What is the best advice you've received that's improved your playing?


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Mankoman
12-10-2007, 02:56 AM
As the title says.

It seems to me that it's just practice, practice, practice and try and use a metronome for scales, but anyone else got any hot tips.

Guitarfreak777
12-10-2007, 03:02 AM
To only use JUST enough presure with your fretting hand to make a note sound, rather than wasting energy mashing down the fretboard when really playing guitar requires little energy.

rocking bassist
12-10-2007, 03:05 AM
Four fingers, four frets.

metalimaster
12-10-2007, 04:07 AM
slow down......... then be amazed at how fast you learn to play =p

sektor47
12-10-2007, 06:13 AM
For me, from my dad. Always told me to hit the strings harder, give some punch into it!

Zaphod_Beeblebr
12-10-2007, 08:58 AM
Two things mainly:

1 - Speed comes from accuracy; speed doesn't matter unless it's accurate.

2 - To speed up your movements they should be not only fast but smaller as well; smaller movements allow you to make more in any given time so makes sure you're moving as little as possible.

PsychoJeams
12-10-2007, 09:33 AM
The best advice i've got is to play guitar becouse i want it, and not becouse i have to. Force myself to play wont improve anything. When your motivated, you can achieve anything.

eXperiment63
12-10-2007, 09:42 AM
How about the simple, "Don't give up"?

That has helped every guitarist who didn't give up.

Enihs
12-10-2007, 01:41 PM
Practice!~

SonnyLastz
12-10-2007, 02:51 PM
do what you feel, feel what you do (do what you wont, have heart in what you do)

steven seagull
12-10-2007, 03:37 PM
Never worry about speed, concentrate on playing accurately and the speed develops naturally.

Oh, and also...learn to use your ears as well as your fingers.

vacantplanets83
12-10-2007, 03:50 PM
The best advice I have ever received about improving my playing was practicing with a metronome. Very helpful with learning to keep time and increase speed.

Dvnc
12-10-2007, 04:52 PM
the relative minor scale trick, which is when someone is playing in the key of Am and you want to solo over it you can play a minor pentatonic shape on the fifth fret, in Am, or on the second fret, the key of F# or Gb. Could also play an octave higher

NotAJock2Day
12-10-2007, 05:09 PM
Have balls, especially when you solo.

GoldenTrees
12-10-2007, 05:30 PM
take time to stop and look at what your hand and body are doing. Don't tense up! --- 2 bad i suck and i cant use a pick =( :peace:

reeseh
12-11-2007, 04:57 PM
legendary thread

Pabli7o
12-11-2007, 05:06 PM
slow down......... then be amazed at how fast you learn to play =p
and teh metronome

Ramones06
12-11-2007, 06:40 PM
practice foo! :)

jakethesnakeLP
12-11-2007, 08:39 PM
Just have fun with it. Practice and love what you're doing. I suggest songwriting. Thats why I started guitar in the first place.

jakethesnakeLP
12-11-2007, 08:41 PM
Also, listen to a lot of music! Hell, I only play by ear! What's theory?

Garou1911
12-11-2007, 08:45 PM
My sig

AznElliot518
12-11-2007, 08:49 PM
"Slooooooooooow down"

BrokenBricks
12-11-2007, 10:09 PM
"Slooooooooooow down"

qft

mzhang13
12-11-2007, 10:21 PM
This isn't the best advice, but, play on clean with an electric, it's the best way to find where your mistakes are and to improve your accuracy.

theLured
12-12-2007, 07:33 AM
I am not really sure, I hear a lot of things that are good for a certain part of playing.

I guess the best advice is to by a guitar magazine. So I got Total Guitar and although its not great, does have some really good video tutorials and tips.

When first playing chords, don't try to move your fingers fast and putting one on a fret at a time, try to move all your fingers together at a slow speed. Try this by switching between 2 different chords like G and E. This gets good speed and quickly. This was from my daddy :).

And the final tip that improved my playing by adding some randomness to it, and helped with the boredom of only knowing 4 chords. When strumming a chord, take a finger off, move a finger, put your pinky somewhere. Doing this, you can get a different sound out of chords and experimenting is fun.
An example, play a D major chord, strum and take on and off your little pinky on the 1st string 3rd fret. Another is to move the index and middle finger on a G major chord down a string to get a different sounding G major. Another from my daddy :).

silly6-string
12-12-2007, 07:42 AM
practice and have fun

rhettro
12-12-2007, 11:11 AM
Play everyday, even if it's just for a few minutes.

gm jack
12-12-2007, 12:47 PM
Four fingers, four frets.

+1

If you can't stretch that far now, you will soon. :D

akosininio
12-12-2007, 09:13 PM
Don't forget to drink Powerthirst

yeahyeah5150
12-13-2007, 01:15 AM
if your looking to put together anything of your own

explore every sound, get to know what string on what fret makes what sound

and put together what sounds good

ive never took a lesson in my life, everything ive ever learned has been from watching others or from something online, i play everyday and explore everything, and eventually you develope your own unique style and thats what makes a good guitar player. thats what seperates slash, eddie van halen, eric clapton, and carlos santana. all gods, different styles.

RockerPseudonym
12-13-2007, 01:27 AM
Well, you can do like Rob Flynn and do speed, then practice triplets all night.

dennisshad
12-13-2007, 01:46 AM
best advice....a long time ago when i was taking lessons.

instructor: I want you to learn these scales

me: uhm.......can't u just teach me this pearl jam song?

instructor: if you want to be any good, learn these scales

/convo

godofthemoon
12-13-2007, 04:36 AM
You suck.... now do 2 hours or guitar rudiments every day

rbusta
12-13-2007, 03:51 PM
alternate picking and 1234, 1234...

Steve BP
12-13-2007, 04:22 PM
Some great advice in this thread. Here is something I haven't seen noted:

When playing with high gain, mute the strings above the one you are playing with the side of your thumb of your picking hand. To mute strings below the one you are playing, use a free finger of your fretting hand.

mucaslooney
12-13-2007, 04:27 PM
I've recently found that playing with backing tracks is a really good way to improve your timing and help you develop your own style. Plus its fun.

SloppyJoseph
12-13-2007, 06:43 PM
1. Play what you like to listen to
2. Use that Pinky
3. Keep learning new stuff, (I like to work on a couple songs at once)
4. Alternate Picking lots of triplets

Wratheh
12-13-2007, 07:18 PM
1) Loosen up, slow down
2) Practice. Practice.









Why are you still not practicing? :p:

midnight ride
12-13-2007, 10:06 PM
No matter what your always better than the people that are "gods" at guitar hero since you can actually play guitar

silvadolla
12-13-2007, 10:58 PM
warming up with a metronome makes my playing more consistent from day to day. I don't have as many "bad" days musically, I've noticed since I've started using it. Seriously, don't overlook the metronome

Akyu
12-16-2007, 05:55 PM
the best advice ive received is from this guitar book i bought. it said you should feel totally relaxed while playing and if anything feels stressed then you are probably doing it wrong

Calgary_Rocker
12-17-2007, 09:27 PM
1. Don't Concentrate on playing fast. Concentrate on playing it right, cleanly. Speed will come with practice.


2. If you feel any bit tense in the arm while playing, you are playing too fast for what you can handle. Slow Down and practice, practice, practice


3 Once you can play a song, learn to play it 20bpm faster, so when you play it at regular speed, it's easier.


4. The 80/20 Rule
* 80% of your practice time brings you only about 20% of your total progress.
* 20% of your practice time brings you only about 80% of your total progress.
- Pareto's Principle

TheStraightener
12-17-2007, 11:26 PM
^Yay, a Calgarian! :D

Anyways, this was my first day of guitar lessons:

Instructor: What can you play?

Me: Chords, and... that's just about it.

Instructor: Okay... Well, do you know the song Crazy Train by Ozzy?

Me: Yeah.

Instructor: *tabs down the song* Here's the song, now learn to play it. Start off slow and get the fingering down, and then we'll work it towards normal speed.

My guitar skills seriously improved since that night. So basically, challenge yourself. Go play something that you can't play, learn it slowly, then work it to normal speed.

RSX
12-18-2007, 02:24 AM
Practice.

I've noticed that I get better faster when I challenge myself, rather than practicing easier songs. Also, I (at least feel like I) play better when I take a day off after practicing every day for awhile.

metalman89
12-18-2007, 04:59 AM
Use your pinky to fret.

henza_x
12-18-2007, 06:07 AM
I played stairway to heaven with my thumb and my index. I was taught to use my fingers.. best lesson at the time

Hobolad
12-18-2007, 07:07 AM
Learning theory. Also, that songs don't have to be played exactly- you can mess around and such- have fun with it.

driver92
12-18-2007, 12:29 PM
Something so simple its often overlooked...make sure you are holding the pick right. I played my first 4 months holding it wrong, then took about a week to adjust to holding it the right way after I found out, and that was probably the single biggest thing that helped me.

JW123
12-18-2007, 05:05 PM
Playing guitar is not rocket science.

There are 12 notes so 8 are always in key, so it really doesnt matter what string or fret you are on there is a 70% probability that you are in key.

A wink is as good as a nod to a blind man.

mattreid222
12-18-2007, 05:23 PM
don't just practise for 3 hours for one day a week, spread it out over the whole week

Tallman
12-18-2007, 05:41 PM
Relax.

MetalMusicianAl
12-18-2007, 05:42 PM
keep your fingers near the fretboard and teacher told me to change my picking technique. improved my alternate picking and speed.

XianXiuHong
12-18-2007, 07:15 PM
Sweep with your arm, not your wrist.

Really helped me clean up my sweeps


Didn't improve my playing but

If a girl isn't impressed by a well-played metal song but is impressed by a few power-chords then she isn't the one for you

OR

If a girl isn't impressed by a well-played metal song but is impressed by a few power-chords then it's easy to get "there"

XD

Monsterhog
12-18-2007, 10:21 PM
Playing guitar is not rocket science.

There are 12 notes so 8 are always in key, so it really doesnt matter what string or fret you are on there is a 70% probability that you are in key.

A wink is as good as a nod to a blind man.

And the other 30% are just "blues notes" ;) lol thats a good philosophy right there.

JasonUGA311
12-18-2007, 10:55 PM
Best advice I got was take lessons from a real pro teacher. Someone who has an educational background in music theory for guitar.

You've got to get someone pushing you to practice and exercise techniques and things you wouldn't ordinarily play in your free time.

The most benficial practice is usually the "ugly" stuff. Learning Basic chord, key, scale, and mode-family theory will dramatically improve your playing...... not necesarily your ability to read tab or anything.

If it's playing other people's stuff your after then hours and hours in the answer. To learn how to write and improvise and function harmonically with 2 guitarists then lessons is the way to go.

jimzer
12-19-2007, 02:35 AM
download/buy material of the pioneers of guitar, evh, hendrix and just listen to music and prac prac prac

fiery rock
12-19-2007, 12:23 PM
errrm for me, learning with someone who wants to learn as well? i started playing and inspired by my ex which helped lots as she taught me a lot of things...

now im learning with my latest gf whos also learning which helps. I enjoy hanging out with the person who im learning with and it means im in a good mood, relaxed and not to hasty...

darthbuttchin
12-19-2007, 01:15 PM
Just play the guitar when you feel like it. Dont turn playing your guitar into a chore.

Mankoman
12-30-2007, 08:35 AM
That was very interesting.

Lately I've been practising quite hard and feeling little progress. However, I've been pleasantly surprised how sometimes pieces of the puzzle fit together. As someone who's had no musical training that's been quite a confusing forest to traverse.

Paleo Pete
12-30-2007, 02:38 PM
Practice in total darkness. 2 years of it made a tremendous difference for me.

Try to copy sax solos. (this one from an article quoting Ritchie Blackmore) Most sax solos are within the range of guitar and incredibly smooth, at least compared to an intermediate guitar player. Sax players are also usually more melodic.

Never be intimidated or afraid to play with someone better than you. You'll have to work at it and you'll learn something every time.

It's been said already, SLOW DOWN. Speed will come with practice and experience. Learn slow then speed up.

No distractions... No TV, no girlfriend, nobody talking on the phone, nobody trying to talk to you. You, your guitar and a quiet room. If people are constantly talking to you or otherwise distracting you, you just wasted an hour of practice time. Your friends, wife, girlfriend and family must try to understand, this is practice and you need to be able to concentrate and pay attention to what you're doing, not listen to them. You're also not there to play whatever they want to hear, you're practicing. Practice in a room by yourself or get them to leave you alone so you can focus.

teegee420
12-30-2007, 06:47 PM
No distractions... No TV, no girlfriend, nobody talking on the phone, nobody trying to talk to you. You, your guitar and a quiet room. If people are constantly talking to you or otherwise distracting you, you just wasted an hour of practice time. Your friends, wife, girlfriend and family must try to understand, this is practice and you need to be able to concentrate and pay attention to what you're doing, not listen to them. You're also not there to play whatever they want to hear, you're practicing. Practice in a room by yourself or get them to leave you alone so you can focus.
This is often overlooked, but it's excellent advice.

Thegilaboy
12-30-2007, 07:51 PM
Four fingers, four frets.

That is word for word the best advice I got as well. It's all about efficiency.

JubeiTHPS
12-30-2007, 08:58 PM
"Practice slow." So easy... but it opened my eyes. Ha.

thecornman
01-01-2008, 11:41 PM
1.Like anything in life you will only get out of it what you are willing to put into it.

2.Always approach the guitar with the mind of a beginner. There is always going to be something you can learn to be a more complete musican.

3.Play with your ears not your eyes.

4.Learn the neck. Take the time to know where all the notes on the neck are. You will only be helping yourself and the others you will be playing with.

5. Worry about being the best player you can be and not about being better then someone else.

Ringtone
01-02-2008, 12:34 AM
Some theory I have is that it is entirely possible to learn any song you want, it all just depends on how much time and effort you're willing to put into learning it.

Trapper33
01-02-2008, 02:29 AM
i often listen to other artists i love (john butler excellent!!!) and listen to how they play and rather than learning the song they play, i use it to inspire me to write my own music

DaddyTwoFoot
01-02-2008, 02:50 AM
Really, seriously relax. Ever since I've actually put a little bit of thought into how much tension is in my arms, my playing has improved tenfold.

WootSticks
01-02-2008, 03:03 AM
You don't have to prove anything.

fadetowhite
01-02-2008, 04:12 AM
competition is good. when a friend of mine is better than me, i practice hard till i get better than him, then i keep practicing trying to get as good as someone like marty friedman, which works quite well cause it would take a long time to get as good as that, so i consider that competition

Lamsey
01-05-2008, 11:51 PM
practice

symba05
01-06-2008, 08:16 AM
competition is good. when a friend of mine is better than me, i practice hard till i get better than him, then i keep practicing trying to get as good as someone like marty friedman, which works quite well cause it would take a long time to get as good as that, so i consider that competition

how do you know when you're better than your friend? He wont admit when that time comes, lol

Gunsnroses1275
01-06-2008, 05:23 PM
Play around people better you than, watch, listen and learn

RatAtool
01-07-2008, 12:55 AM
1. Practice
2. Play along with songs (my own personal way of learning and good for improvising)
3. don't think when playing, just do it

Callicut
01-07-2008, 01:39 AM
One in the hand is worth two in the bush.

honkatonk
01-07-2008, 06:33 AM
If a girl isn't impressed by a well-played metal song but is impressed by a few power-chords then she isn't the one for you
XD

If a girl isn't impressed by a well-played metal song but is impressed by a few power-chords then she probably had a penis

nirvallica
01-07-2008, 08:46 AM
My uncle told me that its the picking dynamics and the way you hit notes (slide into them, vibrato, slight bends etc) makes the difference between men and boys in the guitar world. Its the greatest piece of advice i've ever recieved.

TheBobMan
01-07-2008, 12:52 PM
Don't just play scales and chords and stuff, play songs that you like as well. It made me want to carry on playing guitar, and it stops you from getting bored.

human panda
01-07-2008, 04:27 PM
Don`t get your hopes up........:(

Heavens_To_Hell
01-07-2008, 04:36 PM
Shredding is over rated.


As soon as someone told me that I saw the light. I mean obviously it's another style of playing but once someone told me that I realised I could be considered a good guitarist by being interesting. That's why I use odd chord shapes and worship Omar Rodriguez-Lopez :D

Mankoman
01-17-2008, 08:52 AM
Don`t get your hopes up........:(

lol (almost) that's a good one.

ze monsta
01-17-2008, 02:08 PM
Feel it, and enjoy it.

Geeto6
01-17-2008, 03:04 PM
Instead of putting your guitar in the closet or in a gig-bag/case, get a guitar stand and set it up in plain sight. The more you see your guitar the more you'll want to play it.

beatupclowns
01-17-2008, 04:16 PM
practice.

everyone is looking for advice and im sick of it.
really.
all you need to do is practice.
and practice...
and practice...

people keep looking for a tip or advice to change their playing- as if they are playing the guitar wrong.
no.
it doesn't work like that.
there is nothing you can do to make you magically become great.
you have to work to make yourself that way.

Ht666
01-17-2008, 04:18 PM
Put in the pracitce/hard work and you'll get something out of it.

PurpleFlavoured
01-17-2008, 04:33 PM
"You will never be able to play guitar"

That definately made me want to improve...XD!

RiFf_RoCk3r_24
01-17-2008, 08:23 PM
Hearing my teacher say that I will give up, its been 3 years and I'm still going.

AthenasGhost
01-17-2008, 08:30 PM
Well I've got a lot of advice but one thing that was really important to me was learning how to improvise.

Free to Guitar
01-18-2008, 02:19 AM
The best advice, the bit that sticks out the most for me, didn't come from a guitarist but Brian Enos, a pistol shooter. "Smooth is fast."

Mankoman
02-04-2008, 03:15 AM
i was watching a vid the other day by the guy, Dave something, that used to be in RHCP. He made an interesting statement that I had actually thought about before:

if you hit a bum note (or chord for that matter), just go back to it and play it a few times more, and it's not a mistake anymore, it turns into a discordanant, but maybe interesting and acceptable part of the song. it works.

then at the end of the vid, he said as his final piece of advice, "guitar instructional vids are not the way to go".

Beautiful irony.

GuitarQueer-o
02-04-2008, 02:19 PM
It just gets on my nerves when people say I won't be any good at playing when I've only had it for a month AND they know nothing about the guitar. How annoying :grrr: come on, at least I have a hobby.