#1
So i've been playing guitar for about a year and a half, although i didn't play seriously until about a year ago, and even then i didn't get into metal or shredding until about 6 months ago(i listened to metal but wasn't very interested in playing it). Well I've been trying to be a metal guitarist but i have a few problems....

1. Scales. I really have a hard time with scales. I have not taken ANY lessons in guitar playing because well they are expensive and whilst i am not completely poor, my parents don't feel like paying for lessons. And i have very very few friends who actually play guitar well, so i have no idea what any of this scale **** means. I know the pentatonic scales(only after someone told me that the way i was playing was based around the pentatonic major and minor scales) but i've been trying to learned the harmonic, phygian, and a few others and i just don't get any of this. Like i don't understand how to use the scales, or what all this "play a raised 7" or anything like that means. =(

2. Shredding Skills. Now idk if i actually need help with this. I can finger tap and alternative pick pretty well(my tapping needs some work buts its getting better pretty quickly. One issue however when i tap is that sometimes the note i am tapping with my left hand is either not as loud as the notes i pull off with my right finger, or it's too loud compared to the other notes so idk what thats about.

I know how to do pick sweeps, although i can't do them. Like I have the idea behind doing it down, and every once in awhile i can pull off a sweep, so thats just a practice thing. the issue is: I don't know any arpeggios (probably due to the fact i never learned from a teacher or mentor or anything and thus don't know chords and since i don't know any scales, i can't make many chords other than some commonly used ones and Barre/Blues chords).

Another shredding question is that my "better" solos, usually come off as just tremelo picking super fast and playing on one or two guitar strings. So is this good, like have i found my style or something? Because tapping always just sounds alright, and idk, anything i do just sounds out of key.

Now i know after a year and a half i should probably be better, but i played nothing but punk music for a year so i had the whole mentality that i didn't need to learn how to play very well because i'd just get better over time(kinda like black flag, or the germs, lol) and then i got into more metal stuff and if i try to make a metal song it will either come out sounding like Korn;s heavy songs(which isn't neccesarily bad, but not too complicated either) or like Crooked X(which just sounds kinda noobish sometimes. I'm talking about liuke just power chords with lots of distortion. like black flag if you slowed it down alot.) sooo idk i just need help. any comments you have that would help would be greatly appreciated.
#2
TC, here we go:

1. Check out these videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OXv69rcko0&feature=channel_page
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb6Wek3CrhA&feature=channel_page
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7P4aC3ZGcg&feature=channel_page
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5cbGjcTdvw&feature=channel_page
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHokfdEUEHw&feature=channel_page
They contain good theory lessons that make sense and don't drown you completely. Freepower is also a regular poster here on UG (hence his name) and tends to know everything.

2. Your tapping technique is simply bad. It's not nice to say that, but it kind of has to. Your tap should only be as hard as it needs to get a note out at the same volume as the others.

As for sweeping, that is a very easy technique if you go about it right. Start off easy:
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/guitar_techniques/sweep_picking.html
Practice the bits in here very slowly. When you can play those evenly and cleanly, you can sweep. That's all there is to it. In order to execute fast licks, all you need is coordination and accuracy (which come only from practicing slowly and correctly). Once you have the technique down, simply construct a chord and arpeggiate it (that just means play the notes of a chord one at a time rather then all together).

Alternate picking is another story. If you tremelo like I bet you do (tense up your arm and pick with your elbow rather then your wrist), then you need to rethink that. All picking (aside from chords and sweeps) should come from the wrist alone. If you play without anchoring and can do fast tremelos after a year, I salute you. If not, don't use your elbow (it's bad!).

If your playing sounds out of key, it probably is. The music theory videos will help clear that up for you. After a year and a half, you're exactly as good as you are. There's no need to discourage yourself and say you should be better. As for writing, that will improve dramatically (I know this from personal and recent experience) when you learn music theory.

Side note: I hate Crooked X. One of their opening riffs sounds like one of mine, but slower and in a different key. And it's played sloppily on a Strat with too much distortion.
#3
Quote by Geldin
TC, here we go:

1. Check out these videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OXv69rcko0&feature=channel_page
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb6Wek3CrhA&feature=channel_page
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7P4aC3ZGcg&feature=channel_page
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5cbGjcTdvw&feature=channel_page
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHokfdEUEHw&feature=channel_page
They contain good theory lessons that make sense and don't drown you completely. Freepower is also a regular poster here on UG (hence his name) and tends to know everything.

2. Your tapping technique is simply bad. It's not nice to say that, but it kind of has to. Your tap should only be as hard as it needs to get a note out at the same volume as the others.

As for sweeping, that is a very easy technique if you go about it right. Start off easy:
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/guitar_techniques/sweep_picking.html
Practice the bits in here very slowly. When you can play those evenly and cleanly, you can sweep. That's all there is to it. In order to execute fast licks, all you need is coordination and accuracy (which come only from practicing slowly and correctly). Once you have the technique down, simply construct a chord and arpeggiate it (that just means play the notes of a chord one at a time rather then all together).

Alternate picking is another story. If you tremelo like I bet you do (tense up your arm and pick with your elbow rather then your wrist), then you need to rethink that. All picking (aside from chords and sweeps) should come from the wrist alone. If you play without anchoring and can do fast tremelos after a year, I salute you. If not, don't use your elbow (it's bad!).

If your playing sounds out of key, it probably is. The music theory videos will help clear that up for you. After a year and a half, you're exactly as good as you are. There's no need to discourage yourself and say you should be better. As for writing, that will improve dramatically (I know this from personal and recent experience) when you learn music theory.

Side note: I hate Crooked X. One of their opening riffs sounds like one of mine, but slower and in a different key. And it's played sloppily on a Strat with too much distortion.



Don't worry, i hate crooked x too. that why i hate the fact that my songs tend to sound like them at times. Although i did come up with something that has influences from Early Van Halen, and i've been listening to them alot

Oh, and i don't tense up my elbow when tremelo picking. Alot of people say thats a problem but idk, i never really did that. I guess it's cuz one of the first more technical bands i started to learn songs from is Radiohead, and their guitarist tremelos ALOT so i had to find a way to do that without it hurting my arm. little did i know, that it was the correct way to tremelo

anyways thanks so much. ill look at all the stuff. hopefully it'll help.
#4
With theory, take it one step at a time. Start with the basics and learn how to apply each the thing to the guitar before you progress. It is much better to have mastery of a few concepts over time then do know a little bit about each aspect of theory. You want to be rock solid in all of the scales, modes, chords etc and be able to apply it all to the guitar. Expect it to be a slow burn, however-this stuff takes time! However, if you can completely integrate your mind, ear and fingers through gradual progressive training then the pay offs will be enormous.

With regards to your technical ability, make sure your playing is clean. As you will have seen above, I am a strong believer in learning the guitar slowly and mastering each concept before moving on. Technique can be mastered by consistency of practice and repetition of correct movements with a metronome. However tempting it is to begin with sweep-tapped Gm7#9 arpeggios at 200bpm, don't forget the basic aspects of technique too-such as getting a nice vibrato, finding a pick attack that you like, being able to jam over a blues progression etc....
#5
These problems are quite simple.

- Isolate something you can't do.
- Figure out what's stopping you from doing it.
- Work on said thing until you can do it.