#1
Now I don't mean to be a passenger on to the "Why can't my solo skills improve?" train, but this is something that annoys me quite a bit. I have search barred, I have read Freepower's posts, etc. etc., even reading old threads hasn't helped much. I'm also rather embarrassed even asking for help on this subject...

My problem is that for the past seven months I've tried playing solos meant for beginners, that are supposedly easy and to no avail. I've tried listening to the recording of a song, looking up tutorial vids, read the tabs and try playing slow, but I just get lost after awhile, I go through notes through a tab and don't even know what I'm playing anymore. Even when I do my hands seem to be out of sync with each other, after examining it myself and having my teacher watch me while I attempt to play, it's my left hand that reaches the frets too little too late. My right hand seems to be fine though.

I figured it was just my lack of technique, so my guitar teacher made me a simple first pentatonic scale mixed with hammer-ons and pull-offs, and told me to practice at slow speeds with a metronome. Not only just to increase my technique, but to give me an idea of how to solo, not that I can't improv. I take scales all the time and just mess around (slowly). Anyways, this was two months ago, and I'm still not able to play the damn scale clean, I've played it slow and gone up in speed, trust me on that. I always do something wrong, EVERY TIME.

Then I thought it was a lack of dedication, so for a while now I've been trying to get the Hells Bells solo down. I'm still pulling the same crap that I did when I tried learning solos months ago. I just forget where I am after reading the tab for awhile, even while listening to the song, or going through a video lesson.

I'm getting very frustrated, and it's taking a toll on my interest in playing, or whether or not I deserve any new gear, even though my current amp and guitar is crap. I'm to the point I don't even care about learning other people's solos, I just want to improv. without screwing up every 2 seconds, I feel as if there is this massive void in my guitar "career" so far and that it should have been filled awhile ago.

Is there any techniques I could try to improve my skill? I know Freepower has a lot of helpful information up, but even after reading that I still seem to lack of improvement. Am I half assing it without even realizing?

Tl;dr I'm another player bitching about his crappy lead skills and am getting annoyed with it. I could use some tips and would appreciate no flaming for posting as what I'm sure is a very familiar topic...I'm just getting kind of desperate. Cue the embarrassment.
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#2
We all hit blocks once in a while.. I went on holiday for 2 months and I've come back to find I can't play drums or guitar anymore. It felt painful and irritating trying to get back into it the first few days but it's still as addictive as before trying to relearn everything.

I dedicate barely any time to practice but it's all slowly coming back. So the best I can say is to take a break. Forcing it will only make you angry. Then come back to it later. Some new gear might be a nice encouragement to get back into it too. (At least that's my excuse for getting new stuff)
#3
Quote by Vixus
We all hit blocks once in a while.. I went on holiday for 2 months and I've come back to find I can't play drums or guitar anymore. It felt painful and irritating trying to get back into it the first few days but it's still as addictive as before trying to relearn everything.

I dedicate barely any time to practice but it's all slowly coming back. So the best I can say is to take a break. Forcing it will only make you angry. Then come back to it later. Some new gear might be a nice encouragement to get back into it too. (At least that's my excuse for getting new stuff)

No offense at all, but I feel as if it's too early for me to be taking a break. I feel as if I've learned nothing...or barely anything.

And is it me or are triads the most annoying thing ever. That's really the only thing keeping me from learning most of Enter Sandman.
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#4
Maybe you're over thinking what you're doing? Generally I have a similar issue. Like I look at a solo, and I know I can play those notes at that tempo, and I have no problems with the techniques involved, but if I try play along I can't do it, my left hand seems to get confused and I stuff up, but then if I hardly concentrate on the exact notes of that solo and improv within the same scale I end up doing similar stuff to the solo itself...it is very frustrating not to be able to play what you want to play...and that will eventually discourage you from playing, so maybe a change in pace? If it's getting you down, stop, play something else, something fun.
Get yourself motivated to play. Practice makes perfect. There's no reason why you can't play whatever you want, its just a matter of time.
#5
Sounds to me like a mixture of stress, biting off more than you can chew, and old bad habits.

Take this advice (and I'm about to go off and do the same) - pick up your guitar and start tapping your foot at a comfortable tempo. Play a note around the middle of the guitar, let it ring, maybe a little vibrato. Play the note again and add another. Maybe stick in a bend or two...

Slowly, without putting pressure on yourself to be amazing, or anything like it - play a small short solo. Don't forget to end it before you start rambling and feel proud.

When you've got your mojo back (give it a week) - try taking a smaller section of that scale and spend the time it takes at slow tempo (have you watched my correct practice vid? A lot of people don't know how slow slow is) to nail that small section of the scale.

Get back to me in a week or however long it takes.
#6
Hmm, sounds promising. I guess for covering songs I'll have to find a program that can slow down those songs without distorting the sound too much.

I'll give that little practice improv. a go. I remember watching one of your videos, I forgot which, so I'll watch your video. I can use some tips anyways.

Thanks. I suppose I was overthinking what I was doing, and didn't take in to consideration that practice makes perfect. It was just kind of annoying to be in the same position after 7 months...with only improvement in rhythm guitar.
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#7
Quote by ZeroCS
Hmm, sounds promising. I guess for covering songs I'll have to find a program that can slow down those songs without distorting the sound too much.


Get winamp and download a dsp effect from the winamp site called take it easy. Can change tempo without affecting pitch
#8
You've been playing 7 months, what do you expect.

Doing metronome exercises after 7 months is still going to sound terrible because your phrasing and vibrato will not have developed fully.

Learn the blues, practise improvising, whatever but don't think that being able to do flashy solos makes you a better player.

Learn to play before you learn to play anything technical.
Last edited by griffRG7321 at Aug 30, 2009,
#9
Quote by NecroMaster
Get winamp and download a dsp effect from the winamp site called take it easy. Can change tempo without affecting pitch

Sweet, a bit of light has already shined on me.
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#10
Quote by griffRG7321
You've been playing 7 months, what do you expect.

Doing metronome exercises after 7 months is still going to sound terrible because your phrasing and vibrato will not have developed fully.

Learn the blues, practise improvising, whatever but don't think that being able to do flashy solos makes you a better player.

Learn to play before you learn to play fast.

I would expect by now I'd be able to do a bit of lead, at least play ONE song's solo.

I know a few bluesy chord progressions, mainly with 7th chords, and a few tricks my teacher taught me. Something I guess. I always wanted to get in to blues, I figured I wasn't ready.

I want to learn how to play solos as a confidence booster, not really to show off.
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#11
hi. i've been learning/playing for a 2 years now and know how you feel. :-) i'm frustrated by lots of things i can't do yet and speed issues that hold me back from soloing the way i want to. you will get it after time... just take on stuff thats appropriate for your level of skill at this time. 7 months is not long at all.

here is a song you can try: its pretty easy, sounds nice, lets you work on several techniques and is not too long or too fast. the guitar pro tab on this site is the best version but version 3 of the tab is pretty close:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IV4B8K0jTg4
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#12
Quote by Tiarella Jones
hi. i've been learning/playing for a 2 years now and know how you feel. :-) i'm frustrated by lots of things i can't do yet and speed issues that hold me back from soloing the way i want to. you will get it after time... just take on stuff thats appropriate for your level of skill at this time. 7 months is not long at all.

here is a song you can try: its pretty easy, sounds nice, lets you work on several techniques and is not too long or too fast. the guitar pro tab on this site is the best version but version 3 of the tab is pretty close:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IV4B8K0jTg4

Shortest song I've heard in awhile. I'll look in to it, sounds like it would be fun to play.

I'd have to look at version 3, every time I try to download that power tab or guitar pro tab thing on my computer I always encounter an issue.
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#13
Quote by ZeroCS
Shortest song I've heard in awhile. I'll look in to it, sounds like it would be fun to play.

I'd have to look at version 3, every time I try to download that power tab or guitar pro tab thing on my computer I always encounter an issue.


If you want a pdf version of the Guitar Pro version send me an email address in a PM and I will email it to you. Or even better for your long term development is to work it out by ear by yourself or with your teacher. It's in D minor. (First note is the D on the 7th fret of the G string). Enjoy :-)
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Last edited by Tiarella Jones at Aug 31, 2009,
#14
Download a program called Tux guitar. It's free and it can read both guitar pro and power chord files.
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#15
Quote by ZeroCS
I figured it was just my lack of technique, so my guitar teacher made me a simple first pentatonic scale mixed with hammer-ons and pull-offs, and told me to practice at slow speeds with a metronome. Not only just to increase my technique, but to give me an idea of how to solo, not that I can't improv. I take scales all the time and just mess around (slowly). Anyways, this was two months ago, and I'm still not able to play the damn scale clean, I've played it slow and gone up in speed, trust me on that. I always do something wrong, EVERY TIME.
Sounds like you've developed a mental block on it to me. You mess up, so you get frustrated, so you mess up again, so you end up convincing yourself that you're going to mess up, so you do.

Try breaking it down. Like, just play the first 4 notes, over and over until you can't play them wrong, then play the next 4 notes on their own, over and over, then stick them together so you are playing the first 8 notes. Then start on the next section. Once you get your confidence back that you can actually play it, you'll probably find it will come together a lot quicker.
#16
Dude, it took me a year to get satisfied with my own chords, I never even thought about playing lead. :P
#17
@Tiarella, sending my e-mail in PM now.

@zhilla, I usually break it down and play back, never though about shortening it down to 4 notes a piece though. As impatient as I might become doing that that might work.

@Vixus, o_O, I really was thinking ahead. I mean I know the old saying "to each his own" but I've been satisfied with my chords for awhile.

Do appreciate the advice and help, I hate mental blocks.
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#18
instead of learning other people's solos, try and make your own. its helping me alot since I'm pretty crap at soloing
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