I don't know how and where to start on learning solos on songs. I cannot even alternate pick well enough to get a fast 3 note picking motion going without it sounding like crap. I need advice as to what to practice to get better, and where to start with techniques like alternative picking, etc.
read the stickies, they're most useful
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Take a look at some of the lessons and articles here on Ultimate Guitar.
Take a look at Freepowers lessons on UG and videos on youtube.
Get some instructional videos such as John Petrucci's Rock Discipline, Paul Gilbert's Technical Difficulties, Michal Angelo Batio's Speed Lives/Speed Kills, etc.
Use a metronome. If you don't have one, get one A.S.A.P.
Relax and get rid of any tension. You will always play sloppy when you are tense.
Try not to anchor. It may make it easier to play, but it can lead to many problems later on.
Slow down. Practice things slowly at first and get used to how to move your fingers.
Practice practice practice. Don't get discouraged. Don't worry about impressing people, just play for the sake of playing.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
first things first, you should at least learn some scales....so start out with the basics: major scale, minor scale, as well as major/minor pentatonic, which are what a great many solos are written in.

when you know and can play the scales upside down and backwards, you should start working on the technique aspect more, such as triplets (look it up if you don't know) and alternate picking your way through the scale.

then you can combine the two, alternate picking triplets up and down all your scales. don't forget about bending technique, vibrato, and slides.

Once you have all of this down, you'll have a good foundation to where you can start looking up tabs for your favorite solos. trust me, simply knowing what scale and key the solo is played in can make a world of difference, even if you're not yet a master of technique
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