Improving Guitar Playing

So I've been playing guitar for a few years now and I've gotten considerably better over the past few months but I am still not that great of a player.

For the most part, I struggle with improvisation. I can't make any solo's or riffs on my own. Are there any guitar players here that have some advice to lend? So far, some of my friends who also play have told me I should learn pentatonics, diatomics, and harmonizing. Most importantly practice. Tell me how you guys practice because there's no real organization or plant to my practice sessions. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Make sure that every note played or not played counts for something. Watch some Guthrie Govan! His concepts are simple, yet completely changed my way of looking at the guitar. Riffoftheweek, and David Wallimann offer more than enough material to become a better version of yourself on the guitar. Learn the concept of Motifs. Sometimes learning random things like microtonal bends can spark some great new stuff. Some go-to licks aren't that bad to learn. Take those licks, and work with them and around them but dont become dependant on them. I'm learning a song that really takes me out of my comfort zone. Lots of inside picking and economy picking (Im a strict alternate kind of guy) and now I feel like i opened a whole new arsenal of possibilities during improv. Make sure you aren't developping bad habits. Also play with a metronome. That was my biggest mistake as a young player. I would rush licks, and they'd end up out of time and the terrible timing of them became muscle memory. Play with better guitar players. As far as making solos and stuff, learn note groupings when you learn scales. Playing scales in groups of 3, 5 etc sounds cool and is a nice way to cheat your way back into the motif you're playing around! haha. Oh yeah, BACKING TRACKS. Either make them, or get some. Wallimann has some real nice ones. To practice improv a backing track is a real nice and useful tool. Hope this helps! 

They all say learn pentatonics, learn diatomics and harmonizing. Fuck that! Learn music theory! that doesn't apply for guitars only, for music in general. The guitar players that tend to do go on the safe path by studying generic scales wind up repeating what other musicians did before them, but with slight variations. If you're having improvisational issues, expand your musical horizons.

I've worked on my musical hearing my entire life by imitating people's voices and when the guitar came into my hand, It was easy for me to tab songs just by listening to them. Listen, rip, tab and mix different songs, not just from the metal genre! Grab a song  tab, and play it backwards, flip the tab strings, play it upside down, play/fool around.

I'm currently playing Tom & Jerry soundtracks and lemme tell ya, it's funny, educational and difficult to perform.