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Old 02-07-2013, 10:21 PM   #1
joethenoob
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Beginner/Intermediate Questions

Hey, I've been playing guitar for around 2 years now. I feel like i've made alot of progress with techniques and everything of the sort. I just feel like I've hit a wall.

In the beginning I never learned any chords or scales and such. I just played my favorite bands music and tried to imitate their sounds and playing(never learned full songs, just pieces and parts). Now that I feel like taking playing more seriously, I've hit a wall and just don't know where to go or how to improve. I know how I want to play, to be able to shred and be able to play metal riffs, but most of all just make my own music.

I don't know if this could help but the techniques I do know are:
Palm muting
Alternate picking
squeels
hameron's
pull offs (not that great)
ect ect.

My question is, where do I go from here.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:41 AM   #2
Shornifier
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Earthing
A good place to start would be to learn up on your chords and study their structures. For example, what makes up an open E chord? E - B - E - G# - B - E, which consists of the 1, 3, and 5 in E Major. This helps you understand what you're actually playing and what other people are playing; a crucial part in writing music. Those are basics and it gets real interesting once you start getting into jazz and classical.

Learning and memorizing scales is important, but absolutely meaningless if you can't internalize them. Internalize? Say you have two guys playing a solo with a simple C Major scale; one is just going up and down at amazing speeds while the other isn't playing as fast, but choosing his notes carefully and trying to make it more melodic. Most people with musical sense will tell you the latter is the better musician even if he can't play as fast. Probably the best example would be BB King. BB King himself says he doesn't have quick finger movement but doesn't really see it as a disadvantage. Scales are only useful if you know how to make them useful.

Techniques can be learned quickly and I'm sure you've done a good job in learning them. Perfecting a technique is exactly the opposite; it takes years and years of practice to get it to a certain level. To be honest, there is no perfection - you just keep going. Guys like Guthrie Govan, Neil Zaza, John Petrucci, Paul Gilbert - only some of the people who have really taken the time to practice and hone their technique over and over again.

I find practicing EVERYTHING slow makes EVERYTHING better. For instance, if you take a simple palm mute and take the time to really dissect it, you'll see there's so much more than just 'palm mute'. It responds to how hard you pick, how much of your hand is covering the strings, how much pressure, etc. Exactly the same thing for the other techniques, especially building speed. I didn't believe it when I was a kid, but it works. Play slow, and you'll get fast. Start at a tempo that puts you to sleep and just make that music a part of yourself.

This isn't the only wall you're gonna hit; there will be so much more as you listen to more music. Good luck, I'll be happy to help if you have any questions.
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