I've been playing guitar for about 10 months now (I got my guitar last Christmas) but I'm not very good to be honest. I don't have lessons and try to teach myself although I wouldn't say it's been very successful. Basically I don't usually play everyday, I usually just pick the guitar up when I can be bothered and it's only for like 30 mins or so. I can play some easy song riffs (Smoke on the Water, Iron Man, Enter Sandman and a few others), powerchords, the Blues scale and thats about it. My question is, what stuff should I be learning to actually improve my playing so I can improvise more and learn to solo etc?

Thanks for your help.
The main thing about guitar is you get out of it exactly what you put in. If you want to be good, you have to devote time to it, rather then only picking it up "when you can be bothered". Great guitarists aren't great because they have some magical spark and they were able to shred it up when they first plucked a note, they worked just as hard as pro athletes do, with consistant practice and learning.

Learn to lay down a rhythem before you try to learn to solo. Anyone can throw out single note runs, you need to understand song structure so you can learn WHY as opposed to how. Learn the 12-bar blues.

Also, learn open chords. Start off with G, C, D, A, Am, E. Those should give you a foundation to start being more creative. You mentioned you know the blues scale, but do you know the notes? Or the notes on your fretboard? Learn those as well. Don't just learn the boxes of a scale, learn why it's a scale. Know it forewards and backwards. Don't just play it linear, play different patterns and rhythems. A rhythem isn't necessarily a pattern of chords/powerchords, it's any repeating measure that establishes a key for a song. Single note runs can be a rhythem too.

In addition, always practice with a metronome. That's hands-down one of the best ways to improve your playing as well as your improvising.

Hope that helps

If you can't afford/don't have access to a physical metronome, there's a great free site www.metronomeonline.com/ . It offers all the features of a metronome without having to plunk down $30
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Last edited by Garou1911 at Oct 12, 2008,