#1
Is learning new songs enough to practice??

as you know when you learn new song you will get new technique,

so if you keep practicing the song until you master it then move to another song then to another song,
will I get benefit from this or I need to practice technique separately
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#2
i did that always when i got my first guitar , i was always listening to metallica stuffs and trying to complete their best songs one by one.

some techniques need to be practiced separately for making it accurate ( without wasting time on repeating songs to play with)

i used to play along with the songs, if i had trouble with any technique, i used to stop the song, and try to make that technique correct separately
Last edited by COBHC912 at Apr 6, 2011,
#3
I did that for a whil then practiced the techniques then the songs now Im back on the techniques.
#4
It's good to master a song, being able to play it perfectly. But, what I find best, is that when you master that song take something out of it and have a play around with it.

It's how I managed to get my sweep picking to a reasonable level. Learnt a few songs that had it, got myself to a good level, and added it to a jam sess.
#5
Do what works best. Some people can learn sweeping by trying to perfect a specific passage, and some are better off sitting with a metronome for hours at a time.

Each has advantages, so I'd take advantage of both technical practice and learning songs. Learning songs can help you with song structure, general techniques and ability to use them, but can limit you by sticking you to formulas or styles just as much as it can help those issues. With technical practice, it's boring, but it can help you experiment with theory and figure out new things (on top of the improvements for your technique). It's all preference and ease of use, though.
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#6
This is all good advice. And I would add that even if you are picking a technique to learn, you should always tie it to some song that uses the technique because it helps the brain learn MUCH better. When there's a reason, and a context to tie it to, the learning happens ten times faster than just randomly picking techniques to practice.
#7
I did this too.

I started by tyring to learning theory, chords, scales etc.. but got bored fairly quickly cause I wanted to just play some darn songs.

I find mixing it all up works well for me.
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#8
If you want to go anywhere serious no.


It's GREAT for getting timing down and learning various things on the guitar to help you noodle out a song.
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#9
The best way to get better at playing guitar is to play guitar. Playing songs, playing scales, practicing specific techniques, they're all a means to that end. How and what you decide to play is up to you, but anything you play will make you better in some regard. There are no hard and fast rules, it all depends on what gives you enjoyment.

That's why it's called "playing" guitar and not "working" guitar; play whatever puts a smile on your face and the rest will come on it's own.
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#10
IMO you should include disciplined technique practice (the kind with a metronome and scales/chord changes/etc.) as well as repertoire practice (learning songs and playing them with correct technique) as well as ear training practice (identifying intervals, scales, keys by ear, transcribing chord progressions and solos by ear, etc.) in some kind of regular practice routine. This way you can progress along but also have some fun as well.
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#11
I just really hope this actually is THE Bryan Adams asking the question...
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#12
No, it's not enough if you wanna be good. You also need to practice technique separately
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#13
thats all i do when i have time,im not really into doing covers but it def improves your playing.
#14
thats all i do when i have time,im not really into doing covers but it def improves your playing
#15
If you want to be in a cover band and enjoy playing other people's songs. Yes.

Otherwise. Not really.

At the very least you should practice tecnique and then go over a cover song or two, each time you practice. This will make allow you to move onto other things when simply doing cover songs gets boring. Otherwise, you'll always be stuck in the same genre using only the techniques you've learned.

Your musical tastes may change someday or the tastes of those who listen to you and you should always have a strong technical foundation to build upon. Not a house of cards.
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#16
OP: Yes, depending upon what songs you are learning. When I first started getting serious with practice, I practiced Children of Bodom songs day and night. Does this make my practice any less serious or effective than someone who practices scales and "techniques" all day? Am I not practicing technique when I am practicing the song? The songs are filled with alternate picking, bends, slides, legato, arpeggios, tapping, etc. Why then is it any different from practicing "exercises?" It really just depends on HOW you go about practicing the songs you learn.

If you're just doodling and "learning" the song, then no it isn't enough. But if you actually work that shit, then what more could you do?
#17
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#18
Learning from songs is cool, but I do think that you should practice scales and arpeggios separately Chords too actually, since you need to learn loads of different kind of chord changes for your own songs.

The rest.. If you have a genre selection wide enough, you can pretty much learn from songs.
#20
It's important to learn theory on the side but learning songs for technique is way more efficient for you then practicing IMO. When you learn a song not only do you build on your skill, but you also gain something you can actually use in your playing. We all know sweeping that arpeggio on the 3rd fret is something you'll never use, and those chromatics going up and down will never be used either (unless you like adding mindless wankery in your solos).

I'd much rather learn a dream theater/gilbert song and have fun challenging myself rather then grinding at mindless and completely non musical practices. Theres two sides to the blade, why limit yourself to only learning the things in the songs you play, but then again you'll never use most of the practices you grind at anyway.
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#22
Quote by fixationdarknes
Am I not practicing technique when I am practicing the song? The songs are filled with alternate picking, bends, slides, legato, arpeggios, tapping, etc. Why then is it any different from practicing "exercises?" It really just depends on HOW you go about practicing the songs you learn.

If you're just doodling and "learning" the song, then no it isn't enough. But if you actually work that shit, then what more could you do?


That's something I would definitely agree with. You gotta work those songs. In fact, I sometimes have trouble playing parts of songs, so I turn that part into an exercise. It's a relevant, timely exercise, and isn't pointless like most exercises. You actually need it to play the song.

The beauty with practicing songs is you are learning how MUSIC works simultaneously. Not on an intellectual theory level, but on an intuitive level where it becomes second nature for you to "speak the language". That's more important for creating good sounding riffs, songs, melodies, solos, than theory will ever be imho. Again, the Beatles are the classic example. The hundreds of songs they covered gave them a good understanding of music, not theory.
#23
I know a couple of kids in a band that play at clubs all the time. They are able to listen to cover songs, learn them by ear, and crank them out perfectly. And they have never, ever, practiced scales or learned any theory.

This is a rare ability in my opinion. But again, their sole intention is recreating other people's songs and play them on stage immediately. It allows them more time to practice exactly what they plan on doing with their music, and make money. But their original stuff is terrible or at best, just bits and pieces of other songs all put together and called something different. Think... a song that sounds like Crazy Train with that solo from Master of Puppets, and the chorus of that Simon and Garfunkel tune.

I don't think many people have the natural ability to do what they do or ear, but I also think it limits them in other ways. But it doesn't stop them. Others like me have to really work at it and start from the bottom up. Plus, when I learn other people's song's it's a real chore and not a preference.

My goal has always been my own music and if that is the goal, and a long term one, and your ear sucks like mine did in the beginning, learning scales, notes, chords, etc... is the only option. Now, disecting a cover song is easy. But its a long road in getting there.
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Last edited by mystical_1 at Apr 9, 2011,
#24
Quote by mystical_1
I know a couple of kids in a band that play at clubs all the time. They are able to listen to cover songs, learn them by ear, and crank them out perfectly. And they have never, ever, practiced scales or learned any theory.

This is a rare ability in my opinion. But again, their sole intention is recreating other people's songs and play them on stage immediately. It allows them more time to practice exactly what they plan on doing with their music, and make money. But their original stuff is terrible or at best, just bits and pieces of other songs all put together and called something different. Think... a song that sounds like Crazy Train with that solo from Master of Puppets, and the chorus of that Simon and Garfunkel tune.

I don't think many people have the natural ability to do what they do or ear, but I also think it limits them in other ways. But it doesn't stop them. Others like me have to really work at it and start from the bottom up. Plus, when I learn other people's song's it's a real chore and not a preference.

My goal has always been my own music and if that is the goal, and a long term one, and your ear sucks like mine did in the beginning, learning scales, notes, chords, etc... is the only option. Now, disecting a cover song is easy. But its a long road in getting there.


Well, I know people who don't spend much time learning songs and focus mostly on scales/theory/"technique" (some of them even have perfect pitch) and their original stuff is also terrible. Just sounds like a bunch of scales thrown together, with no real musicality or mood set behind it. Basically, this argument can go either way.

I once heard a quote in a History course I took at college. It went something like this:

"Learn the rules.
Study from the masters.
Forget the rules."
Last edited by fixationdarknes at Apr 10, 2011,
#25
I think you should get the basic basics down like learn the chromatic scale for G and C. Learn pentatonic, learn the neck so you know where all the notes are and what they sound like and learn arpegios and octaves. Once you have that locked learning Chords then songs becomes ridiculously easy.

A metronome helps your timing alot, and really helps you get faster. Also playing with friends helps you develop improve skills and listening.

These are the tihings ive found that really helped me with my playing
Last edited by reggaebassman at Apr 10, 2011,
#26
Quote by seeneyj
No, it's not enough if you wanna be good. You also need to practice technique separately

But isnt this what Stevie ray vaughn did just play blues records over and over, and copy BB king?

Also I think doodling around with your guitar isnt a bad thing. Thats how everything started to click for me. Before I was playing a bunch of exercises i found on-line or from books i borrowed from the library. None of it made sense.

When i messed around I started to figure out where the notes were and everything started to connect.
#27
If there are techniques that you can learn from them IE sweep arpeggios, vibrato, tapping etc. then yes but if after a while you just get stuck in a rut for learning songs then it's important to learn scales and stuff as then you can learn to improvise then lean on to writing your own stuff and getting your own feel from the techniques you learnt.
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#28
It depends on your goals really. I have no desire to be technically brilliant. I just want to express myself musically and enjoy myself while I play.

I've never really done any formal exercises and I've been playing for about 6 years. I either just play songs I have heard and liked or I fiddle around by myself and invent things. As I've learnt more songs I've absorbed different ways to play and different techniques. I'm no master at the guitar and I've probably got some technical inadequacies but I'm highly competent and I've got enough skills to play pretty much everything I want.

Think about what you want and take it from there.
#29
Thank you all guys,

All your answers are so helpful

Actually after reading and comparing your answers i've decided to do the both daily

As I don't want to be only in a cover band so I'll practice techniques (Scales, Chords , Picking and left and right hand) beside i'll practice songs.

Ofcourse when I practice songs, It will not be easy song. i'll practice songs by like Joe Satriani.

BTW, i'm not a beginner, I'm intermediate maybe higher than intermediate but still needs some techniques, I know pretty much about theory (Scales, Chords and Modes) and still learn about theory everyday.

i've mastered Cryin' and Love Thing by Joe Satriani and many other rock songs and now i'm practicing Always With Me, Always with you.

Anyway thank you for your help

I apprentice everyone answer and all the answers were so great
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Last edited by BryanAdams at Apr 10, 2011,
#31
I can be a bit lazy so I often don't learn songs but IMO this is the best way to improv as a player. Quite simply, as someone else mentioned, you'll learn licks and riff ideas from songs that you can rip right out, modify a bit, and use in your own material.

The guitar is a tool for making music, nothing more, nothing less. When your practice sessions involve working on somthing that is actually musical, you will get a more wholistic benefit to your playing/musicianship.

A good practice routine would probably be:

-Exercises (preferably done in the context of scales w/ metronome) (30 minutes, focused).

-Song Learning (1 hour, very focused); metronome may not be vital, but can be helpful for drilling passagtes.

-Song Performing w/ metronome (something committed to memory). goal is to run through your repertoire in order to maintain it in memory. Also great to review everything you know so when you are called on to play somthing you won't be lost for a song (30 minutes - hour).

-Fun time - noodling, songwriting, improvizing to a drum machine and backing track (1 + hours).

Don't forget to throw in some "book learning" too, by learning and reading about theory.
Last edited by Riffman15 at Apr 10, 2011,