#1
I've been playing for a few years and I'm still not that great, so I want to get into more technical stuff. What can I do to get better? I've been practicing spider octaves (I think that's what they're called) and playing with a metronome. I'm not sure if either of those will really help. Please post whatever you have, I need all the help I can get!

Also, would I be able to learn enough on my own or would it be better to get a teacher?

Thanks.
#2
There are many things that add up towards good technique. The most important ones are:



    Lastly patience, technique take time. I don't think technical playing should be a study subject within itself when learning music. Learn music, if it happens to be technical so be it, but make sure you always make everything effortless. Practice at a slow tempo so you can do it, the playing is what matters.
    Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

    Quote by Guthrie Govan
    “If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


    Quote by Chick Corea
    "Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
    #3
    The right teacher definitely can be helpful. For exactly your problem. Looking at what you're doing, knowing what you should work on. A good teacher, imo, will see your strengths and weaknesses, will know where you want to go, and will be able to show you a good logical order of things to learn, because they know what they are, and their benefits, and they'll be able to explain to you why you're learning what you're learning.

    When you ask a question like your first post, you are asking the forum to be your teacher. You will have all sorts of players at all sorts of levels, with all sorts of strengths and weaknesses, with all sorts of answers giving you a reply.

    The only way I could help you, would be to watch you play to ask you questions etcetera. Then I would know exactly what I think you should work on, and why. But then I'd be your teacher. Essentially you are asking a public forum to teach you for free. Nothing wrong with that, but you can't really know who to listen to, and imo, if nobody knows you specifically, nobody can really give you a proper answer.

    You want to go from A to B, there are lots of common steps in there, and some steps need to be take by some people and not others. You want to know the next step for you. Right?

    I often see people say you must do this. And for me, it's something I never needed to do. Happens all the time. I also know that lots of things like that that I never needed, are very useful to others. There is controversy on almost every aspect of guitar. You could teach yourself, I did, but it can be tough to know the next 'best step', when you can't see what lies ahead. Someone that knows the path, can.

    The downside, is that a lot of teachers are not ideal also.
    Last edited by fingrpikingood at Dec 23, 2015,
    #4
    Quote by cowboy_jones
    I've been playing for a few years and I'm still not that great, so I want to get into more technical stuff. What can I do to get better? I've been practicing spider octaves (I think that's what they're called) and playing with a metronome. I'm not sure if either of those will really help. Please post whatever you have, I need all the help I can get!

    Also, would I be able to learn enough on my own or would it be better to get a teacher?

    Thanks.


    everybody has their own interpretation of "technical stuff". for some it might be that "living after midnight" by judas priest is the pinnacle of achievement and for others transposing coltrane's "giant steps" to guitar is a piece of cake.

    so since your question is one of those broad "everybody tell me what to do to get better" kind of questions, perhaps you can take the first step and tell us where you need to be with your playing? in other words, if you can't define where you're going how can you get there?
    Last edited by ad_works at Dec 23, 2015,
    #5
    Quote by ad_works
    everybody has their own interpretation of "technical stuff". for some it might be that "living after midnight" by judas priest is the pinnacle of achievement and for others transposing coltrane's "giant steps" to guitar is a piece of cake.

    so since your question is one of those broad "everybody tell me what to do to get better" kind of questions, perhaps you can take the first step and tell us where you need to be with your playing? in other words, if you can't define where you're going how can you get there?



    I guess I mean how Johnny Marr plays, or like Thurston Moore, Jonny Greenwood, and Kevin Parker even. Whenever I think of technical playing I think of players like them. That's just my view on it though, but I really just want to improve and grow as a guitarist.

    I don't wanna play exactly like them though, I want to be able to make my own style out of it I guess.
    Last edited by cowboy_jones at Dec 23, 2015,
    #6
    I have to agree with fingrpikingood on getting a teacher.
    It's great to have someone analyze where you are as a guitarist and develop a program tailored to your goals.
    Aside from that, play play play. I hate to say practice practice practice, because you don't want to get bored with playing.
    That's my take at least. If I'm not enjoying what I'm doing, I start to question why i'm doing it.
    #7
    I've been on the fence about finding a teacher for a while. Do teachers just teach you whatever you ask them about or what? I want to learn ear training and theory too.
    #8
    Quote by cowboy_jones
    I've been on the fence about finding a teacher for a while. Do teachers just teach you whatever you ask them about or what? I want to learn ear training and theory too.


    depends on the teacher..do homework on them..find one that you can relate to..one that will teach you how to grow as a musician AND a guitarists..someone who can show you how to enjoy your practice time and make full use of it..not just run over some drills..that are boring and basically useless.."do this for 10 mins a day" ..

    I teach harmony & theory as part of the total overview of my musical approach to the guitar..ear training is "built in" so to speak..hearing "loud" sounds like "turnarounds" and V7-IMA7 cadences too hearing more subtle things like diminished or augmented runs..

    your wanting to learn "tech" stuff will require a bit of time effort and most of all patients..yes it will require some theory and harmony study..and learning not only the HOW of what your playing but the WHY also..

    some top players that excel in the "tech" field:
    larry carlton
    lee ritenour
    muris varajic--very hot player
    eric Johnson

    they may inspire you a bit more...enjoy
    play well

    wolf
    #9
    Quote by cowboy_jones
    I've been on the fence about finding a teacher for a while. Do teachers just teach you whatever you ask them about or what? I want to learn ear training and theory too.


    I think there are probably all kinds of teachers. Imo the best sort will know what they are doing, and find out what skill sets you want, and will tell you how to get to those. For me, part of the secret is doing things in a non boring way. I have put in a lot of hours doing mundane things, but I did them in non-mundane ways. I think some teachers will just ask you what you want to know and teach you that, but if it was me, I'd just want to know about you, your style of music you like, and what sort of guitarist you want to be, how much effort you want to put in etcetera, and then I'd tell you what it is you want to learn, and how to practice that. Then give you chunks of homework, how to practice it in a non-mundane way, and you're good to go.

    To be really good at guitar though, there will be repetition for sure. Guitar is pretty physically difficult at high levels especially. Every human being can run at whatever pace they run, without any practice. But if you really want to run fast, then you have to hit the gym. Guitar's a pretty tough thing, and you want to be able to do it effortlessly, both in the physical sense, but also in the automatic sense. So if you have an idea, you just automatically and effortlessly carry it out.

    Easy like how you mastered running, so you don't think about it, you just run where you want, jump over obstacles, etcetera, thinking of where you are going, but the mechanics of how, where to put your feet and whatnot, is easy and automatic.
    Last edited by fingrpikingood at Dec 23, 2015,
    #10
    Thanks. I know my brother's old teacher was really good so I'll probably go to him. I'm starting to see that there are certain steps I have to take to get where I want with playing.

    In the meantime, what else could I do to improve? I started playing at slower paces with a metronome and progressively increasing the speed, if that helps much?
    #11
    Quote by cowboy_jones
    Thanks. I know my brother's old teacher was really good so I'll probably go to him. I'm starting to see that there are certain steps I have to take to get where I want with playing.

    In the meantime, what else could I do to improve? I started playing at slower paces with a metronome and progressively increasing the speed, if that helps much?


    I cannot tell what to improve without listening to you play, and knowing exactly your goals etcetera, and if I do that, then I'm your teacher. Pick anything that anyone could ever learn on guitar, and you'll get someone, somewhere, with the opinion that you should learn that next.

    I don't think you can get a proper answer without someone giving you personal attention. Even if you do get personal attention, they might not be a dependable source also.

    I could give you a random answer, but I don't think that would be dependable. Imo, I cannot give you a dependable answer without knowing you personally.

    There are always a number of answers you would get to questions like this in forums anyway, so, you wouldn't really be any better off, unless you go with a majority vote, or just pick without really being informed. I don't think either of those will yield good results consistently, in comparison to a dependable source.

    You could certainly learn that way, I never had a teacher, but you will inevitably take some detours.
    Last edited by fingrpikingood at Dec 25, 2015,