#1
Hi there.

Is it best to practise/use techniques in the context of songs or should I practise the techniques separate?

Surely it'd be best to practise the techniques in the context of the song, right?

Thanks for your opinions.

Thanks.
#2
Are you basically asking this..

If i want to practice my [insert technique here] should i do exercises or find songs that include [insert technique here] and practice that song?

If so i personally prefer to play songs that include the certain technique. It's more enjoyable and it gives you a better understanding of practical and applicable ways in which you can use that technique.

Lets say i want to improve my alternate picking..
I wont do some stupid 1-2-3-4 spider exercise all over the neck using strict alternate picking because it's just not an applicable exercise. People don't actually use 1-2-3-4 chromatics like ever (there are exceptions of course)..
Instead I'll find a solo or a riff i like and practice it using strict alternate picking. It's A LOT more enjoyable, and as i said it provides an understanding of how to actually apply certain techniques and when to apply them. It's a lot more satisfying too once you nail a particular riff or solo
I should also add that you can basically make anything an exercise..
Do you want to learn to sweep pick a 2 second section of your favourite solo? Isolate that section and practice it over and over. There you go, you're playing an exercise. You'll actually use this exercise though and it isn't some mundane waste of time.

I could elaborate a lot more, but i think you see where I'm going with this.
#3
Quote by vayne92
Are you basically asking this..

If i want to practice my [insert technique here] should i do exercises or find songs that include [insert technique here] and practice that song?

If so i personally prefer to play songs that include the certain technique. It's more enjoyable and it gives you a better understanding of practical and applicable ways in which you can use that technique.

Lets say i want to improve my alternate picking..
I wont do some stupid 1-2-3-4 spider exercise all over the neck using strict alternate picking because it's just not an applicable exercise. People don't actually use 1-2-3-4 chromatics like ever (there are exceptions of course)..
Instead I'll find a solo or a riff i like and practice it using strict alternate picking. It's A LOT more enjoyable, and as i said it provides an understanding of how to actually apply certain techniques and when to apply them. It's a lot more satisfying too once you nail a particular riff or solo
I should also add that you can basically make anything an exercise..
Do you want to learn to sweep pick a 2 second section of your favourite solo? Isolate that section and practice it over and over. There you go, you're playing an exercise. You'll actually use this exercise though and it isn't some mundane waste of time.

I could elaborate a lot more, but i think you see where I'm going with this.

Looks like I'll keep using bending, hammer on's/pull off's, pick slide (if this is still a technique), palm muting and the natural harmonics in the context of the song.

Is it worth learning a technique I won't use in songs?

When should I begin to learn sweep picking?
#4
Quote by jamesiles2004
Is it worth learning a technique I won't use in songs?


Well, yes and no. Learn whatever it is you need to learn to be able to play what comes into your head.
Do you ever think about playing traditional flamenco on a classical guitar and learning the assorted finger techniques associated with it such as rasgueado and picado? I'm going to say that you don't ever think about that, in which case i wouldn't bother learning those techniques. In a few years you might, in which case start learning them then.

I can guarantee you though that if you continue playing guitar for the rest of your life that what you want to play will continuously change and the techniques required for your evolving music desires will constantly change too.
So in that sense you could say yes to learning techniques you wont use. It wont hurt to learn different techniques because chances are you'll use them later.

Quote by jamesiles2004
When should I begin to learn sweep picking?


This is a very tough question to answer and i will try to explain why.. The single biggest thing to practice when sweep picking is muting with your picking hand. Sure there are other elements of it that are tricky but the muting itself will hands down be the hardest part to improve upon.
I think once you grasp the basics of playing with high gain (i say high gain because practicing sweeping with high gain is the best way to improve your muting) then you could essentially start learning it. Only problem is beginners aren't very experienced aurally when it comes to listening for good and bad muting and the amount of feedback that is associated with it.
It's also important to note that your right hand muting will improve whether or not you practice sweep picking. For that reason i'll give a quick example..

Someone playing 6 months will take a LONG LONG LONG LONG LONG time to become an adequate sweep picker because their muting skills haven't developed.

Someone playing 10 years will take a LOT LOT LOT shorter a time to become an adequate sweep picker because their muting skills are exceptionally more developed than a beginner.

Long story short, if you're going to start learning sweep picking do it right. Don't try to play it lightning speeds because you simply can't. You need to practice your muting more than anything. The motions associated with sweep picking are one thing but in the long run your poor muting will be what holds you back from getting better and faster.
Last edited by vayne92 at Feb 20, 2014,
#5
I see. I want to play BFMV's Scream Aim Fire album in it's entirety. How long would this take?

I think they use sweeping in that album.
#6
I agree with learning songs- what you can play as an exercise often comes unstuck when you try it in the context of a song

The only thing I'd say is, do exercises too. The one (that I can think of offhand) disadvantage of playing songs to practise techniques is that most songs aren't just the one technique the whole way through. If you're trying to get good at sweep-picking, for example, and the song you're playing is 5 minutes long and only has one sweeping lick in there, that's not exactly the most efficient way to practise sweep-picking. practising sweeping drills for 5 minutes would likely make you improve a lot quicker.

But don't get me wrong, I mainly agree with vayne92- just drills can help, too. as long as you don't only do drills.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
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Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
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#7
Quote by jamesiles2004
I see. I want to play BFMV's Scream Aim Fire album in it's entirety. How long would this take?

I think they use sweeping in that album.


You have asked this exact question multiple times in different threads before..
#8
Regarding material from songs versus exercises, I do both - but I'll go in this order.

1) Decide I want to learn a song. Learn the material.
2) If (usually when) I have trouble with a particular section, I'll practice that part by itself more than the others.
3) If I'm still having trouble with that part, I'll break it into a smaller chunk (where the problems occur), and practice that by itself a whole bunch, before glueing it back together.
4) If I'm still having trouble even after that, I'll come up with an exercise that focuses even more specifically on the technique that needs work.

That's mostly how I go about things. There are a couple of exercises that I'll do just as exercises. I like do various combos of chromatics for 5 or 10 minutes as a warm up - even though it's not something that can directly be applied musically, I still find that it is paying dividends with the finger independence.

The one other thing I like to do is use a form of improvisation as a way of drilling techniques. For example, I recently realized that my technique of rolling my index finger to mute was rusty (lots of things are rusty - I'm about 10 weeks into practicing seriously again after a 2 year dry spell). So I'd spend 5 minutes improvising playing with only my index finger, sliding around, and rolling to get from string to string. I've found that sometimes it helps integrate the technique a lot better than just practicing a lick over and over that uses that technique.
#9
Quote by se012101
Regarding material from songs versus exercises, I do both - but I'll go in this order.

1) Decide I want to learn a song. Learn the material.
2) If (usually when) I have trouble with a particular section, I'll practice that part by itself more than the others.
3) If I'm still having trouble with that part, I'll break it into a smaller chunk (where the problems occur), and practice that by itself a whole bunch, before glueing it back together.
4) If I'm still having trouble even after that, I'll come up with an exercise that focuses even more specifically on the technique that needs work.

That's mostly how I go about things. There are a couple of exercises that I'll do just as exercises. I like do various combos of chromatics for 5 or 10 minutes as a warm up - even though it's not something that can directly be applied musically, I still find that it is paying dividends with the finger independence.

The one other thing I like to do is use a form of improvisation as a way of drilling techniques. For example, I recently realized that my technique of rolling my index finger to mute was rusty (lots of things are rusty - I'm about 10 weeks into practicing seriously again after a 2 year dry spell). So I'd spend 5 minutes improvising playing with only my index finger, sliding around, and rolling to get from string to string. I've found that sometimes it helps integrate the technique a lot better than just practicing a lick over and over that uses that technique.

Thanks for the detailed feedback. I've been learning 'Say Goodnight' by tab. I can play the song, just not to the record.

Do you learn songs by ear, tab, or another method?

A good technique is important.

Thanks.
#10
Quote by jamesiles2004
Thanks for the detailed feedback. I've been learning 'Say Goodnight' by tab. I can play the song, just not to the record.

Do you learn songs by ear, tab, or another method?

A good technique is important.

Thanks.


Glad it helped, man! I'll usually learn songs by tab - I'm a bit lazy that way. Though I'll always keep listening to the original song very intently so I can get as much of the feel and all the little nuances as I can.
#11
^ Yeah same here Though it doesn't really matter which you do, all that matters is that you practise the bit of the song (or the technique) you're having trouble with.

It's also worth pointing out that tabs aren't always correct- and even if the notes are right, the way it's tabbed out to play it on guitar isn't necessarily always right. I've lost count of the number of tabs I've come across where the notes were right, but the way it was tabbed I seriously was wondering if the person who tabbed it actually played guitar.

Use the tab (and the notes) as a guide rather than a strict rule. And use your ears as well, both to make sure the tab is right and also to listen for the little nuances which may not be tabbed.

Quote by se012101
Regarding material from songs versus exercises, I do both - but I'll go in this order.

1) Decide I want to learn a song. Learn the material.
2) If (usually when) I have trouble with a particular section, I'll practice that part by itself more than the others.
3) If I'm still having trouble with that part, I'll break it into a smaller chunk (where the problems occur), and practice that by itself a whole bunch, before glueing it back together.
4) If I'm still having trouble even after that, I'll come up with an exercise that focuses even more specifically on the technique that needs work.

That's mostly how I go about things. There are a couple of exercises that I'll do just as exercises. I like do various combos of chromatics for 5 or 10 minutes as a warm up - even though it's not something that can directly be applied musically, I still find that it is paying dividends with the finger independence.

The one other thing I like to do is use a form of improvisation as a way of drilling techniques. For example, I recently realized that my technique of rolling my index finger to mute was rusty (lots of things are rusty - I'm about 10 weeks into practicing seriously again after a 2 year dry spell). So I'd spend 5 minutes improvising playing with only my index finger, sliding around, and rolling to get from string to string. I've found that sometimes it helps integrate the technique a lot better than just practicing a lick over and over that uses that technique.


Good post (especially points 1-4, that's more or less what I do, too).
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Feb 20, 2014,
#12
I agree with most of whats been said, but I prefer to use tuxguitar/guitar pro instead of just the regular old tabs so I can easily slow it down and/or play a certain difficult section on loop.