#1
I picked up guitar again about a month and a half ago (I had a brief month long stint with a teacher who taught me the very basics a few years ago) and have been practicing nonstop. Guitar is not my primary instrument, I was an All State clarinet player for several years so I am accustomed to the finger dexterity needed to play. So progress has been rather rapid and I have the practice skills (ie working with a metronome) to improve.

I have reached a point where I am in at a crossroads. I know most of the open chords at this point, three pentatonic shapes and the major scales. My chord changes are becoming more fluid but there still are gaps. As a beginner it's very confusing to see all the techniques on here (reading constantly to improve knowledge) - so I'd like to know what would be the best direction to head in from my current position. My weaknesses are palm muting, alternate strumming quickly and barre chords - I'm just not sure which is the most crucial to tackle first.

I am largely teaching myself (with some assistance from friends) because I am going to be heading off to college first so attaining a teacher right now is not possible. :l


UPDATE: picking/palm muting improving - thanks for the advice guys.
Last edited by SpeedySmurfs at Aug 1, 2013,
#2
Quote by SpeedySmurfs
My weaknesses are palm muting, alternate strumming quickly and barre chords


The obvious factor would be to work on those. See which technique you use the most out of them and focus on that one while still giving attention to the other two.
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#3
I would work on whatever techniques you see yourself using. If you want to play folk and country music, whats the point of learning to sweep? Bad example, but you get the point. See what techniques are prevalent in the music you want to learn/play, and start working on those.
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#4
Thanks guys. I'm more of a hard rock/metal kind of guy - I'm constantly trying to better my weaknesses I just don't want to screw myself by trying to improve those skills in the wrong order. Because what's the point in going ahead and learning finger tapping if my picking is poor, you know?
#5
I think it's pretty obvious which techniques are fundamentally important and which ones are more suited to showboating and flashy embellishments - you can work it out by looking at how often they appear in the music you listen to.

If you listen to hard rock and metal then you'll hear palm muting all the time, but tapping...you'll hear that what, maybe for a few seconds in the odd song
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#6
Learn the basics. Always keep the basics to heart. Barre Chords and Palm Muting are two of those basics. They really shape how you play as a guitarist and can help you with things like phrasing.
You'll want to get those two down first, and don't stop practicing your chords and stuff once you're done with them. Almost all advanced playing is based of these fundamentals.
Also work on Legato and Alternate Picking as those are two seperate yet equally important skills.

I advise you learn all these skills through songs, as you will not only grow your repertoire but your ability to learn songs will grow as well.
Last edited by Livingtime at Jul 31, 2013,
#7
Quote by SpeedySmurfs
I was an All State clarinet player for several years so I am accustomed to the finger dexterity needed to play.


I think this is actually your biggest issue. No matter where you've come from, you don't have the co-ordination needed for guitar; playing is nearly all about muscle memory and not dexterity, actual dexterity (whatever that even means) is almost never the issue when it comes to playing well.
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#8
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
I think this is actually your biggest issue. No matter where you've come from, you don't have the co-ordination needed for guitar; playing is nearly all about muscle memory and not dexterity, actual dexterity (whatever that even means) is almost never the issue when it comes to playing well.



Muscle memory isn't something new to me, is really what I mean. And if I don't have the co-ordination now, it'll come in time.