#1
Hi! I have played guitar for some years now and I'm self taught. The problem is that though I have been able to play som licks or riffs for several years, I can't get them right all the time. But sometimes I do this really fast solo and get it perfectly with no mistakes. For example I have been able to play the Sweet Child O mine intro for as long as I can remember but I feel like it's very rare that I play it with no mistakes. On the other hand I just learned the solo from The final Countdown - Europe.
The rate of when I play it with no mistakes is not too far away between these songs. It's very frustrating cause I think I will never be able to play in front of a crowd with confidence.

Has anyone encountered something like this?
I feel like most of the ''mistakes'' come from the picking hand.

I use alternate picking with a jazz III pick on an Ibanez dn500 and a Samick malibu mb1 strat.

Very grateful for answers
#2
I think you should practice the songs more.

You see, when I practice a song, the first thing I do is slowing down the tempo to a more comfortable level, and work from there. I only raise the tempo (by 10% usually) if I play it right for more than 5 times in a row. Then, I raise the tempo by 10%. If I can't play it 5 times in a row without making mistakes, I slow it down 5%. I do that until I reach 100%.

When I do reach 100% (the normal tempo of the song), I try to play the song without making mistakes at 110% tempo. That way, I play the song with total confidence at its normal tempo.

Of course, we make mistakes from time to time, that's normal.

I also divide the songs by parts, specially solos. That seems to help too.

I know it may sound a bit tedious, but it works for me. You could try it
Last edited by DanyFS at Jun 8, 2015,
#3
Quote by DanyFS
I think you should practice the songs more.

You see, when I practice a song, the first thing I do is slowing down the tempo to a more comfortable level, and work from there. I only raise the tempo (by 10% usually) if I play it right for more than 5 times in a row. Then, I raise the tempo by 10%. If I can't play it 5 times in a row without making mistakes, I slow it down 5%. I do that until I reach 100%.

When I do reach 100% (the normal tempo of the song), I try to play the song without making mistakes at 110% tempo. That way, I play the song with total confidence at its normal tempo.

Of course, we make mistakes from time to time, that's normal.

I also divide the songs by parts, specially solos. That seems to help too.

I know it may sound a bit tedious, but it works for me. You could try it


Okay thanks. That system seems like a pretty good idea, I'll try it out.
#4
That is a well used method to improve articulation and accuracy. Keep in mind though that playing music is a lot like telling a story. Some passages really require high levels of articulation and others don't. The trick is knowing when to use it, and spending your time where it really matters.
"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

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Jun 8, 2015,
#5
Quote by Cajundaddy
That is a well used method to improve articulation and accuracy. Keep in ming though that playing music is a lot like telling a story. Some passages really require high levels of articulation and others don't. The trick is knowing when to use it, and spending your time where it really matters.


agree. look i've been playing for over 35 years and don't always get songs i've been playing forever right every time. it happens. i've found that once i have things down and don't have to think about it that if i do think even for a second then i'll mess up. if you listen to any player live you'll hear little mistakes all the time. i'm sure slash muffs his own tunes and just hopes no one notices. if you listen to SmokeOn The Water from Made In Japan album ritchie flubs a part and sounds terrible they still left it on the record.

pratice makes perfect but not really.
#6
You will never get it perfect. Just get out and do it. I have played in bands for over a decade and will tell you that some of the most fun we've had on stage were some of our worst performances.
If you are having fun up there, your audience won't give a damn that you played an E-flat instead of an E.
Hell, I've sang the same verse twice in a cover band (on more than one occasion) and guess what? no one gave a damn! Everyone was having too much fun to care!

Once you get out there and do it a couple times, you will loosen up and realize that it doesn't matter.
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#8
one technique my instructor uses is to have you play the piece you are learning as slow as you need to, but perfectly with no mistakes 5 times in a row. if you make a mistake, no biggy, just reset and start again at 0. when you play through perfectly 5 times in a row, move on to something else.

do this for a few days in a row until you are comfortable with the piece, and then start doing the same with a metronome, to bring it up to speed. I've been taking lessons for about 6 months, and this technique is one that works for me.

edit: just noticed that this was already suggested, so second endorsement for this method.
#9
Quote by joje4
Hi! I have played guitar for some years now and I'm self taught. The problem is that though I have been able to play som licks or riffs for several years, I can't get them right all the time. But sometimes I do this really fast solo and get it perfectly with no mistakes. For example I have been able to play the Sweet Child O mine intro for as long as I can remember but I feel like it's very rare that I play it with no mistakes. On the other hand I just learned the solo from The final Countdown - Europe.
The rate of when I play it with no mistakes is not too far away between these songs. It's very frustrating cause I think I will never be able to play in front of a crowd with confidence.

Has anyone encountered something like this?
I feel like most of the ''mistakes'' come from the picking hand.

I use alternate picking with a jazz III pick on an Ibanez dn500 and a Samick malibu mb1 strat.

Very grateful for answers


First off, you can't expect to have something be performance ready if you aren't practicing it constantly/regularly.

Second, when you play shows you will have your set nailed down pat - through jamming and practice. No one goes on stage and then performs a song they haven't played in six months - everyone is playing a set they are pro-actively practicing and have rehearsed. That's why bands tour with certain songs in the set and leave others out.

Third, if you can't play something from memory perfectly without mistakes, then you can't play it - practice the trouble spots until you can play it flawlessly. Don't expect to be able to play a solo three months after having not played it - it will be hit and miss. Just because you learnt something once doesn't mean it will stick in your memory forever. This is normal.
#10
Quote by stephen.t.kane
one technique my instructor uses is to have you play the piece you are learning as slow as you need to, but perfectly with no mistakes 5 times in a row. if you make a mistake, no biggy, just reset and start again at 0. when you play through perfectly 5 times in a row, move on to something else.

do this for a few days in a row until you are comfortable with the piece, and then start doing the same with a metronome, to bring it up to speed. I've been taking lessons for about 6 months, and this technique is one that works for me.

edit: just noticed that this was already suggested, so second endorsement for this method.


I learned that from my teacher too when I used to take guitar lessons. Unfortunately had to leave because of time and money issues.

But yeah, it certainly works quite well