#1
I'm not new to guitar. I have played for many years. I can write pretty good songs and even write and play some sweet leads. The only problem is I don't really know what I am doing. I know the names of string, what octaves are and how to harmonize. It would probably surprise you that I didn't know what I was doing if I played something I wrote. But I want to know how to improvise and not get stuck with writers block. I want to know immediately what to play when jamming with other guitar players. I want to be able to do so much more than I am able too. I am one of the guitar players who have learned mostly from reading tabs and using guitar pro. And while these methods served me very well through out the years it has also destroyed my potential. Guitar lessons are a little too pricy for me at the moment. Is there an amazing book to start with? I cannot read notes. But when I pick up a lot of the books they seem like they are for the absolute beginner. Maybe that's still me? I have no know idea how to classify myself when it comes to this point. It is a big turn off to see a book that shows how to play three blind mice and other overly simple songs that are meant for someone that have never picked the instrument up before. Do I need to start here? I really need some direction...

My preferred style of guitar if it matters is metal and leads. Mainly in the style of August Burns Red, As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage, mid Darkest Hour and older All that Remains.
#2
Quote by osakamitsu
My preferred style of guitar if it matters is metal and leads. Mainly in the style of August Burns Red, As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage, mid Darkest Hour and older All that Remains.

That's your problem right there.

You want instant creativity? Cheesy as it sounds, open your ears and your minds to other sounds. Apply them to your style. I've adopted a crap-ton of guitar tricks, techniques and such that I picked up from classic prog and rock (even some folk and pop) bands. I feel like the only guitarist who does anything metal-related who even knows what crosspicking, hybrid picking, or using your thumb on the low E (B, F#, whatever) string is anymore. (Learned those tricks from King Crimson, nearly every band from the 70s ever, and Rush or Jimi Hendrix, respectively)

Try new things. Don't limit yourself because that'll limit your creativity. You might discover some techniques or styles you never would have thought of before. You sound like you already know some very basic theory, which is a good starting point. I'd probably learn a little more. I don't mean go full virtuoso or anything, but at least get a grasp of writing your ideas out in notation rather than tab. For some reason doing that has made my writing come out a little differently.

Not that I have anything personal against any of those bands. Not my thing, but respect for the musicians, they're pretty talented. Just remember that talent and interesting sounds aren't just metal things.
Q: Favourite Pink Floyd song?
A: The one where they get wicked high and play Emin and A for an hour.
#3
Start training your ears - play songs by ear. When you know the sound, it is easier to create your own stuff. And that way you know what you are doing. You don't just play random notes, you play notes that you want to play. You need to know the sound.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
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Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#4
Quote by osakamitsu
I'm not new to guitar. I have played for many years. I can write pretty good songs and even write and play some sweet leads. The only problem is I don't really know what I am doing. I know the names of string, what octaves are and how to harmonize. It would probably surprise you that I didn't know what I was doing if I played something I wrote. But I want to know how to improvise and not get stuck with writers block. I want to know immediately what to play when jamming with other guitar players. I want to be able to do so much more than I am able too. I am one of the guitar players who have learned mostly from reading tabs and using guitar pro. And while these methods served me very well through out the years it has also destroyed my potential. Guitar lessons are a little too pricy for me at the moment. Is there an amazing book to start with? I cannot read notes. But when I pick up a lot of the books they seem like they are for the absolute beginner. Maybe that's still me? I have no know idea how to classify myself when it comes to this point. It is a big turn off to see a book that shows how to play three blind mice and other overly simple songs that are meant for someone that have never picked the instrument up before. Do I need to start here? I really need some direction...

My preferred style of guitar if it matters is metal and leads. Mainly in the style of August Burns Red, As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage, mid Darkest Hour and older All that Remains.



Hello osakamitsu, Or perhaps hajimemashite

Anyways, when it comes to wanting to understand what you are doing, a lot of it has to do with your skill sets needed to begin to understand it and apply it to writing or play on the guitar.

What are your skill sets?

Do you know the notes on the neck? Can you correctly name the notes of chords? Do you understand diatonic harmony, etc. Your ability with these can vastly affect the impact that reading a certain book or taking a certain study can have.

Best,

Sean
#5
www.justinguitar.com is by far the best free resource in existence. If you follow the beginners course fully and make sure you consolidate everything you learn, before moving on.

Knowing some basic music theory can help along the way of learning guitar, and Justin teaches the perfect balance to help you achieve your personal goals. He has own awards for what he has done for teaching.

Learning guitar is like learning any instrument, if you learn with a bad foundation and move on too quickly you'll be running before you can walk.

A random guitar jam is good, but Make the most of your practice and you'll see noticeable benefits immediately.

I learnt by doing exactly that, running before walking, luckily I stumbled across Justin before years had passed and managed to cement a solid foundation before moving on to more advanced techniques which can hinder you if you are a novice.

End of the day, what use is a scale to you if you cant hold a 4/4 rhythm for a 3 minute song?

Good luck.
#7
I'm kind of in the same boat...spent many years (teens and early 20's) learning songs with tabs and not the "why" of much of anything. Really regret that now. Years later i'm picking the guitar back up in my late 30's and starting from scratch somewhat. I'm using a book called fretboard theory workbook - has been great so far and doesn't start off with the "3-blind mice" stuff. Great for me as I don't have time for a teacher right now (wife and kids) so I can learn practice at my own pace.

I will say it is difficult to "stay on task" when I know I can just start playing the stuff I know rather well. But also know I won't really improve if I do that. Kind of like learning to snowboard when you can already ski I guess...frustrating but know it will be damn worth it in the end.
Last edited by Mole351 at Apr 17, 2014,