#1
I've been an exercise based guitar learner since the beginning. Where most grow bored, I find therapy in sitting down with my guitar playing exercises for long periods of time.

However, I feel it's time that I shift more towards a song learning based practice schedule. Here are my concerns. I want to develop the chops to play blazing solos like Iron Maiden, Dio, Megadeth, etc. The obvious answer is "learn those solos and practice them." Well, as of now, 99% of the solos I want to play are considerably beyond my ability. I've learned a few difficult solos in the past, but despite practicing them for weeks, I never even got close to getting them up to speed. It was very discouraging. I want to give it another shot, but I need to learn when I need to "hang it up" and move on to learning another solo. Obviously, I shouldn't just practice one solo for ages until I get it down before moving on, especially when it is so much above my skill level.

At what point do I say "alright, I've gotten as much out of this one as I can for now, time to learn another solo and hammer it for a while"?
#2
Just listen to your intuition it's never wrong. If you feel the need to move on then just proceed to move on... Work on solos that are challenging to your skill level, but aren't perceived as impossible.
#3
My intuition tells me to never stop practicing a solo because I have this irrational fear of it falling out of my head completely and then all that time was wasted. I have to work on that, but for now, I would prefer it if I had a more concrete way of determining when I should move on.
#4
Quote by Black_devils
Work on solos that are challenging to your skill level, but aren't perceived as impossible.


I reckon that's the nail on the head. If you can do that you will keep improving but not pick up something that is too far from your level. It will also help your confidence as you keep hitting goals and crossing solo's to learn off your list.
#5
Quote by Sample246
I've been an exercise based guitar learner since the beginning. Where most grow bored, I find therapy in sitting down with my guitar playing exercises for long periods of time.

However, I feel it's time that I shift more towards a song learning based practice schedule. Here are my concerns. I want to develop the chops to play blazing solos like Iron Maiden, Dio, Megadeth, etc. The obvious answer is "learn those solos and practice them." Well, as of now, 99% of the solos I want to play are considerably beyond my ability. I've learned a few difficult solos in the past, but despite practicing them for weeks, I never even got close to getting them up to speed. It was very discouraging. I want to give it another shot, but I need to learn when I need to "hang it up" and move on to learning another solo. Obviously, I shouldn't just practice one solo for ages until I get it down before moving on, especially when it is so much above my skill level.

At what point do I say "alright, I've gotten as much out of this one as I can for now, time to learn another solo and hammer it for a while"?


you need to start with simpler songs. look i know that we all want to play our fav songs and Dio and Megadeth have some awesome solos but you'll just ended up discouraged as you are now. start off with something like Black Sabbath's Paranoid and work your way up. it may take time but you'll have to accept that.
#6
We all deal with where we want to be and where we are, playing-wise. Optimism shaped with realism is good to have. But you have to include being realistic, else you'll disappoint yourself.

Since you like exercises, you could take small sections from a solo, especially the more akward bits, and practise these as exercises (different keys, different speeds) ... but the name of the game here is being able to glue together ideas for real-life playing. How do you approach that fragment ... hows do you end it, and connect with the next piece?

This is where exercises break down ... you have to develop skills in moving between the different techniques, different licks etc ... that's what soloing involves a lot of. So if yoiu concentrate on say picking technique one day, and legato the next, etc, that's very different to praticising combining both. Hope you get my point?

If you want to push yourself, then try playing something a little beyond your current ability (messily), and then slow it down into your range, and then back up etc ...

And remember, practising what you're already good it isn't that helpful (other than maintenance)

cheers, Jerry
#7
I started learning to play about 3 1/2 years ago. A month or two after I started, I tried to learn SRV's "Pride and Joy". Not a beginner song at all.

I practiced it usually twice a day, every day, for over three years. As my playing got better from lessons, exercises, and practicing other songs, I progressed on P&J. I"m now at the point where I can almost play it through without error, and at about 3/4 of SRV's speed on the album.

Maybe I should have moved on to other songs, but I got satisfaction from the steady progress I was making. Every week there was some little lick that had stumped me that I was able to play.

If you like the song, and really want to play it, why not practice it once or twice a day? If it's not that important, you'll probably lose interest.
#8
Quote by Sample246
My intuition tells me to never stop practicing a solo because I have this irrational fear of it falling out of my head completely and then all that time was wasted. I have to work on that, but for now, I would prefer it if I had a more concrete way of determining when I should move on.

You said it yourself

Yes, if you don't play song for some time, you will forget bits and pieces of it. But it will always be much easier to pick it back up the second time, unless you're going years and years without playing it.

Your technique, on the other hand, continuously improves as you continue playing.
#9
Quote by triface
You said it yourself

Yes, if you don't play song for some time, you will forget bits and pieces of it. But it will always be much easier to pick it back up the second time, unless you're going years and years without playing it.

Your technique, on the other hand, continuously improves as you continue playing.


+ a gazzilion.

Also, if the song 'falls out of your head', after not playing it for a while, it is not time wasted as you will have developed from it.
#10
Playing should be fun. If you find yourself beating your head against the wall, move on. Pride and Joy is one of my signature tunes and while I always put my own stank on it, you know it's P&J, a SRV tune, and true to the vibe and groove if not every minute detail. Other songs that should be easy for me are not and I can't explain it. I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to put some juice all over the notes so it feels like Jimi, Stevie, or Robben were playing live in front of you and having some fun with it. If I can't make it sting, I move on. Simple as that.

So many songs, so little time...
"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