Since i'm self taught, I don't really know how to go about this. Do i memorize the notes on the fretboard, the different chords in a scale, etc?

  • What is it that you want to be able to do that you feel you are not currently able to do? – topo Reinstate Monica Dec 26 '15 at 10:10
  • Eehm i guess getting a better feel of the guitar in general i suppose. Knowing what i play, how it works and using that knowledge to make music of my own. – dinomaster606 Dec 26 '15 at 11:36
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    Learn a lot of songs, start copying what you've learned, start making up your own stuff based on what you've learned. That's at least the time-honored way to do it. – Todd Wilcox Dec 26 '15 at 16:48
  • @dinomaster606 what would you say your current 'level' on the guitar is? Although this question has some close votes, I suspect your actual query is more specific (and common) than the current wording of the question suggests. – topo Reinstate Monica Dec 26 '15 at 17:35
  • Been playing for 4 months. Suppose i just exited the 'absolute beginners' phase – dinomaster606 Dec 28 '15 at 16:14

First of all, I would highly recommend you to get a teacher. I cannot stress this enough. Being self-taught is not a badge of honor, but an obstacle in your way to become a great guitarist.

Theory practice consists of the following things:

  • Scales: For a start, you should learn all positions of the Major natural scale and know where the root is located in each position. This will allow you to pinpoint notes a lot faster and improvise a lot better. The reason that the Major natural scale is the most important to learn is because it contains more scales in it (Modes - Same notes but with a different root), the Minor natural being one of them.
  • Scale degrees: Diatonic scales have 7 notes. Each note is a degree on the scale. Lets take for example the C major scale: It consists of C (I), D (II), E (III), F (IV), G (V), A (VI) and B (VII). The degrees of the scale tell us what chords are a part of the scale:

The 1st degree of a major scale is a major chord, the 2nd is a minor, the 3rd is a minor, the 4th is a major, the 5th is a major, the 6th is a minor and the 7th is a diminished.

  • Chord notes: For every new chord you learn, you should check, write and memorize what notes the chord consists of. This will help you when you write your own music, improvise with a friend and with arpeggios.
  • Reading sheet music: Every musician should be able to read sheet music. It allows you to communicate with a wider range of musicians, understand theory better (for example, seeing the intervals with scales) and makes it a lot easier for you to work in a band.
  • Ear training: Not really theory practice but it is very important for you to be able to recognize a chord or an interval by ear. You should start your ear training with interval hearing (how many tones are two notes apart), and always tune your guitar before playing so you would be able to tell what notes sound in-tune.
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    Thank you for your reply! I know it's better to get a teacher btw, but i simply don't have the budget nor the time to get one. Right now it's easier for me to consistently practice on my own. – dinomaster606 Dec 26 '15 at 11:34
  • I would also recommend that you get to know other musicians, preferably guitarists if you want to learn more about guitar, and simply play with them. You can ask them questions that the internet cannot answer you, like "Can you see if I'm picking from the wrist?" or "Am I tense?" – JohnnyGuitar Dec 26 '15 at 11:39
  • I've been thinking about that as well, that would really help indeed. – dinomaster606 Dec 26 '15 at 11:44

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