#1
Well I've been playing guitar for about 2 almost 3 years now, I started out playing punk songs, moved on to more complicated metal, and now I like to play dropped C death metal / crust - ish guitar

But I still learn all kinds of different songs, I just want to learn more theories and things so I can become a better guitarist. So if anyone has any tips, any links to lessons or anythings that you think would help a mediocre guitarist improve. Then let me know
#2
Tune to standard and try playing other genres. That usually works for me.

Most of what makes a guitarist "mediocre" is closed-mindedness and unwillingness to try new things.
Q: Favourite Pink Floyd song?
A: The one where they get wicked high and play Emin and A for an hour.
#3
If you are looking to improve your improvisation, one thing that I've discovered recently which I've never used before is backing tracks.
Assuming you know a few scales, if not this should be your first priority , just go onto Youtube and search for "guitar backing track," there are quite a few on there, and just improvise over it, the key will normally be provided, it's sometimes amazing what you can come up with on the spot.
#4
Quote by travislausch
Tune to standard and try playing other genres. That usually works for me.

Most of what makes a guitarist "mediocre" is closed-mindedness and unwillingness to try new things.


Yeah I forgot I do play in standard and dropped, It's not always dropped C it's just that's usually the tuning I use when I write my own material.

And I do play other genres. I dunno the only scale I know is the bflat major I think, I'm not even sure which one it is. Can anyone give me a list of good scales to learn to start off with ?
#5
Quote by Deathloc45
Can anyone give me a list of good scales to learn to start off with ?


If you already know the Bb major, just shift it around the neck to match the key you're in, that's one done.

The minor scale is an obvious one, as well as the minor pentatonic. These will do for now, just practice using them to create licks/riffs of your own, and improvise over songs/backing tracks.

I actually made the same mistake you did, played for a few years before learning any scales/theory, but in some ways it is easier for you to learn scales, as you have the chops to actually use them well. Just keep practicising them, they will really help your playing.
#7
Quote by SilentHeaven109
If you already know the Bb major, just shift it around the neck to match the key you're in, that's one done.

The minor scale is an obvious one, as well as the minor pentatonic. These will do for now, just practice using them to create licks/riffs of your own, and improvise over songs/backing tracks.

I actually made the same mistake you did, played for a few years before learning any scales/theory, but in some ways it is easier for you to learn scales, as you have the chops to actually use them well. Just keep practicising them, they will really help your playing.


Hmm. Yeah I can play it on any part of the neck, it's just like how would I use it to make a lead or so etc ? I mean would I play the entire scale over the root note of whatever I'm writing a lead for. Or would I skip notes in the scale for what sounds right ? I dunno any tips are appreciated guys.
#8
Quote by Deathloc45
Hmm. Yeah I can play it on any part of the neck, it's just like how would I use it to make a lead or so etc ? I mean would I play the entire scale over the root note of whatever I'm writing a lead for. Or would I skip notes in the scale for what sounds right ? I dunno any tips are appreciated guys.


In a sense, yes. You would need to know what key the song/riff you are playing is in, and play notes from that scale over it.
You don't need to stick to the boxed shapes of the scale, which is what most beginners get stuck with, if you know what notes are in the scale and where the notes are on the fretboard, you can go anywhere on the neck. This helps tremendously with soloing, as it gives you a lot more freedom.

To be honest, this is the sort of thing you need to experiment with yourself, there's not exact way to use a scale over a riff, you could use the entire scale or just 2 notes, it depends on the song, and every guitarist would do something different over a given riff/song.
#9
Quote by Deathloc45
Hmm. Yeah I can play it on any part of the neck, it's just like how would I use it to make a lead or so etc ? I mean would I play the entire scale over the root note of whatever I'm writing a lead for. Or would I skip notes in the scale for what sounds right ? I dunno any tips are appreciated guys.
You think of a 'melody' in your head and play it using the notes from the scale. It helps if you've learnt a few of other peoples solos, as you can borrow and adapt their licks as well as making up your own and use them in your improv - its especially handy to have an arsenal of licks you already know when you run out of inspiration - then you can fall back on your old favourites until you get back in the groove.

The best way to learn to improvise is to do it - you can learn theory about what notes sound good over what chords/notes, and what leads well into what, but the best tool you have for working out what sounds good is your ears.

imo the easiest way to get started improvising is to just start off using the root and a couple of notes near it - that way you can focus on your rhythm and phrasing, and listen to what you're playing, without having to worry about what note is going to come next. Then when you get some confidence add more notes into the mix, or move to a different part of the neck.

Whenever you come up with a lick you like - record it and/or write it down! Start building yourself an arsenal of licks - you can use them when you're improvising (although you'll find you rely on them less and less as time goes on and you get more confidence) and you might find they fit perfectly into a song you're writing sometime.
#10
Hmm alright good this what I'm looking to hear, sadly I'm at school right now so i can't go shred :/ but when I get home I'm gonna get a session going

I'm still looking for good scales that I should learn, I already know Bb Major, I'm gonna learn pentatonic, but what else is useful ?

Also when you say "if you know where the notes are on the fretboard" so like are you saying If I played the Bb Major scale, and switched octaves or do you mean something else by this ?
#11
Quote by Deathloc45
Also when you say "if you know where the notes are on the fretboard" so like are you saying If I played the Bb Major scale, and switched octaves or do you mean something else by this ?


Basically yes, if you know where the notes in your scale are, you will be able to move up and down the fretboard and still be in key, which all good lead guitarists do, just watch any live video of a lead guitarist, they don't stay in a boxed shape for their soloing, they move up and down the neck, and knowing the notes on the fretboard will let you do that.

Using octaves as a kind of marker is a good idea to get you started on this, if you know where all the Bb's are, you can jump to them and continue playing from there. It's just a matter of practice really, using scales will become easier the more you do it, take something like this and just go for it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqW4fxAj05o

Also, I would try to stop yourself from thinking of it as the "Bb major scale," just think of it as the major scale. If you only play in one key, all of your songs will sound the same, and it really helps when you're jamming with other musicians to know scales in all keys, they won't always want to play in Bb...

Find a backing track in a different key, or record a chord progression yourself, and see how you do.

Sorry if I've made this seem too complicated, it's actually quite simple...
Last edited by SilentHeaven109 at Sep 17, 2009,
#12
Quote by Deathloc45
Hmm alright good this what I'm looking to hear, sadly I'm at school right now so i can't go shred :/ but when I get home I'm gonna get a session going

I'm still looking for good scales that I should learn, I already know Bb Major, I'm gonna learn pentatonic, but what else is useful ?

Also when you say "if you know where the notes are on the fretboard" so like are you saying If I played the Bb Major scale, and switched octaves or do you mean something else by this ?
Learn how the major scale is constructed in terms of notes and intervals, so you can easily play it in any key. The Major scale is just WWHWWWH where W is a whole step and H is a half step, so you can easily transpose it into different keys by just shifting the root up or down the neck. If you know it in steps and intervals, and can work out the notes for any key, you'll find all the other scales much easier to learn as you can derive pretty much any other scale you'll need form the major scale.

Pentatonics (major and minor) are good for improvising - it really easy to come up with cool pentatonic licks, and there are loads of pentatonic solos you can learn to get ideas from. But don't just learn them by rote - learn how they are related to the major scale. That way you don't have to learn them from scratch, you can just modify what you already know.

That lot should keep you going for a while. Especially as you can use the major pentatonic anywhere you can use the major scale, and you can use the minor pentatonic anywhere you could use the minor scale (although that doesn't work in reverse - you can't necessarily use the major scale anywhere you can use the major pentatonic)
#13
By explaining how to improv, you are defeating the purpose of improv. Don't think, just play. Make your point with the notes you play and accent the highlights of your point.

If you need ideas, watch these. Warren Haynes will lay it down for you.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=warren+haynes+licks&search_type=&aq=1&oq=warren+haynes+li
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