#1
Hi guys,

I started playing guitar during the end of October last year, I like it a lot and I definitely want to keep going.
However I need feedback on what I'm doing, because lately I feel like I've wasted a lot of time of nothing.
I started off trying chords for a few weeks, but I never managed to get anywhere with it. I couldn't even play a song even after practicing chord changes and knowing all the basic chords.

So, since I want to play solo anyhow, I tried combining the two.
However, after trying some songs, Number of the Beast, The Trooper, Paranoid, Demolition Boys, Man On The Silver Mountain, and generally failing miserably.
Ok, I managed to pry the Silver Mountain riff into my brain and I can play it perfectly now, but it's not much IMO.
So after that I just gave up trying songs and basically just started playing stuff that I made up as I was playing. I was definatly improving on this field, and I kept combining bends, vibrato, hammer on's/pull off's and tremolo picking with faster playing.
However, I tried Paranoid again 2 days ago, back then I dropped it after trying the intro because my guitar isn't really suited for playing beyond the 12th fret, but I kept going now and had the intro + riff down in about 15 minutes but I'm still pretty damn sloppy.

Do you guys think this "jamming" is a good idea? I like it a lot and I am defininetly improving on that field, but I fear that it doesn't really have any use in improving my playing generally.
So what should I do? Just play songs or keep jamming?
#2
Not really, not this early on. You're still training your ears learning the basics as far as technique goes, if you just "jam" then you're just arsing around and you have no idea if things are right or how they're supposed to sound.

If you learn a song then you have something to compare to, if you play something in a familair song wrong then you know because it doesn't sound right. If you play the wrong note, play out of time, play sloppy, miss bends, hit the wrong strings etc then it all shows up and you know what you've done wrong, and if you know what you've done wrong you can do something about it.

If you're just playing your own stuff you have no frame of reference, and to be brutally honest after a few months you're not yet going to be in a position to tell for yourself if you're doing things correctly.

As far as solos go you're getting in way over your head with the ones you've been attempting - try Highway to Hell by AC/DC. A good rule of thuimb to follow is if you can't listen to the solo and pick out all the notes well enough to sing the solo back then you're not going to be able to play it.
Actually called Mark!

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#3
you cant jam if yo dont know basic theory
and "solo" guitar is utter non sense lol you do need to learn chords and theory as well other wise all you will able to do is play scales up and down
as for trying songs that is a good way to build up basic knowledge
i recomend you keep playing songs (start a few easier ones) AND learn chords and basic theory as well
#4
Both. And go back to the chords as your hands will be stronger now. Then have a go at some scales. When you're ready, find a teacher to give you a few lessons and remove any bad habits that you may be forming. Other than that it sounds like you are coming along about right. Took me best part of four years to get to where you have gotten in four months.
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#5
Do you guys have some advice on how to improve my chord changes then?
Because that's my main problem. I tried this tip I got from Justinguitar where you basically take 3 chords and try to change them as fast as possible while not failing and just try to speed that up, but frankly I couldn't really find any improvement in my general playing even though I was getting good at that.


Also, I'll take a look at Highway To Hell....but the Paranoid solo is perfect, I think, as I know it backwards (gotta hand it to BS, the song does simply not get boring )

Thanks for the replies!
#6
No, don't try to change them as fast as possible, that won't get you anywhere. Practice changing them as accurately as possible, no matter how slow you need to go make that possible. If you concentrate on getting good at doing things right then the speed will gradually come with time.

The problem with the Paranoid solo is it's a little too fast, Highway to Hell is a lot slower and a lot easier to figure out.
Actually called Mark!

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Last edited by steven seagull at Feb 5, 2009,
#8
ARGHH! I really need a damn electrical guitar, Highway To Hell sounds crap on my classical guitar. Good thing stuff like Otherside and Paranoid are fine.
Do AC/DC palm mute or something, or is there any other way to make it sound good without tuning it differently? (can't tune by ear yet, any tips on that?)
Hitting the strings near the bridge doesn't help neither (which usually does make it sound more "rocky")

Edit: Wow, I think I've just finally begon to really take the "start slow and build up" part to heart. I noticed something that seemed creepely familiar: I practice a bit, and then when I've got it down at a slow tempo, I immediatly start hammering away.
I was trying some chords again (I've forgotten half of them :S) and tried the "3 chords constant change" thingy, it went well, but some strange spirit was suddenly unleashed and drove me to try it at sicko speed....and it failed miserably.

Lesson number 1
Last edited by MarauderNL at Feb 5, 2009,
#9
that's really odd because AC/DC's guitar sounds have a lot less distortion than Sabbath. Obviously it's still going to sound a bit odd on an acoustic but it shouldn't sound "bad" and there's certainly no palm muting. What you might want to do is cut the chords off, so at the end of each 3 chord figure just briefly lay your right hand over the strings to stop them ringing.

Also AC/DC use standard tuning so no problems there - you might want to give the old trick of interleaving a piece of paper through the strings at the bridge to give you some ghetto distortion....it won't be pretty but it might help a little, I've never tried it myself so no promises.

As far as doing things slowly it's pretty straightforward when you think about it - learn how to do something before you think about doing it quickly. There's no point trying to change chords at x speed if you haven't first gotten good at changing at all the speeds leading up to that.
Actually called Mark!

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Last edited by steven seagull at Feb 5, 2009,
#10
Well, I guess the problem lies in the fact that it's an "classical" guitar (or that's what it's called in Dutch).
It has e B G as nylon strings, and D A E as bass strings, HTH sounds kind of like it doesn't know what type of sound it wants to go for! But for chords it sounds great!
I wonder who to hell ever came up with the idea to take 3 nylon strings and 3 bass strings.....
#11
ARGHH! I really need a damn electrical guitar, Highway To Hell sounds crap on my classical guitar.
lolz i know how you feel, i have an acoustic and i love playing metal/hard rock, and it's so much easier to play on electric guitars (i've played on a couple b4).
I'll probably get an Epiphone or Ibanez within a few months tho. =-]
#12
that's really odd because AC/DC's guitar sounds have a lot less distortion than Sabbath. Obviously it's still going to sound a bit odd on an acoustic but it shouldn't sound "bad" and there's certainly no palm muting. What you might want to do is cut the chords off, so at the end of each 3 chord figure just briefly lay your right hand over the strings to stop them ringing.
He's right, most of the chords in AC/DC material are cut off by, as steven said, laying your right hand over the strings, it doesn't sound good if you let the chords ring =-[
#13
Take these people's advice, but definately just play whatever you come up with yourself also. Doesn't matter what you're playing or how you're playing is, just make sure you play the guitar. It's the only way you'll get better. Plus, just playing around will help you get used to moving aroudn the frets/switching chords etc etc naturally.
#14
Quote by FLAgatorsLP
Take these people's advice, but definately just play whatever you come up with yourself also. Doesn't matter what you're playing or how you're playing is, just make sure you play the guitar. It's the only way you'll get better. Plus, just playing around will help you get used to moving aroudn the frets/switching chords etc etc naturally.


Yeah, I tried Fear Of The Dark yesterday, it was pretty much the same as a riff I often started off with (moving around on e string, always skipping 1 fret). Man, I think this improvising did actually pay off, I had the FotD intro and Paranoid intro + riff down nicely within 15 minutes yesterday. After a bit it was just like I was doing it all automatically.

But I still want an Ibanez GRG 170 DX. But yeah....then there's the money problem....I also need to pay off my parents because they paid for my pretty sweet mountainbike 2 months ago.
Last edited by MarauderNL at Feb 6, 2009,