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#1
Ok, just for fun... what song(s) are you working on right now? I'm on a Megadeth kick right now and for me it's Sweating Bullets, Psychotron, and Angry Again...

Also, I think I've resigned myself to being a rythym guitarist. I have no problem with most rythyms, but my lead technique sucks! Anyone know any good exercises to help me improve? And please don't say "practice, practice, practice..." I do... at least an hour every day (usually more!)

Cheers!
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Last edited by RiffRaff61 at Feb 12, 2012,
#2
What songs..?

What makes you think you need to learn songs to progress? I'm writing my own material, and I'm making it hard and practicing on my own stuff. That way you practice not only improvisation and songwriting(2 of MOST important things a musician must be able to do), but also technique.
#3
what I'm working on is that fast passage in the Sweet Child solo. Other than that, I'm not really working on any other songs.
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#4
I'm working on Altitudes by Jason Becker. I'm doing it by ear and I'm 1/4 of the way there. I have slacked off a little though and not put much time into doing it. Besides that, I just do some excerises to help my fingers and rock out to Rush, Ozzy, Motley Crue, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Lynch Mob, and then try and jam to the radio if I have the time.

The best excerises are the ones you create that isolate your problem. A teacher could help you with this. Are you having problems switching strings? Is it picking wise? Or are you just focused of the speed of your playing? The best thing is to practice what you have a problem on and do it slow!

The key to playing fast, is to play slow.

Cheers,
Xter
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#5
working on some Hinder right now. Might try to master some Cash later on my acoustic. Women love acoustic Cash lol
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#6
Quote by Xter
I'm working on Altitudes by Jason Becker. I'm doing it by ear and I'm 1/4 of the way there. I have slacked off a little though and not put much time into doing it. Besides that, I just do some excerises to help my fingers and rock out to Rush, Ozzy, Motley Crue, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Lynch Mob, and then try and jam to the radio if I have the time.

The best excerises are the ones you create that isolate your problem. A teacher could help you with this. Are you having problems switching strings? Is it picking wise? Or are you just focused of the speed of your playing? The best thing is to practice what you have a problem on and do it slow!

The key to playing fast, is to play slow.

Cheers,
Xter


Absolutely not, you should practice at a speed at which you can control every single action and play cleanly, be that 20bpm or 360bpm.

And even that isn't always enough. If you never take it out of your comfort(slow) zone, how do you expect to master hard stuff?
Last edited by Orryn at Feb 12, 2012,
#7
Quote by Orryn
What makes you think you need to learn songs to progress?


Because songs contain stuff that we can aspire to...like like tapping , for instance. And if a song is well composed you can pick up stuff to use for yourself to use in your own compositions.


Right now, I'm not really learning anything. I started to relearn how to play Aerosmith's "Dream On". I just need to clean up the short soleys in the middle of the song. Other than that, I'm just going back through my classical guitar pieces because I haven't practiced properly for like a month
#8
Quote by Orryn
Absolutely not, you should practice at a speed at which you can control every single action and play cleanly, be that 20bpm or 360bpm.

And even that isn't always enough. If you never take it out of your comfort(slow) zone, how do you expect to master hard stuff?


That is absolutely how you should practice. Don't argue with me on this one. When you practice slow, you engrave those actions into your muscule memory. After you can play it perfectly at a set tempo then you should bump it up a few BPM. This is how you can play extremely fast, and accurate with definition to every note.

You shouldn't just practice something at 200 BPM then revert to 40 BPM thinking it'll help. That engraves ERRORS into your muscule memory which is very diffcult to work out later when you get faster. Everything you play should be relaxed. If you are straining to play something fast, you have to much tension which leads to a very serious injury.
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Last edited by Xter at Feb 12, 2012,
#9
Right now I'm working on tabbing out More Bells And Whistles. As for songs I'm learning, I'm working on Paul Gilbert's Gilberto Concerto.
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#10
I'm revisiting the solo for Dazed and Confused. I learned it by ear a couple of months ago, and having progressed, realized that I have had a few parts wrong. Also, I'm trying to find out how to get a Holdsworth kind of tone, but I'm starting to think that it's mostly just having a clean tone and really, really quiet hands.
#11
Quote by Xter
That is absolutely how you should practice. Don't argue with me on this one. When you practice slow, you engrave those actions into your muscule memory. After you can play it perfectly at a set tempo then you should bump it up a few BPM. This is how you can play extremely fast, and accurate with definition to every note.

You shouldn't just practice something at 200 BPM then revert to 40 BPM thinking it'll help. That engraves ERRORS into your muscule memory which is very diffcult to work out later when you get faster. Everything you play should be relaxed. If you are straining to play something fast, you have to much tension which leads to a very serious injury.


I'm guessing you didn't read my post.
#12
Into the Pit by Testament, Warriors of Ice by Voivod, Agent orange by Sodom, Out of the Body by Pestilence, and just finished Turne inside out by Obituary

A few covers we'll be throwing into our live set, rhythmically these songs are great to practice, if death/thrash is your buzz
#13
Breaking all Illusions by Dream Theater. It's freaking insane to memorize; because you have to memorize all time changes (4/4 to 7/8, etc. etc.) and get used to all those beats.

I like challenges
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#14
Quote by Orryn
I'm guessing you didn't read my post.


You didn't read mine then.

Read and notice how I shot down your theory of getting out of your "comfort" zone. You should always play in your "comfort" zone. That is where you are relaxed competely as you play.
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#15
Scarified by Racer X.

Finally getting the main riff to a decent speed with alternate picking.
The arpeggio section is crazy. I can play it slow but speeding it up just a little makes an unbelievable amount of unwanted noise...

The main riff really put me in a crappy mood a few weeks ago because I was certain I couldn't do it.
I've almost got it completely down now so I'm sure that the 'practice makes perfect' theory will work with the arpeggio section
#16
learning scarified. tbh im just working on playing Lydian, and learning some lydian based songs.

but for the most part im taking it slow, im just coming out of bad tendonitis.
#17
The solo to Beast and the Harlot, the fast part..
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#18
Quote by Orryn
I'm guessing you didn't read my post.


You will be wasting your precious time by playing it fast..
ive documented it countless times..

Plan A) what XTER said, you play insanely slow (even retardedly slow) and voila.
Almost magically you can easily bump it from 30bpm to 200+ no hassles requiered.. should any problem arise you go back to turtle speed and work on it.

Plan B) You push yourself at high speeds.. you work through it.. etc etc..
it will work.. you will probably get some bad habits along the way but even if you dont it takes way longer to get it down. around 2-3x longer as A). The more boneheaded you are the longer you spend wasting precious time by practicing mistakes over and over..

And Dont use Shawn Lane as an example, he is obviously the exception not the norm and he was way too advanced when he started doing the Speed first clean up later thingy. (and still he didnt do it like that all the time)

Its up to you what you do with your time.
B is a waste of time.
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Last edited by Slashiepie at Feb 12, 2012,
#19
Quote by Slashiepie
You will be wasting your precious time by playing it fast..
ive documented it countless times..

Plan A) what XTER said, you play insanely slow (even retardedly slow) and voila.
Almost magically you can easily bump it from 30bpm to 200+ no hassles requiered.. should any problem arise you go back to turtle speed and work on it.

Plan B) You push yourself at high speeds.. you work through it.. etc etc..
it will work.. you will probably get some bad habits along the way but even if you dont it takes way longer to get it down. around 2-3x longer as A). The more boneheaded you are the longer you spend wasting precious time by practicing mistakes over and over..

And Dont use Shawn Lane as an example, he is obviously the exception not the norm and he was way too advanced when he started doing the Speed first clean up later thingy. (and still he didnt do it like that all the time)

Its up to you what you do with your time.
B is a waste of time.



WAIT...youve got to be shitting me????? im a beginner learning my 1st song,its played at 95 bpm...your tellin me i play it at 40 bpm and play it exactly right and il just be able to bump it up to 95 after a while??

suely not!!???
#20
Im working on the trooper by Iron Maiden, D.M.C., variations of the blues scale, and the major scale.
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#21
Quote by wld-kid
WAIT...youve got to be shitting me????? im a beginner learning my 1st song,its played at 95 bpm...your tellin me i play it at 40 bpm and play it exactly right and il just be able to bump it up to 95 after a while??

suely not!!???



yeah! thats how most people do it. if a song is at 'X' bpm, then they lower it to a speed that is playable for them and practice that for like a month until it becomes muscle memory. you'll find that because its muscle memory at a much lower speed, reaching a higher speed will be a lot easier, and a lot less sloppy.

although shawn lane did that whole, 'k ill just play it at 8 times the normal speed and clean it up' thing, he also made a good point about this method. he said that if you play it on a low speed for too long, you become locked into the mindset of playing it slow. he said to break up this pattern, at some points increase the speed to something you can't play, then back it off a little. john petrucci said the same thing.

this method is probably the best method for learning songs.
Last edited by Marshmelllow at Feb 12, 2012,
#22
I'm currently working on Heather's Song by Andy McKee, playing it in standard and it still sounds awesome.
#23
Mostly my phrasing right now. I'm at a point where, for now, I'm satisfied with my technical ability. I need to really improve my songwriting, my theory, and my phrasing. I admire solos like Selkies (BTBAM), Dissolution Ritual (Revocation, any given slow section) Retaliator (Scar Symmetry, the first solo), and The Great Debate (Dream Theater) which are not just really well done technically but are just written incredibly well, and I'd like to get to that point.
Last edited by Shotgunmerc at Feb 12, 2012,
#25
Slashiepie: I know that the slow and steady wins, but how long should i practice it at the slow speed? Im working on sweep picking, and i finally got the feeling of the both hands down (What a great feeling that was ) But now i practice it nice at about 50 BPM clean, but i get that burning feeling to speed it up (I think we all get it), luckily i can control it. How long do you think i should keep this speed untill i get it down so well that i can speed it up to around 150 BPM easily? that is 3x the speed, so maybe 3 weeks?
#26
Quote by macashmack
Slashiepie: I know that the slow and steady wins, but how long should i practice it at the slow speed? Im working on sweep picking, and i finally got the feeling of the both hands down (What a great feeling that was ) But now i practice it nice at about 50 BPM clean, but i get that burning feeling to speed it up (I think we all get it), luckily i can control it. How long do you think i should keep this speed untill i get it down so well that i can speed it up to around 150 BPM easily? that is 3x the speed, so maybe 3 weeks?


Well, you should see how well and defined you can play it at 50 BPM. Can you hear every note? Does each note have a meaning? Is the timing correct? And can you play it over and over at 50 BPM consistently?

If the answers are yes to all that, bump it up 5 BPM and repeat the process. If you find you hit a point where you flat line and cannot go faster or are straining to play it, that is your max speed for that day. Practice it 10 BPM slower then that for the rest of your practice time. The next day practice it a few BPM higher then you started. So maybe start about 60-70 BPM and work your way up again. Rinse and repeat.

Remember to just keep it relaxed, that is the key to effortless playing.

Cheers,
Xter
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#27
I get bored of learning songs all the way through(bad I know) so I work on pieces of songs. I've also been improvising a lot lately, which has made me progress much faster than anything else I've done. I'm also doing a bit of song writing as well as challenging myself with some quicker playing and big string skips.
#28
So your saying that i don't need to stay at that speed for an extended period of time? i have always been confused between the "stay slow for 21 days" and "speed up small everyday" arguements. I usually do the latter, but i don't seem to be improving that much, so I want to ttry the former.
#29
Quote by macashmack
So your saying that i don't need to stay at that speed for an extended period of time? i have always been confused between the "stay slow for 21 days" and "speed up small everyday" arguements. I usually do the latter, but i don't seem to be improving that much, so I want to ttry the former.


Everyone is different. Someone might need to stay at 50 BPM for a year, some only 10 minutes. Just depends on your technical level at the time. Just practice it slowly and in time for 5-10 minutes, and if you keep the check list of questions I gave you above and answer yes; You'll want to bump up the tempo a little bit and repeat the process. Be truthiful about your playing! I'm always harsher on my own playing then I was to my students.

The ideal time you'll want to spend at one set tempo is 5-10 minutes of consititent playing. Some players knock it down to 2-3 minutes but they have been playing for a long time and can hone in on everything they do. If you can't play it at the tempo you set, slow it down till you can.
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#30
Quote by macashmack
So your saying that i don't need to stay at that speed for an extended period of time? i have always been confused between the "stay slow for 21 days" and "speed up small everyday" arguements. I usually do the latter, but i don't seem to be improving that much, so I want to ttry the former.


there is no hard and fast rule as to how long you should practice at a certain temp. The basic idea is that if you are trying to master a difficult passage, slow it down to a point where you can play it cleanly and comfortably (staying in time of course). This allows you to hone in on all the little details of the passage that you don't have quite as much time to think about when you are playing at regular speed. In other words, you are creating muscle memory.

as you begin to master the passage at slower tempos, continue speeding it up until you get to the right tempo.

anyways, right now i'm recording scratch tracks to send off to our drummer for practice. We are getting our songs professionally recorded next month. I'm also going through a list of exercises that I found on the forums somewhere. I've been playing almost 8 years now, and I've never really put myself through a legitimate practice routine of exercises.
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#31
Sidewinder by Avenged Sevenfold. Sorta gave up cos the acoustic solo was too difficult for a couple quick licks.

Now mucking around with fade to black by Metallica / learning Modoc by Steve Morse
#32
Quote by wld-kid
WAIT...youve got to be shitting me????? im a beginner learning my 1st song,its played at 95 bpm...your tellin me i play it at 40 bpm and play it exactly right and il just be able to bump it up to 95 after a while??

suely not!!???



yeah thats how it works and thats why some people suck so much they waste too much time and get frustrated, some guys cant even play a passage slow for 10 minutes, yet they want the br00tal shred skills by ripping it for 10 minutes..

The better your technique and your concentration is, the quicker you get over it.
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Last edited by Slashiepie at Feb 13, 2012,
#33
lol.

There are now practice elitists and preachers.

I'm not even going to bother reading that
Last edited by Orryn at Feb 13, 2012,
#34
Quote by Orryn
lol.

There are now practice elitists and preachers.

I'm not even going to bother reading that


lol you did.
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#35
Wow... never intended to start such a heated debate! Actually, I do use the "start slow then speed it up" method for a lot of songs and it does seem to work. Just my two cents.

So let's change it up a little...

Is there one song that you aspire to and if so, what is it? Meaning, if there was one song that, once you could play it well, you would feel "accomplished", what song would it be? I know we're always trying to improve as musicians and there's really no end to how far we'd like to advance our skills... but what's that "one song"?

Mine is Tornado Of Souls by Megadeth (of course!)

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#36
Quote by Slashiepie
lol you did.


I didn't read anything past my post and the reply to it
#37
I'm trying to get to grips with Rolling Man by Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac.

The notes are straightforward but the phrasing and feeling is a bitch!
#38
Quote by RiffRaff61
Ok, just for fun... what song(s) are you working on right now? I'm on a Megadeth kick right now and for me it's Sweating Bullets, Psychotron, and Angry Again...

Also, I think I've resigned myself to being a rythym guitarist. I have no problem with most rythyms, but my lead technique sucks! Anyone know any good exercises to help me improve? And please don't say "practice, practice, practice..." I do... at least an hour every day (usually more!)

Cheers!

Practice Practice Practice!!
I'm working on:: technique technique technique
1 hour a day is ok to learn songs but not long enough to see major improvement in technique push it up to at least three hours and you will start to progress..
Also make diary of what you are practicing then you can see what works for you and what does not..
But this goes up to 11
#39
Quote by Orryn
lol.

There are now practice elitists and preachers.

I'm not even going to bother reading that




Yup, always have been, always will. It's amazing how much excellent advice you can give to people and they never listen. Just keep doing it the hard way. To each their own.

That's ok, you'll just miss out on some information that could help you.

Quote by Orryn
I didn't read anything past my post and the reply to it


Then why did you reply there?
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Last edited by Xter at Feb 13, 2012,
#40
I'm working on "Just Got Paid Today"... The Joe Bonamassa version... It's like 11 minutes long, and because it turns into a medley of old Led Zepplin leads, my artistic license is revoked on this one... It's turning out to be a big challenge and a good learning experience...

ON another note...

There are more practice techniques then there are guitarists... Pick one that works for you.

I play by ear... Back in the day, I had a Cassette deck that I could slow down by half... it wasn't easy to work with, but it did allow me to hear every note.. With computers these days, it's really easy to slow songs down without destroying the pitch. I start out about half speed to learn the notes, then start bumping it up to learn phrasing, then work on it until I get it up to speed... On some songs, I even bump it up past the recorded tempo just to push myself "out of my comfort zone" a bit... Not on every song, and I dont play deathmetal, shred stuff...

My method might not work for you.. but it works for me..
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