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Cant reach that next level

Hey guys ive been playing guitar not seriously for about 3 years. I taught myself to play from reading on the internet and only play when i have some time to kill. I know most of the chords and a couple songs

Anyway i want to take my guitaring to the next level, so i could be good enough to play in a band or play a huge variety of songs. I cant afford lessons so that is out. And lately im just not having the patience to learn any new songs.

Any ideas or lessons i could to to help me improve??
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Re: Cant reach that next level

12/9/2007 7:31 AM

Duncan Mcneil (407) wrote:

Hi there, I think you have to get serious and allocate time to practice not, "when i have nothing else to do" Don't sit for an hour just widdling away with pentatonic scales, buy a good tab book from a band or musician you like and practice. I know lessons are out the window because of cost but they do help! A cheap alternative is instructional D.V.D's, I have learned a few things from this source as I cannot really afford lessons either! I think the answer is dedication and persevere!
Also check out my review on free lessons by Cristofer Dahl, he will have you playing good stuff very quickly.

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Re: Cant reach that next level

12/9/2007 9:47 AM

Chris Bond II (2841) wrote:

The best advice I can give you is this;

Find something you are passionate about. It doesn't seem to be music or guitar, so it must be something else.

Good luck on your journey.

P.S. This also the time of year where S.A.D. (Seasonal affectory disorder) is most prominant. You may simply need some medication to help motivate you.

Or Not...

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Re: Cant reach that next level

12/9/2007 9:51 AM

Craig Lindsey (5518) wrote:

Take any opportunity to play whith others, keep learninig every varient of your chords. You'll find the patience for new songs, when they strike your own ear, It is largey about patience,mYBW THt;s your larger lesson.

Play with every damned thing on the radio, whther you like it or not.

Then do the samned damned thing on the next station....something yiu would never choose to listen to; but this is your excersise.

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Re: Cant reach that next level

12/9/2007 12:00 PM

Drew Todd (1193) wrote:

Hi James. Lessons are not a magic bullet. They're not going to help much if you don't have the patience to put in the work on the lesson material. So you're not missing anything there but wasted money. For now, anyway.

If getting better is something you *really* want to do then you've *got* to put in the time to practice. There's no shortcut, unfortunately.

However, if you lose patience because you feel like you're trying and trying and still not making any progress, then you might want to try selecting some material that's a little easier to start out with. Pick something that is easy enough that you'll feel some sense of accomplishment when you get it. It should provide a challenge, but not drive you crazy.

Learning a "huge variety of songs" is something mosts guitarists spend years -- if not decades -- trying to do. I'd recommend learning *one* song really well. Then learn another one. Then another. After awhile you'll start to get a good list and vocabulary going.

Also, if practice is boring, i recommend three options:

1. Get some backing tracks and play along with them. This is a good way to learn what sounds good and what doesn't -- solo wise. Also, play along with the rhythm part of the tracks. That's good practice, too. See the recent thread about free online tracks for reference.

2. Play along with CDs or MP3s of your favorite bands. Make a game of it: See if you can figure out the chords that the song is made up of before the song ends. Then go back and play along with it again (and again). This will help develop your ear.

3. Find people to play with. Get a buddy who also plays guitar and jam with him. Or start a band. Even if you can't play a lick and the band sounds terrible, you'll still have fun, and you'll get better without even realizing it, so long as you keep at it.

Just my $0.02. Hope you get on track and make some progress, James.

-- Drew

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Re: Cant reach that next level

12/9/2007 3:00 PM

Redmond Militante (957) wrote:

A few suggestions from someone who has been in your shoes before: get guitar pro, it helps slow down and loop more difficult songs so they're easier to learn. Pick songs that you love, that seem just beyond your level and keep practicing til you can play them perfectly - don't give up. That's how you improve. Also set up a practice schedule and stick to it - playing only when you have spare time will not cut it.

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Re: Cant reach that next level

12/14/2007 9:52 PM

PHIL TAYLOR (397) wrote:

Hi James I recommend play withpeople better than you.Go to jam sessions YOU LEARN BY DOING!YOU WILL NEVER I REPEAT NEVER GET BETTER AS FAST AS PLAYING WITH PEOPLE!Start a band Then you HAVE TO LEARN SONGS!WRITE SOME MUSIC!JAM WITH RECORDS!How are you rhythm chops? can you play with ametronome?Most guitar player are horrible rhythm players! learn your notes on the neck AND your theory a good book is HARMONY AND THEORY MI PRESS.

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Re: Cant reach that next level

12/14/2007 9:55 PM

PHIL TAYLOR (397) wrote:


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Re: Cant reach that next level

12/12/2007 11:57 PM

Chris Pinto (24466) wrote:

Hi James,

If you "are" really serious about getting to that next level, then, there's really no way around it, you gotta hunker-down and start practicing.

Actually sit down, give yourself at least 1/2 hr, to an hour each day, or at the very least, 3 nights a week. That's how you get better.

Lessons may not be in the cards for you right now, and that's cool...Look into some instructional DVD's, look at all the lessons here at WN (there are TONS OF 'em!!!) and just start gettin' them fingers moving.

I would (if at all possible), recommend at least a few lessons. Maybe just a couple? Just to learn some technique.

But, if you can't: Maybe you can ask a friend! Maybe you have a friend that plays guitar? It's easy to learn something if someone actually shows the "proper ways" of playing something. Even if it's something very small! Sometimes looking at a piece of paper or reading something that someone wrote, doesn't always "click". But, having someone show it to you, right in front of you, could make all the difference!

I know things get in the way (life, work, family, etc), but if you want to get better, you have to really get serious about actually practicing. And not just the same old scales all the time, or "noodling" (as already mentioned).

Another important piece of hardware: The trusty METRONOME. Get one (if you don't have one already) and practice with it. Yeah, it's boring, yeah the "click-click-click" gets annoying, but, it really helps with timing, strumming, and picking.

It's like quitting smoking! You can quit IF you WANT TO!

Same holds true for learning guitar...You CAN learn, IF you WANT to! You have to want it, and put forth some effort. It's not the easiest instrument to play....

Had I known years ago it would be this hard, I would have learned how to play the triangle instead! LOL


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Re: Cant reach that next level

12/15/2007 12:37 AM

Lisa Tomlinson (604) wrote:

I agree that playing with others will help you progress. Also, there are many free backing tracks available on the internet. I play along with a few every day, usually during morning practice. It's not as much fun as jamming with friends but it's the next best thing that I've found.