#1
I've been learning guitar on my own for about 6 months now and my progress hasn't been that great. I just learned some easy random songs, and when I tried learning a harder one, I get stuck on the solo part and can't bring it up to speed. Basically I want to be able to improvise and shred metal. How do I go about doing this? What's the first thing I should do? Learn scales? Chords? I've tried learning shred solos with tabs but it feels like trying to run before I can walk. I'm sure a good teacher is what I need but I can't afford lessons.
#2
I've tried learning shred solos with tabs but it feels like trying to run before I can walk


There's your problem, learn major and minor pentatonic scales, work on alternate picking, and make sure you're holding the pick correctly.
#3
If you have a metronome, you can try picking sixteenth notes through a scale and slowly increase your speed. ie., start at 40 bpm (beats per minute) and try to work your way up to 180 as a goal. Learning scales won't necessarily help you learn a song, since someone else wrote it, but learning music theory like scales, modes, etc. is still a good thing to do (I played guitar for like 6 years before I finally got a teacher to teach me theory, and now I'm finally getting to where I want to be playing-wise). You've only been playing six months, it takes lots of time to just be able to shred sloppily, even more time if you want to shred cleanly.

Basically, practice with a metronome and work on building speed and technique. You'll notice an improvement after a month or so.
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#4
Ok, so after I learn scales, can I just jump into any solo I want and start practicing? Or should I start with an easier one?
#5
You can essentially play anything that you want, but the important thing is speed. It's more important to play something cleanly at a much slower speed than poorly at full speed, otherwise you risk learning bad habits and poor technique. I prefer to practice slower solos because I love being able to play along with the song but it's ultimately your preference.
#6
After 6 months you're not going to be able to play anything of any sort of speed.

I'd concentrate on expressing yourself through soloing whilst doing finger independence and picking exercises along side it.

This will give your fingers fluidity and allow your picking and fingers to stay interlocked with each other - the main problem people have when trying to play fast is that the picking and fretting hands are at different capabilities. If you really sync them up by doing exercises for both you'll stand a much better chance.

For instance, i can fret at about 160 bpm on certain licks, but my picking can't play that fast, so it turns to mush. If i was to single out my picking and really work on it, i'd get it to a similar capability where i can then begin to sync the two together.
#7
I don't want to seem rude here, but this seems like the typical guitar hero syndrome that alot of younger people have. You want to be able to shred insane solos in a few days just like on guitar hero. Well, guess what, you have to work for it on a real guitar. Slow down, play it clean, speed it up. Repeat. It's the only way.
#8
Try learning the Nothing Else Matters and Orion (Metallica) slow solo parts. I've been playing for 2 months and am working on those and they are challenging but easy enough to see progress.
#10
DON'T practice songs.. why does all newly guitar players do this mistake!! Practice more instead! Practice your picking technique.. alternate picking, tremolo picking..
other techniques... hammer on, pull off (you think that is easy but how fast can you trill? ) I bet it is not fast..), how fast can play sixteen notes... try rhythm beats.. such as eight note and two sixteenth..
LEARN theory, scales, maybe modes..
What you dont want to do is practice songs, tapping, sweeping...

ıf your technique is good you play anything...

For example me, I play 2 hours a day and I never tried to play an actual full song until my 1.5 year.. If you are going to play something you need to play it cleanly, mute unwanted noise... I doubt that you can do that now..

finally, PRACTICE technique not SONGs...

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#11
Quote by dismas
I've been learning guitar on my own for about 6 months now and my progress hasn't been that great. I just learned some easy random songs, and when I tried learning a harder one, I get stuck on the solo part and can't bring it up to speed. Basically I want to be able to improvise and shred metal. How do I go about doing this? What's the first thing I should do? Learn scales? Chords? I've tried learning shred solos with tabs but it feels like trying to run before I can walk. I'm sure a good teacher is what I need but I can't afford lessons.


You just cant expect yourself to advance so quickly. Building up the mucles in your hands and fingers simply takes time.
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#12
Quote by Rangor6363
DON'T practice songs.. why does all newly guitar players do this mistake!! Practice more instead! Practice your picking technique.. alternate picking, tremolo picking..
other techniques... hammer on, pull off (you think that is easy but how fast can you trill? ) I bet it is not fast..), how fast can play sixteen notes... try rhythm beats.. such as eight note and two sixteenth..
LEARN theory, scales, maybe modes..
What you dont want to do is practice songs, tapping, sweeping...

ıf your technique is good you play anything...

For example me, I play 2 hours a day and I never tried to play an actual full song until my 1.5 year.. If you are going to play something you need to play it cleanly, mute unwanted noise... I doubt that you can do that now..

finally, PRACTICE technique not SONGs...


Dude you raise a valid point but not learning any song at all? Not smart.... what's his rythm playing going to be like when he never practises rythm playing?

What I'd do is simply learn what YOU like to play. If you want to shred, find out what you need to know, and start with the thing you deem most important (probably alt picking). If you want to be amazing at sweeping, invest your time in sweeping. If you want to be a master of melody, start training your ears, etc. It's bullshit to spend days behind the metronome, or days behind your pc/speakers, trying to learn songs or technique, just for the sake of becoming a shredder. Just learn whatever you'd like to be able to do. Makes it fun to be be actually playing guitar.

I started out wanting to play Master of Puppets. So I spend a lot of time on it and realised: hey, I need to be faster at downpicking. Thusly I practiced my downpicking. Then I found out: dang, my alternate picking blows, so I learned that. After I mastered Master, I wanted to be able to do some fingerpicking, so I went on to learn a bit about that. Didn't help me in my ultimate goal (becoming a fine heavy metal guitarist), but it showed me new perspectives about the guitar. Now I want to get an acoustic and learn to play acoustic, instead of only shredding the shit out of my room with my electric. See what I mean?

Now of course, you need to do certain things to get better at the shred. Work with a metronome, etc. etc. bla bla bla. It's boring, unless you know what you are doing it for. Guitar playing is like getting from A to B: There is no set road, only where you are now, and where you need to be.
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Last edited by TehDutchDude at Sep 4, 2010,