#1
Frankly, I look at this and it's my dream to be able to do: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4UM2CztoP4

I'm not an entire beginner. I can play some riffs that require some basic ability - Tornado of Souls is probably the most advanced rhythm part I can play. (Yeah, I know it's not that hard of a song - but it's a bit beyond beginner level at least) I can play the solo to Aesthetics of Hate, so there's a little bit of soloing in me. Crystal Mountain is the most advanced song I can play 100% (rhythm and take over soloing when it comes on) But in general I'd classify myself as... not much of a player.

With regular singer/songwriter stuff it's pretty easy to work toward getting better - lots of programs that set you up on some roads to advancement by building chording ability and learning lots of songs that make use of those basic chords. And that stuff helps - I can play acoustic singer/songwriter songs pretty decently now. But there's nothing like that for metal - no free program layouts that let you build and build til you can play impressive stuff.

So where do I start to get some structure and competency and musicianship to my metal playing? And how do I proceed and continue getting better? I feel like all I'd know to do is take a tab from some relatively crazy song and just grind on it for months... there's got to be some method.

As you can see from my join date I've been playing for a few years. But I basically am not making progress in the metal department. I have no idea how to practice to get better. I take out the electric for a while and start feeling like I'm wasting time and getting nowhere, and end up just going and practicing singing+playing acoustic at the same time instead since I feel I can actually improve each session with that.
Last edited by Eag1e at May 1, 2013,
#2
Well there are a couple of things i believe can help that people might see me post every other day now as a reply, but that's cause i do believe this is true.

I was in the same situation as you 2 years ago, when i was mostly into metal, nowdays i play mostly jazz and fusion (or i attempt to). Anyway, it's a really big leap jumping from bands like megadeth to bands like nevermore, techniquewise they are on a whole other level.

What you really want to do is take songs you like in that style (Take "Born" by Nevermore as an example) and really really break them down into tiny tiny chunks, and then practice them extremely slowly. The reference point i use is that you should practice them at the highest tempo where you can play the riffs perfectly while at the same time focus on your breathing, taking long, deep breaths.

You'll have to relax to do this, so if you even try to tense up either of two things will happen.
A) You won't be able to take constant slow deep breaths, and then you know you are playing too fast for your ability.
B) You will mess up with your playing, and then you will know you are playing too fast aswell.

As said, you are getting into new territory when it comes to how advanced material is. You can't expect to nail songs that fast for a while until you've gotten used to this new level of playing. You might do 5 practice sessions until you see any progress at all with the song when you start out with this material. But as said earlier, relaxed, slow and accurate practice will get you there. Forget about the tempo the songs are originally played, just focus on getting them down at a lower tempo and speed will come by itself.

Also, i recommend you try to work out stuff by ear if you are not doing that already. It'll benefit you greatly.
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#3
Learn allot of Nevermore , Dream Theater, Symphony X type band songs.
It does take allot of practice. What i personally did was use the program VLC player it has the ability to lower the tempo to a song and play along to that untill you can do it full speed. After a few songs of doing that i never had to really do it again except for certain solos.
#4
the only way to know if your musicianship is progressing is if you jam with others, or try writing songs.
Quote by archerygenious
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#5
Quote by Sickz
Also, i recommend you try to work out stuff by ear if you are not doing that already. It'll benefit you greatly.


I do this for solos whenever possible. But I have a question - how do you develop your ability to make out chords by ear when they start getting distorted?

Example, I've just figured out the leads to this song by ear:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YVPUquYCdc

But I feel absolutely incapable of figuring out how to play the rhythm part.
#6
Well, getting a tab and grinding it out for months is a great way to get better, but, I won't lie, its not exactly exciting. What I do, is decide on a piece that is well above my skill level (For one of my goals, I used Symphony Xs Sea of Lies for this), then picked pieces that I found challenging, but I could realistically play soon (for this, I often use bands such as Sonata Arctica and Stratovarius), and practiced all of the pieces. This way you can see your progress as you learn new, more challenging pieces, and work towards your main goal.

However, you mentioned how you'd make it musical, I often identify what I need to improve to be able to play a certain piece, and write a technical exercise based on that technique. For Nevermore, you might want to make something that heavily uses sweep picking, that'll help you with stuff like Psalm of Lydia, or write a complicated riff that gets all your fingers moving to help you do The Termination Proclamation. Writing your own exercises based on songs you'd like to play also helps your composition, as you grow to understand the composition techniques your favourite bands utilise you can start to utilise them yourself.
#7
Quote by Eag1e
I do this for solos whenever possible. But I have a question - how do you develop your ability to make out chords by ear when they start getting distorted?


realistically, it won't always be possible to play it exactly like how they recorded it because of all the layering that might further obscure the already distorted chords. but with some practice and ear training, you should always be able to come up with something that sounds similar.

spend more time with chords that are commonly associated with jazz. 7th chords, chords with extensions, etc. always show up randomly in metal, but it won't be obvious because metal is usually a lot of chugging and power chords.

here's a great resource for getting familiar with chords, among other things:
http://www.justinguitar.com/en/JA-000-Jazz.php
Quote by archerygenious
Jesus Christ since when is the Pit a ****ing courtroom...

Like melodic, black, death, symphonic, and/or avant-garde metal? Want to collaborate? Message me!
#8
I gain competency as a metal guitarist by sticking to writing slower tempo metal. Am I doin it rite?
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#9
A lot of being good at metal rhythm is having excellent right hand technique - rhythmic accuracy, strong attack and efficiency are the main areas. Just learn riffs by ear, tighten them up until they're perfect. Aside from that general skills - fretboard knowledge and basic theory is still essential.