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#1
Hi everyone.

I don't mean to whine, i just want some advice on what to do.

The thing is, i don't practise so much lately. These past two weeks to be presice. I practise from 30 - 60 minutes a day these days, and i've probably got 3-4 hours downtime, meaning i could've been practising 4 hours at the most if i wanted to.

When i practise, i mostly just run up and down scales, and play through the solo's i already know. I do practise on new solo's now and again, but its just so tedious trying to learn the finger positions of the solos, doing them slowly at first so that i can do it faster and not miss a note.

I've recently practised at the paradise city outro solo, and i think im doing rather well. But its so boring have to learn the notes, coz there's so many notes per second that it takes forever just making my fingers "remembering" the fingering for the next 10 seconds of the solo. I've tried learning it by ear, too, but its just so many notes too fast, and i get confused, and i leave out a bunch of notes that should have been played.

Sorry for this becoming so long

Again, im not whining, i just want some advice as to what i should practise on to make it fun to play again?

And i do make some songs of myself, but im not really good at coming up with riffs and such on my own. Solo's im good at making up, but not riffs and such.

Thanks for any answers
#2
well it sounds like you dont like guitar

anyway how long have u been playing? try just taking a break and writing some riffs of your own. solos arent everything! are u in a band? try jamming together
#3
take a break. when you get frustrated and bored you need some time away from the insturment. take a week off and get re interested in some new kind of music or something, when you want to learn something is the only time you'll learn it well.
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#4
what bands do you listen to and play music from?
UNLEASH THE FOCKING BURGERS
#5
Im not in a band, no. And i don't know if taking a break would help. Im playing so little these days its like i've been on a break the last two weeks already. Thanks for the suggestion though.

Hmm, what bands? Well, guns n roses are my favourites, i like nirvana as well, pink floyd, led zeppeling, i like "the pattern" too, just cant get so much from them downloaded, queens of the stone age, kyuss, a local band named animal alpha, pearl jam, u2, gary moore, thin lizzy.. Those are those i mainly listen to.

Thanks for the replies

Edit: Oh, and i used to really love playing, i loved learning new things and so forth, but lately its becoming so time-consuming just getting one solo down, while before i could learn 5 songs a day (nirvana) and just have fun with those.
#6
cool you might want to look into a band called Racer X they have so many cool riffs and their lead guitarist Paul Gilbert is amazing. check em out
UNLEASH THE FOCKING BURGERS
#8
why don't you pick some songs you don't know at all and take like a day to learn all the other parts of the song perfect then get the solo down another day that way you only learn a solo like every other day...
#10
maybe try branching into new things. for me, i sometimes i get tired of playing scales and move onto to playing chords and songs that are more acoustic
#11
try playing a different genre, blues, jazz..?

when i get bored i play some fast ****..and just mess around...not taking myself serious

buy a new CD..i suggest Dragon Forcce-Inhuman Rampage...learn a song off that
Stop Reading My Signature

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#12
Ok, shut off the rock and roll. Rock is great, don't get me wrong, I love it, but you're getting uninspired because they tend to all sound that, which is fine, its a good sound, but you need to e x p a n d your music tastes. Try finding some hip-hop (I promise there is some out there that you will like, trust me, do you want recommendations?), latin, celtic, , eastern/middle eastern, african, folk music, whatever you can get your hands on. That seems to be my philosphy- there is some good music in every genre, so get all you can get- and I usually feel pretty inspired. And sometimes the inspiration isn't for guitar or bass, it can be for piano, ensembles (I once wrote a badass big-band jazz piece after listening to "Stompin' at the Savoy" by Benny Goodman), even vocals, whatever. Good luck!
#13
Quote by numbfinger
try playing a different genre, blues, jazz..?


+1
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#14
It sounds like you do a lot of solo work and practicing, learn some new chords, perhaps you could practice different strumming partterns and rythyms by listening to other styles. For example, listen to other styles like blues, funk and reggae. All great fun styles to learn, plus very good for improvising both lead and rythym over.
#15
Quote by Torbeborge
Oh, and i used to really love playing, i loved learning new things and so forth, but lately its becoming so time-consuming just getting one solo down, while before i could learn 5 songs a day (nirvana) and just have fun with those.


Your solution is simple. A new direction. Just because you can play something it doesn't always mean you should. I spent so much time learning Megadeth solos it just became a chore, took forever to remember each solo or to really get anywhere with them. I ended up switching to something completely different, and while it wasn't as much of a challenge to play I enjoyed playing far far more than I had been for a while.

How much of your actual play time is practice? Honestly if you're spending more time practicing then playing, try changing it, and just play, learn 10 or 15 simple easy songs instead of one solo, practice along with them, improvise over top of them, whatever, just play. Don't forget about all your practice routines, but just sort of ease off them for a while. Sure you won't improve as much, but honestly what good will improvement do if you burn out?
#16
do what i did when i ran into a similar problem: listen to some new music, no matter what it is.. once you get into something new you really like, you'll feel rejuvenated and motivated to play more, and your style of playing will develop too..
#17
Erm... I feel like that.. but I have a real reason. My guitar's in the shop, and my first guitar just sounds.. uninspiring.. it has no tone.. sounds.. empty..
#18
easy answer, find some people to jam with, start covering songs, play for an audience
#19
i kinda felt that way until i got my new dean vendetta a few weeks ago. my other guitars were a squier strat and some older ibanez rg with a crappy trem. but now i'm having fun again.
#20
Okay, thanks everybody. I've really got a very varied music taste, but i don't know a whole lot of bands/artists in the different genres? I really like blues and jazz, especially jazz really. Also i like metal too. But not too heavy. Any reccomendations?

And to icronic: Thanks alot, i think you're right, i should ease off with the solos

I'll just have more fun with the guitar

Thanks
#21
I use to think the same.........

I put it down for almost 2 weeks, and when I finally picked it up to play again, It's like I picked it for the 1st time, and couldn't wait to play it.
#22
Perhaps what has happened is that you have finally come to the reality of
making real progress on the guitar. You can only develop so far with a
practice approach that avoids learning the sound mechanics of playing well.
Like a lot of others, it sounds like your "practice" consists of just learning tabs
to a bunch of songs. You've probably figured that after doing that for long enough,
that you'll somehow become good after a period of time. That it will all just happen
on its own.

Well, the way it REALLY works, is that you have to put in a lot of dedicated practice
with your full attention on what you're doing and why you're doing it. If you're
just going to sit around and half-heartedly run up & down scales without knowing
why you're doing them, you might as well not bother. You're not getting anything
out of it. You need to really have a strong desire to want to learn and then learn
some more, because the learning never really stops. The real meat and potatoes
in making progress on the guitar is probably what you consider the "boring" stuff.

Don't feel too bad because most everyone confronts this sooner or later. It
can actually be a good thing. It may be that it will entirely transform your
attitude and practice in which case you could start making real progress. That's
where you can actually start to enjoy the "boring" stuff because it all contributes
to making you a better player and when you play well THAT'S fun. On the other
hand, you may decide to drop playing. But, you can always come back again.
Eventually, it usually boils down to one of those two things.
#23
Quote by edg
Perhaps what has happened is that you have finally come to the reality of
making real progress on the guitar. You can only develop so far with a
practice approach that avoids learning the sound mechanics of playing well.
Like a lot of others, it sounds like your "practice" consists of just learning tabs
to a bunch of songs. You've probably figured that after doing that for long enough,
that you'll somehow become good after a period of time. That it will all just happen
on its own.

Well, the way it REALLY works, is that you have to put in a lot of dedicated practice
with your full attention on what you're doing and why you're doing it. If you're
just going to sit around and half-heartedly run up & down scales without knowing
why you're doing them, you might as well not bother. You're not getting anything
out of it. You need to really have a strong desire to want to learn and then learn
some more, because the learning never really stops. The real meat and potatoes
in making progress on the guitar is probably what you consider the "boring" stuff.

Don't feel too bad because most everyone confronts this sooner or later. It
can actually be a good thing. It may be that it will entirely transform your
attitude and practice in which case you could start making real progress. That's
where you can actually start to enjoy the "boring" stuff because it all contributes
to making you a better player and when you play well THAT'S fun. On the other
hand, you may decide to drop playing. But, you can always come back again.
Eventually, it usually boils down to one of those two things.

I've come to quite a few ruts along the road, what new stuff do you suggest learning as far as technique goes?
#24
Can you tell me what boring stuff i should get set on? If you mean theory, i love guitar theory, i just don't know where to get started. I don't know any books about music theory either. Frankly, i don't find anything boring about the guitar really, as long as im learning something new. I guess i just ran out of new stuff to learn. I guess i realized i didn't really achieve anything by tabbing out some soloes.

So whats the boring stuff? Thanks.
#25
Quote by Torbeborge
Okay, thanks everybody. I've really got a very varied music taste, but i don't know a whole lot of bands/artists in the different genres? I really like blues and jazz, especially jazz really. Also i like metal too. But not too heavy. Any reccomendations?

And to icronic: Thanks alot, i think you're right, i should ease off with the solos



Well you don't need to ease off on the solo's just pick ones that are more lyrical than your average Van Halen solo. If you check out This thread I listed off a ton of really great solos to learn, most of which are really easy to remember because the solos themselves are very memorable.

As for stuff to listen to; Blues Wise, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton/Cream, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Hendrix, ZZ Top, Robert Cray and so forth.

Can't think of too much Jazz, Steely Dan is great, as is Larry Carlton and Fourplay. Pat Metheny is incredible as well, although he doesn't make a whole lot of sense to many people including me.

For metal we've got pretty standard fare here, Metallica, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Pantera, Slayer and so forth... Skip the solo's learn the rhythm... Megadeth in particular has some awesome rhythm parts, although my god I hate his singing with a passion.

My last suggestion would be Opeth. Maybe too heavy for you but in my opinion the way they've written their songs is nothing short of brilliant, especially on their older cds. Just tune out his singing and listen to everything behind it. I love their solos as well, they're not metal sounding at all, almost jazzish at times.
#26
This my seem weird but don't practice, just play. If practicing scales bores you then do what is fun on guitar for you, for me that currently is the dimebag harmonic squeels whenever I can while running through a blues pattern (odd I know).

When you're playing a song don't stop if you make a mistake, you're trying to have fun right now and instead of playing you are practicing. Playing involves mistakes for most people. Take a song you enjoy and PLAY it, if you make a mistake then don't worry and keep going, you can fix the mistakes later when you do practice.

If you didn't understand that feel free to hit me with a PM or something and I can try and explain it better.

That's something I've found helps get me out of these ruts when I can't find something new to learn or expand my playability on. I was never a person that went after TABs and learned that way, it doesn't seem worthwhile to me.

I also find that because I never did that if I goto "jam" with people it's sorta like "Let's do something in the key of A" and the other people (who sadly in my opinion just learned TABs, and have VERY little knowledge beyond that) are like "What's the key of A?"

Playing will help you out of this practice rut, but learning theory, what makes things work, why they work, and everything else you can possibly think about learning on the guitar could keep you learning something new for the rest of your life (if you decide too keep playing guitar later in life), and to me it sounds like you need something more to learn.

For theory you could probably Google it, find books at music stores, talk to other guitarists, and there is bound to be some on UG.
Last edited by klowntown101 at Jul 6, 2006,
#27
Quote by Torbeborge
I guess i realized i didn't really achieve anything by tabbing out some soloes.


Oh my. Yes you did. Believe me if you can transcribe solos and songs you're getting a hell of a lot of ear training out of it.

Theory: You should know your basic theory, circle of 5ths, your keys, and their common chord progressions, and generally why the scales you're playing work over their respective chords.

Ear training though. you can know absolutely nothing about theory and still know what sounds good and what doesn't yes? You can tell if certain chords sound good in a progression together or not. Go and record yourself strumming one chord for about a minute or so. Now play it back, and then play random notes overtop, can you tell which notes fit and which don't? If you can recognize what fits and what doesn't then you can accomplish a great deal with very little theory at all.

So that said learning solos/songs by ear and tabbing them out greatly helps you recognize what sounds work and what don't.

edit: Can you improvise? If you haven't really gotten into that, just start with a minor pentatonic scale and just fool around with it over a simple blues backtrack or something. That's also great ear training for you.
Last edited by icronic at Jul 6, 2006,
#28
As for jazz, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Benny Goodman are ace. Also, Solas and the Riverdance album are great for celtic music. For African, Gigi amazing; for hip-hop, Public Enemy, 2pac, Ludacris and Immortal Technique are ace.

Learn to read music. Trust me, you'll get a hell of a lot farther with actually sheet music than just messing around with tab and ear.
#29
Quote by MastaBassist10
I've come to quite a few ruts along the road, what new stuff do you suggest learning as far as technique goes?


Well, it could be anything really. It's kinda like asking yourself the question
"what can I practice today that will help me play better tomorrow?". For me,
I have a countless number of exercises I know I could always improve at. I try
and look at what I'm doing and figure out why I can't play it the way I want.
I may sit for hours on just a very short phrase and work on it slowly and
perfectly. I never really worry about the result. But, when I find I put my
energy and attention into what I'm doing it inevitably improves. Sometimes there's
big breakthrus, sometimes not. But, I always see steady progress. When I see
progress like that I really find I enjoy doing the work.

That's what I mean by the "boring" stuff. Well, it's not boring to me, but I assume
for most people it is by the way they talk about. Also scale work is SO much more
than walking up and down a scale. That's just the beginning. Try the
"Sheets of Sound" book which has amazing scale patterns. When I get my
current set of exercises down pretty well I always pick out a new one to work on
from there.

Of course there's actually using what you practice. Otherwise why practice it?
So, when I feel like I have something down I'll try and start incorporating it into
my improv. That's where the payoff is.

So, that's how I keep myself entertained. I spent many years just learning songs.
That will only get you so far. Which is why I stopped playing for a long time.
Now, my main focus is getting my body to do everything I want it to do -- basically
that's technique which is about 90% of my practice time now. When (if) I reach
the point I'm satisfied with it I'll work more on just pure improv.
#30
I only improvise and play. Practice? Practice for what? When I started playing all I wanted to learn was solos and got my favorite songs down. That was several years ago. Now I couldn't imagine myself trying to master some solo note for note.

Guitar playing for me now is a release. There's no pressure to master some more scales or new solo for me since I do not make a living playing a guitar. I just enjoy the guitar and I never get into a rut since most everyting I play now is original.
#31
Quote by Siciliano
I only improvise and play. Practice? Practice for what? When I started playing all I wanted to learn was solos and got my favorite songs down. That was several years ago. Now I couldn't imagine myself trying to master some solo note for note.

Guitar playing for me now is a release. There's no pressure to master some more scales or new solo for me since I do not make a living playing a guitar. I just enjoy the guitar and I never get into a rut since most everyting I play now is original.


That's pretty short-sited.

I've been improvising stuff a long time now and when I play that's what I do.

The runs you do while improvising can get into a rut every bit as easily as anything
else. Your fingers will tend to do the same things over and over. Training
your fingers to move in new ways is just as important (if not more) for improvising
as anything else.

Of course you may feel satisified with the way you play. If you're doing everything
you want to do, then there's no need to practice. For myself, there's way more
I'd like to be able to do than I can, so I practice. I doubt I'll ever run out of things
because the soul likes to express itself in as many ways as your body is capable
of delivering.
#32
Everyone who plays or attempts to play a guitar does so for their own reasons. As long as you can get satisfaction out of your playing that's the goal.

Some players have OCD and are never satisfied. I am not out to set the world on fire and the way I play guitar may seem short-sighted to some but it works for me. Guitar playing should be an enjoyable experience.
#33
I agree. As long as you enjoy what it is you do, that's all that matters.

I have also found that:

1) You can learn to enjoy things that at first you may not have thought you'd enjoy
because you see it in new ways.

2) Some would call practicing a lot OCD. But my experience is that the soul is always looking for new ways to express itself. It gets bored with what it knows. Therefore to keep out of ruts and keep things fresh always, constant growth is the ticket. If
you're not growing, you're dying. With the right kind of practice, you can achieve
amazing growth.
#34
Quote by edg
I agree. As long as you enjoy what it is you do, that's all that matters.

I have also found that:

1) You can learn to enjoy things that at first you may not have thought you'd enjoy
because you see it in new ways.

2) Some would call practicing a lot OCD. But my experience is that the soul is always looking for new ways to express itself. It gets bored with what it knows. Therefore to keep out of ruts and keep things fresh always, constant growth is the ticket. If
you're not growing, you're dying. With the right kind of practice, you can achieve
amazing growth.


This is all true, however... With the right kind of practice you're liable to burn yourself out very quickly too. The growth a person would go through as a player will indeed be incredible, but it also takes an extreme amount of dedication, drive and discipline to accomplish that, and without those thing's you're simply not going to make it.

Also let's be honest, a lot of what you're talking about will be garbage to your average casual player. Unless a person is looking to make a career out of this, it's a waste of time and energy.
#35
^ I agree, but what's the right kind of practice? There's no standard for practice. Everyone learns and expresses differently.

I suppose I must be expressing correctly since I've rarely been bored playing guitar. Frustrated, naturally, the first couple of years.

Actually, it's been quite the the opposite of boredom, I get excited when I can steal some time and play. I suppose I can be classified as a casual player who plays whenever I can. I had guitar playing OCD the first couple of years like most everyone.
Last edited by Siciliano at Jul 6, 2006,
#36
^I am. Looking to make a career out of music, that is. Im not really sure if it will be through the guitar or vocals yet, but i think i'd like to focus on the guitar if i had a choice.

The area where i want to grow the most, however, is in creativety. Skill can only get you so far, creativety is the key to everything IMO.
#38
I feel like giving up a lot too, since I have only been playing for about a month and have had absolutley no lessons, except for what I have read and what I have done on the guitar. So far I can play mostly intros to several songs, but not the entire song. Plus I have skipped around so much I only know like 5 chords and for some reason can't perform power chords and I think its hard as hell to strum songs like teen spirit by Nirvana. But I'm hanging in there. Whenever I feel like I want to give up I listen to something I like that inspired me to start playing guitar.
#39
Quote by Siciliano
^ I agree, but what's the right kind of practice? There's no standard for practice. Everyone learns and expresses differently.


From a technical standpoint, I can write a very long reply about the right way to practice. We're talking about building the muscles in your hands without damaging them, proper hand positioning to allow faster more precise movement bla bla bla bla bla. It's simply the most efficient way to build your skills technically. Just picture an uptight piano teacher smacking you with her cane each time you slouch, there's a reason you're being made to sit up ramrod straight.


Quote by Torbeborge
^I am. Looking to make a career out of music, that is. Im not really sure if it will be through the guitar or vocals yet, but i think i'd like to focus on the guitar if i had a choice.

The area where i want to grow the most, however, is in creativety. Skill can only get you so far, creativety is the key to everything IMO.


Well being that it's your life, I believe you do have a choice

You want to work on creativity, start with improvising, forget the uber fast shredding, the only people who will ever be impressed by them are other musicians. When you're improvising sing the notes you're playing as you play them. Make up and hum one to two bar licks and then see if you can reproduce them on your guitar. Start writing songs too. But don't write good songs, write bad songs. Simple 3 or 4 chord progressions. then write cheesy little leads over them. Write a 30 second to 1 minute song every day.

Now again here's where we come to theory... know your absolute basics. It's a good idea to go further, but there's one thing that you have to be absolutely aware of. It will limit your playing ability as much as it will bring you new ideas and concepts. Look at it this way, if theory had it's way, Blues would simply not exist. It breaks ignores and contradicts so many rules... Yet it still works. The idea is to learn theory, then learn to ignore it.
#40
The right kind of practice is practice that will take you where you want to be as a
player.

If you're a casual player (nothing wrong with that) who just likes to noodle around
on the guitar and play a riff here and there for a fav song, then just learning
tabs is totally fine.

If you're someone who wants to be able to pull-off monster sweeps and fast
picking and play very musically challenging and demanding stuff, that kind of
practice won't cut it. It will need to be practice on a whole nother level.

I just play as a hobby. But I have a strong desire to play as well as I can and I
really enjoy the whole process of learning. To me it's as fun and exciting conquering
something I thought was hard and making it easy, as it is to actually play.

So, it just comes down to what your goals are for yourself as a player. If you're
getting bored with playing, either there's a disconnect with your vision of yourself
as a guitar player and your skills, or you're just bored with guitar. If its your skills,
the best place to take a look at is your practice habits.

Oh, and creativity and skill goes hand in hand. You need both. But it's also
true some forms of music are much less demanding than others in terms of skill,
but again that's really where you have to figure out what your vision is for
yourself as a player.
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