I have been playing bass and drums for over twenty years. I can swing without having to think about it on either of those instruments. I have only been playing guitar for a couple of years now but I feel like I am stuck.I am fairly fluid with my movement through scales, modes, and chord relationships but I feel like I am just replaying the same licks over and over. How do you guys break through your learning blocks or how do you decide what you need to work on next to become a better player. Thanks...........
My two cents . . .
Ive come to see playing guitar as a series of plateaus. You can experience great "revelations" in a short period of time where things really click and you climb a little higher on that hill. Then there are the lulls where it seems like your playing is going nowhere and you can easily get frustrated. The hardest part of improvement is trudging through those flat line periods.
Some things I do to get through those harder times . . .
1. broaden your influences -- listen to different music. if you are mostly a "rock" guy, throw in some jazz or funk. find something you can dig there and dissect it.
2. work on your mechanics -- I often find when I feel like my playing in general is in a rut, Ill start to "play" less and start to drill more. Work with a metronome on different scale patterns, learn more chords/inversions/substitutions/alterations/voicings; alternate picking, chicken pickin, string skipping . . . ect, ect.
3. brush up on theory -- you can never learn too much theory. when you are in a rut, spend some of your time usually allocated towards playing to sit down with a pencil and a notebook and work out some theory. Writing out the modes, learning their numerical and note differnces, harmonizing the different modes. There is a wealth of information out there, dont be afraid to tap into it.
4. most important -- keep on keepin on.