#1
Hi there!

Well, I have been teaching myself to play electric guitar since 2009. I love heavy metal and rock music, and I covered several songs from some of my favorite bands, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Judas Priest, Kreator, etc., by myself (mostly the rhythm).

Anyway, lately I have been loaded down with college work, job, etc. and I just cannot find time for guitar practice like I used to before. Also, I am having a tough time finding songs I would want to sit down and learn fully, and which would be appropriate for my level (not too tough, nor too easy). The songs I pick up do not seem interesting enough after a while, or I find they extensively use a technique I cannot do yet (super-fast downpicking, tapping, sweep picking, etc).

Well, I would say I haven't been able to practice guitar properly for the past 2 months (since college began and I got my job), and whenever I pick up the guitar these days, little things such as holding the pick, placing the guitar on my legs, etc, seem "foreign" (but they all come back to me once I play for sometime). I am kind of worried; is it possible to "forget" guitar playing?

Before I employed a "learning songs" approach to teaching myself guitar, where learning and covering songs were my primary method to learn guitar. I would practice a riff I cannot do for a long time, over many days, with a metronome, and would later see improvements. I did use to practice scales and different exercises, but learning songs were the main goals. However, these days I am thinking of taking up a "practice" based approach, where the primary focus will be on "keeping up my skills". I will maintain a good level of skills by practicing a set amount of techniques whenever I get time to play, and covering/learning others' music will be secondary (seeing I can't find songs to learn).

What are some techniques, skills and exercises I can practice regularly, for heavy metal/hard rock music, and for both rhythm and lead guitar? I always practice the 3 note per string pattern with both alternate and economy picking, whenever I play. What are some similar exercises rock/metal self-taught players should practice often, to ensure they "keep up" or maybe build on their rhythm/lead skills?

Any advice would be welcome. Sorry for the essay.
#2
I was a vacation in Greece for 2 weeks, without any guitarplaying at all.
When I picked up my guitar when I got home, I was rustier than ever.
Proably because I play alot, and a long break feels wierd to me.
Considering your self-taught, you might want to get into music theory. It is really good for anyone's playing, and it helped me alot as well.
For your technique, just practice what you find difficult.
#3
It's very possible to get rusty in your guitar playing. I feel rusty if I don't practice for one day, and I don't like that, so I practice every day!

Even if you can just put in 5 min a day, that's much better than nothing!
#4
Such a post definitively deserves a better answer.
Will get back to you in a couple hours, i think i have good advice for you man
Im always friggin kicking university and my job in the butt to get my 7 hours a day. (its doable with good planing, a perfectly structured routine and some sacrifices)
#5
i've been teaching myself guitar for 3 or 4 years, and i severelly lack music theory, i'm buying a couple of completely amateur dvd's this week so i can finally start to learn it.
try starting to learn theory as soon as possible, cause "we" selftaught players are usually very lazy in that aspect :P
i can play shitloads of songs, my techquines are ok-ish, but my knowledge about music theory is what leaves me behind in comparison to players that have lessons.


you should try a program for building speed, i've been using it for quite some time, it's guitar speed trainer, pretty cool
Last edited by MyS3lF at Oct 27, 2011,
#6
Quote by MyS3lF
i've been teaching myself guitar for 3 or 4 years, and i severelly lack music theory, i'm buying a couple of completely amateur dvd's this week so i can finally start to learn it.
try starting to learn theory as soon as possible, cause "we" selftaught players are usually very lazy in that aspect :P
i can play shitloads of songs, my techquines are ok-ish, but my knowledge about music theory is what leaves me behind in comparison to players that have lessons.


you should try a program for building speed, i've been using it for quite some time, it's guitar speed trainer, pretty cool


Thanks for reminding me. I will try that now!


Keep suggestions coming folks!!
#7
Triplets, sixteenth, basically every right hand patterns,chords(for the strange intros), pull-offs(which I find really useful in Thrash), coordination between fingers and hand(fos solos. Don't start on the Racer X stuff yet.) and PINCH HARMONICS. maybe more but that's the basics.
#8
If you want more free time for guitar, do these things:

Plan your day first. Think, this times for essays, this time for guitar, and stick to it.

When you practice, you dont have to practice every thing for ages. A picking excercise done constantly with out day dreaming for 5 minutes can be big thing. Literally set a timer for 5 minutes and promise yourself you will only do that exercise until the timer beeps. This will get you practicing more efficiently.

When your at college, if you have a free hour or even 5 minutes dont waste it sitting around. do some work, then you have less to do at home. If a teachers says work on your essay in this hour lesson, work on it mega style.
#9
mm mine may sound very unoriginal or just may not work for every1 but i just listen to music whenever and then when i see a song i like i go find a tab for it and play through it if i got the time, if no tab i TRY by ear, not a fan of it but whatever maybe if i practiced it more i wouldnt mind it XD but when i have very little time, like now when i should be getting up at 4:30AM not staying up i just pick up my guitar and play last song i was wroking on for about 2 minutes, the 2 minutes does help because even then im getting some muscle memory in
#10
Alternate picking would be a good thing to practice
PRS SE Custom 24 w/ Seymour Duncan JB and Jazz Pickups
Squire Classic Vibe Stratocaster

Digitech Bad Monkey

Pignose 7100 Legendary Amplifyer