As a self-taught guitarist, you hold yourself back from becoming great by not having effective practice habits. Not having correct practice habits makes your musical progress unpredictable and slow.
Most self-taught guitar players unknowingly take on the exact opposite of good habits and their playing suffers for a long time. Here are some of good habits that you need to get into to avoid getting stuck like them:
Good Habit #1: Focusing The Right Things At The Right Time
Many guitar players have the bad habit of repeating a difficult lick over and over. They believe that using this approach will eventually fix their mistakes. Instead, they end up wasting tons of practice time only to get minimal results if any. A much more effective practicing approach is to focus only on the specific notes that are giving you trouble. You don’t need to continually repeat the other notes because you’ve already mastered them. Isolating your mistakes like this makes it easy to quickly identify where your playing is breaking down. This way your practice time is used only to correct these things (making it much more efficient).
Good Habit #2: Don’t Make Things Harder Than They Need To Be
Self-taught guitarists often learn or form habits that are ineffective and frustrating. Since they learn on their own, these bad habits solidify over time. Doing this holds you back from becoming a better player and forces you to correct your technique from the ground up if you want to make progress. Common examples include: using incorrect/inefficient fretting, exclusively using alternate picking, not muting string noise effectively, and much more. When you make things easier on yourself by learning correct playing habits you save tons of practice time and get better faster.
Good Habit #3: Asking The Correct Questions
Guitarists who learn by themselves frequently ask the wrong questions when it comes to getting better. This leads them down the wrong path, which takes them longer to see any results. Guitar players who make the fastest progress ask themselves specific, high quality questions that get them the exact results they want as fast as possible. If you are not sure which questions to ask, the best approach is to find an experienced guitar teacher to work with. This teacher should already have helped many others achieve your musical goals – letting you know that they understand the right questions you should be asking to do so.