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#1
One of the things that I struggle with a lot is practicing my scales. It just seems like such a daunting task to practice scales enough to learn a Metallica solo, or any kind of solo. For some reason I find stuff like this way easier when I have a set amount of times I need to play them a day.

So how many times would you guys recommend playing them a day if I want to eventually be able to play some Metallica leads? Thanks!
Last edited by Cheeseshark at Mar 19, 2015,
#2
Quote by Cheeseshark
So how many times would you guys recommend playing them a day if I want to eventually be able to play some Metallica leads? Thanks!


Zero times a day. If you want to play Metallica you play Metallica, you don't play scales.
Last edited by vayne92 at Mar 19, 2015,
#3
Quote by vayne92
Zero times a day. If you want to play Metallica you play Metallica, you don't play scales.

I was under the impression that if you wanted to play fast leads that you were supposed to learn some scales to make it easier to remember. Never played any lead so I could be easily mistaken, but isn't it easier to have the muscle memory already built up for those movements?
Last edited by Cheeseshark at Mar 19, 2015,
#4
Quote by Cheeseshark
I was under the impression that if you wanted to play fast leads that you were supposed to learn some scales to make it easier to remember.


Who gave you that idea, because you are definitely under the wrong impression.
#5
Quote by vayne92
Who gave you that idea, because you are definitely under the wrong impression.


Quote by gravitycure
It sounds like you are wanting to sprint before you know how to crawl. Any solo can be learned if you slow it down enough. I'd recommend learning all 5 positions of the pentatonic scale first. Learning this first will teach you where to put your fingers for different sections of a solo, the position you'll place your hands in for maximum benefit.

There are other scales to learn too, major and chromatic are important. Reference the way Daniel learned karate in the Karate Kid for scale practice. Every key every position. There are awesome YouTube videos that you can reference.

The better you are at scales the smoother and sweeter your solos will sound. It will also make them MUCH easier to learn and remember. 🎸
From a thread about picking hand speed/exercises.
#6
Hello, I've got band practise tomorrow so please tell me as soon as possible what notes I should play and where.
Me and my group are doing 12 bar blues with the following music:
http://prntscr.com/6iu8jw
But the problem is that we've had trouble finding somewhere where the accoustic guitar fits in.
Can you please tell me what chords to play and where in the music and if possible where the notes of the chord are located?

Eg. X - X -X chord for the first 12 bar

X is on X line X fret
X is on X line X fret
X is on X line X fret


This is forming most of my end of year music exam and I'd really appreciate it a lot. Thanks a lot
#7
You don't have to learn scales, necessarily, and it's definitely not going to help you if you see practice as a chore. There's a big difference between focused practice and practice where you're slaving away, counting down the seconds until you can play something "fun."

What I would do if I were you, is find the tab of my favorite Metallica solo, if that's what you're into. Break it down into segments and practice those segments slowwwwwwly to a metronome. You can even create exercises that focus on the skills you'll need to accurately play those segments. For example, if it's an alternately picked pentatonic run, set your metronome to something silly like 50 BPM, and practice alt picking a segment of the pentatonic scale. Then practice that run specifically. Then speed up your metronome and keep at it.

You can do this for any part of any solo. Even something as simple as the introductory bend of a solo. So, no, you don't *have* to practice scales. Playing scales makes up a huge part of my playing, but I personally enjoy it because I really enjoy noticing progress. If it's daunting to you, I would suggest avoiding it entirely and playing something that will inspire you to keep playing, and to *focus* intently on what you're playing. Being a great guitarist requires extremely economically precise muscular motions and the key to ingraining these motions in your muscle memory is very consistent, very slow, and most of all very FOCUSED practice.
Last edited by RyanMW2010 at Mar 19, 2015,
#8
Not to discredit what gravitycure has said, but I tend to disagree with 90% of what he's saying. I understand some of his reasoning, but for learning to play Metallica there's no better way to play Metallica than actually playing Metallica.
I believe in that original thread you wanted specific exercises or something. You can break down parts of any Metallica song in to its own exercise which is applicable for specifically thrash metal. An exercise can be ANYTHING. They're not exclusive to random passages people on the internet came up with.
#9
Quote by moedemb2000
Hello, I've got band practise tomorrow so please tell me as soon as possible what notes I should play and where.
Me and my group are doing 12 bar blues with the following music:
http://prntscr.com/6iu8jw
But the problem is that we've had trouble finding somewhere where the accoustic guitar fits in.
Can you please tell me what chords to play and where in the music and if possible where the notes of the chord are located?

Eg. X - X -X chord for the first 12 bar

X is on X line X fret
X is on X line X fret
X is on X line X fret


This is forming most of my end of year music exam and I'd really appreciate it a lot. Thanks a lot


Don't hijack his thread. Make your own thread.
#10
If you want to play Metallica leads you should play Metallica. Scales might be helpful if you want to create your own solo/lead.
#11
Quote by vayne92
Zero times a day. If you want to play Metallica you play Metallica, you don't play scales.


This.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

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"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#13
Quote by Cheeseshark
So basically scales are in no way necessary for learning leads? Fantastic.


Scales can be very useful for writing your own music and improvising, but for covering other artists music it's pretty pointless to learn scales.
#14
How difficult would you guys say Metallica leads generally are? With Kurt Cobain being a 1 and Rusty Cooley being a 10.
#15
Quote by Cheeseshark
How difficult would you guys say Metallica leads generally are? With Kurt Cobain being a 1 and Rusty Cooley being a 10.


Depends on the solo. I'd say around a 6-7 on average.
#16
Depends on the solo and the player. Best way to know is just try them. Obviously you'll not be able to play Ride the Lightning right away, so you'll want to start with easier ones such as Nothing Else Matters and Sanitarium. I would personally recommend starting with Sanitarium. There's 4 solo's that aren't too long and they range in difficulty so you should find at least one that you can challenge yourself with.
#17
Quote by vayne92
Depends on the solo and the player. Best way to know is just try them. Obviously you'll not be able to play Ride the Lightning right away, so you'll want to start with easier ones such as Nothing Else Matters and Sanitarium. I would personally recommend starting with Sanitarium. There's 4 solo's that aren't too long and they range in difficulty so you should find at least one that you can challenge yourself with.

So the Damage Inc. solo is probably not a good first? I think I'll take your recommendation and try the solos from Sanitarium.
I do have one question about soloing, how do you pick quickly on the higher fret and thinner strings? Whenever I try to do some quick alternate picking on the higher frets on strings 1-3 my pick either gets stuck or the note sounds very very quiet and muted.
Last edited by Cheeseshark at Mar 19, 2015,
#18
Quote by Cheeseshark
So the Damage Inc. solo is probably not a good first? I think I'll take your recommendation and try the solos from Sanitarium.


You need to have some semblance of self control when beginning to learn lead guitar. You have to recognize a challenge and the impossible. It is good to challenge yourself, but if you challenge yourself with the impossible then you can and likely will develop bad habits and poor technique.

Quote by Cheeseshark
I do have one question about soloing, how do you pick quickly on the higher fret and thinner strings? Whenever I try to do some quick alternate picking on the higher frets on strings 1-3 my pick either gets stuck or the note sounds very very quiet and muted.


Practice, as with anything on guitar. Something a lot of guitarists find helpful when focusing particularly on soloing is to use a thicker pick. While you can DEFINITELY play fast with any pick, a lot of people will recommend you try thicker picks. They have much less give and can prevent getting your pick "stuck".

I personally use Dunlop Gator Grip 2mm. I've been using them for about 3-4 years now and haven't looked back.




A very very common recommendation is jazz 3 picks. I haven't tried them myself, but I don't feel the need to as I believe the Gator Grip is the perfect pick for me personally.
Last edited by vayne92 at Mar 19, 2015,
#19
Quote by vayne92
You need to have some semblance of self control when beginning to learn lead guitar. You have to recognize a challenge and the impossible. It is good to challenge yourself, but if you challenge yourself with the impossible then you can and likely will develop bad habits and poor technique.


Practice, as with anything on guitar. Something a lot of guitarists find helpful when focusing particularly on soloing is to use a thicker pick. While you can DEFINITELY play fast with any pick, a lot of people will recommend you try thicker picks. They have much less give and can prevent getting your pick "stuck".

I personally use Dunlop Gator Grip 2mm. I've been using them for about 3-4 years now and haven't looked back.




A very very common recommendation is jazz 3 picks. I haven't tried them myself, but I don't feel the need to as I believe the Gator Grip is the perfect pick for me personally.

I actually use the Jazz III already, this leads me to believe it has something do do with my technique.
#20
If you like, feel free to send me a message and I'm happy to add you on Facebook or other social media and answer any questions you may have. I'm always eager to help people learn, not to mention I've been very lazy with guitar these last couple months so I need somebody to motivate me to pick up my guitar
#21
newbie here just ordered some jazz iii , thanks for recommendation
#22
Jazz 3s are nice. I highly recommend to anyone who hasn't tried them yet. If you can't play well with a jazz 3, I would say you need to go back to the drawing board with your practice sessions. They may take getting used too, but you'll find out very soon whether or not you notice the difference they make.
#23
Quote by vayne92
Not to discredit what gravitycure has said, but I tend to disagree with 90% of what he's saying. I understand some of his reasoning, but for learning to play Metallica there's no better way to play Metallica than actually playing Metallica.
I believe in that original thread you wanted specific exercises or something. You can break down parts of any Metallica song in to its own exercise which is applicable for specifically thrash metal. An exercise can be ANYTHING. They're not exclusive to random passages people on the internet came up with.


The concepts I discussed were posted from a different thread that had nothing to do with Metallica. However, as their songs are diatonic, knowing your scales allows the proper muscle memory to kick in and produce listenable results.

An exercise can be anything, as stated above. There are no substitutes for the fundamentals.
#24
Scales don't really help with muscle memory as for any given piece the notes are going to be in a different order - if anything over-drilling scales is counter-productive in that respect as it can be difficult to get your fingers moving in a different order.

However knowing and understanding scales is very beneficial when it comes to learning solos as it helps you recognise patterns, both visually and aurally, which is a great help when it comes to making sense of what may at first look like little more than an arbitrary sequence of notes. Being able to recognise scale and chord fragments gives you a massive heads up when it comes to figuring out things like fingerings and optimal hand positioning.
Actually called Mark!

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#25
There is not a set number of times you need to practice them. You need to practice them in order to get better. You could practice them 100 times and not get any better, if you practice them wrong.

"scales" I think is a misleading way to think of it. People go to chords/scales websites, and see all of these scales and chords they have to learn, and it looks like a lot, but it's not as complicated as it looks.

Imagine if someone showed you the dictionary and said "these are all the words you need to learn how to spell." It would seem like a lot.

You can learn a solo on its own without practicing scales, but that's a poor idea. You will not learn anything about music, and practicing a scale will make playing that solo much easier. Of course there can be a number of techniques you need to familiarize yourself with in order to be able to accomplish some solos.

Scales are discovered. They exist for a reason. They are pertinent to every single musician. Every musician that improvises very well, knows some scales.

But it is what a scale is, and how it works, from a sound standpoint that's important. From a physical standpoint scales are great also. That is what helps you play fast from in your mind. Guys that play solos on guitar didn't plan and practice a specific solo, and practice it over and over. They just come up with it as they go. They are not cookie cutting other solos they learned. They understand music, and their instrument, and they play any idea that comes into their mind instantly, because they know what scales are, how to use them, and they practiced them, among other things.

EDIT: To more precisely answer your question, you should practice your scales in a number of ways for years and years and years. You can also learn specific solos if you want, but those solos are really easy for the guys playing them. They constructed them on a whim, and played them with ease as though it was nothing. They could have come up with anything at all and it would have been easy for them. If that's what you want, then practice scales, a lot, for many years, and practice them right, and understand them. It is tough, what the really good guitarists do.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Mar 20, 2015,
#26
Quote by steven seagull
Scales don't really help with muscle memory as for any given piece the notes are going to be in a different order - if anything over-drilling scales is counter-productive in that respect as it can be difficult to get your fingers moving in a different order.



You should not only practice scales running up and down them. That is good for practicing doing runs, but you want to be able to go from every degree to every other degree. Scales are not notes you have to play in order or reverse order. They are collections of important notes that sound a certain way in relation to the remainder, and themselves, and you can play them in any order you want. So, that's how you should practice them.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Mar 21, 2015,
#27
learning scales is a huge help to learning leads, it is after all what the leads are built from. anyone that tells you not to bother is flat out wrong and doing you a diservice. just running scales won't make you a good lead player and is boring to say the least. knowing where you are and potentially where you could go on the fretboard is what makes lead playing easier.

first thing and i know it's not what you want to hear . you really are in for a world of frustration is you try to play Metallica leads right off the bat with no lead playing skills. start with something fairly easy and work your way up. since leads are made from scales take a scale and make up your own little leads using it. don't expect them to be good at first not the point just giving it a shot is.

you need to be your own motivator nothing i can say will do that for you. you want to be a guitar player well pay your dues like the rest of us.
#28
Quote by monwobobbo
learning scales is a huge help to learning leads, it is after all what the leads are built from. anyone that tells you not to bother is flat out wrong and doing you a diservice. just running scales won't make you a good lead player and is boring to say the least. knowing where you are and potentially where you could go on the fretboard is what makes lead playing easier.

first thing and i know it's not what you want to hear . you really are in for a world of frustration is you try to play Metallica leads right off the bat with no lead playing skills. start with something fairly easy and work your way up. since leads are made from scales take a scale and make up your own little leads using it. don't expect them to be good at first not the point just giving it a shot is.

you need to be your own motivator nothing i can say will do that for you. you want to be a guitar player well pay your dues like the rest of us.

Thanks for being honest. I figured the Metallica leads would frustrate me. I'm at least gonna try an easier one and if I feel like its too much for me, I'll try something I'm confident I can play. Probably Smells Like Teen Spirit or something like that.

Thanks for all the other advice as well, I might just sit down and see if I can do anything at all with the few scales I know. It isn't learning the scales that bores me to near death, it's trying to get them up to the shred speeds that I enjoy hearing by playing them a billion times over. Thanks everyone for the advice.
Last edited by Cheeseshark at Mar 20, 2015,
#29
Quote by Cheeseshark
Thanks for being honest. I figured the Metallica leads would frustrate me. I'm at least gonna try an easier one and if I feel like its too much for me, I'll try something I'm confident I can play. Probably Smells Like Teen Spirit or something like that.

Thanks for all the other advice as well, I might just sit down and see if I can do anything at all with the few scales I know. It isn't learning the scales that bores me to near death, it's trying to get them up to the shred speeds that I enjoy hearing by playing them a billion times over. Thanks everyone for the advice.


no problem. takes time so relax and just plug along. i think you'll find that if you do something easier and have a little success that you'll be more inspired to play. shred speed takes a lot of time, patience and practice. i spent years working at that and honestly never achieved shred mastery. i'll never be that fast and that's fine. i still do practice that from time to time though and have built up a fair amount of speed but yngwie or steve vai i'm not nor is it likely i'll be.
#30
Practice - scales are important for eartraining - even for Metallica - you have to know what you are playing - it is better to use your ears than guitar tab.
#31
Whatever I want to say has already been said, so I'll avoid being a parrot. I just want to mention that chord work and scale/lead work are fairly different, and that you may have been under the impression that you should practice scales to learn to play leads as you were trying to transfer that knowledge into lead playing.

(Either that or I'm just being presumptuous. )

You have to practice chords to play songs that are predominantly chord-based, because it's a pretty all-or-nothing business. You have to practice to get your fingers on all the right notes, or you're not going to play the chord.

With lead playing, the key is getting up to speed and keeping your technique clean, not remembering the scale patterns or knowing the notes in the scales.
#32
You need to dedicate a LOT of time to get to the point you can play what is in your head anywhere on the neck, scales, interval knowledge are needed to find the most efficient ways to finger etc. Learning all the scales up and down each string is also very important.

Sure you can just learn a Metallica lead from tabs...like everyone else at the beginner stage, but the sooner you move on to creating or figuring out yourself the better
Last edited by Tempoe at Mar 21, 2015,
#33
Quote by triface
Whatever I want to say has already been said, so I'll avoid being a parrot. I just want to mention that chord work and scale/lead work are fairly different, and that you may have been under the impression that you should practice scales to learn to play leads as you were trying to transfer that knowledge into lead playing.

(Either that or I'm just being presumptuous. )

You have to practice chords to play songs that are predominantly chord-based, because it's a pretty all-or-nothing business. You have to practice to get your fingers on all the right notes, or you're not going to play the chord.

With lead playing, the key is getting up to speed and keeping your technique clean, not remembering the scale patterns or knowing the notes in the scales.


sorry but you do need to know the notes otherwise staying in key is't gonna happen.
#34
I regard scales are primarily a reference point for finding "good" notes that harmonize with the underlying chords of the song.

So they are useful in that regard. If you play them fast enough they are useful in shredding (if you play anything fast enough it is useful in shredding).

The small patterns in the scales repeat throughout the fretboard and are useful to practice and then combine in larger patterns.

I primarily use the major scale, pentatonic scales and outside notes (non-scale tones). Which I guess is basically all 12 notes.

Last edited by Virgman at Mar 22, 2015,
#35
Once I've worked my way up to playing a couple Metallica solos, would it be worth buying a whammy pedal? I know Kirk Hammett is a fan of those, and I can think of a few solos off the top of my head that make use of them. This would of course be a decent ways off.
#36
Quote by Cheeseshark
Once I've worked my way up to playing a couple Metallica solos, would it be worth buying a whammy pedal? I know Kirk Hammett is a fan of those, and I can think of a few solos off the top of my head that make use of them. This would of course be a decent ways off.


well it can't hurt but...... adding in fx along with trying to learn the solos just puts more on your plate and makes it harder to concentrate on what you are doing. learning to use a whammy pedal will in itself take some time. it's not the most plug and play friendly pedal out there. you'd be better off with a wha for doing kirks solos.
#37
FWIW My typical practice session looks something like this:

*10 minutes of warmup on relevant scales and chord patterns/voicings to the music I am working on.
* 30 minutes woodshedding a new piece of music or difficult passage to get to the point of playing it fluid and relaxed. Much slower tempo at first and adding speed as it becomes fluid.
* 20 minutes playing along with the original track or jam track paying attention to timing and phrasing.

Rest and mental practice.

I may come back to it several times a day but tend to limit practice sessions to about one hour. Some songs will come together very quickly and others may take weeks to play fluid and relaxed.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

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#38
Quote by Cajundaddy
FWIW My typical practice session looks something like this:

*10 minutes of warmup on relevant scales and chord patterns/voicings to the music I am working on.
* 30 minutes woodshedding a new piece of music or difficult passage to get to the point of playing it fluid and relaxed. Much slower tempo at first and adding speed as it becomes fluid.
* 20 minutes playing along with the original track or jam track paying attention to timing and phrasing.

Rest and mental practice.

I may come back to it several times a day but tend to limit practice sessions to about one hour. Some songs will come together very quickly and others may take weeks to play fluid and relaxed.

you're way more disciplined than i am. i rarely practice in the traditional sense anymore. sure if i feel the need to learn something new i'll take some time and do it. i don't really sit around for hours practicing something new. what i do is learn some of it and try to incorpprate it into my playing a little at a time. if it's a new song then yeah i have to knuckle under and just practice it.

one thing i do love to do and it really helps with leads is to put on a song and play leads to the vocal melody. if not that then play to the flow of the song and ignore what the guitar player is actually doing.
#39
Quote by monwobobbo
well it can't hurt but...... adding in fx along with trying to learn the solos just puts more on your plate and makes it harder to concentrate on what you are doing. learning to use a whammy pedal will in itself take some time. it's not the most plug and play friendly pedal out there. you'd be better off with a wha for doing kirks solos.

Whoops. I actually meant wah pedal. Another question, does anyone know if there is any difference at all between his signature wah and a normal dunlop crybaby?
#40
Quote by Cheeseshark
Whoops. I actually meant wah pedal. Another question, does anyone know if there is any difference at all between his signature wah and a normal dunlop crybaby?


quality for one. check the specs but i believe that kirks uses a a better pot and has a couple of other parts that vary from the regular one. not a fan of cry-baby's. had a vintage early 70s one for years but it just wasn't that good (uness picking up radio signals counts). greatly prefer Morley.
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