Sebz93
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2009
109 IQ
#1
So, I've been playing guitar for almost 4 years, and I feel like my abilities have hardly increased over the last 2 years. Unfortunately, I don't play as much as I used to, which doesn't help. I really don't know what to even practice, honestly. Are there certain exercises I should work on?

What are good ways to increase the quality of my playing? For example, my friend and I will play the same song, and sure, I can play it, but my friend's playing sounds smoother. My playing tends to sound jerkier and less fluid, and it really bothers me.

If anyone has some suggestions, I would really like to hear them, 'cause I seriously need help, ha.
omidmash
Tab Contributor
Join date: May 2011
1,076 IQ
#2
practice practice practice? what else do you expect us to tell you. practice properly, not noodling around. Guitar Pro helps (a lot).

Listen to different genres, and learn new licks.
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Unholy.Daemon
Call Me Jamie.
Join date: Feb 2010
1,294 IQ
#3
just constant practise, find things about your playing you don't like and find excersizes that will change them and just keep practising until you're happy
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Nameless742
UG Fanatic
Join date: May 2009
924 IQ
#4
Your friend will be at a higher level than you from practice.
It's dangerous to constantly compare yourself to a friend, only compare with yourself setting goals and seeing the changes.

Practice correctly and you'll begin to see results.

Also guitarists hit plateaus every so often where there's not much going on in ways of progression. I like to use this time to learn something totally new rather than grinding on the same old riffs and licks.
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In Which I replied.
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Necropeth91
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2008
256 IQ
#5
Quote by omidmash
practice properly, not noodling around.


not to hijack this thread, but how would you define "proper" practice vs. noodling?
silly6-string
keep rocking
Join date: Sep 2007
10,633 IQ
#6
Improvising which I do mostly is.
1. Feeling. How is the Rythmn and music effecting you. Is happy or sad?
2. Know your scales
3. When to play low on the neck and when to play high notes
4. Practice
5. Remember as many licks as you can of your fav artist.
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JackJackSuited
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2012
32 IQ
#7
Quote by Necropeth91
not to hijack this thread, but how would you define "proper" practice vs. noodling?


I would define it as being goal oriented and technique focused. Placing emphasis on correct technique, not just on the ability to play something at the expense of form. Which usually means lots of methodical, slow, concentrated repetition.

That's just my 2 cents.
Sickz
Jazz Musician
Join date: Mar 2010
1,594 IQ
#8
Quote by JackJackSuited
I would define it as being goal oriented and technique focused. Placing emphasis on correct technique, not just on the ability to play something at the expense of form. Which usually means lots of methodical, slow, concentrated repetition.

That's just my 2 cents.


Agreed to some extent from my side, i just don't think it has to be technique focused.

Sure, technique can be a big part of it. But proper practice to me is a mix of technique, theory and ear. As you said, proper practice with technique is more often than not a case of slowing things down, making sure your doing economical and relaxed movements and making sure everything is clean.

Proper practice for theory and ear is another thing. I sadly see fellow students doing the equivalent to "noodling" when attempting to learn theory or ear training. This may or may not be the case why they keep falling behind and we that practice it properly and with knowledge HOW TO practice it do not fall behind.

Just my 2 cents, feel free to agree or disagree!
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omidmash
Tab Contributor
Join date: May 2011
1,076 IQ
#9
Quote by Necropeth91
not to hijack this thread, but how would you define "proper" practice vs. noodling?


Basically get your guitar, play whatever the hell you want to play slowly but clean. Speed up with metronome (Yes, use a metronome. Very crucial.) and your goal should be to play it CLEAN and EXACT. Perfect pitched bends, timely tapping and being on rhythm while still expressing yourself through the guitar.
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BillWray
Musician and Music Lover
Join date: Oct 2012
11 IQ
#10
There's some great feedback that's already been given. You are referring to playing legato, so as other folks have already mentioned, work on playing melodic lines at a slow tempo to a metronome, being conscious of connecting the notes together without any gaps or pauses. Slow and steady wins the race, and will bring accuracy. I'm not a big fan of random, non-musical exercises - even when practicing scales, they should be done w/ a sense of melody, not starting from root to octave (unless you are first learning the scale).