So i havent been playing for very long, a little over 4 years now i believe. Having been self tought has created a lot of problems. People that have been playing for 10 years will sometimes think that I am better than them. I know that this is not true, I only seem better because I, on accident, put all my eggs into one basket. I listen mostly to metal/ deathmetal/ deathcore, that is what my bands genre is, and that is bassically all i can play. I am as good as I am from studying other musicians technique, songs, and writing style. I know the most basic techniques including picking, fingering, and all the harmonics, bends, legato and all that jazz; but then I also have learned things that are extremely technical.

Now that I have given the background heres my problem, which im sure many others have as well. There is a pretty big gap between the extremely basic techniques I know and the extremely technical things I know of missing knowledge, principles and techniques that I dont know, and it really shows in my playing. I really want to learn those things but I dont know what they are, where to learn them, or what to do about it. When I try and look I always am given the extremely basic things that I already know.

Anyone have any ideas?
Maybe you need to increase your knowledge of the fretboard and scales. If your good on that, then maybe try learning music and how the scales work. I'm not talking about theory, but basic music knowledge. Make sure to always practice good technique....no exceptions. Practice with a metronome....scales, downstrokes....start slow enough that you can execute perfectly and then speed up. This was huge for me. I noticed a difference in week when I started using a metronome.
Yeah I keep seeing people talk about FretPro. I'm deffinitely considering the purchase. With out being able to just know the note on whatever fret makes learning scales a little difficult; not knowng scales makes everything difficult.

I know one scale (phrygian dominent/ spanish gypsy) by just memorizing which frets to use, not perfectly, but i still don't know how to use it for leads/ solos or anything high up on the fret board. What must I do to be able to learn to use the scales after I memorize them?
Believe it or not, you’re in an enviable situation.

You’re asking what you need to do to be able to use your scales – you’ve been using them all along!

Remember that music theory is a way of describing what you’re playing – it’s not something that should dictate what you play.

You’ve been playing for 4 year and are supposedly good. I assume that means that you can make sounds come out of your guitar that sound good to the ear. If this assumption is correct, then music theory will tell you WHY what you play sounds good. It can give you hints at how to make your playing sound better by giving you more options etc. as well.

You probably instinctively know a ton of theory but just don’t know how to describe it. I think by simply taking 1 hour to read up on note names and their positions on the fretboard you’ll be miles ahead of most people. Obviously it’ll take a while to sink in.

I say you’re in an enviable situation as most people, myself included, pick up guitar and start pouring through information. They come to things like the “pentatonic shapes, major scale shapes, modes etc” and memorize their positions on the fretboards without actually know what they mean in terms of sound. This causes the problem of the scale playing you rather than the other way around. If I’m jamming in a key, I’ll most likely resort to muscle memory, which I have due to practicing scales, as my ear isn’t trained well enough to know what sound I want to produce. You on the other hand should know what sound you want to produce and can let theory give you an option of where to produce that sound (or give you ideas on how to make more interesting sounds etc.)

Keep on keepin’ on and you’ll get there!
Learning the fretboard is huge. Work on learning every note on the fretboard. Start with the first three frets. Go down and up the strings naming every note in the first fret, second fret, third fret. The goal is to be able to eventually be able name every note on the fretboard in under 30 seconds.

As far as scales, there is no easy tricks to remembering, but there are better ways to practice and learn. Start with the scales that you already know and like and learn them in EVERY position, every key, top to bottom - bottom to top. After you get good at the ones you like and you find out what works for you as far as learning and retaining, do the same thing with the major and minor scales.

What you're going through is pretty common amongst self-taught players. You kind of hit a wall, recognize that there are gaps, but don't know how to identify the gaps in order to fix them. Have you conidered taking lessons? You'll advance much more quickly if you do.

Always, always, always practice with good technique. It will come back to haunt you if you don't.
Last edited by bonekrusha27 at Dec 6, 2011,