OK I've been playing for about 1 1/2 years, and I feel like I've kinda hit a wall in my playing; I don't seem to be improving at all (it feels like I'm getting worse). I play metal (omgnowai ), and I also like improvising to basic jazz backing tracks using a minor pentatonic. But I want to get a little more technical with my playing. I discovered players like Yngwie Malmsteen, Jason Becker and the like a little while ago, and I've been trying to expand my playing by using different scales (natural and melodic minor), arpeggios and different techniques like sweep picking. But I don't seem to be getting anywhere.

Also, different point but related, I can read music but I can't read it for guitar; I can read a stave for piano for example, but I rely on tabs for guitar. How can I stop relying on tabs for reading music?


Edit: as for some songs I can play, I can't play any solos of major technical difficulty (eg. I can play the solo from Smells like Teen Spirit, and most of the Stairway To Heaven solo, just to give you an idea). Most songs I can basically get the rhythm section OK, but they're not at tight as I'd like them to be.
Last edited by kenan6346 at Nov 8, 2008,
If you know the notes on your fretboard, then you can read for guitar..

The only difference is applying it, which takes practice and learning your fretboard.

And just keep practicing, it's often hard to notice improvement because you are always hearing yourself play. If you record yourself playing a piece, then do so a month later, you will probably notice a huge difference.
Try something new, invest some serious time learning something above your level like Gray Pianos Flying - Shawn Lane, and then just take bits you like the sounds of and work on them.
have u been getting lessons? cos getting lessons really help when u feel like ur in a dead end
Quote by SeeEmilyPlay
Play with others!

this. just meet people around your age near your place / at your school and just jam. even if they are not into shred / metal. trust me it will expand your horizons. i like to play vai, paul gilbert and dreanm theater stuff with the occasional blues pentatonic improv but i met a guy into like jack whites stuff and i find myself incorporating his style into my own and vice versa.
Quote by SeeEmilyPlay
Play with others!


There is nothing in the world that will help your playing as much as playing with other people, whether it's inspiration or just improvements in technique.
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like others said play with others

try learning a genre you never listen to or play such as country
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Its quite obvious that the only way to stop relying on tabs is to learn how to read sheet music for the guitar. I find it much more difficult than reading for piano, but its definitely doable. If you get lessons tell your teacher that you want to be able to read music, if you don't you'll probably be able to find something to help you on the internet.
I took a class specifically for reading music for guitar, so have a look in local music schools, I'm sure they have classes like that in other places too

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Thanks for your help everyone. I'm getting lessons during the holidays for guitar, which are 3 weeks away. I've also been meaning to ask this guy I know if he wants to start a band because he plays guitar and we talk about it all the time. I'll try learning all the notes on the fretboard; like you all said, its just a matter of practise. Thanks everyone