#1
the past few months i have just read tabs and playing songs. but what can i do that will help me overall. I feel like just learning songs isnt enough. Where can i start? thanks!

links provided will be great too!
Last edited by slyrez at Mar 22, 2014,
#2
practice to a metronome, the most important thing you could do for yourself as a musician is be extremely TIGHT.

personally, I am a 100% self taught guitarist. the only thing i fail at is improv because i know very little to no theory. it takes me a while to write a solo because i play by ear :P
Quote by Primus2112
does john bender look stupid

fuck no
#3
While I have used a metronome on occasion to practice, my general recommendation is to listen to the music and learn to hear the beat inside your head. The problem with using a metronome is, songs can occasionally change rhythm. When that happens, your metronome isn't smart enough to figure it out and you're stuck listening to a click that's no longer in-time with the track.

Did you know some of the best recordings were done without a click track? For the unknowing, a click track is what the sound engineer uses in the studio to get the musicians to play in perfect time. It's essentially a fancy metronome.

The thing is, when you end up playing with a group or a band, you won't be using a metronome - you'll have to rely upon the drummer, the bass player or someone else to someone else to get your timing right.

To answer TS's question... Learning to play songs is actually good. Mimicry is a good way to learn licks, riffs and techniques. It can help you build a good foundation. I would also recommend that you work on learning how to improv lead/solo work. This will involve using scales, which you'll need to learn.

Work on learning the notes on the neck of your guitar. This is important.

Learn your chords. Learn how to play them in more than one position. Learn how to play barre chords.

The list of items to work on could go on and on, but this will give you a good start.
#4
keep learning songs. challenge yourself.

If you want to get serious with guitar, start learning scales and chords (not from tab), reading music, and figuring out things by ear. You'll find that learning new music gets a whole lot easier when you know all the concepts other musicians use.
#5
Learning lots of songs is critical. As an experienced guitarist, you can always tell the difference between the guy who has learned lots of songs, and the guy who has just worked on one flashy lick after another. The song guy has this underlying flow to everything he plays, like the glue that holds everything together is real strong. When the licks guy plays a song, things tend to sound pasted together.

But that's not all there is to it. Once you have a song learned to the point where you can play it through, listen with a critical ear. Where are the biggest weaknesses? Are there any points when you're playing it, and your approaching that point and say to yourself "oh-oh, here is comes, I hope I don't blow it". Take those areas and practice them by themselves and improve them. Choosing an appropriate length of section to practice is very important. For example, if a part of the song just kind of feels generally shaky, I'll practice it as a longer section, maybe 8-12 bars. If there is a very specific technique issue, like muting on a certain phrase, I'll practice a very short section - 1 bar, or even just a few notes, to really hone in on the problem and get as many repetitions on it as possible. When I feel that the problem is addressed, I'll start lengthening the section I practice gradually to make sure that nothing leading into the phrase throws me off when I get to the phrase. When practicing these problem areas, pick an appropriate tempo. Very slow at first for technique problems. You need to get it down to a tempo where you can consciously control everything you are doing. For more general shakiness/lack of confidence with a section, I'll practice more at more of a medium tempo.

The overall idea of all this, is to learn songs but be constantly polishing and trying to perform each song better than the last one you learned.

Super important - learn all the notes on the fretboard. Learn your major/minor scale all over the fretboard, in every position, and learn how to connect from one position to another. Spend time on your chords every day. Get at least the basics of music theory down. When you're learning a lick as part of a song you're learning, figure out what key it's in and what scale it uses. Experiment by making up your own licks using that scale, and experiment with different ways of using some of the techniques that the lick uses. Make up little licks, and then play them in different octaves and different positions. Stuff like this leads to being able to improvise later on down the line.

Whew...that's a lot. I could go on for hours, so I'll leave it at that. Good luck!
#6
If I'd have to list the most important for practicing effectively, I'd have to say:
1. Use a metronome.
2. Practice anything at the tempo that allows you to play it cleanly, THEN build up the speed.
3. Practice scales, chords, string skipping, arpeggios - but also any other techniques that you might personally prefer (tapping, hybrid picking, etc.)
4. Break any lick down at a manageable level.
5. Practice as constantly as possible. For example, if you have 10 hours/week at your disposal to practice, it's better if you practice 2 hours/day for 5 days than to practice 5 hours for 2 days.

Good luck!
#7
Quote by aznbobby
practice to a metronome, the most important thing you could do for yourself as a musician is be extremely TIGHT.

personally, I am a 100% self taught guitarist. the only thing i fail at is improv because i know very little to no theory. it takes me a while to write a solo because i play by ear :P



I've just been mind ****ed.... How do you know how to play by ear, but you can't improvise a solo? This is the first I've ever heard of such a thing!
#8
Quote by slyrez
the past few months i have just read tabs and playing songs. but what can i do that will help me overall. I feel like just learning songs isnt enough. Where can i start? thanks!

links provided will be great too!



Learning songs IMO is more than enough, but if you want to get more serious then learn how to practice with a metronome! If anything learning songs is a great way to develop your chops in a very fun way not to mention if you're learning the songs by ear then that's even better..


I usually practice 2 hours a day then I'll play for 4 hours all work, and no play made Jack a dull boy OP.
Last edited by Black_devils at Mar 23, 2014,
#9
Iv just started my new approach to practicing guitar.

1) Technique - I'm going through Troy Stetinas Speed mechanics. I'll drill each technique slowly on its own to learn it then slowly build up speed.
I do 10 mins on the left and right hands each and then ten mins on a synchronization exercise too.

2) Theory using again troy stetina fretboard mastery book. This is mainly ear training and learning the fretboard.

3) Learning songs is the main bulk of what I do now.
Im going through appetitr for destruction by ear at the mo....slow but great when you master the song!!
#10
Quote by Black_devils
I've just been mind ****ed.... How do you know how to play by ear, but you can't improvise a solo? This is the first I've ever heard of such a thing!


If you can play by ear it basically means you can hear a sound and then play that sound on guitar.

If it takes you time to do this (it usually takes a lot of practice before you can instantly play something after hearing it), then you aren't going to be able to hear something in your head (improvising) and immediately play it back.
#11
As a complete amateur taught almost entirely by youtube,the only thing that helped me get past my chord struggles was the metronome. set it to 60 an just strum on the 1,it gives me 3 measures to change chords an be ready..Then bump it to 70,80 etc..before you know it you will nail chords.
#12
find a teacher. take lessons. practice. learn. absorb. keep asking questions. keep enjoying the guitar.
Quote by BryanChampine
It was like a orgasm in my ear.
Chea_man is the best.