#1
A long story short, I have a lot of time on my hands. I have been playing the piano for, geeze, 16 years now? Anywho, I have dabbled with the guitar, but I was never serious about it, and I would like to start getting serious.

I can play a few songs, but its not great. So, what do I want to know? I have 1-2 hours a day that I can put into practicing. What are areas to focus on that will help me to build a solid groundwork for playing?

I know that I need to work on picking, and I know that I should really start practicing scales. Knowing your goals is important too, and I want to get to a point where I can read tabs, and fill in the wrong parts in my head (as in, if I were listening to a piece and said 'wow, this tab is not that, I need to play X chord, not Y.)

So again, aside from scales and pick control, what should I do to help myself? I don't exactly have money to spend on books, so the more good free stuff, the better. If you were to say that i absolutely need to have a certain book or CD or whatever, what would that be and why?

Kind Regards,
- A complete guitar novice with too much time on his hands.
#2
You could learn a couple of techniques, depending on what style of music you play you only need certain techniques (lets face it, if your gonna play blues you wont use 8 finger tapping )

Alternate picking is a good start, can be found in the lessons here on UG.

Ear training for learning songs and correcting tabs?

Sites for that :

http://www.musictheory.net/

http://www.musiclearningtools.net/scaleeartraining
#3
You actually can play blues using 8 finger tapping, just base it off of a pentatonic or a blues scale. But everyone has their own style.
#4
you can learn more songs, all the way through. also work on ear training. those two things are enough to be able to correct a tab while learning a song.
Quote by Dirk Gently
Some pieces are only meant to be played by people with six fingers on their fretting hand. Sorry.
#5
Quote by malmsteensolo
You actually can play blues using 8 finger tapping, just base it off of a pentatonic or a blues scale. But everyone has their own style.


Aw damn, i got my argument crushed
#6
Alright, cool. So with the songs, what is a good progression of artists for trying to learn? just in the sense that I need some novice songs now, and I want it to progress to more difficult things, while learning technique in the process.

I guess, for a competency level, One of the songs I can play well is Swing Life Away by Rise Against. So, starting there, going forward, what do you recommend?
#8
Quote by Sickz
Aw damn, i got my argument crushed


Nah, it's not really effective. It's hard to get the phrasing anyway. You can play blues scales, but it won't sound "bluesy" because it's nearly impossible to get the right string-bending tactics for blues when you're tapping.
Gibson ES-137C
Parker P8EN
AC Custom Special P Bass
#9
Quote by summerbum
Alright, cool. So with the songs, what is a good progression of artists for trying to learn? just in the sense that I need some novice songs now, and I want it to progress to more difficult things, while learning technique in the process.

I guess, for a competency level, One of the songs I can play well is Swing Life Away by Rise Against. So, starting there, going forward, what do you recommend?

more songs you like....

don't go out of your way to learn songs that other people tell you to, just learn songs you really like. apparently you enjoy rise against, so learn more of their songs.
Quote by Dirk Gently
Some pieces are only meant to be played by people with six fingers on their fretting hand. Sorry.
#10
more songs that I like... well, I enjoy a wide variety of things. Right now I am on a John Mayer kick, although his stuff is a little more tricky. I suppose a trip through my iTunes collection wouldn't hurt.
#11
Quote by summerbum
more songs that I like... well, I enjoy a wide variety of things. Right now I am on a John Mayer kick, although his stuff is a little more tricky. I suppose a trip through my iTunes collection wouldn't hurt.


Thats a great way to do it. you're more likely to finish learning a song you like, than a song you don't.
Quote by Dirk Gently
Some pieces are only meant to be played by people with six fingers on their fretting hand. Sorry.
#12
Honestly, 1-2 hours a day isn't enough if you really want to go anywhere decent on guitar.

If you really just want to play punk chords all day, then maybe an hour or two will do.


If you want to shred with quality, you'll need 5+ hours of practice, which is ideally half of what you should be doing if you're serious... and then another 3+ in songwriting and making good riffs. But hey, shredding isn't for everyone. There's nothing objectively wrong with playing punk chords. Just gets stale after a while.
Last edited by ElitiusMaxim at May 15, 2011,
#13
2 hous of focused, well structured practice a day is enough. The ten + hours that this guy alludes to is ridiculous (for most mortals at least - guys like Steve Vai etc are the exception and doing that would drive most people to hate the guitar, and smallish focused practice sessions are just as beneficial as a long sessions anyway, after a point you stop learning) and you shouldnt let him put you off.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#14
hah, yeah I'm not put off. I've played the piano for a long time, and I know that 10+ hours a day is what musicians who go to school do. I'm just looking to gain some competency and go from there.
#15
Quote by Hydra150
2 hous of focused, well structured practice a day is enough.

No this is wrong, you want to set limits on yourself? Very un-musicianlike...


The ten + hours that this guy alludes to is ridiculous (for most mortals at least - guys like Steve Vai etc are the exception and doing that would drive most people to hate the guitar, and smallish focused practice sessions are just as beneficial as a long sessions anyway, after a point you stop learning) and you shouldnt let him put you off.


Not true, go to musical colleges and you'll find people who basically play all day. Your post just flops, I've made tons of friends who play literally from waking up until death doing band rehearsals and all.
If people aren't that interested in guitar, then they shouldn't be complaining when they can only play 3 punk rock chords.

Ever wonder why so many people are pathetic at guitar? You either put the time in, or you don't and flounder. That simple, common sense.
#16
Quote by ElitiusMaxim
No this is wrong, you want to set limits on yourself? Very un-musicianlike...



Not true, go to musical colleges and you'll find people who basically play all day. Your post just flops, I've made tons of friends who play literally from waking up until death doing band rehearsals and all.
If people aren't that interested in guitar, then they shouldn't be complaining when they can only play 3 punk rock chords.

Ever wonder why so many people are pathetic at guitar? You either put the time in, or you don't and flounder. That simple, common sense.


I´ve improved alot, and im learning shredding stuff atm like vai, satriani, vinnie moore etc. ( can´t play it yet but i´m noticeing that im getting better very rapidly. )

I do "perfect practice" for 2 hrs max a day.

So you shouldent say that people that play for less then 6 hours a day only play punk chords, since it´s not right.

You don´t have to practice a large amount of time to improve, 1-2 hrs a day of correct practice is well more than enough.
#17
Quote by Sickz
I´ve improved alot, and im learning shredding stuff atm like vai, satriani, vinnie moore etc. ( can´t play it yet but i´m noticeing that im getting better very rapidly. )

I do "perfect practice" for 2 hrs max a day.

So you shouldent say that people that play for less then 6 hours a day only play punk chords, since it´s not right.

You don´t have to practice a large amount of time to improve, 1-2 hrs a day of correct practice is well more than enough.



I used to do it for 1-2 hours a day.

When I bumped it up to 6-10 hours a day (excluding some days that you just can't do it due to RL), I noticed that I not only progressed even faster than 3x, it was exponential.
You'd think 1-2 (times 3) = 3-6 hours, which means 3x better, but it's not. When I started doing 6-10 hour days I noticed all my techniques pretty much instantly cleaned up. It's like 10-20x better, exponential. I even got a few basic sweeping shapes down in a week or so. It was unreal, I realized that it's the only way for guitarists to seriously get stuff done. 97% work ethic, 3% talent.

There's so much to do on the guitar that 1-2 hours a day just isn't enough for me. Sure if you practice a few scales perfectly for 1-2 hours then yes-- you've done all you can because you're going to get *no where* faster. That I agree.
But there's honestly so much to do that I can't find enough time to do it all.

I play exclusively metal, I do all the techniques that you find on videos like with Broderick et al; and trust me-- it's impossible for me to do jazz/classical stuff. I mean, I can do it just because I've got knowledge that overlaps, but jazz/classical has so much other nuances that I just get burned out trying to practice it all.

You have to stick with one genre because there's really just too much. Maybe in 5-6 years once I can do all my sweep/scale shredding with my right hand alone like Broderick I can finally call it quits on metal and go on to getting out my acoustic guitar and practicing flamenco and stuff-- but until them I'm woodshedding.

If you think that you can do everything you need in 1-2 hours, that's fine. To each his own. But note that you're not ever going to reach the upper echelons ever with guitar, that's for sure.
6 hours of guitar a day isn't hard. Even when I was doing that with school, I still had plenty of time for relationships/homework. Sometimes you have to cut back on guitar, but that's just real life saying "screw you".
Last edited by ElitiusMaxim at May 16, 2011,
#18
Everyone is entitled their opinion, now we have both spoken ours.
Maybe one day ill get more time and more dicipline and will practice more, that´s for the future to decide

Quote by ElitiusMaxim

You have to stick with one genre


Just needed to share my opinion on this.

You don´t really have to stick with one genre, sure there is much to learn from each genre but just focusing on one is kind of dumb aswell.

You won´t be as a well rounded player if you can play just metal than if you would for example play metal, funk and classical.

Expanding your genres is something everyone should do, and many great guitar players have done.
#19
Quote by Sickz
Everyone is entitled their opinion, now we have both spoken ours.
Maybe one day ill get more time and more dicipline and will practice more, that´s for the future to decide


Just needed to share my opinion on this.

You don´t really have to stick with one genre, sure there is much to learn from each genre but just focusing on one is kind of dumb aswell.

You won´t be as a well rounded player if you can play just metal than if you would for example play metal, funk and classical.

Expanding your genres is something everyone should do, and many great guitar players have done.


That's indeed true. I'd say actually a guitar player would be terrible if they can't play other genres.
I think my post hinted towards musical sterility which is false. I should fix it to be "You should focus extensively on your own genre but not shut out everything else". Usually there is overlap though, and metal is such a huge diverse genre that you will inevitable come across stuff that covers other genres (ex: Covering Chris Broderick stuff).