#1
Hey Folks -

I'm hoping for some input...

I've played guitar since I was a kid but just picked it back up seriously for the last year. I've made some good progress with an amazing jazz instructor.

At this point, I consider myself an OK intermediate player. Bar chords are a cinch for me. I know all the majors, minors, 7ths, 9ths, 13ths, etc. I know some melodies that I have memorized or read from sheet music. I also know the CAGED scales for all of the major scales and I have almost memorized the 5 positions for the minor pentatonic scales.

So what don't I know?

I don't know how to put it all together... I can't improvise a single thing. I am tremendously lacking in speed. I don't wish to shred but I think there is some need for speed ability as I do hope to be able to improvise and / or play other folks' riffs at some point. I also lack the dexterity I wish I had. Often my fingers and pick don't do what they are told - regardless of speed.

I've decided to change instructors to someone who is more blues-rock oriented. Despite being an 80's metal-head, what I'd like to play is heavier blues-driven 12-bar rock guitar based in the minor pentatonic scales. Even just playing pentatonic scales up and down, I can almost hear my guitar talking to me.

I have the good fortune to play with some awesome equipment. I have a 1974 Gibson Les Paul Custom 20th Anniversary Edition and a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe amp with a Boss ME-50 multiple effects board. I also have an Ibanez shallow-body acoustic/electric guitar and a Yamaha 12-string acoustic guitar.

I'm concentrating on improving my skills so I have been playing the Les Paul exclusively lately so I don't have to allow for the different 'feel' of the other guitars. Also, in the interests of 'one step at a time' I am doing nothing that can't be done with a flat pick - no finger picking, no slide, etc.

I'm looking for recommendations for how I should approach my new world of blues/rock guitar. I'd like recommendations for who to listen to for inspiration (Thorogood / Vaughn / Winters?). I'm interested in finding out practice drills / exercises, what songs are best to start with, etc. I'm also interested in online resources. I've found ultimate-guitar.com and justinguitar.com to be excellent.

That's it for now - thanks for everything!
#2
All 3 of my Gibsons happen to be 74's -- just chance it turned out that way -- a good year!

Anyway, at this stage you should be probably be doing 2 things -- scale studies to help
with your technique, ear and ability to come up with your own ideas, and learn songs
in the music you want to play. If you just do the first, you'll probably not easily get
how to transfer it to music, and if you do just the second you'll just be parroting back
stuff you have no ability to analyze. It might be a while before those things mesh.
#3
Quote by MrWannabe
Hey Folks -

I'm hoping for some input...

I've played guitar since I was a kid but just picked it back up seriously for the last year. I've made some good progress with an amazing jazz instructor.

At this point, I consider myself an OK intermediate player. Bar chords are a cinch for me. I know all the majors, minors, 7ths, 9ths, 13ths, etc. I know some melodies that I have memorized or read from sheet music. I also know the CAGED scales for all of the major scales and I have almost memorized the 5 positions for the minor pentatonic scales.

So what don't I know?

I don't know how to put it all together... I can't improvise a single thing. I am tremendously lacking in speed. I don't wish to shred but I think there is some need for speed ability as I do hope to be able to improvise and / or play other folks' riffs at some point. I also lack the dexterity I wish I had. Often my fingers and pick don't do what they are told - regardless of speed.

I've decided to change instructors to someone who is more blues-rock oriented. Despite being an 80's metal-head, what I'd like to play is heavier blues-driven 12-bar rock guitar based in the minor pentatonic scales. Even just playing pentatonic scales up and down, I can almost hear my guitar talking to me.

I have the good fortune to play with some awesome equipment. I have a 1974 Gibson Les Paul Custom 20th Anniversary Edition and a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe amp with a Boss ME-50 multiple effects board. I also have an Ibanez shallow-body acoustic/electric guitar and a Yamaha 12-string acoustic guitar.

I'm concentrating on improving my skills so I have been playing the Les Paul exclusively lately so I don't have to allow for the different 'feel' of the other guitars. Also, in the interests of 'one step at a time' I am doing nothing that can't be done with a flat pick - no finger picking, no slide, etc.

I'm looking for recommendations for how I should approach my new world of blues/rock guitar. I'd like recommendations for who to listen to for inspiration (Thorogood / Vaughn / Winters?). I'm interested in finding out practice drills / exercises, what songs are best to start with, etc. I'm also interested in online resources. I've found ultimate-guitar.com and justinguitar.com to be excellent.

That's it for now - thanks for everything!


if you already know some scales and chords but are not able to improvise you most likely lack the most important element........... the music. By that I mean you probably haven't spent much time learning how to play solos by the artists that inspire you. This is a very important developmental step.

I would highly recommend taking the time to Cut your teeth on some of the material that you enjoy listening to.

learn some solos by those that inspire you. There so much to gain, and you will likely have a lot of fun doing it.
shred is gaudy music
#4
If you start learning solos from people like stevie and other blues legends, you'll start recognizing patterns and ****.. Starting slow and building your way up with other peoples solos will eventually get you comfortable enough to improvise your own solos.

Blues has very little technical skill involved (compared to yngwie etc.) so the main thing to focus on is how to express yourself using those 5 notes of the minor pentatonic scale. Too many people just dick around the scale playing random notes and it sounds boring and doesn't have that bluesy feel to it.

In sum: Listen to blues improv/solos, learn other peoples solos, then dl a couple backing tracks for blues and play with minor pentatonic scales around them, making that bluesy feel a priority rather than speed.
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