#1
Hey guys, this my first post.

Basically, Im hoping to gain some advice and help on breaking through my barriers on guitar.
Iv been playing for a few years on and off, quite seriously here and there but now Im really focusing and getting down to it properly.

Im starting to learn by ear, I know the 5 pentatonic shapes and tones pretty well and now Im going through a book that covers major and minor scales, arpeggios and the major minor pentatonics as well as dorian and mixolydian too.
Im using the jam tracks that come with it too.

The only problem is Iv never really been able to improve my technique very well at all. I just cant seem to "get" my technique to a standard where I can play what I want to and at speed too.

Iv tried slow practicing with a metronome on loads of licks, solos and songs, playing slow without a metronome, playing it over and over again and winging it with a song but I just cant seem to get where I want to!!

I want to be able to play big amazing solos like slash, page, angus and maybe try my hand at some zakk and randy too eventually but I just have no idea what to practice or how to practice it to get to that kind of level!!

Im training my ear and learning the theory so all thats left is my technique now.

If someone could help me with this Id be massively grateful.
#2
Ok, I'll tell you what worked for me.

Separate playing and learning pieces from drilling.

You need to drill every day. This practicing purely technique. It won't even sound like music. Not scales, not arpeggios or modes. Just technique. For example.

Play 1st string 1st fret with 1st finger. 1st string second fret 2nd finger. 1st string 3rd fret 3rd finger, 1st string 4th fret 4th finger. Move up one position. Play 1st string 2nd fret 1st finger then next fret next finger, 3rd finger 4th fret, 4th finger 5th fret.

Go all the way up the fretboard t at least the 12th fret. Then come back down the same way.

Then move to 2nd string and repeat. 3rd string etc. to the sixth string, then back to the 5th, 4th al the way back to the 1st.

Then start again, but this time, 4th finger, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, mov up one pos, repeat to 12th fret, then back. Then 2nd string, 3rd string etc.

Then do just 3 fingers.

Then do the same thing, but 1, 2, 3, 4 on 1st string, followed by 1, 2, 3, 4 on 2nd string. Move up one pos, repeat all the way up and down and across all string.

Then 43214321 on 2 strings

Then 123123 on 2 strings.

Then 321321 on two strings.

Alternate picking all the way.

Go dead slow, and be perfectly accurate. When I started this, one single round of playing it absolutely perfectly took almost 2 hours. After 3 years it took a few minutes to do the whole thing, but by then I had added 1324, 1432, 2413, 3142, 2314, 132, 312, 213, 231 and any other combination I could think of, to keep the total routine at two hours per day. Also eventually adding wider spans, so playing 1ston 1st, 2nd on 3rd fret, 3rd on 5th, 4th on 7th, etc. don't worry what it sounds like. It's not making music, it's drilling technique.

Vinnie Moore released Minds Eye when I'd been doing this about 4 years (as well as playing another 4-6 hours a day). I picked up the riffs of most tunes on the second or third hearing, and by the end of a week had the solo from one of tunes down. It also took me just a few days to get the Steve Vai pice from the film Crossroads.

Not because I was gifted, but because I worked my ass off, every day, for years.
Last edited by sannyasidharma at Jun 3, 2013,
#3
The most important thing to realise is that there are no "barriers". Learning to play guitar isn't a video game, there aren't levels to best...it's just one long, gradual process.

What people percieve as barriers is just impatience, worrying too much about how good they want to be as opposed to how good they are and the most logical, immediate way to progress from there. If you're constantly looking too far ahead and worrying about stuff that simply isn't a realistic goal yet it will seem like there's some imaginary door that somehow needs knocking down, when the reality is you're not even at the door yet, you're still at the bottom if the path!

Assess where you are currently, acknowledge your shortcomings and the limitations of your current knowledge and build directly on what you know. If you can just about make it through the Highway to Hell solo then Eruption will seem an impossibility, and in truth you don't stand to gain an awful lot by trying...in that situation a far more productive goal is to look at tidying up and perfecting Highway to Hell, getting the timing spot on, nailing the bends and pushing the whole thing cleanly.

Of course it's impossible to envisage how you're going to become the guitarist of your dreams, however doing things better than you can do then now is tangible, that's something you can work with because in truth that's always your goal. You're never going to make sudden leaps in ability but you as long as you practice effectively can always end the day better than you were at the beginning of it. It doesn't matter "how much" better you are, just that you've improved, and all those little improvements add up to big improvements over time.
Actually called Mark!

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#4
Thanks for the replies guys.

Im gonna start doing those exercies every day now, thanks for those.
Iv kind of been doing some exercises like that a bit but mainly at the 5th position only so going all the way up and down the strings will be even more helpful.

And I call it breaking through barriers because Iv been stuck at the same level for years now, mainly due to not practicing consistently or focused.

I need to get through this barrier but I think its more of a mental concentration and focus thing with practicing that is holding me back.
#5
Quote by steven seagull
*Wall of awesome information*

I would just like to add that noticing these little improvements isn't always going to be feasible. This is where recording your playing really helps with your motivation. If you record yourself playing, save it somewhere, and come back to it months later, you'll see that you've improved. Even if you don't notice these small improvements, if you're practicing properly, you ARE improving. Sometimes, it'll make you want to rip your hair out, grinding away at those boring exercises, but it's all worth it.

I posted some random wankery on my profile a LONG time ago, and I can't hardly even tell it's me anymore, all because of how crappy the old ones sound compared to the new ones. Shockingly, the lowest rating song is four stars.

...Then again, I don't think I have that many ratings on them.

Anyways, I hope this helps with encouragement, if nothing else. It does seem like you could use some encouragement.
Last edited by The.new.guy at Jun 5, 2013,