I was just curious how good am I supposed to be after playing 3yrs on the electric guitar. I am self taught and I almost did not play at all on my 2nd year. Most of the time I just do different exercises because I want to improve faster and do not have much free time.

I can play guitar parts (with solos) of the next songs:

  • Purple Haze - Jimi Hendrix, Spanish Castle Magic - Jimi Hendrix, Voodoo Child - Jimi Hendrix, Thunderstruck (lead guitar part) - AC/DC, Back In Black (lead guitar part) - AC/DC, Unforgiven (lead guitar part) - Metallica.


  • first solo from One, solo from Nothing else Matters, both solos from Fade To Black, solo from Seek & Destroy, all by Metallica; both solos from Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd; solo from Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen; solo from Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin;

Furthermore, I would like to ask for any specific exercises you find useful and some songs/solos I should be able to play, judging by songs I posted above Sorry for any mistyped or misused words as I am not native English speaker. Thanks in advance to everyone who reads and answers!

  • Do you mean you are playing the complete guitar part of those songs, or just selected parts of the songs, in other words are you doing an incomplete performance? – Michael Curtis Jan 21 at 20:52

There just isn't a simple graph that could be made - time played against ability to play. Every single person's would be very different!

And then there's actual playing ability. Playing any of those songs, do you nail it every time? Could you sit in with other musos and play a song perfectly every time? Would it take you an hour or a month to learn, say, Room 335? Is your rhythm playing as good as your lead? Can you improvise over a chord sequence at sight? Can you hear a song, and write down the chords as it plays? Do you know scales, modes, arpeggios? Can you read music? Can you read a chord chart?

Certainly not knocking what you can do, because it seems like you've achieved a fair bit so far. All I'm doing is pointing out some of the factors involved in being a great guitarist. There are many out there who, for instance, can reel off several great solos - like you - because they've learned them note for note. Personally, I don't think that makes them, particularly, great guitarists.

To become more rounded, have a look at some of the guitar syllabi from exam boards. I'm not saying take the exams, but reading through will give you some ideas which may answer your questions. It may not even be possible to take them wherever you are! And the usual - find a teacher - if only for some occasional pointers.

Playing with others is of paramount importance. I've played with some guitarists who could play famous solos, but once they had others playing with them, they went to pieces, often timing wise. And ask them to change key - disaster!

Great English, also - well done!

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.