#1
Hey guys, I'm looking for some tips, since I didn't make much progress in guitar playing last 4 months. I'm a huge fan of guitar players like Steve Lukather (Toto) and Buck Dharma (Blue Öyster Cult).

I can play some songs like Toto's Hold The Line, Goodbye Elenore, BÖC's Don't Fear The Reaper and stuff like that (including solos). I also play some Santana and Metallica.

I have the following problems:
1. As I already mentioned, I succeeded in learning some difficult songs from Steve Lukather but I still have problems with fast shredding that Steve Lukather does in lots of songs like White Sister and lots of his solo stuff (fusion, rock, funk). Overall I am a very sloppy shredder that learned shredding without metronome (due to finding learning with metronome annoying). I basically learned shredding by forcing myself to high speeds. How do I force myself to play with metronome and not get annoyed by it? I want to become a precise and fast shredder with taste.

2. By learning some Luke songs I started to get some idea, what his playing style is like (wide vibrato, fast shredding, emotional solos, lots of different techniques) , but I still don't know what to practice, learn, to start getting as good as him.
I basically want you guys to tell me, which scales I should learn, what to practice to achieve same skill as both of these two guitar players sometime in my lifetime (lol).
Some kind of a daily program would be great.

Let me just tell you that I don't want to be Steve Lukather or Buck Dharma by any means. I am just a huge fan of their styles of playing. I want to combine my own style with their. So where should I start ?

Thanks for further help.

P.S: I don't know music theory, but I have motivation to learn it in future.
Last edited by Pepc619 at Dec 13, 2011,
#2
You're inspired - that's very good source of motivation and drive.

If you want to shred, I would focus on 2-hand synchronization exercises played with metronome. If you find metronome very annoying, you can mix it with percussive samples. But remember not to use them all the time instead of metronome.

To improvise well you really need to develop your ear. As your aural skills get better, your improvisation will naturally improve.

It is worth learning theory - that's another good tool for improvisation. Another great tool for improvising are scales. But remember - it's just a tool.

I see it this way: the foundation to being a good improviser is is always your ear. After that, you add tools like theory, scales etc.

And also very important - if you're sloppy - remember to slow down! You need to develop a proper muscle memory to clean your playing.
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Neal Wakefield
#3
Yes I know. Music theory is a big part of Steve Lukather. Buck Dharma is also an amazing guitarist and very underrated. Buck Dharma is known for using mixolydian mode, phrygian scales and he dared to get out of the pentatonic blues scale which most 70s guitarists kept using.

It would be very helpful if somebody would help me a bit and tell me, which scales are the most used by Steve Lukather, even tho he pretty much uses all possible scales lol. I've seen him play live with Toto and he is amazing performer. He simply knows how should solo in a certain song sound like and he never misses a note.

Unfortunately time doesn't let me learn theory right now, there are so many other things. It would be much easier for me atm to learn scales or something.
Last edited by Pepc619 at Dec 13, 2011,
#4
Quote by Pepc619
Yes I know. Music theory is a big part of Steve Lukather. Buck Dharma is also an amazing guitarist and very underrated. Buck Dharma is known for using mixolydian mode, phrygian scales and he dared to get out of the pentatonic blues scale which most 70s guitarists kept using.

It would be very helpful if somebody would help me a bit and tell me, which scales are the most used by Steve Lukather, even tho he pretty much uses all possible scales lol. I've seen him play live with Toto and he is amazing performer. He simply knows how should solo in a certain song sound like and he never misses a note.

Unfortunately time doesn't let me learn theory right now, there are so many other things. It would be much easier for me atm to learn scales or something.


Start with the major and minor scales. Once you know them, it's easy to view all other scales as slight modifications of those scales.
#5
Quote by Pepc619

It would be very helpful if somebody would help me a bit and tell me, which scales are the most used by Steve Lukather, even tho he pretty much uses all possible scales lol.


Pepc619, you actually answered your question yourself

I suggest you follow this path:

- Make sure you keep balance between practicing your technique, aural skills and theory.
- Learning scales is useful thing but remember to rely on your ears, not your eyes/learned finger patterns blindly. Undeveloped aural skills are very often the main factor preserving from further development of improvisation skills.
- Learn scales but also learn the theory behind them at the same time. While you're playing them - sing the notes that you play. It's one way to develop your aural skills.
- While you improvise - also sing along. You may use some variations of that - for example: play a phrase first and then repeat it just with your voice. Or in the opposite order - first sing, and then play the same notes.

When you connect above exercises with theoretical knowledge of scales you will understand all modes in a more natural way.

You may also want to find a good teacher and inspire you and boost your progress for sure.

Good luck, keep being motivated and positive!
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Neal Wakefield
#6
Neal Wakefield, these are awesome tips. Will definitely try it out.
Well, I'm not ''play by scale'' guy anyway. I try to improvise all the time.
#7
Quote by Pepc619
Neal Wakefield, these are awesome tips. Will definitely try it out.
Well, I'm not ''play by scale'' guy anyway. I try to improvise all the time.


Glad to hear that, hope it helps. Good luck and keep us updated on your progress in the future within this topic.

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Neal Wakefield