#1
So I've been hiding behind the label of rhythm guitarist for quite a while to shirk practicing scales and such. For some reason, though, I suddenly want to be able to play lead because I feel cheap in a band where all I do 90 % of the time is play power chords in Drop D. :| With that in mind I've been practicing scales lately and I was wondering how important alternate picking is overall. Also, I wondered how much time you recommend devoting to practicing scales everyday. And how many repetitions o a scale at a time, etc.

Hope that wasn't too cluttered for you to get what I'm asking! Thanks in advance!
Ibanez GRG170DX
Line 6 Spider IV 15
#2
How long have you been playing? Alternate picking is a pretty essential part of playing guitar. If you wanna play lead on any level you'll need to alternate pick. As for practicing scales practice every day, or every other day, until they become second nature. Soon it'll be integrated into your playing, and you'll sound just fine.
#3
Go to justinguitar.com .... Trust me, you will not regret it.
Dom, look... I Caught a PWOPER fish
#4
yea like kasch said you should be alternate picking almost all the time, except for simple powerchord chugging chugging. if you wanna do any riffery at all you're gonna need to alternate pick to some extent. and on scales, theyre good because they let you practice theory and picking at the same time, but you should work other exercises in there too. talk to your lead player about trading leads wherever you feel comfortable, or even adding some musical dynamics to your rhythm playing will get the ball rolling
#5
I think I would go as far as saying alternate picking is absolutely essential. As far as practice time goes just make sure you don't get burnt out ;D
#6
I found learning the 7 modes (the different patterns of the scale within the fretboard) of the major scale to be invaluable -- especially for rock music. If you can memorize all 7 modes of the major scale, you'll be surprised just how much application it has. The trick after learning those scales is to be able to break out of the monotonous "up the scale, down the scale" syndrome and utilize that knowledge creatively. I credit my knowledge of modes to Rusty Cooley and his Fretboard Autopsy dvds, go ahead and check that out if you want. Obviously, learning the pentatonic scale and it's positions is immensely beneficial. Again, I think you'll be surprised how all your favorite riffs or solos fit into these scales.

If you play a lot of metal, I'd suggest learning the 7 modes of the Harmonic Minor scale. It definitely sounds metal! Just listen to Jeff Loomis, he uses it like its his job.

Alternate picking is also incredibly beneficial. I can't really comment on whether economy picking is better than alternate picking because tons of great players utilize one or the other, or both. Jeff Loomis loves economy picking, but Paul Gilbert is all about alternate picking. I use alternate picking because I feel that it helps me stay in time better. Up-down all day!

Its ironic actually, I've been trying to work on my toolbox of rhythms because I always found rhythm playing to be boring in comparison to lead playing; however, I suffered greatly with rhythm problems for a long time because I didn't have a solid foundation in rhythm. I think since you have rhythm playing down well, you'll find lead playing a bit easier.

To help learn these scales, its crucial that once you learn which notes to play that you use a metronome. I neglected metronomes forever out of stubbornness and an ego, but I eventually realized its an essential learning tool. Just start out slow (I'd recommend using alternate picking) at like 60 bpm. Once that's easy, boost it up to 70 or 80. If that's too much and you can't make it through, ease off and try it at 65 or 70, respectively. The idea here is you are challenging yourself the entire time, but you're still able to at least make it through in a mildly clean manner. Then repeat! Once that's easy increase the bpm etc...

Hope that helps! I'm sure other's here will have different suggestions that probably also work, but that's what has worked for me.
Last edited by DrButterfunk at May 19, 2011,
#7
What you're describing has nothing to do with modes, you're just talking about learning to play the major scale.

The rests of it's pretty good advice, you're just mistaken in your understanding of the term "modes".
Actually called Mark!

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#8
Steven's right, I didn't explain that very well. A mode is really just starting and ending a scale (lets use the major scale) with a different note of that scale. I was describing how I envision it when I play.
#9
Wow! Thanks for all the advice everyone!

...and yeah...I'll stick to it - even though it's irritating at the moment :|
Ibanez GRG170DX
Line 6 Spider IV 15
#10
Hey can anyone help me with this, what is it called when you slide your righthand up and down the strings near the pickups and your other hand is like fretting somthing near the nut and it makes like a clinking sound. I've seen Eddy Van Halen do this but mainly it's metal guitar players i see do this, like i think Zakk Wylde and I know Gus G the new guitar player for Ozzy does it. If you still don't know what i'm talkin about Gus G does it at the beginning of the solo in Ozzy - "Let Me Hear You Scream". Really appreciated if you can help with this one, can't figure how it's done and can't figure out what the name of that is. thanks.
#11
Quote by DrButterfunk
Steven's right, I didn't explain that very well. A mode is really just starting and ending a scale (lets use the major scale) with a different note of that scale. I was describing how I envision it when I play.

Dude, that's not what modes are either - but that's not really what the thread's about so I should really stop derailing it.

Like I said, nothing wrong with your advice, you were just a little off with your terminology.
Actually called Mark!

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