I'm looking for some advice on becoming a better guitar player and musician.

I've almost always played rhythm guitar, but I'd like to improve in my lead playing so I could potentially become the lead guitar player in a band some day, play and write solos and riffs on my own.
I also play bass, but not as long as I've played guitar. I find that playing stuff I hear in my head are easier on bass, but I'd like to be able to do the same thing on the guitar.

I want to become better at improvising, so I could maybe just sit and jam on my own instead of playing riffs from other songs and such when I do play.
I also want to be better at transcribing what I hear in my head and apply it to the guitar.

I started to play in 2009, and my main influences on my guitar playing are James Hetfield, Dave Mustaine, Adrian Smith and Tony Iommi.

TL;DR: I want to become a better guitar player, bass player and musician.
Quote by Kill A Kitten
You know that old saying: "Men who play bass in the band have the largest genitalia." Well, it's the same for women.

^ok joke... Get a really good guitar teacher, i learned amazing things from my teacher.
Quote by lukas1324

^ok joke... Get a really good guitar teacher, i learned amazing things from my teacher.

I've had a guitar teacher and I'm not really sure that's the right way for me, doesn't really have much time for one either right now.
Quote by Kill A Kitten
You know that old saying: "Men who play bass in the band have the largest genitalia." Well, it's the same for women.
Jam with some friends, Playing with other people significantly boosts your skill within a short period of time.

Improvise using some backing tracks, they can be found on youtube. I found this backing track rather helpful....

Also, learn the major, minor and pentatonic scales. Then after learning those you could go for the harmonic minor and melodic minor scale.

Hope This Helped,
if you want to write songs then write songs. this is very helpful and gives your playing some direction. the worst mistake that beginning songwriters make is feeling that if there song isn't the next Master of Puppets or Iron Man then it's no good. start simple and work your way up.

playing leads takes time and once again start simple and then make them more complex as you gain more confidence. confidence is the key and not worrying about whether what you are doing is "good enough". keep at it and i time you will surise yourself.
I found a book that is really amazing, its name is The Guitar Bible, it come with a DVD and a CD, the format and the lessons are focuses ti lead guitar.
about a year or 2 back i was in a similar position, i decided to try improvisation and kept working on that which forced me to learn more scales new licks and memorize/learn the fretboard better. especially if you want to be lead guitar in a band and write leads, learn to improv

EDIT: i play guitar in a band now, but im not lead or rhythym necessarily, me and the other guitarist do both. but its also improved my writing in general too even for writing riffs and such
Last edited by Seanthesheep at Aug 16, 2011,
To improve as a guitar player and musician there are quite many things you need to work on, i can count up a few of the top of my head.

Study theory, it´ll get you a long way. Study all aspects of it (well there is much, but study many things). Learn to read sheet music, learn intervals, learn wich chords resolves best with wich.

Learn songs you like, this will give you good inspiration.

Give other music genres a shot, don't be like most young metal players (nothing wrong with being a metal player, i am aswell) and think that it has to be metal to be good.

Study and learn techniques, and learn them good. You know all? String skipping? Sweeping? Tapping?

Practice correctly. (IMPORTANT!) Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.

Learn some of the common scales. Major, minor, diminished, Harmonic minor and melodic minor.

Train your ears, it´ll help you.

Practice difficult passages with a metronome. (You may practice everything with a metronome, but i don't think it is needed).

Practicing timing. Can you hit notes on all beats? (Check out this vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Sw_trDFJw8&list=FLLC2UnqE_RRM&index=8)

Theory site: http://www.musictheory.net/
Ear training : http://musiclearningtools.net/
Last edited by Sickz at Aug 16, 2011,
Get a good teacher if you can.

Otherwise, there are some really good books on rock lead guitar (Troy Stetina's series is quite popular, I have his 'Speed Mechanics' book which is quite good). These sorts of books will give you practical exercises, a decent understanding of theory ideas behind soloing etc...

One of the best things you can do (and they way most of us start) is to learn some easy rock solos from your favourite songs.

Based on your influences, here are a few suggestions:

- 'Enter Sandman' Metallica
- 'The Unforgiven' Metallica
- 'Paranoid' Black Sabbath
- 'War Pigs' Black Sabbath

But don't feel you have to go with my recommendations, just choose solos you like and learn them (by ear, from tabs, from youtube vids, from friends etc...).

Good luck!

For starters:

Be able to play major/minor/diminished[7]/augmented 5 string sweeps
All the diatonic scales

At 160ish [16ths] and you should be in some kind of shape.

Then make sure you have awesome vibrato/in tune bending, that's most important.

This is only for helping you become a better guitar player... and it's really generic, and assuming you're only doing metal. There's so much more I could tell you on that, but at least with the above you'll be able to make some slower end solos and cover most bands.
It's spelled wiener.
All of the above is good advice - but don't rule out getting a teacher. Just because it didn't work out last time, maybe it just meant you had the wrong teacher. Find a different one, and don't be afraid to ask them questions about their style & influences, if you can find one with the same influences as you it will help a lot.

Also, don't use not having the time for it as an excuse. If you have time to practice, you can use some of this time for a lesson - it doesn't even have to be weekly, fortnightly or monthly would still be useful and would keep you heading in the right direction.

The biggest thing you can do though is practice, practice, practice.
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