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#1
What was something you guys learned/changed that really improved your playing?


I don't think I've found anything that's really shot me forward playing-wise, but just generally relaxing when I play sure has helped a lot.


I also thought it would be cool to list some of my favorite responses I've heard so far, so here's 10 good ones for ya!

1. Joining a band! (Originally posted by Kylianvb)
2. Patience as a skill (Originally posted by Sickz)
3. Learning by ear (Everyone )
4. Practicing SLOWLY (Originally posted by Sean0913)
5. Relaxing (Originally posted by myself and blackleo89)
6. Guitar forums! (Originally posted by Dave_Mc)
7. Understanding Inversions and Voice Leading (Originally posted by Elintasokas)
8 Learning to use your pinky (Originally posted by KrogerChad)
9. Learning vocal melodies by ear (Originally posted by reverb66)
10. Having a good teacher (Originally posted by AngryHatter)
Last edited by Hardlycore at Apr 29, 2014,
#2
Personally, learning by ear and having patience are the two things that have helped me develop alot. And by patience i mean accepting that some things take a long time to learn, some tunes i can learn in 15 minutes, some tunes i have to work several weeks on mastering.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#3
Quote by Sickz
Personally, learning by ear and having patience are the two things that have helped me develop alot. And by patience i mean accepting that some things take a long time to learn, some tunes i can learn in 15 minutes, some tunes i have to work several weeks on mastering.


That's a really good point man. I never really put patience into a skill, but that's absolutely something I need to work on. :p
#4
I definitely agree with patience as a skill because it takes time to become better at an instrument. I would also say learn some basic theory like chord progressions and modes. Modes are basically different variations of major and minor scales. Just learning these 2 things will help you a lot when you write music.
#5
Quote by jdriver12
I definitely agree with patience as a skill because it takes time to become better at an instrument. I would also say learn some basic theory like chord progressions and modes. Modes are basically different variations of major and minor scales. Just learning these 2 things will help you a lot when you write music.


That's a good tip for beginners.
#6
Improvising with arpeggios totally changed my playing style. It really helps you to stop just playing up and down scales and to start creating melodies. And it gives you a jazzy-fusion sound, something like Guthrie Govan, Tom Quayle or Richie Kotzen. This is the instructional video where I learned how to do it..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryp3P6M45v4
#7
Quote by SR7s
Improvising with arpeggios totally changed my playing style. It really helps you to stop just playing up and down scales and to start creating melodies. And it gives you a jazzy-fusion sound, something like Guthrie Govan, Tom Quayle or Richie Kotzen. This is the instructional video where I learned how to do it..


Improvising is definitely a sore spot for me. I'm just guilty of not practicing it like I should. :p

But I'm about to take off for a gig, I will check that video out when I get a chance! Thanks for the tip man!
#8
Quote by Sickz
Personally, learning by ear and having patience are the two things that have helped me develop alot. And by patience i mean accepting that some things take a long time to learn, some tunes i can learn in 15 minutes, some tunes i have to work several weeks on mastering.


This is true for me.too. When I started really trying to master whole songs and solos I improved more in a few weeks than th e last few years!
Learning by ear makes soo much difference too,it's crazy.
I'm still working on the patience part though.
#10
Quote by blackleo89
Best thing i ever learned, warm up, relax, and breathe while playing.


It's crazy how things like that make all the difference.
#11
Understanding inversions and voice leading.

I used to just play block chords with huge skips. All notes moving by the same interval in the same direction. Everything just sounds so much smoother when you actually consider voice leading and how the voices move to the next chord.
#12
Quote by Elintasokas
Understanding inversions and voice leading.

I used to just play block chords with huge skips. All notes moving by the same interval in the same direction. Everything just sounds so much smoother when you actually consider voice leading and how the voices move to the next chord.

This is the same for me.

EDIT: This kinda roles into it as well, but memorizing every note on the fretboard helped a lot. Not just for voice leading but pretty much everything. If I'm soloing and I start to move too far away and it sounds bad I can always bring myself back to the tonic. It also (in my experience) makes it easier to hit the note that I want when sliding up or down to it.
Last edited by macashmack at Apr 27, 2014,
#13
Well, I learned that when I perform on my viola, I gain a lot of confidence if there's not a stand in front of me. Even when the piece is stupidly difficult.

I also use a lot more dramatic phrasing and facial expression.
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#15
Best thing I ever did was tough it out and learn to work my pinky as frequently as any other finger.
#16
Quote by Elintasokas
Understanding inversions and voice leading.


I was lucky enough to understand the concept of voice leading pretty quickly, somehow. But it definitely makes a huge difference in the overall flow of the music, as you stated.

Quote by macashmack
...memorizing every note on the fretboard helped a lot. Not just for voice leading but pretty much everything. If I'm soloing and I start to move too far away and it sounds bad I can always bring myself back to the tonic. It also (in my experience) makes it easier to hit the note that I want when sliding up or down to it.


Knowledge is power! One thing I actually struggled with earlier on that kind of relates to that was understanding the accidentals. For some reason something like an Ab being the same as a G# was confusing for me. It made it seem terrifying to learn every note I guess.

Quote by Mister A.J.
Well, I learned that when I perform on my viola, I gain a lot of confidence if there's not a stand in front of me. Even when the piece is stupidly difficult.


That's understandable. Maybe you feel the music more as opposed to thinking about what's in front of you.

Quote by AngryHatter
Best thing I learned was a good teacher beats the rest.


I never had the fortune of having a teacher. Which really sucked early on cause I really had no idea how anything worked when it came to music or how to even come close to properly playing a guitar, I just knew I loved it. But I guess it was cool too because at this point in the game I understand how I learn best when I teach my self something.
#17
Quote by KrogerChad
Best thing I ever did was tough it out and learn to work my pinky as frequently as any other finger.


Sometimes that's all there is to it! I always used my pinky, even when I first started playing so that was fortunately not something I had to overcome. (As opposed to the thousands of other things I DID have to )
#18
Quote by Hardlycore
I was lucky enough to understand the concept of voice leading pretty quickly, somehow. But it definitely makes a huge difference in the overall flow of the music, as you stated.



Knowledge is power! One thing I actually struggled with earlier on that kind of relates to that was understanding the accidentals. For some reason something like an Ab being the same as a G# was confusing for me. It made it seem terrifying to learn every note I guess.



That's understandable. Maybe you feel the music more as opposed to thinking about what's in front of you.



I never had the fortune of having a teacher. Which really sucked early on cause I really had no idea how anything worked when it came to music or how to even come close to properly playing a guitar, I just knew I loved it. But I guess it was cool too because at this point in the game I understand how I learn best when I teach my self something.



When you understand how to teach yourself, and you know how to practice properly then you my friend will become a great guitarist.. Understanding how you learn is half the battle knowing how to practice is the most important part i'm glad you understand these things. I can squeeze more out of someone practicing 8 hours a day with just 1 hour of practice that's the power of quality of quantity it's amazing how it works, but once you know how to practice you never want to go back, and you'll always be able to achieve your goals just because you know how to approach the problem..


I always think of guitar practice as a puzzle it's a trial and error experience the first puzzle piece might not fit into that specific spot, but eventually you'll find the piece that fits it's amazing how developing a structured practice scheduled will make you a better player than before. The more you focus on practicing properly the better you get at it..




#19
Quote by Black_devils
When you understand how to teach yourself, and you know how to practice properly then you my friend will become a great guitarist.. Understanding how you learn is half the battle knowing how to practice is the most important part i'm glad you understand these things. I can squeeze more out of someone practicing 8 hours a day with just 1 hour of practice that's the power of quality of quantity it's amazing how it works, but once you know how to practice you never want to go back, and you'll always be able to achieve your goals just because you know how to approach the problem..


I always think of guitar practice as a puzzle it's a trial and error experience the first puzzle piece might not fit into that specific spot, but eventually you'll find the piece that fits it's amazing how developing a structured practice scheduled will make you a better player than before. The more you focus on practicing properly the better you get at it..






Thanks for such kind words man! It took many, many years to overcome many obstacles and eliminate bad habits, but having gone through that, I learned so much more than I think I would have, had someone taught me for years.

And I agree with you 110% about the quality in practicing. I did the whole 10 hour practices and had strict routines, and I got incredibly burnt out and hated my self. Now I practice what I think I'll need/enjoy playing, but I've almost mastered the art of focused practicing so it's equally, if not more, beneficial.
#20
I think what really helped me was having a few years of half-decent practice under my belt before I found online guitar forums
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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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#21
Quote by Dave_Mc
I think what really helped me was having a few years of half-decent practice under my belt before I found online guitar forums


Haha there ya go! There's some great players on here.
#22
Oh yeah absolutely. I meant more from the point of view of GAS and spending tons of time on forums instead of playing/practising.
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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
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?
#23
Quote by Dave_Mc
Oh yeah absolutely. I meant more from the point of view of GAS and spending tons of time on forums instead of playing/practising.


Ohh haha, gotcha!
#24
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?
#26
Quote by Hardlycore
I'm sure this has been asked a time or two before, but I couldn't find anything when I searched, so I apologize in advance if this is a common thread.

But I'm just wondering what was something you guys learned/changed that really improved your playing?


I don't think I've found anything that's really shot me forward playing-wise, but just generally relaxing when I play sure has helped a lot.


1) learning solos, songs and vocal melodies by ear - which I started doing immediately out of necessity ( there were no transcriptions for the music I liked at the time).

2) learning classical guitar - this really opened up my technique - left and right hand. I think everyone, regardless of style, should spend some time learning this. It destroys your pre-conceptions of what is possible on a guitar.
#27
Going slow, when learning something new, recognizing that trying to go fast always hurts and poisons learning progress; and the other was, respecting how the brain learns things. It revolutionized my teaching approach and the results were almost 100% perfect with every student across the board. Once I accepted those things, everything changed both personally and professionally.

Best,

Sean
#28
Go play with others. A lot. Knowing your theory and technique and whatnot is very important, but the thing that made me improve a lot was simply throwing myself into the adventure that is called a band. I often have a hard time setting goals and sticking to it by myself, but being in a band means you HAVE to have that solo nailed by next Thursday and you HAVE to work on your dynamics and phrasing... And if you don't try, you're being a douchenozzle to all your bandmates. It's something that has always motivated me.
Tell me who's that writin'...
#29
Quote by Mources
Listening


Ah simple yet efficient. Haha it's true though, your ear is a very powerful tool.

Quote by reverb66
1) learning solos, songs and vocal melodies by ear - which I started doing immediately out of necessity ( there were no transcriptions for the music I liked at the time). 2) learning classical guitar - this really opened up my technique - left and right hand. I think everyone, regardless of style, should spend some time learning this. It destroys your pre-conceptions of what is possible on a guitar.


Very cool response, thanks! And I've been wanting to dab into a little classical, maybe I'll have to start soon. You make it sound so cool.

Quote by Sean0913
Going slow, when learning something new, recognizing that trying to go fast always hurts and poisons learning progress; and the other was, respecting how the brain learns things. It revolutionized my teaching approach and the results were almost 100% perfect with every student across the board. Once I accepted those things, everything changed both personally and professionally.


Funny you should mention that. I was doing some metronome work yesterday and for some reason I never use to slow it WAY down. So I did exactly what you're talking about, and put the tempo way down and focused on having solid technique and relaxing. When I slowly pushed the tempo up and got to higher tempos, everything was much cleaner and it was just comfortable to play. It's truly a magnificent thing.

Quote by Kylianvb
Go play with others. A lot. Knowing your theory and technique and whatnot is very important, but the thing that made me improve a lot was simply throwing myself into the adventure that is called a band. I often have a hard time setting goals and sticking to it by myself, but being in a band means you HAVE to have that solo nailed by next Thursday and you HAVE to work on your dynamics and phrasing... And if you don't try, you're being a douchenozzle to all your bandmates. It's something that has always motivated me.


Excellent point. I would've quit playing guitar years ago had I not been in bands. There is nothing more satisfying and rewarding to me than creating music with genuine musicians and being able to perform it for spectators.
#30
without a doubt for me it would be learning how to interpret sheet music and really understanding in depth all you can do with various rhythms and timing. Also believe it or not, learning piano helped a lot too. Also developing my ear helped a lot. You playing is going to only be as good as your ear skill level.
Last edited by Unreal T at Apr 29, 2014,
#31
Quote by reverb66
1) learning solos, songs and vocal melodies by ear - which I started doing immediately out of necessity ( there were no transcriptions for the music I liked at the time).


Vocal melodies on guitar?
#32
Quote by LTaces
Vocal melodies on guitar?


Learning vocal lines is a great thing to do. Because you are improving your ear and at the same time you have to capture the nuances (pre bends, slides, dynamics, articulation, etc) of the human voice.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#33
When I stopped worrying about what scale a song/riff/solo uses, that's when I started improving on guitar.
#34
Quote by Unreal T
without a doubt for me it would be learning how to interpret sheet music and really understanding on a complete level all you can do with various rhythms and timing. Also believe it or not, learning piano helped a lot too. Also developing my ear helped a lot. You playing is going to only be as good as your ear skill level.


This is a good response. And learning another instrument can only open up more possibilities on guitar!

Quote by Sickz
Learning vocal lines is a great thing to do. Because you are improving your ear and at the same time you have to capture the nuances (pre bends, slides, dynamics, articulation, etc) of the human voice.


Thanks for clearing that up.

Quote by crazysam23_Atax
When I stopped worrying about what scale a song/riff/solo uses, that's when I started improving on guitar.


Haha I can relate to that. I remember getting frustrated learning songs by ear back in the day because I thought each solo related to a certain scale. So I would get upset when couldn't figure out why things didn't line up right.
#35
I am a drummer who taught himself how to play guitar so when I used to pick up the guitar I was hitting too many strings as I plucked away, using my forearm to pick, playing slow easy riffs in drop tuning. I had to change everything. I started playing all my songs in e standard, use my wrist, rest my palm against the guitar to get more speed, learned scales. When I started out it was just doing what anybody could do... acting like Suicide Silence.
#36
Quote by NWD2100
I am a drummer who taught himself how to play guitar so when I used to pick up the guitar I was hitting too many strings as I plucked away, using my forearm to pick, playing slow easy riffs in drop tuning. I had to change everything. I started playing all my songs in e standard, use my wrist, rest my palm against the guitar to get more speed, learned scales. When I started out it was just doing what anybody could do... acting like Suicide Silence.


I wish I could play the drums haha! But you definitely changed all that stuff for the better. I've had to do a lot of that myself, mostly over this past year. If you try holding the pick differently, resting your hand in a different spot, etc. You might open up a new, better, world for yourself.
#37
I might have to say recording (producing an original song/full cover).
When I first started putting what I thought was a decent guitar track together with a drum track - even just seeing the many off-beat misalignments of the wav files - all kinds of sloppy play, unwanted noise and timing errors became almost embarrassingly obvious.
From there I realized how important listening to your own playing is, not just focusing on the playing/technique itself but how it actually sounds in real time and it's helped me developed much better technique.
Last edited by fanapathy at Apr 29, 2014,
#38
Quote by fanapathy
I might have to say recording (producing an original song/full cover).
When I first started putting what I thought was a decent guitar track together with a drum track - even just seeing the many off-beat misalignments of the wav files - all kinds of sloppy play, unwanted noise and timing errors became almost embarrassingly obvious.
From there I realized how important listening to your own playing is, not just focusing on the playing/technique itself but how it actually sounds in real time and it's helped me developed much better technique.


Man oh man is this the truth. Plenty of times I've played something I thought was amazing, recorded it, and then hated myself after the atrocity I had just heard. :p
#39
the boring part of learning.. unable to play the way you want to and yes.. those painful fingers.
#40
Quote by blackleo89
Best thing i ever learned, warm up, relax, and breathe while playing.


About a year ago i was playing a piece that was kind of tricky, and i was concentrating so hard that i kept forgetting to breathe, and it really put me off. At the end of the piece, people told me my face was going red, and i realized how important breath control is.

Apart from the things already mentioned i would say that it's important not to let mistakes put you off too much. If it's down to not having had enough practice, then obviously you need to just practice more, but if it's down to human error, just let it go, keep going until the end of the song.
WHOMP

Think of that next time you are not allowed to laugh.
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