So i haven't gotten "real" with my guitar yet and I realllyyy should. So, I'm going to learn scales and chords i haven't learned yet, try and get much better at alternate picking, sweeping, economy picking, string skipping, whatever you name it I want to get better at it..

This article has helped me a lot with alternate picking:

Can you guys load me up with lots of other exercises and practices for both my picking hand and my fretting hand?

Thanks in advance.
I COULD load you up with lots of exercises but I think that might just make practice even less enjoyable. I'd say practice in the realm of the genre(s) you are interested in. I'm a fan of Bodom and I've practiced most of those leads and solos, and everything sorta just fell into place. I made ''exercises'' from what Alexi played, and I think that makes for a lot less of a dry practice. Plus it helps you learn/adapt to the style of the guitarist you like. I'm currently learning Syu's songs from Galneryus.

I'm sure most responses will be giving you tons of exercises though, and I'm not saying that's a bad way to go, I just personally don't prefer it.
Last edited by fixationdarknes at Oct 13, 2009,
I approach this more from a song learning perspective. In other words, rather than coming up with an exercise to improve, say alternate picking, I will spend my time learning songs by guitarists who are better than me. Then if I am stuck on a lick to the point where practicing it a great deal is not enough, only then will I bust out the exercises to improve the technique weakness which is making that lick troublesome.

I feel approaching it this well helps me become a more complete guitarist - first of all, all the new material expands my horizons, and from a technical perspective identifies weaknesses I sometimes never knew I had. And there are so many other things you must do well that only come from working on songs, that you don't get from pure technique exercises - like the overall sense of "glue" between your phrases.

That said, there are a couple of exercises I do "just because" without being motivated by work on a song. One is the one note per string spider that I use as my warm-up. Having gotten the basic version down, I'm working on all kinds of permutations, not only changing the finger order, but mixing it up rhythmically too - for example, playing it where you alternate between 8th note triplets and quintuplets. I find it great for co-ordination, picking, and the rhythmic variations help develop control to a greater extent than the straight versions. The other is the bend vibrato workout, where I'll vibrato an unbent note, then shift down, bend and add vibrato to the bend while trying to match the sound of the vibrato on the unbent note. I'll do that all over the fretboard for about 5 minutes each day. That one's paid pretty big dividends. From time to time, I'll substitute in other ones, like the "5 minute non stop pinky trill of doom" <- do not attempt unless you've got at least a bit of strength in your pinky to begin with.
im a huge fan of bodom too, but im not good enough to play alexi's solos. Well, actually, I haven't even tried. Maybe I should explore more and try more things.

I've always practiced by playing songs that I think are too advanced for me and then I practice them until I get it, but by reading around I got the impression that I was doing it wrong, and that I should have exercises and stuff.

I need help with pinch harmonics badly though.. When I started playing REAL metal, I gave up on them and just played the riffs without them. I think I could sound so much better if I could pull those off as well. Actually I can play them sometimes, about 4/10 of the time, and I can't play them at all on the spot in the middle of the song.
se10120122020201020 really does give good advice, listen to him. Apart from what has already been said by him and fixation i'd just add - make sure you have fun with it.

Lots of people practice drills and get their technique so tight it becomes robotic. You want to try and aim for a consistency between excellent technique without playing robotically (is that even a word!? :P ) I believe playing without absolute perfect technique is what gives players like Hendrix, Gilmour etc their unique sound.