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Old 01-16-2013, 07:53 AM   #1
JuloMU
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Bla-bla-bla A bit of guidance needed

Hi, I've been playing the guitar for a few years now but truth be told I'm kinda in a rut atm. I want to progress but don't know exactly what direction to head in for that to happen.

I'm your less-than-average guitarist, can play open chords, barre chords, can play a few solos here and there, and as far as scales go I know a few patterns but the only scale I really know over the entire fretboard (or close to) is the Am Pentatonic.

I'm a fan of blues & the melodic side of things (Hendrix, Clapton, Santana, etc), not really looking to shred or tap, and as far as theory goes I don't know much and whenever I've tried to learn it I just can't seem to get it. Hard to explain but either it's something I already know or it's something unknown but it seems as if I'm missing a step if that makes any sense.

I realize there are probably questions like this asked quite often so my apologies if I'm wasting anyone's time.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:59 AM   #2
Deadds
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There's no need for apologies. You're not wasting out time, you're wasting yours. Ask about the things you don't understand and we will try to answer it.

What about theory don't you understand? Keys? Progressions? Chords?
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:58 AM   #3
-Retro-
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I agree with Deadds, be a little more specific on what you'd like to improve. Probably a good start would be to learn the blues scale (Which just adds two notes to the pentatonic) and then maybe start working on a minor pentatonic and phrygian, because those fit well with many chord progressions.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:17 AM   #4
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:34 AM   #5
MaggaraMarine
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Learn the major and minor scales (minor pentatonic is just five notes of the minor scale that has seven notes). Learn the formulas, don't just try to remember which fret to play. Try to understand how they are constructed. Learn intervals and how different intervals sound like.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:59 PM   #6
CarsonStevens
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Retro-
I agree with Deadds, be a little more specific on what you'd like to improve.


Sounds to me like he doesn't KNOW what he wants to improve.

So, OP... what are your goals as a guitarist?
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:13 PM   #7
JuloMU
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarsonStevens
Sounds to me like he doesn't KNOW what he wants to improve.

So, OP... what are your goals as a guitarist?

Yeah that's pretty much it, I don't know where to start to improve.

My goals: being able to improvise quite well and not just in the same key (only thing I could do atm is fiddle with the Am pentatonic scale), being able to play by ear, and on the technical side of things, improve my actual playing ability in terms of speed & precision (even though I've been playing for a few years I still feel quite "slow).

So that's what I know I want to improve, but I'm also curious as to whether there are other aspects I should improve or stuff I should learn that I'm not aware of?
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:34 PM   #8
-Retro-
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuloMU
Yeah that's pretty much it, I don't know where to start to improve.

My goals: being able to improvise quite well and not just in the same key (only thing I could do atm is fiddle with the Am pentatonic scale), being able to play by ear, and on the technical side of things, improve my actual playing ability in terms of speed & precision (even though I've been playing for a few years I still feel quite "slow).

So that's what I know I want to improve, but I'm also curious as to whether there are other aspects I should improve or stuff I should learn that I'm not aware of?

Are you good at bending, vibratos, hammer ons and pull offs? Incorporating those into your solos will make them much more complex. Also, have you worked on speed picking (I assume you use alternative picking, if not, start learning that as well)?

And learning by ear really comes in time when you know what fret on what string will play what note, or what power chord to play here and there.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:00 PM   #9
ouchies
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As far as blues playing goes, copy your idols and try to dissect their licks and add them to your repertoire. Keep playing, using the licks, trying to transform them. Your style will emerge.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:31 PM   #10
JuloMU
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Retro-
Are you good at bending, vibratos, hammer ons and pull offs? Incorporating those into your solos will make them much more complex. Also, have you worked on speed picking (I assume you use alternative picking, if not, start learning that as well)?

And learning by ear really comes in time when you know what fret on what string will play what note, or what power chord to play here and there.

I dunno exactly how I'd judge my skill at bends/vibratos/HOs/POs but I'd say I'm quite good at all of em bar pull-offs where I'm not quite as good as the others (mainly when needed to be done with my pink).

What do you mean by working on speed picking? I do use alternate picking yeah, but while I practice quite a bit I find that speed-wise I'm not progressing as much as I'd like. And same could be said with my POs, while I try to work on POs with my pinky, I still can't get to the same level as the other 3 techniques.

And as for learning by ear that's pretty much what others have told me so I'm not too hung up about that.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:50 PM   #11
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Speed picking as in just picking alternatively up and down on one string, then eventually incorporating your speed with all 6 strings. Look up speed picking exercises to help you as well.
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