#1
Hello UG,
I'm from the suburbs of Lexington KY and I've been a self taught guitarist for about 4-5 years (I still suck) and haven't been serious about playing guitar within those 4-5 years. I've taken guitar lessons before from the best guitarist here in Lexington (candidate for world's best) Ben Lacey for 2 months (parents couldn't afford anymore [16 at the time] ) and learned basic guitar percussion.

You can check this guy here (he's phenomenal, and a nice guy too)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulC9TUqIjtg < Ben Playing Cashmere.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBAIS_Lbrsw&feature=related < Ben Plyn Stevie

Anyways,
I've given my months notice at my job to peruse my dream of becoming a great musician and to move out to my grandparents which is deep in the country who has a music studio room. My grandfather can play anything but his forte is bass blues. He's got everything I need and said he's excited to teach me about music theory and mainly blues. What I want to do is take a few EXTRA steps and go above and beyond so my question here is:

1.) Can someone refer me to the absolute best lessons, exercises, tools or software (anything), to help me improve my playing while my grandfather's not around so I can be ****ing fantastic at guitar by 2012. If it's against the rules to list useful sites to use then you can just message me. I'm also looking for really good singing lessons.

2.) How long should I practice for in a day? I normally play my Ibanez acoustic for an average of 30 minutes a day just messing around with basic chords, Penatonic scales, and some exercises from Guitar Speed Trainer software.

3.) What would be the best exercise for playing blues?

4.) Is there an educational game where it'll teach me all the notes on the fret board?

I need something like the p90x for guitar and singing so if you can help me out I will love love love you forever. Much love for reading and helping me out. Peace!
#2
Quote by myriadharbour
1.) Can someone refer me to the absolute best lessons, exercises, tools or software (anything), to help me improve my playing while my grandfather's not around so I can be ****ing fantastic at guitar by 2012. If it's against the rules to list useful sites to use then you can just message me. I'm also looking for really good singing lessons.

Believe it or not, I've learned all the stuff on my own. The best is from an experienced person though, but if you're talking about online-- youtube has some good stuff. Find the people with high rating and use them.

Quote by myriadharbour
2.) How long should I practice for in a day? I normally play my Ibanez acoustic for an average of 30 minutes a day just messing around with basic chords, Penatonic scales, and some exercises from Guitar Speed Trainer software.

You said you wanted to be uber awesome right?
How much do you love the guitar?
I've done 8+ hour days of practicing and messing around, BUT MAKE SURE YOU DO IT WITH CARE. I was dumb one week and did these really hard 7-string sweep arpeggios and ****ed up my wrist. It's better now but I learned quite quickly that there's some things you just have to be careful with on your own.

Quote by myriadharbour
3.) What would be the best exercise for playing blues?

My advice is to get all the common techniques and practice them all. Chromatic, sweeping (if blues even does that), pentatonic, learn theory...etc.
A super good expert can play most--if not all-- the techniques (minus insane fringe ones)

Quote by myriadharbour
4.) Is there an educational game where it'll teach me all the notes on the fret board?

My way of doing it is really the blunt force way. Learn your strings one at a time and learn the non accidental notes (A B C D E F G) first for all the strings. It'll take a few days to a week


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Some serious questions:
Why did you quit your job to pursue guitar? I'd only do that if I'd got 7 years under my belt and I could make my own solo record.

Are you ready for the music industry and how near impossible it is to make a living off of music?

Are you sure you want to go this path?

I won't lie, between 16 - 20, I changed my 'dream' occupation 4+ times.
Last edited by AtomicBirdy at May 15, 2011,
#3
You might try www.jamplay.com

It is a pay site, but it has a lot of instructors and live Q&A sessions with instructors. They have instructors covering everything from Metal to Hawaii Slack Key, blues to bluegrass. Its not bad for 20 bucks a month.
#4
First of all, congrats man. I love hearing about musicians taking the plunge and pursuing their dreams.

But persistence is king here, myriad. I know you've heard it before, but it all starts with desire. How bad do you want to be amazing? There really is no limit as to how long you can or should practice a day. Eric Clapton practiced literally 8+ every day. There's no secret as to how he got to where he is.

But just be aware, as AtomicBirdy mentioned, you don't want to overdo yourself at the same time and risk an injury. Also, keep in mind the mental burn out you could face by pushing yourself so hard and so consistently. I know it doesn't feel like it now, but it's not uncommon for playing guitar starts to feel like work. And you don't want that to happen, but if it does, just take a break for a few days or a week and let your desire manifest itself again.

My advice to you would be to identify all of your favorite inspirations, as well as your grandfather's as I assume you value his opinions. Then look at those inspirations and study them very closely. Look up their interviews, watch them perform in videos, buy their dvds, search for lessons or instruction tools they've released. Take all of that information, develop your skills and then construct your own style of playing out it.

In terms of learning the fretboard, I have actually found a game that has helped me a lot. It's a browser-based game called Fretboard Master. You can check it out here:


Lastly, just know that there's no miracle fix for developing guitar playing skill, bro. It comes with time and you have to put the work in. Just stay hungry, push yourself and it'll come.
Danny L. Small
Guitarist/Teacher/Composer




Last edited by Danny L Small at May 15, 2011,
#7
Quote by Danny L Small
First of all, congrats man. I love hearing about musicians taking the plunge and pursuing their dreams.

But persistence is king here, myriad. I know you've heard it before, but it all starts with desire. How bad do you want to be amazing? There really is no limit as to how long you can or should practice a day. Eric Clapton practiced literally 8+ every day. There's no secret as to how he got to where he is.

But just be aware, as AtomicBirdy mentioned, you don't want to overdo yourself at the same time and risk an injury. Also, keep in mind the mental burn out you could face by pushing yourself so hard and so consistently. I know it doesn't feel like it now, but it's not uncommon for playing guitar starts to feel like work. And you don't want that to happen, but if it does, just take a break for a few days or a week and let your desire manifest itself again.

My advice to you would be to identify all of your favorite inspirations, as well as your grandfather's as I assume you value his opinions. Then look at those inspirations and study them very closely. Look up their interviews, watch them perform in videos, buy their dvds, search for lessons or instruction tools they've released. Take all of that information, develop your skills and then construct your own style of playing out it.

In terms of learning the fretboard, I have actually found a game that has helped me a lot. It's a browser-based game called Fretboard Master. You can check it out here:


Lastly, just know that there's no miracle fix for developing guitar playing skill, bro. It comes with time and you have to put the work in. Just stay hungry, push yourself and it'll come.


how useful is that fretboard game? i beat the master level with half the time left on the first attempt and i dont really know the fretboard well at all. I just used the octave shapes to work out the answers quickly but i wouldnt be able to do that when im actually playing.
#8
Quote by knutjob
how useful is that fretboard game? i beat the master level with half the time left on the first attempt and i dont really know the fretboard well at all. I just used the octave shapes to work out the answers quickly but i wouldnt be able to do that when im actually playing.


Well if that's really the case (I'm not saying you're lying), then I think you're probably better with the fretboard than you really think. I think we as musicians will a lot of the time view our own progress differently than others. We may not think we're at an adequate level, at least the level we want to be at, but we've really developed more than we've noticed or that we give ourselves credit for.

I found the 'Name the Note' game helps me a lot more than the 'Find the Note' game. I think mainly because 'Name the Note' forces you to move over the entire neck (depending on the difficulty you select) whereas 'Find the Note' can be played without moving very far out of the same block of notes. Does that make sense?

If you find you're having a hard time applying your skill on the game to your frets on your guitar, then what you can do is take the game's concept and apply the same idea in a real-world context. In other words, play the game the same way, but with your actual guitar. You can have someone grab a stop watch, name notes (and separate them into octaves so you know specifically where they're talking about, e.g. "middle C", etc.) and you can point them out and tally points up for right answers.

Alternatively, if you don't have someone to help, you can use a stop watch and flash cards. Flip them over as you get them right and leave the one's you get wrong up. Tally the points once you're done.

And lastly, the main (and probably the most challenging) thing that I do, is just to genuinely pay attention to the notes that I'm playing when I practice. It takes a while to develop a habit, but once you break out of just mindlessly playing exercises without understanding what notes you're actually playing, then things start to get a lot easier. At least they did for me.

Try these ideas out and see if you notice any improvements.
Danny L. Small
Guitarist/Teacher/Composer




#9
I'd also check out Jamorama.com, they have some of the best reviews and most users on the web. I've never used it though so can't say from experience.