#1
Hey guys,

I have a few questions to ask regarding guitar techniques that I hope/know you can answer. But please answer everything as BASIC (can't stress this enough) as possible. I have done some looking around on the internet and some books but nothing is really sinking in for me (don't worry, I wouldn't just ask without looking around online, that's just low.)

I'm currently a self-taught guitarist of almost 5 years learning from basic tabs. My main guitar idols are Synyster Gates, Jake Pitts, Jacky Vincent (you can see the trend here) and pretty much would love to learn to play very similar to them. After doing a bit of research I know what kind of techniques they use:

-Sweep Picking
-Scales
-Arpeggios

And a lot more.

My questions:

1: Sweep picking
I understand that sweep picking is meant to be a whole bunch of notes played in a nice flowing movement but the only "sweep" (if you can call it that) that I can play, for example, is:

E|===9==========9===|
B|====10======10====|
G|======11==11======|
D|========12========|
A|==================|
E|==================|

So what I want to know is:
-What is the main theory in writing your own sweeping pattern?
-Best way to practice sweeping from scratch?

2: Scales
I really don't understand what they are. I read a post from UG here but I still don't really understand it so can someone please explain it simpler and what would be the best way to practice scales?

3: Arpeggios
I understand that arpeggios are notes in chords played individually so what would be the best way to learn chords? I think I putchords off from the beginning due to frustration so where would be a good place to start?

4: Weird (?) Riffs
When I say weird riffs I mean more complex than you're average riff. An example would be:

Black Veil Brides - Coffin
D----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
F----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
C--------------------------------------------------------------7-8-10-8-7------|
G-------8p0-7p0-5p0-8-7-5---------------8p0-7p0-5p0------------10-8-|
C-0~~-0-------------------8-7-5-3-0~~-0-----------------------------------|

Or Black Veil Brides - Rebel Love Song
|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|--2-2-5-2-4-2-0-2--2-5-2-4-2-0-2----2-5-2-4-2-0---2-5-2---1-4-1--|
|-------------------------------------------5----------------2--------5---------|

Is there a specific name for this kind of random riff? Is there a way to practice something like this?

5: Shredding
So I noticed in a lot of "shredding" or solos from Avenged Sevenfold and more bands they play solos that miss a note in their shreds. For example:

Afterlife solo
D------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A-------------------------------------------------------------------------15-15-17-17-|
F-------------------------------------------------------------14-14-16-16-------------|
C-15-14-12-15-14-12-----------------------14-14-15-15--------------------------|
G-------------------------15-14-12-15-14-12-----------------------------------------|
C------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Shadows Die solo
--18-19-18-16---------------------------------------------|
-----------------19-18-16-19-18-16----------------------|
--------------------------------------18-16-15-18-16-15-|
---------------------------------------------------------------|
---------------------------------------------------------------|
---------------------------------------------------------------|

Is there a particular name for this technique? Also how can you practice a technique like this.

Like I said guys very basic explainations please =]

Regards,
#2
You'll get better annswers in MT
Actually called Mark!

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#3
1) Sweep picking is a way of playing arpeggios, but in a flowing motion so that you don't have to pick out every note. The best way to write your own sweeping patterns is learn music theory and know what arpeggio you're looking for!

2) Scales are a series of notes put together, they are used to create harmony. On guitar the easiest way to learn scales to start off with is learn the box positions e.g; Major scale, minor scale, pentatonic major/minor etc... this also requires you to learn music theory to get a deeper understanding of western harmony!

3) Arpeggios as you said are broken down chords, instead of playing the chord, the notes are picked individually. Once again I suggest you learn music theory if you're serious about learning this stuff!

As for your weird riff and soloing questions, I'm not a big fan of that genre so I wouldn't like to try and answer your questions! however my advice would be to practice your rhythm playing and legato techniques.
#4
1: The most basic sweep picking is just sweeping arpeggios. So for example if you have a chord progression like C-Am-Dm7-G7, you would first sweep a C major arpeggio over the C major chord, A minor arpeggio over the Am chord and so on. A good example of a basic sweep pick solo is "Leper Messiah" by Metallica. The chord progression is Em-F-G and the sweep pattern follows the chords. Kirk plays Em arpeggio over the Em chord, F major arpeggio over the F major chord and G major arpeggio over the G major chord.

How to practice? Remember to practice slowly. Pay attention to your right hand. You want it to be one sweep - you don't want to do four downpicks, you want to do one single hand movement. If you can do it slowly, you can do it faster. Just increase your speed slowly.

2: Scale just means a collection of notes. All notes you play are part of some scale. By knowing the scales it's easier to navigate on the fretboard. Major scale is the most important scale because Western music is pretty much based on it. The two most common scales are major and minor scales. If a song is in a major key, it mostly uses the notes in the major scale and minor key songs mostly use notes in the minor scale. Songs in major keys usually sound more happy and minor songs usually sound more sad (this is of course just a generalization but it makes it easier to understand what it means to be in major/minor).

What really defines the key you are in is the tonic. That's your home note/chord. If the tonic is minor, you are in a minor key and if the tonic is major, you are in a major key. You can kind of feel a pull towards the tonic. For example play C-F-G. Doesn't it feel like it wants to go somewhere? Like it doesn't sound complete? Now play C major again. Now it should sound complete. That's your tonic.

Oh, and remember that major and minor scales only have 7 notes that repeat in different octaves. The major and minor scales are all over the fretboard, not just in one position.

I don't know about the best way of practicing scales. I find playing scales up and down just boring. Maybe try making music with the scales. Try to use them in context. Just playing them up and down doesn't really teach you how to use them. Pay attention to the sounds, not just the fingerings.

3: Learn the basic chords. Learn barre chords. Learn how to construct chords (to understand this you need to learn the intervals).

4: I don't know what's so special with those riffs. Just play songs.

The only thing I notice is that they are single note riffs.

5: To learn to shred, you need to be able to pick fast. You need to have your both hands in synch. It's also good to know some guitar licks - many times shredding is pretty much lick based.

Practice slower to be able to play faster. Speed comes over time. But by practicing slowly you notice the mistakes you make a lot easier and you can also pay a lot more attention to a good clean sound (I mean, there's no string noise and your playing doesn't sound sloppy).
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jun 1, 2014,
#5
Since everyone seems to have answered on everything but your #4 Riff thing.

I think what OP is wanting to know is how to play the riffs efficiently? So I think he wants to learn 'alternative picking'.

You're preferably gonna want to use a plectrum I assume. So the motion is simply practicing going over the strings you're picking in an up and down motion.

So if you had a line of notes on one string such as 0-1-3-5-6-8, you want to practice picking the string going up and down rather than going down or up every time. That is how people achieve fast picking without getting RSI haha.
Dance in the moonlight my old friend twilight


Quote by metal4eva_22
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#6
All of your answers have been fantastic and really appreciated. So I understand the following:

1) Learn music theory!!!!
2) Learn my chords
3) Start slow and then progressively get faster with practice

I finished uni now so this is going to be my summer project. However 3 questions:

1) Music theory; can I learn it online?
2) Any ideas on the best way to learn my chords? I remember barre chords really frustrated me because I could never barre properly
3) With the shredding question; Why are those notes missing? =P still curious ;D
#8
Here's my terribly uninformed input:

1. Sweeping

My sweeping is really sloppy and I don't practice it a lot so I can't help you here. But this guy might:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tob2N4dze8

4. "Weird riffs"

These are (essentially) pedal riffs. A google/youtube/etc. search will tell you more about them. The examples you gave aren't the generic pedal riff, but the bands you mentioned use them in abundance so it's something you'll want to learn.

5. Shredding

The doubled up note pattern is usually a result of picking faster then your fingers are moving. It doesn't mean that they're playing sloppy, it just means that they're kind of "going all out". John Petrucci is a pretty precise player and he still clusters notes when he pushes the speed. I don't really know how to go about that, I'm not a fast player. The 2nd half of this solo has a lot of the "clustering" idea. (Skip to 1:20)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk7juplOA0w


Hopefully that's not too confusing but if it is disregard it because I probably don't know what I'm talking about.
Last edited by imspazzen at Jun 1, 2014,
#9
Quote by Syn_Pitts

2) Any ideas on the best way to learn my chords? I remember barre chords really frustrated me because I could never barre properly
3) With the shredding question; Why are those notes missing? =P still curious ;D


So start off with basic open chords shapes. Learn some easy rhythms from songs, you'll notice the 'chord progressions' are very repetitive and some chords are used more frequently than others. Memory muscle will make them less painful.

Move onto barre chords once you've got the hang of understanding open chords. Barre chords are pretty much the same as open chords but they sound slightly different and are generally harder to do for beginners. Learn the positions of both open and barre and have fun playing around with them.

#3 - I think what you mean by the missing notes is that when a lead is played in a solo, the notes that you think are 'missing' aren't part of the scale so they aren't played.

I learn by ear so my understanding of theory isn't as good as someone that knows it properly but when it comes to scale/lines of notes, when you play you know what you want to hear so we miss out frets/notes in a lick/scale/line to achieve the sound we want.

For example on the high e string, 12-14-15-14-12 fit the scale. You could do 12-13-15-13-12 also.

I learnt just by playing the notes in different patterns/variations, you get a practical understanding of why by hearing how notes sound when being put together.
Dance in the moonlight my old friend twilight


Quote by metal4eva_22
What's this about ****ing corpses? My UG senses were tingling.
#10
Once again fantastic responses guys. I'm gonna get started. If I have any questions I'll let you all know! Thank you =D
#11
Quote by Syn_Pitts
Hey guys,

I have a few questions to ask regarding guitar techniques that I hope/know you can answer. But please answer everything as BASIC (can't stress this enough) as possible. I have done some looking around on the internet and some books but nothing is really sinking in for me (don't worry, I wouldn't just ask without looking around online, that's just low.)

I'm currently a self-taught guitarist of almost 5 years learning from basic tabs. My main guitar idols are Synyster Gates, Jake Pitts, Jacky Vincent (you can see the trend here) and pretty much would love to learn to play very similar to them. After doing a bit of research I know what kind of techniques they use:

-Sweep Picking
-Scales
-Arpeggios

And a lot more.

My questions:

1: Sweep picking
I understand that sweep picking is meant to be a whole bunch of notes played in a nice flowing movement but the only "sweep" (if you can call it that) that I can play, for example, is:

E|===9==========9===|
B|====10======10====|
G|======11==11======|
D|========12========|
A|==================|
E|==================|

So what I want to know is:
-What is the main theory in writing your own sweeping pattern?
-Best way to practice sweeping from scratch?

2: Scales
I really don't understand what they are. I read a post from UG here but I still don't really understand it so can someone please explain it simpler and what would be the best way to practice scales?

3: Arpeggios
I understand that arpeggios are notes in chords played individually so what would be the best way to learn chords? I think I putchords off from the beginning due to frustration so where would be a good place to start?

4: Weird (?) Riffs
When I say weird riffs I mean more complex than you're average riff. An example would be:

Black Veil Brides - Coffin
D----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
F----------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
C--------------------------------------------------------------7-8-10-8-7------|
G-------8p0-7p0-5p0-8-7-5---------------8p0-7p0-5p0------------10-8-|
C-0~~-0-------------------8-7-5-3-0~~-0-----------------------------------|

Or Black Veil Brides - Rebel Love Song
|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|--2-2-5-2-4-2-0-2--2-5-2-4-2-0-2----2-5-2-4-2-0---2-5-2---1-4-1--|
|-------------------------------------------5----------------2--------5---------|

Is there a specific name for this kind of random riff? Is there a way to practice something like this?

5: Shredding
So I noticed in a lot of "shredding" or solos from Avenged Sevenfold and more bands they play solos that miss a note in their shreds. For example:

Afterlife solo
D------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A-------------------------------------------------------------------------15-15-17-17-|
F-------------------------------------------------------------14-14-16-16-------------|
C-15-14-12-15-14-12-----------------------14-14-15-15--------------------------|
G-------------------------15-14-12-15-14-12-----------------------------------------|
C------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Shadows Die solo
--18-19-18-16---------------------------------------------|
-----------------19-18-16-19-18-16----------------------|
--------------------------------------18-16-15-18-16-15-|
---------------------------------------------------------------|
---------------------------------------------------------------|
---------------------------------------------------------------|

Is there a particular name for this technique? Also how can you practice a technique like this.

Like I said guys very basic explainations please =]

Regards,



The problem that stands out to me, is that you are looking for answers to things you can't understand with basic knowledge.

The main theory in writing a sweeping pattern is knowing the notes that make up any chords, and being able to see those notes on the guitar, relative to comfortable hand positions.

A scale is hard to define if you have basic knowledge. You know your alphabet, right? OK music uses those notes. But they begin and end on the same letter in different consecutive ways.

B to B is a scale. For example, B C# D E F# G# A B is some sort of "scale" .

The best way to learn chords, starts out with making the decision to learn chords. The way I teach chords, differs from whether you're brand new and have never learned to play a simple chord or song, to whether you've been playing a while, and the details of that learning, for example might range from:

"here's how you finger a simple D chord"

To:

"Therefore, here are the alphabetic notes of an E7#9 chord: E G# B D and Fx. as you might recall, you learned the proper way, and reasons that it s musically sound to identify those terms correctly, in lecture 3"

I would term the example you gave, like Ax7, a melodic "line".

As for Back Veil Brides and riffs like that, knowing the key of the song, the tuning of the guitars, the notes on the neck and having an understanding of major or minor scales, it would be easy to determine what might be going on, the use of "odd notes" and come up with a general profile of the "line" and determine if it's indeed "random" or if it works for some reason.

This is as basic as I can think of, and I do understand that, these basic explanations may not help very well. Because basic explanations aren't a satisfying substitute for actually understanding and having knowledge.

I do mentor guitar players for free. If you need a boost, feel free to PM me and I'll do my best to help you get a good start towards your goals, based upon the level you are presently at.

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Jun 2, 2014,
#12
Also, before you get distracted by any exotically named scales, know that A7X stick pretty close to the minor scale.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#13
Quote by Sean0913
The problem that stands out to me, is that you are looking for answers to things you can't understand with basic knowledge.

The main theory in writing a sweeping pattern is knowing the notes that make up any chords, and being able to see those notes on the guitar, relative to comfortable hand positions.

A scale is hard to define if you have basic knowledge. You know your alphabet, right? OK music uses those notes. But they begin and end on the same letter in different consecutive ways.

B to B is a scale. For example, B C# D E F# G# A B is some sort of "scale" .

The best way to learn chords, starts out with making the decision to learn chords. The way I teach chords, differs from whether you're brand new and have never learned to play a simple chord or song, to whether you've been playing a while, and the details of that learning, for example might range from:

"here's how you finger a simple D chord"

To:

"Therefore, here are the alphabetic notes of an E7#9 chord: E G# B D and Fx. as you might recall, you learned the proper way, and reasons that it s musically sound to identify those terms correctly, in lecture 3"

I would term the example you gave, like Ax7, a melodic "line".

As for Back Veil Brides and riffs like that, knowing the key of the song, the tuning of the guitars, the notes on the neck and having an understanding of major or minor scales, it would be easy to determine what might be going on, the use of "odd notes" and come up with a general profile of the "line" and determine if it's indeed "random" or if it works for some reason.

This is as basic as I can think of, and I do understand that, these basic explanations may not help very well. Because basic explanations aren't a satisfying substitute for actually understanding and having knowledge.

I do mentor guitar players for free. If you need a boost, feel free to PM me and I'll do my best to help you get a good start towards your goals, based upon the level you are presently at.

Best,

Sean


Wow Sean that seems like an awesome offer and I will definitely take you up on it when I'm free next.

@Alan in that case I will have a look at Minor scales.

I'm currently teaching myself chords and to be honest they aren't as bad as I remembered. It must of just been beginner's fingers or me basically being a complete novice.
#14
Quote by Syn_Pitts
@Alan in that case I will have a look at Minor scales.


Major scales are handy too.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#15
Quote by Syn_Pitts
Wow Sean that seems like an awesome offer and I will definitely take you up on it when I'm free next.

@Alan in that case I will have a look at Minor scales.

I'm currently teaching myself chords and to be honest they aren't as bad as I remembered. It must of just been beginner's fingers or me basically being a complete novice.

Yeah. You can't assume yourself to be able to play chords immediately. You need to practice. Nobody can do anything without first practicing it. And if you never practice it, you will never get better at it. But seems like the other stuff you have been playing has also improved your chord playing. I remember when I discovered power chords, I started using them a lot. And after some time I tried playing barre chords and they felt really easy. Before I had learned about power chords, I couldn't play barre chords at all.

But my point is, don't give up if you can't do it right away. You just need to practice. You can't learn to play the guitar without playing the guitar.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115