To cut a long story short, I've been playing since 2009 and I am self taught. I love heavy metal, thrash metal ( ) and hard rock music (most of the time) and consequently have been covering Metallica, Iron Maiden, Guns N' Roses, etc. songs during this 3 year period (beside the regular guitar practice).

Well, now I am a freshman in college and I don't get as much practice time I used to as before. Lately I've been having difficulty finding the time to sit down and learn any song completely (what with studies and homework), beside actually finding a song I want to spend time with and learn completely (which would also be "appropriate" for my level, not too easy or too tough).

Anyway, lately I've been practicing my playing technique more, playing along to a metronome, turning down the distortion (very low) and just playing random licks/riffs slow, then turning up the tempo. This has clearly helped both my fretting hand (more "fluent" and each finger more "independent"/stronger especially the weakest fingers, 2, 3 and 4) and picking hand (more accurate and faster).

Well, beside making up my own rhythm and lead parts for practice, I'm into Guns N' Roses these days, and playing Slash's solos, trying to sort of "emulate" his style/feel (more legato, less picking, selective muting, mixture of blues and pentatonic scales, etc.).

Since I'm not learning songs lately, what are some rhythm and lead exercises I can do to "keep in shape"? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I am looking for 80s hard rock, old-school 80s thrash and heavy metal type licks. Thanks!!!

Also, it would be a huge help if anybody can mention bands similar to Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver and Slash's Snakepit!
Last edited by zuhairreza at Mar 11, 2012,
Well, early GnR (appetite for destruction) reminds me alot of a couple of Glam bands. Might be good to check out.

Skid row, Motley crue, Poison, Extreme (a little more funk though, still great).

Thrash bands: Megadeth, testament, exodus, Pantera, slayer.
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Also, it would be a huge help if anybody can mention bands similar to Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver and Slash's Snakepit!

Well, you could try Skid Rows early albums.