I have been playing along time with various levels of seriousness.
Here are a couple of hints, you mileage will vary.
1)Unless you are a musical prodigy, its takes time and work. There is no way around that.
2)As far as I can tell playing guitar is about learning scales, chords and arpeggios. Don't forget the ARPEGGIOS.
3)Practice every day. (ever hear that one before?). I say this because Jerry apparently practiced every day. Jerry practiced at least 2 to four hours a day, and even practiced a couple of hours before a concert, so on a concert day he played for like 4 to 6 hours. Jerry said he felt like he lost something if he missed one day of practice, and felt like a cripple if he missed two days in a row.
4)If you are disappointed in your progress, find a really good teacher and take lessons. Again if you are a musical prodigy than you do not need to take lessons, but if you were, this forum thread would be non existent. Not any ole teacher either, a really good teacher.
5) If you want to be able to jam and improvise, than you must play with people. As Jerry said there are lots of good musicians who really can't play with others,they work in music stores. I have met many players who simply can't listen to the others playing with them and do their own noodling irregardless of what is happening with the rest of the musicians. Playing with others is a skill in and of itself, and some people don't get it.
Repeat steps 1 thru 5 until desired results are achieved.