Practice what you want to practice. If incorporating arpeggios into your phrasing/songwriting is one of your goals then make it a priority. You should also be practicing an hour everyday at least.

It also seems that you want to learn music theory. www.musictheory.net

Any rock guitar should suite you well with a good amp.
You don't need a 4 track recorder to improve your skills, you need motivation from inspiration from music. Just listen to more music, preferably with harmonising guitar parts which should inspire and help you.


Ibanez RG2550Z/SRX430
Alesis Core 1

I'm a student. I've got no time or space for an amp!
Learning harmonization would be a good start. Have you ever considered taking lessons in Music Theory?

Especially if you want to use music theory. To be honest, I dont hear much of specific theory in the examples, I hear smart examples of outside notes and the band creating slight bits of tension in their music.

From a theory standpoint, it would allow one to analyse this and break down the outside notes etc, and know inside notes and the "color" notes that give it interest and depth.

Also check out Mike Dodges website, for theory; he has a lot of free music lessons, and is solid.


Read this first (it is FREE) :


You will learn about the guitar learning process and also learn about the metronome and the rhythm and a lot of other things.

Just read the description.

As for arpeggios i have 2 articles especially designed to fix this problem:


Well, that's your starting point then - there's no point practising arpeggios or trying to create a wall of harmony guitar till you can do that.

Basically, almost all riffs are built off of scales - so, riffs in "E minor" tend to use only the notes of E minor - E F# G A B C and D.

If you want to harmonise something in thirds, you take each note you want to harmonise and add the note 2 higher from the scale - so an E would be harmonised by a G, an F# by an A and so on. This is the most common type of harmony by far.

This could be either three frets or four frets higher, so if you can't crunch the theory just do it by ear and guesswork. You'll probably need time and experimentation to start spotting the scales each riff is based on and to quickly come up with a harmony, but it's not magic. If a student gives me a riff I can usually just play the harmony on the first attempt - good scale knowledge and fretboard knowledge = super awesome harmonies easy mode.

Obviously you need to learn your notes on the fretboard if you haven't already.
Quote by Hive_Node
now I'm moving on to learning about Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, etc.

Oh dear.
Quote by Hive_Node
Wow you guys helped me a crapload! I learned all about harmonies, and now I'm moving on to learning about Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, etc. scales and keys and stuff! It's coming on pretty fast since I've been playing for four year, but dang, it makes me realize what a waste that guitar teacher was.

Rock on.

Learned? Great... harmonize a B with a Major 3rd, do you know the note?

What's a Major 6th from A?

Yeah man, for some reason I don't think you're looking in that good of shape right now, if you think you've "learned" anything, but good luck to you. If I were diagnosing you, and being straight with you, you're moving too fast, you cant just breeze through, and most of that speed/haste is going to result with you spinning your wheels and not going much further, until you realize this.


Quote by Hive_Node
and now I'm moving on to learning about Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, etc.

If you're just learning about intervals and basic theory now, don't bother with modes for a while.
Quote by Hive_Node

What kind of equipment could I use to personally build my skills with this? A 4-track recorder?

Most computers can now record music pretty easily, if you have an input - and there are lots of ways to plug an electric guitar into your computer.

If you're on a Mac, use garageband. I don't know what a good PC equivalent is but I'm sure there are reasonable and cheap options available.