#1
Ok - Im officially fed up with where i am after practicing guitar for 4 years.

The 4 years hasn't been consistent practice, and I definitely haven't progressed and taken on new challenges.

I know the minor pentatonic positions and can connect them in the caged sequence, but not fluent enough to rip out a solo. I can put a string bend, hammer on in certain places and it sounds ok, but mostly just runs of like 4-5 notes.


I can play a lot of riffs, but only a few songs all the way through, and only know two solos.

As winter approaches I find myself back at my guitar and I want to really focus. My two teacher experiences have been one guy either teaches songs, or the other guy was all over the place with theory and didnt have consistent curriculum. I think this is consistent of all part time guitar teachers. How can i do algebra before if i can't do basic math. It's like a lot of local guitar teachers can explain you stuff if you ask the right questions, but don't have a way to test you on material before you move onto the next level.

Some dvd's and internet lessons are great for picking up certain things, but i wanted to ask you guys. Where do i go from here.

If my goal is to be able to create a blues rhythm track and then solo over it. Im assuming at basic i need to focus more on the minor and major pentatonic. How they lay over each other, what chords make up certain keys, where to start my scale over x chord, and also to learn all the notes in all the positions of one particular key, like the A minor penatonic, up and down the neck. Only then after "mastering" that level, should i expect myself to be able to connect the dots and make certain solos sound good??

Does that sound right.

Any tips for reaching these goals. Most blues dvd's teach you the positons and then have you watch them and mimic there hand movements, but I still dont think this answers my above paragraph.

Can anyone nail down the best approach and the one that will help me reach my goal the fastest.

Stinks to put X time into scales, and then joe smith who's had his guitar 6 months, is playing songs you can't because all he did was practice the song. Then you end up second guessing if you should go back and learn songs....

Keep in mind I work full time and have a family so im limited on my deticated time....but im so ready to get good, id get up a 6am just to practice for an hour a day if it means ill see the end.

Also have considered joining church band or hitting craigslist, but not sure i have the confidence......


Thx in advance for any suggestions -

Boyd
#2
Find a full time guitar teacher? I mean one who teaches as his permanent job, not one to teach you full time

Might be worth contacting your local school to see who they use, or the local music authority if there is one. My teacher is a full time guitar teacher - he works at the local schools and colleges - and he's awesome. Don't be put off by a couple of mediocre teachers - a good teacher can save you so much time and effort!

If you're not confident enough yet to join a band why don't you just look for some people to jam with? Be clear that you want to jam, not gig, at least for now, and be honest about your ability, then there's no reason not to be confident as you've already told them where you're at. You'll learn loads and have fun too
#3
You are way out of my league (more experience) but I say go with the "KISS" theory...(k)eep (i)t (s)imple (s)tupid! lol. Thats what I do. Break down exactly what you need for a BASE...a foundation. And work that exclusively.

I'm no expert...but this worked for me. Good luck! Cheers! Will
Wants: PRS Starla
#4
Quote by weewilly79
You are way out of my league (more experience) but I say go with the "KISS" theory...(k)eep (i)t (s)imple (s)tupid! lol. Thats what I do. Break down exactly what you need for a BASE...a foundation. And work that exclusively.

I'm no expert...but this worked for me. Good luck! Cheers! Will



Was that a Michael Scott quote

Thx for the feedback guys -
#5
Quote by boyd98
Was that a Michael Scott quote

Thx for the feedback guys -



lol...not sure who that is man...that's a weewilly quote
Wants: PRS Starla
#6
Quote by weewilly79
lol...not sure who that is man...that's a weewilly quote


made me think of the US version of "The Office"

DWIGHT: “Michael always says ‘K-I-S-S. Keep it simple, stupid.’ Great advice. Hurts my feelings every time.”

Pretty funny episode
#7
Hey Man - a few ideas for you, below...

Quote by boyd98
I know the minor pentatonic positions and can connect them in the caged sequence, but not fluent enough to rip out

a solo. I can put a string bend, hammer on in certain places and it sounds ok, but mostly just runs of like 4-5 notes.


I've had that problem in the past, where all my runs when improvising were too short, and I lacked the confidence to string things together. I would set some time aside on the guitar for..not exactly improvising...exploring. Running through some of your shorter runs, trying variations out, seeing ways in which they might be connected, coming up with new ones.
To start getting things to come together, I'd recommend just spending some time improvising. In free time, at first. It's very important to incorporate the metronome later on, but free time is very useful when you need a period with absolutely no pressure at all, where you can play as slowly as you need to to start getting things to flow together.


Quote by boyd98

Only then after "mastering" that level, should i expect myself to be able to connect the dots and make certain solos sound good??

Does that sound right.



Watch out for the "I must master A, before I can do B" thing. The thing is, you never master stuff - there is always room for improvement, no matter how good you are - this can lead to too much time being spent preparing for something without actually trying it. The happy medium is somewhere in between. You spend enough time on A to do it justice and make some real improvement. Then you say, "Ok, this could still be better, but it is good enough for now". Then you do B. Give it some time. See where your weaknesses are, and go back for another round of A. And so on and so forth. The thing is that your attempts at B are actually what teaches you what you need to focus on when doing A.


Quote by boyd98

Stinks to put X time into scales, and then joe smith who's had his guitar 6 months, is playing songs you can't because all he did was practice the song. Then you end up second guessing if you should go back and learn songs....


Again, I think the best approach is something in between. If A is practicing scales, and B is working on songs, then the point above applies to this as well. You get a lot from learning songs that you dont from pure technique practice - like how to glue everything together, ideas for stuff you could add to your own bag of tricks, and exposing where your weaknesses really are.

Quote by boyd98


Keep in mind I work full time and have a family so im limited on my deticated time....but im so ready to get good, id get up a 6am just

to practice for an hour a day if it means ill see the end.


Same thing here. I am married with two kids, and have a rewarding (but demanding) job. It is a constant balancing act to put the time I want to into my passion, but not neglect the fam. Whenever my wife is watching something on TV, or busy with something else, I'll always make sure that I practice then - since this is time that I can put into the guitar without sacrificing time with her. I've cut out a few lesser interests such as TV, and I've limited computer time, so that I can practice more. And like you mentioned, I'll get up early, and try to get an extra 30 mins in then as well.

Good luck with it all!
#8
I'd also add, if improvising is one of your main goals, you should spend some of your practice time working on your ear, transcribing other peoples' solos, etc. Just knowing how to play a scale all over the neck isn't enough to improvise, you have to be able to use the scale to create melodies, phrases, etc. I agree with the people above who say you should spend more time improvising. Listen to your backing track a couple times without even touching your guitar. Just imagine what a really good solo would sound like. You might even want to hum or sing the solo out loud. Pay attention to your rhythm, phrasing, melody, etc. Then pick up your guitar and try to duplicate that feel in your improv, otherwise you'll have a tendency to just pick random notes or play patterns your fingers are used to, not necessarily creating the sound you want.
#9
thx again guys...

here's a question for you that im currently researching....the minor pentatonic scale in the key of A starts like this right: A C D E G

working backwards since this is the scale im focusing on - what chords could i play to create a backing track....how do i know what this is and what progression to use....


Also....after i have that particular chord progession, how do i know what notes sound good over that particular chord....im not trying to deviate training my ear...but if i know there is formula to it, then i can maybe get there quicker than trying ever note out in the scale....

Are my questions in the right context?

thx -
#10
In answering stuff like that, I find it's better to start with the minor scale - by playing the minor pentatonic you're just missing out a couple of notes. But it will still work over chords that contain the missed out notes.

So - Am - A B C D E F G

Chords -
Am - A C E - good there.
Bm - B D F# - won't work with because of the F#. So if you flatten it, you get B diminished - B D F. Or you could go with Bm if you like since your playing Am pentatonic which doesn't have an F.
C major - C E G
D minor - D F A
E minor - E G B
F major - F A C
G major - G B E

Of course you shouldn't see any of these things as rules - you can do what you like!