#1
I've been playing for a year now and cannot for the life of me come up with an interesting or catchy rhythm guitar part, in ANY genre of music. it always just reverts back to the boring I-IV-V power chord sequence that has driven me nuts at this point. I try adding in new notes or phrasing and it always sounds like pure dog ****. I really want to be more creative in my music writing, or even just add my own flavor to existing songs that i already know. I've tried viewing lessons online to see what guys like hendrix did to make such interesting guitar riffs but i've never known how to apply any of it to something im working on, as it just seems out of place.

Im mainly interested in metal and hard rock style rhythm guitar, but every now and then i love to play blues (which seems like the most complicated genre to create catch rhythm to... i havent been able to get past the "barred A blues" in terms of creativity...)

What can i do to make myself not suck as much? (and apparantly listening to different types of music isnt helping either, so i already know a bunch of songs start to finish)
#2
How much theory do you know? That makes it easier to come up with chord progressions and riffs imo as it gives you a set of chords/notes that will work together to start with.
#4
Learn some Meshuggah.
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#6
Theory's a good idea, so are chords - they're tell you, technically, what goes with what and which notes follow which notes. It's not a bad idea to learn it, and as someone who started without learning theory, I highly recommend that you do learn it. But what you need as far as creativity goes is to jam with other cats. That's how you get creativity flowing in the beginning. Only once you've got a good idea where the other instruments fit it can you get a good idea of what you want something to sound like.
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#7
Alot of the stuff I come up with starts with improv. Then I apply some basic theory and build it from there.
#8
i know a little theory. Major scale, minor scale, pentatonic. (modes not so much).

things i dont really know is like when i should be using certain types of chords. Like i dont understand at all how a dominant 7th chord,add9 chord, sus4 or any of that other crazy stuff fits in (i do know what they are i just cant use them in a musical sense). Basically i just stick to my major minor and power chords and i try to throw in other ones sparingly but they always sound out of place.
#9
Quote by wisdom_cube
i know a little theory. Major scale, minor scale, pentatonic. (modes not so much).

things i dont really know is like when i should be using certain types of chords. Like i dont understand at all how a dominant 7th chord,add9 chord, sus4 or any of that other crazy stuff fits in (i do know what they are i just cant use them in a musical sense). Basically i just stick to my major minor and power chords and i try to throw in other ones sparingly but they always sound out of place.

Get a cassette recorder and record a basic progression of chords. Then just play it over and over and play along with it, try out different chords and scales over top to find out what fits where. It's nice to read in a theory book what goes where, but you'll never remember it like you will if you apply it instead of speculating.
Do you feel warm within your cage?

And have you figured out yet -


Life goes by?
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#10
Okay, it's very easy to just say "Learn theory"; absorbing all the theory of the "perfect" guitar player takes decades, so just taket things gradually.

If you learn the stuff one by one, it will suddenly come together and u'll see patterns between the different things, like for example modes and chords(Ex, if your improvizing over a G7 chord progression, you could play in Mixolydian which is a mode where you play a major scale where all the seventh notes are one step down which is exactly how a G7 chord is built up; a Gchord with a flat seventh, so to understand this you need to know the intervals so you know which notes to change from the major scale).

So, in that little example I showed you there you need to know the intervals and how chords are built up(By thirds) which leads to understanding how chords are set up. Basicly if you know how a chord is set up and the intervals you can make ANY chord by just using this EASY system. And you'll also understand WHICH mode your going to use.

Hang on, it probably sound like the LEAST easy thing in the world, but when you get all this together it's surprisingly easy.

I'm going to this music senior highschool where we learn a lot of theory incl guitar and piano lessons etc, and if I didn't go in this school I would probably look at theory as a unreachable thing. So, I recommend going to a school that has theory lessons^^

GOod luck! Also, it takes YEARS to become a creative and quality player.

DEDICATION is the key to success, so just keep playing(u don't have to practice 18 hours a day, just keep playing throughout the years and a lot of things will come by itself) and try to learn the theory bit by bit
Last edited by Jimibendix at Sep 8, 2009,
#11
Also, I recommend starting with learning the 8 intervals and how the chords are built up first.

Also, to help you alittle on how to find out which chords that are going to fit when ur making songs.

Your where talking about the I-IV-V system which is also called the bluesprogression. The I-IV-V, or the first, fourth and fifth chords in a major scale are MAJOR chords, so if you want to get in some other chords in the scale, they have to be MINOR chords (and the seventh chord is minorb5 but dont worry about that).

So, Lets take a Cmajor scale with chords on every note.

I. C-major
II. D-minor
III. E-minor
IV. F-major
V. G-major
VI. A-minor (this is the parallell to Cmajor, so if you are going to improvize over a Cmajor you can play the a-minor scale or aminor pentatonic scale)
VII. Bminorb5

Also, the Fifth chord(G-major in this case) kind of "leads" to the Main chord (C-major), so it's advicable to use the fifth chord before going back to the main chord.
#12
Quote by wisdom_cube
i know a little theory. Major scale, minor scale, pentatonic. (modes not so much).

things i dont really know is like when i should be using certain types of chords. Like i dont understand at all how a dominant 7th chord,add9 chord, sus4 or any of that other crazy stuff fits in (i do know what they are i just cant use them in a musical sense). Basically i just stick to my major minor and power chords and i try to throw in other ones sparingly but they always sound out of place.
If you haven't already, I'd learn how to harmonise the major scale by stacking 3rds (which is basically what Jimibendix said). That will tell you more about chord construction, and where chords fit in a scale. Then come up with a basic diatonic triad chord progression and start playing around with it - based on which chords you have used you'll know how to change them into extended/altered chords, so they should still fit, but you'll have changed the sound.

Learn triad inversions too if you don't know them. They make it easier to come up with different chord voicings, and partial barre chords will make more sense.