#1
Lets start at the beginning. I'm 8 years old. I get my first guitar do the usual thing all kids do and put it down when you realise how bad you are. Then I found this instrument again 4 years later and I haven't stopped since.

I am 24 years old and have found myself with a fair whack of time to fill. So what better than to start to learn how to do the advanced stuff that Paul Gilbert, Joe Satriani and John Petrucci do so well at.

I have figured a few things out in the last couple of weeks of searching and trying and building upon. In a couple of week's I would say that I have come quite far. considering I didn't know a single note on the fretboard past the 3rd fret.

I'm normally quite a creative person so I like to experiment a lot with things I have just learned. And with the new exercises I have been learning.
but I need to build on what I have already learnt. (Like building speed, accuracy, and more)
The things I have given myself to do are in this video I uploaded today for the purpose of this thread:

https://youtu.be/M2E-iDacToM


Namely the first one on this website i just found: http://www.jazzguitar.be/guitar_technique.html

I guess I will be trying to other ones on there as well as I've just found them.
--
What i want to know is everything i'm doing so far on building speed and accuracy going to help me or are there things i should change, keep in mind or try to help me on my way. I am self taught so even the simplest of things could be of great help to me.
--
Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!! Thank you for your time!
"If you watch the jaws movie backwards, its about a shark who regurgitates people untill they have to open a beach."
Last edited by dobby240 at Dec 10, 2015,
#2
I think all of these exercises are well and good. One thing I notice from the videos though is a lot of wasted motion, slow it way down LIKE WAY DOWN and concentrate on minimizing any unnecessary motion in your picking and fretting hand, it should look like a spider crawling around on that fret board. Also on those wider stretches I notice your pinky is not fretting up against the fret. A tool I use is a speed training metronome http://bestdrumtrainer.com/st/ it increases in bpm, and you can set it up however you like.

Another thing too not forget is I know this is the technique forum but do not forget to put these things in to practice musically right away either. Ask yourself how this exercise or this technique is going to fit in to the music I want to create. I think that is so important is to work on technique and musicality in tandem. Work in some legato playing too and you'll thank me later.

You're on the right track buddy enjoy the journey and do not give up, keep practicing and learning
#3
that is excellent thanks so much! I will start work on legato and keep at it. Also the link is good its a great metronome.

Although putting things in to practice straight away may be quite hard as you can see that my picking and fret accuracy is quite for from great.

That being said I guess it's the same as anything on this instrument start slow and
speed up once you can gain the accuracy needed.
"If you watch the jaws movie backwards, its about a shark who regurgitates people untill they have to open a beach."
#4
It could be nerves since you are recording (I almost never record myself on video and when I do I stress out pretty bad) but it sounds like your hands aren't quite in sync, and you also seem to vary in levels in how tense you are, causing some notes to sound extra strong than others.

Like someone else said slow down, but also concentrate on how your fingers shoulders and wrists feel, if you tense up. Pause shake it out and continue on. This will help both with speed and sustain.
#5
Quote by Blicer
It could be nerves since you are recording.........

I am generally ok with being on camera. This was kind of a long day because iv been obsessing a bit about my technique and really really thinking hard about how to improve it. i know i need to chill but that's just me

I will try to stay relaxed, i hadn't noticed but i do tend to tense up real good when im practicing. On the other hand though are you not supposed to "feel the burn" when you practice for long sustained periods of time?
"If you watch the jaws movie backwards, its about a shark who regurgitates people untill they have to open a beach."
#6
Quote by dobby240
I am generally ok with being on camera. This was kind of a long day because iv been obsessing a bit about my technique and really really thinking hard about how to improve it. i know i need to chill but that's just me

I will try to stay relaxed, i hadn't noticed but i do tend to tense up real good when im practicing. On the other hand though are you not supposed to "feel the burn" when you practice for long sustained periods of time?

you will feel the "burn" but make sure its from stretching your muscles and exhausting them and not from being too tense. Tensing up will cause injury, feeling tired will promote growth.

If your "burn" hurts at all or you feel some serious discomfort (mostly in wrist) that is a good sign you are doing something wrong and causing issues for yourself.
#7
Quote by Blicer
you will feel the "burn" but make sure its from stretching your muscles and exhausting them and not from being too tense. Tensing up will cause injury, feeling tired will promote growth.


Awesome thats a great answer.
I just found this 3 part video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yfs7_fZN5RE
He says not to use a metronome and i think that what he explains to why you shouldn't is a great tip that I've not heard yet. would you agree?

(basically he explains that you need to independently move your fingers in an efficient way, relax your entire body concentrate on breathing and the whole placement thing with the thumb is just golden like the way your relaxed hand should be when your not playing should in a way be like that on the neck)
"If you watch the jaws movie backwards, its about a shark who regurgitates people untill they have to open a beach."
Last edited by dobby240 at Dec 10, 2015,
#8
Yea that's a good video but that thumb position is not a adequate playing position for your thumb, and I do not think he says so either. My thumb constantly changes positions depending on what I am playing I do not think about it. The overall message to take away from that video is pay attention to how much tension is in your body when playing/practicing. It's all about efficiency of motion, you do not have to be a power lifter to fret notes on the guitar. But it's a constant battle I even still tighten my jaw when I play long fast lines, but if the tension was in my hands it would be sloppy and tiring.

As far as whether or not you should use a metronome my opinion is this. When you learn something new on the guitar you should not put a metronome on it right away I always establish some semblance of basic muscle memory with the new pattern first. Then right after that I put on the metronome. Then focus on all those principles you're learning, and like that guy says slow is fast.
#9
Quote by Fourfourforever
thumb position is not a adequate playing position for your thumb, -/- but if the tension was in my hands it would be sloppy and tiring.

As far as whether or not you should use a metronome my opinion is this. When you learn something new on the guitar you should not put a metronome on it right away I always establish some semblance of basic muscle memory with the new pattern first. Then right after that I put on the metronome. Then focus on all those principles you're learning, and like that guy says slow is fast.


I see what your saying about the thumb, for chords its going to be easier else where but for scales for me it's easier around the back and i hadn't noticed that I do move it for certain tasks. interesting.

Iv gotten one of those Da'dario finger exercisers which im hoping will give me bigger benefits when im not playing the guitar and out for a walk or something.

As for the metronome i guess a good way to do it would be to get used to this new more efficient way of playing that i haven't done in ten years sthen play to a metronome or just stick it on 40bpm and work my way up once i can play it 4 times clean?? i mean the 1234 / 1423 / 123 5 / fretting exercise

Edit1: I'm also leaving my index finger out on some of these exercises to build middle ring and pinky fingers up and in doing so its giving my picking hang a work out to a 3 beat alternate picking (down-up-down <string skip> up-down-up)
"If you watch the jaws movie backwards, its about a shark who regurgitates people untill they have to open a beach."
Last edited by dobby240 at Dec 11, 2015,
#10
im a newb since march now.

look at 1.15s in your vid
your fingers are jumping up way over the strings no? like 2cm high instead of 2mm.
emphasise much greater control in keeping them almost touching the strings at all times
this will make you very tense (at first) (flexibility/control) but your speed will shoot up.
like that other guy said your fingers should be like a spider not an octopus.
i noticed this in myself not long ago.
when trying to do
youtu.be/rW-buUjDTu0?t=45
needed fingers very close to strings
then later realised i needed to be close in other parts to sync my picking/speed


you got time to be flamboyant once you've gotten up to speed lol.
anyway just a reminder. like i said i am newb
maybe post vid too today but hungover
sometimes you dont even need to take fingers off the string, you can move 1mm enough so it mutes then reuse the string later. afaik
Last edited by percydw at Dec 13, 2015,
#11
I think another thing I might of overlooked in your video is the fact that alternate picking is not just playing up, down, up, down on one string. It's only true alternate picking when you for example end with a down stroke on one string and you want to move to the the next string you would begin that new string with a upstroke. If you ended your picking phrase on one string with a upstroke then when you move to the next string it would begin with a down stroke.

What it looks like you're doing from the video and it is hard to tell every time when I am not there with you is economy picking. So when you ascend you're starting the new string with a down stroke and even when you descend you're starting the new string with a down stroke. This is another inefficiency you need to nip in the bud RIGHT NOW if you want that fluidity and efficiency in your playing trust me it is worth starting over in a sense. But Economy picking has its place for example like sweep picking.

It's a very easy thing to overlook if you never had a teacher in person, it's very common in self taught guitarists. I had the same problem when I started playing except when I descended I would start the new string with a upstroke. After a year of playing by myself I got a teacher who I saw for about 3 months in total. It was the first thing he pointed out in my playing. So he taught me how to move around in the major scale and its relative minor in sequences of thirds and fourths all consciously focusing on alternate picking it. But it needs to be at a MIND NUMBINGLY slow pace because you really have to think about it before it becomes natural to your picking/playing.

I never had a teacher since but I got to say for myself a good teacher is/was worth it in those beginning stages after a half a year to a year of trying to play yourself. A guy named pebber brown has a good series on scale sequences If you want to try and take something away from it here you go https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5B5IhqT3q-8
http://www.pbguitarstudio.com/pdf_files/GUITAR_PDF/Important_Scale_Sequences.pdf
#12
nice vid makes me think i shud go ahead and start learning the scales at last
#13
A guy named pebber brown has a good series on scale sequences If you want to try and take something away from it here you go

this man is brilliant i have been watching him for a couple days now. thanks for linking me his video i havent seen this one yet!
"If you watch the jaws movie backwards, its about a shark who regurgitates people untill they have to open a beach."
#14
i just wanna add to/reempthsise the thing about "getting alternate picking more correct"

you can always choose whether to start with an upstroke or downstroke and sometimes remembering this and making a different choice can help a lot.

i just noticed i was starting a bit with 1 downstroke 1 upstroke 1 downstroke but if i reversed it then it lets me sweep pick 2 of the 3 (and incidentally let me sweep pick the bit later that i had first intended to review)

so yeah, keep an eye out for bits you can sweep pick without having yet realised it!

/nub
#15
Quote by percydw
i just wanna add to/reempthsise the thing about "getting alternate picking more correct"

you can always choose whether to start with an upstroke or downstroke and sometimes remembering this and making a different choice can help a lot.

i just noticed i was starting a bit with 1 downstroke 1 upstroke 1 downstroke but if i reversed it then it lets me sweep pick 2 of the 3 (and incidentally let me sweep pick the bit later that i had first intended to review)

so yeah, keep an eye out for bits you can sweep pick without having yet realised it!

/nub


Aren't you talking about economy picking? If yes, it's not the same as alternate picking.
#16
Thanks everyone for the input after a few days of thought i think what i really need to be working on is my hand strength as ring and pinky finger are really quite weak. Though i will be practising other aspects as well i think once the strength is there i will seek a tutor that can really tell where i am going wrong with my playing.

If i was asking to address just one issue in my playing i think a thread like this would be more valid. But after looking at my playing a bit more i think there is more to be improved than i first thought.

Thanks for taking the time to answer but my perspective and goals have been changed quite a bit since this thread started a week ago.
"If you watch the jaws movie backwards, its about a shark who regurgitates people untill they have to open a beach."
#17
Dobby,
There's a big difference between strength and endurance. The latter is way more important. It's really important to be aware of tension (not just in your hands ... check your arms, shoulders, neck, jaw, holding yoiur breath) and relax. Fine attention to detail is really important ... what you want to do is remove the bits causing inefficiencies, rather than continue practise with them unattended. For example, notice what your little finger is doing when it's not fretting a note. Mechanically, you want your fingers as near the strings as possible (less motion required, so at high speeds, less wasted movement over empty space).

Also, scale practice, and patterns are fine for getting into head the shapes, and hopefully awareness of the intervals in those shapes, but they don't lend anything to creativity like that. So, good to explore the effect of each individual note against a backing chord or progression, and realise which scale intervals are foundational (can happily keep note ringing out for ages), and those which aren't (and could be (possibly!!! not always!!!) resolved to those foundational ones. Realise that non-scale notes cause real desire to be resolved.

Try to explore rhythmic phrases ... don't even worry about what notes you play ... but learn to start and stop at all the on- and off-beats in a bar Try phrases from 1 - say 4 bars long. ... learn to use silence in between. Then add back in the note choice. Try just changing the end of a phrase slightly ... you'll see how that develops melodic ideas that relate to each other.

Most of all, have fun.

All of the above are just suggestions, nothing more.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Dec 17, 2015,