#1
I've been playing guitar going on 5 years now and i have to say i absolutely suck at soloing or playing anything that is moderately fast. Before i was just playing riffs and messing around and what not and i finally decided i wanted to bring my playing to the next level and accomplish my dream of being able to play fast and of course i just hit that wall.

So in order to get faster and play smooth while doing it i put together what little knowledge i have of overall technique and scale exercises together and came up with a pretty awful practice routine that i did on the daily for a while. Obviously it isn't working as i want it to because i am on UG asking for help.

I would like to know what you guys did when you started soloing and working on faster parts? Did you guys use practice routines or did you just practice the solo at a slow speed? how did you refine your technique if it was awful like mine is right now? What would really help me is specific exercises to get that lightning fast playing down or maybe a video or two showing some.

Thanks for all the help in advance guys! i am open to any suggestions so don't be shy to give your insight!
#2
Firstly, fix your vibrato. If it sucks, fix it. Bad vibrato can COMPLETELY destroy any hope of a solo sounding good. Try it slow, fast but not too fast etc. ALWAYS make sure it is even though. If you are changing how much your are bending the note out of tune every time you vibrate the string, it will usually sound bad.

Practice bends. make sure you can bend up half a step and keep it in tune, full step and keep it in tune, etc. Without plucking the string, bend up. Now pluck the note. Is it out of tune? Fix it.

I can bend a string without plucking it anywhere on the neck and have it be pretty much in tune 98% of the time. It's a skill that comes with practice, once you feel it and know how much to bend you get it and it can really improve your playing. Bending out of tune can also make any solo sound horrid.


Try adding vibrato to bent strings also.


Speed is a different animal all together. In order to play fast you need muscle memory of scales. Play the major scale(i recommend C major, if your in E standard just for ease of learning what notes are what on the fretboard.) all over the neck. Play the standard box from top to bottom and back up again over and over until your comfortable at that speed. Speed up the metronome and repeat.

The standard C Major shape can be found on google images very easily.

Try alternate picking all of it, try playing it all legato, etc. experiment.

Look at that, a few hours later and your playing faster.

Try playing the major scale from top to bottom on only the low E(starting from the 8th fret, which is a C). After doing that over and over you should have an idea of where all of the notes of the major scale land in relation to each other on every string. Move from the C on the low e to the C at the 3rd fret of the A string. Try playing the C major scale from top to bottom. Note that the pattern is exactly the same, which makes sense.


Wrap your head around that fact that all of these notes are the same regardless of where you are on the fretboard, the notes of the C major scale: C D E F G A B C.


put on a backing track in C Major from youtube and play the standard C major shape. Try skipping some notes, bending up to some notes, changing the rhythm, adding vibrato to held notes etc. Try playing the C major scale from top to bottom in time mixing in legato and alternate picking with the backing track as well.


That should get you started in learning how to solo. It's a really unique way to express yourself on an instrument I feel. It's about making the instrument sing.


btw, Music Theory is your friend.
Last edited by rickyj at Oct 8, 2014,
#3
go to youtube or another site and search for guitar backing tracks. they will have tracks in different keys which you can jam along to using the scales you know. Some tracks will be faster than others so find ones which speeds suit your level. the penatonic scale is usually the place to start. This will get you comfortable playing the right notes in time but won't add any new techniques. I find playing over a track is much more fun than not using one.

also learn solos from other songs. there are tons of video lessons on youtube on how to play different solos. some will be very helpful and others will be terrible so you will need to sort through them. but this will help you discover new patterns of notes and some new techniques.
Last edited by adambauman31 at Oct 8, 2014,
#4
Quote by adambauman31
also learn solos from other songs. there are tons of video lessons on youtube on how to play different solos. some will be very helpful and others will be terrible so you will need to sort through them. but this will help you discover new patterns of notes and some new techniques.


I am aware on how to learn the solos and find the notes out and stuff. its just the physical aspect of playing faster.

Like you and rickyj said i just need to work on my scales and get faster at those. Also the idea of playing to a backing track for the key that its in, that is new to me.
#5
Quote by ENISA
I am aware on how to learn the solos and find the notes out and stuff. its just the physical aspect of playing faster.

Like you and rickyj said i just need to work on my scales and get faster at those. Also the idea of playing to a backing track for the key that its in, that is new to me.



Every beginners first mistake honestly. There's way more to getting fast than just practicing scales. Do you even have the right picking technique to even attempt to get to the desired speed you want? Do you have the focus to stay disciplined within practice sessions? Do you have the patience, persistence, perseverance, and dedication? Are you willing to push yourself out of your comfort zone?


This is only a short few things, but if you don't have those traits, and aren't willing to develop them then there's no way you'll be gaining speed. Gaining speed takes hard work it's no cake walk.. I mean you shouldn't even be focused on speed you should be focused on practicing accurately then maybe the speed you want will come to you.
Last edited by Black_devils at Oct 8, 2014,
#6
Quote by Black_devils
Every beginners first mistake honestly. There's way more to getting fast than just practicing scales. Do you even have the right picking technique to even attempt to get to the desired speed you want? Do you have the focus to stay disciplined within practice sessions? Do you have the patience, persistence, perseverance, and dedication? Are you willing to push yourself out of your comfort zone?


I am fully aware that there is so much more that goes into proper solo technique then just scale runs. I most definitely have the discipline and patience when it comes to this kind of stuff. I really like schedule and order so staying on task when im practicing isn't a problem.

I do play slower solos and some faster parts of some stuff with fairly good accuracy (of course it could be better). I just mentioned the scale exercises and the fact that i need to work on them more so when i am physically sitting down with my guitar in my hands i have something to go off of and some structure to my practice. I have also been working on my picking technique, bends and vibrato more often.