thing you do including me. I either learn the riff or the solos and move on. Just takes a little more discipline to stick with learning the whole song.
Ive seem to be the same way yet i havent played to long etheir,
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Try to get a few of your other friends who play instruments and try to see if they want to play a full song with you. It's a lot of fun.
I don't even play songs so much right now. I have studied a few beginner songs with chords, and I just improvise on those chords most often and try to improvise some scales. I can't bother right now to learn a whole song. Maybe when I know more.
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I always learn songs all the way through. I mean its tideous but at the end of the day which do you feel better about? Being able to play a killer solo or being to play a song with a killer solo that flows from the chrous or the bridge. And if you learn it even more a song with a killer solo that flows and that you can sing along to while playing?

I mean theres nothing wrong with what your doing but I believe that you get more out of learning the song through. You'll never know what you pick up.
Imo, you should build technical skills and learn to improv solo/write riffs until you are technically able to play a lot of songs the whole way through. Then once you get to the point where you don't suck so much dick that people want to play with you, then you can start learning songs straight through that you can cover with the whole band. Then when your band is like, "let's write a song", guess what: you already know how.

But thats just my two cents... you can go ahead and be one of those kids that sits at GC playing the back in black riff for three hours straight.
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I normally just learn the main riff, or parts of the song I like.

If I'm learning a song to play with my band, then obviously I learn it all the way through (the amount of songs I've learnt for band is about 2, compared to over 100 riffs etc that I've learnt though).

The only thing I learn all the way through by choice is my own songs, as it's a lot more fun and satisfying.
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Should I force myself to learn a song the whole way through? Or is it better just to have fun?

Dude. That should be why you are playing. if you feel like learning certain riffs and moving on, that s perfectly fine. Since you're just playing on your own terms, you can choose to learn whatever you want. And i hope you're not thinking playing that way makes you a worse guitarist, because that is certainly not true.

The only band I can stand to learn a whole song by is like Necrophagist or Opeth. . . other than that, Boring, not enough changes. . . I like kinda chaotic stuff so oh well.

The only circumstance I can see this mattering is if you are in a cover band. . . . if you skip around in a live show and don't play the entire song, I'll want my cover charge back.
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Last edited by notsee at Sep 30, 2008,
It certainly couldn't hurt to learn a song the whole way through. I find it helps with timing and learning structures of songs, which helps when writing my own stuff. If you really want to learn a song but are impatient (like me), try the Play It Now Tunes CD's. I have 'Paranoid' and it teaches the chords used in each section (it only teaches backing chords for the solo, though), and also provides a final backing track to jam along with.