#1
Should I just keep playing along to it and increasing the tempo slowly? Feels like I'm not really getting anywhere.

(playing along in tuxguitar so i have a metronome going as well.)
#2
There must be, like, a hundred guys watching me answer this post over, and over and over agin, and smiling amusedly at my noob lunacy in reposting the same answer again, and again and again.

I've been here just about long enough to know who about half a dozen of you are, too...


Shall I do it one more time?
#3
Quote by sannyasidharma
There must be, like, a hundred guys watching me answer this post over, and over and over agin, and smiling amusedly at my noob lunacy in reposting the same answer again, and again and again.

I've been here just about long enough to know who about half a dozen of you are, too...


Shall I do it one more time?


I'm going to say...yes
#4
fair enough.

Ok, you have answered your own question: how do I play a song that is out of my league?

Answer, you don't. It's out of your league. You can never, ever, play anything that is out of your league.

What you need to do is graduate into the bigger league. How do sportsmen graduate to bigger leagues? They don't play games, they go to the gym. Footballers spend hours in the gym. The spend hours practicing kick, throwing, catching, whatever it is they do. Just playing football games is never going to make them good enough for the big league.

You need to go to guitar gym.

You can carry on trying to play songs, that's really important. But you also need to drill. To do scales, arpeggios, chromatic exercises. For hours and hours and hours, every day, if you want to make it to the pro leagues. If you want to be a good garage band player, then maybe 30 mims to one hour a day will do. But it has to be every day, and your drills have to be slow, relaxed, and perfect.
#5
Quote by sannyasidharma

You need to go to guitar gym.


Do you even lift?
#6
Quote by sannyasidharma
fair enough.

Ok, you have answered your own question: how do I play a song that is out of my league?

Answer, you don't. It's out of your league. You can never, ever, play anything that is out of your league.

What you need to do is graduate into the bigger league. How do sportsmen graduate to bigger leagues? They don't play games, they go to the gym. Footballers spend hours in the gym. The spend hours practicing kick, throwing, catching, whatever it is they do. Just playing football games is never going to make them good enough for the big league.

You need to go to guitar gym.

You can carry on trying to play songs, that's really important. But you also need to drill. To do scales, arpeggios, chromatic exercises. For hours and hours and hours, every day, if you want to make it to the pro leagues. If you want to be a good garage band player, then maybe 30 mims to one hour a day will do. But it has to be every day, and your drills have to be slow, relaxed, and perfect.



I'm a beginner too and I've struggled with learning new songs that were over my head. I'd usually pick any easier song (but still a bit harder than the last song I learned) to learn and come back to the harder song a bit later. At that point, since I've progressed a bit, the harder song is a bit easier to tackle. I really started to learn faster when I got guitar pro 6 and learned how to use the speed trainer.

That said, from what I've read on these forums from what appear to be credible posters, the above advice is incorrect. Drilling scales, arpeggios, and chromatic exercises will make you very good at drilling scales, arpeggios, and chromatic exercises. That's because you're building your muscle memory to play those exercises. If your goal is to play a particular song perfectly and all the way through, you should build your muscle memory to play that song. Muscle memory is built through repitition. Learn to play the song flawlessly at a slow bpm. Once you've done this, increase the bpm by 10, and play it flawlessly again. Repeat until you can play at the full bpm, but only move up bpm's if you can play it flawlessly.

I've been playing for about 14 months, so you should probably verify my advice with a reputable member of this forum. However, I've spent a good deal of that 14 months trying to sift through the good and bad advice on the internet and I'm pretty sure what I'm telling you is spot on.
#7
All I can say is it worked for me. You are absolutely correct that muscle memory will help you learn a song. But that's it will help you learn: that one song.

If you learn to play all over the fretboard, then that's what your muscle memory is learning: to play all over the fret board.
#8
it depends how far out of your league it is - if it's only a bit outside your current abilities then practice is the answer and it's going to be a worthwhile exercise. However, if it's far beyond what you're currently able to play and is going to take you months of solid practice to perfect it then arguably it's not worth the effort - it's an inefficient waste of your practice time.

Exercises are useful but ideally you'd use them to solve a specific issue or problem you're having, songs are the most effective way to progress because that's what playing the guitar is, playing songs, not playing exercises. When you play you're going to be switching between techinques constantly so if you spend too much time on exercises and not enough on songs you don't develop the ability to switch it up and you're playing can often get stuck in a rut where you just string techniques together rather than think about the music.
Actually called Mark!

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#9
Aaah I see. Yeah ok I get what is meant.

Yeah. Totally. I think I said playing songs is still important. I probably over emphasised the drilling because its it's what people tend to skip.

I allocated a quarter of my available time to drilling. That was on average 2 hours a day. Other 75% was playing music. That's what it's all about after all.
#10
Quote by sannyasidharma
Aaah I see. Yeah ok I get what is meant.

Yeah. Totally. I think I said playing songs is still important. I probably over emphasised the drilling because its it's what people tend to skip.

I allocated a quarter of my available time to drilling. That was on average 2 hours a day. Other 75% was playing music. That's what it's all about after all.


I take your word on the drills. What is the bread and butter of your drills, by the way?

I think it is important also to make drills out of snippets of the songs you play. Instead of focusing on the musical aspect, focus on the drill part. If there is an unusual sequence or chord progression, it will be hard to get up to speed if you aren't picking it or fingering it correctly - or you are learning it for the first time in another song you haven't encountered before.
#11
Quote by Surf1975


That said, from what I've read on these forums from what appear to be credible posters, the above advice is incorrect. Drilling scales, arpeggios, and chromatic exercises will make you very good at drilling scales, arpeggios, and chromatic exercises. That's because you're building your muscle memory to play those exercises. If your goal is to play a particular song perfectly and all the way through, you should build your muscle memory to play that song. Muscle memory is built through repitition. Learn to play the song flawlessly at a slow bpm. Once you've done this, increase the bpm by 10, and play it flawlessly again. Repeat until you can play at the full bpm, but only move up bpm's if you can play it flawlessly.



There is some truth in this in that yes drilling scales, arpeggios and chromatic exercises will make you good at playing those exercise. But it's not true that this won't have any application elsewhere or help you to play songs or other pieces.

Getting very good at playing scales, arps etc and generally improving your technical skills has side effects that will benefit other areas of your playing in the same way that practicing bench presses will not only make you better at bench presses but will also benefit you in lots of other areas.

There's a reason why virtuoso level guitarists spend hours and hours drilling scales, arpeggios and chromatic exercises.
#12
Quote by pia98jf
There's a reason why virtuoso level guitarists spend hours and hours drilling scales, arpeggios and chromatic exercises.


I was unaware this is how virtuoso's practice. This is news to me indeed.
#13
You have to have fun. Songs are fun, drilling all the day ... is not fun.

It's simple no ?
"Sans la musique, la vie serait une erreur" Nietzsche
Last edited by Syndromed at Jun 5, 2013,
#14
Someone asked for bread and butter on my drills.

First I have to say as I have elsewhere, that I haven't played electric guitar for 20 years, and haven't played any guitar at all for 10 years. So my perspective is that old, and may be outdated.

Second, my drills aren't necessarily going to suit anyone else.

Thirdly, they did however work for me, and got me from beginner to EVH clone in 3 years, and Vai/Malmsteen clone in 5 years.

Fourth, they are hard to describe, but here's a bit:

Alternate picking in 1st position, 1st string: 1st finger 1st fret, 2nd fing 2nd fr, 3rd on 3rd, 4th 4th. Move to position two, 1st string. 1st finger 2nd fret, 2nd on 3rd, 3rd 4th, 4th 5th.
3rd position, etc, up to 12th (or 16th eventually) pos.
Then 11th pos, same finger order (1234), 10th pos, back to first.

The 2nd string same.

3rd string, 4th string, 5th, 6th, 5 th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st.

Then the whole thing again, but finger order is 4321.

Then the whole thing again, but finger order 123. Then 321. Still strictly alternate picking.

Then 1234 on 1st and 2nd string (so 1234 on 1st string, 1234 on 2nd string, move up one pos etc). Then 4321, 123, 321.

That's how it started, and it used to take me nearly two hours to play it dead clean, at first.

As I got faster, I kept the routine at two hours by adding more fingerlings, like 1432, 1324, 2314 etc. and going over three strings. And then spreading the fingers acrioss strings, rather playing up the same string. Then increasing the span, so playing fret 1346 or wider. And just adding more and more patters to fill up the two hours.

Some days I'd add chord drills, but I have to confess, I was more interested in riffs and solos. Some days I'd do just scales and arpeggios in different modes, instead of the above stuff.

I'll stress again, because its a very important point, that I spent about 25% of my playing time drilling. The rest was learning songs, playing with other people, transcribing new songs (transcribing is another key skill as far as I'm concerned- you really get to know the instrument that way).

So I do stand by want I say. I think "gym" is vital if you want to get top level skills. But I also agree that playing songs, and most of all having fun are just as important. I'm a bit sick, in that I used to absolutely LOVE the drills, so it was always fun for me, and never a drag. Sometimes I'd get up and do them in the middle of the night, just because I couldn't wait till morning. Then in the morning I'd do them again.

Anyhoo, I'm going to refrain from further posting of stuff like this, because whilst I believe in it utterly, I can't substantiate it, having not played for so long. I'm hoping to convince the missus I need a guitar in my life again, but I can't spend 10 hours a day playing anymore...I have a job and stuff now, so even if I do, I'll never be playing the stuff I used to again, so it's not really fair for me to rant on about it when it's all so far in my past.
#15
Quote by vayne92
I was unaware this is how virtuoso's practice. This is news to me indeed.


Even Andres Segovia, one if the all time great classical guitarists used to spend two hours every day doing scales and arpeggios, and classical guitar makes very little direct use of these - it's highly polyphonic, and depends more on multiple fingering (looks like chord shapes, but isn't usually thought of that way).

He did this, every day, right into his nineties.
#16
Ok so, here the correction of what I said : You have to have fun, if you have fun with drills ... then it's ok. :P
Anyway ... it's pretty weird
"Sans la musique, la vie serait une erreur" Nietzsche
#17
Quote by steven seagull
it depends how far out of your league it is - if it's only a bit outside your current abilities then practice is the answer and it's going to be a worthwhile exercise. However, if it's far beyond what you're currently able to play and is going to take you months of solid practice to perfect it then arguably it's not worth the effort - it's an inefficient waste of your practice time.



Hmmm... I guess I really should put practising Death on hold for a while, their songs are what I have been religiously practicing for last 5 months with more or less succesfull results.

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