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#1
I've been playing for two years, but I still can't play even the most basic solo's. Smells like teen spirit solo is probably the only one I can play. I can't seem to move my fingers fast enough or some of the are not stong enough, and I can't really tll from tabs weather i should use my little finger or not, any help would be much appreciated.
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Last edited by Greggles at Jul 19, 2006,
#2
If you just want speed, learn some scales and exercises and go through through them. Also, be sure to use alternate picking, I didn't and now all I do is downpick, not the best for speed.
#3
Just push yourself a bit harder. Practice scales a whole lot and also finger exercises. They can be found on almost all guitar sites including this one i would imagine. Also when tring to learn solos and lead parts, dont expect to get it dead on right away. It takes time. Try and take it one bar at a time. Practice loads!
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#4
Take one note at a time. Pay attention to your picking (learn how to economy pick) and just practice. It's slow as hell to learn but you will get it burned in.

2 year's nothing.
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#5
yeah picking is important. Ive been playing for about a year and a half and for the 1st year i just downpicked. The right hand is just as important as the left. Really practice a lot on your alternate picking.
I've got something in my front pocket for you.
Why don't you reach down in my pocket and see what it is?
Then grab onto it, it's just for you.
Give a little squeeze and say: "How do you do?"
#6
Practice Pratice and one more thing, Practic well.

If you want to develop speed the best way would be to learn some exercises and scales, and using a metronome to play them, gradualy increasing the speed at which you play them.
As others said, alternate picking is very important, as it allows much faster picking.
There are tons of websites to learn exercises.
Also, I'm sure there's plenty of stuff that you think you can't play, but you can! Find something moderatly difficult, and play it slowly at first, then slowly increase your speed until you reach the normal speed, push yourself!
#7
Lessons....if you haven't been able to teach yourself properly for these two years, some professional guidance couldn't hurt.
#8
I had lessons at school, but I've left so I don't bother with any lessons now.
Tokai Love Rock (Les Paul)
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#10
no! don't give up. if your fingers are too weak, you can buy these things, i can't remember what they're called, but they're a kind of grip thing with springs in, and they can be used to build up strength in yoyr fingers.
#11
thats a pickle, i'm only 9 monthes and i can do the mr crowley solo and all sorts of sabbath and stuff, i suggest practice some scales and maybe the steve vai 10 hour workout, only the first excersise, i practice that a couple of times a day and my picking and finger's are faster, it really helps.
#12
When you bend a string the best way to do it I think is say your using your 3rd finger to bend the string, place your third finger on the fret you wanna bend and place your 2nd and 1st fingers behind the third. This will give you alot more power to push the string up. To build up speed practice scales like everyone else has said but practice them to a metronome (http://www.metronomeonline.com) and start it off slow and practice it like 20x going up and down the scale and then when you've done that just crank the metronome up a few beats per minute and you'll gradualy develope your speed.
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#13
don't overstretch yourself, play solos at speeds that you can manage and get the feeling and phrasing right. i often have the tendency to play right on the edge of my ability and then a little bit more which of course is when it sounds awful.
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#14
You need to practice exercises be able to use every finger and going to up and down to second fret to 12 fret and back... and when you try solos learn then bit by bit, very slowly and attaches pieces and when u all doen the solo work on your speed...

Also you must learn alternate picking, it was hard to do at first but now all i do is alternate picking...
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#15
Use your computer, play that part of the song, and use a program to slow the song down, so you hear each individual note, or altertinatevly use a program like guitar pro or powertab for learning solo's, half of the problem with solo's is the irregular timing, as opposed to rythm.
#16
Quote by Greggles
I've been playing for two years, but I still can't play even the most basic solo's, just smells like teen spirit solo. I can't seem to move my fingers fast enough or some of the are not stong enough, and I can't really tll from tabs weather i should use my little finger or not, any help would be much appreciated.


You don't know how to practice and probably have a lot of bad habits.
Get the Guitar Principles material and start working on it. You WILL get better.
#17
Someone recomended one of those gripmaster things, what strength do you reckon is best?
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Zoom 606

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#18
Quote by Greggles
Someone recomended one of those gripmaster things, what strength do you reckon is best?


Get the lightest one you can(yellow). That will be plenty.

You want a full range of motion and don't want to hurt yourself. I made the
mistake of getting the red model first and it will be WAY too stiff for you. When
I use it it's mostly the Blue model and my fingers are VERY strong (the Red
doesn't seem very hard for me anymore).

Don't think strength will help you a lot. When your fingers are well-trained, they
work MUCH more efficiently. Skill beats strength every time.
#19
yep, i got the red one and it's awesome for giving my fingers a bit of a stretch at work b4 i go home and play a bit of guitar, but strings feel like butter to my fingers anyway and ive been playing 9 months now.

solo's are annoying, but once u actually buckle down and learn them you realise that they're not that bad
#20
Some of the replies here are shocking.


Give up???

Learn Economy picking??


Greatness.....

Dude take your time, don't rush. Play each note at a time and dude there is NO substitute for practice. Practice practice practice. Do finger excersises until you gain full control of your lil finger, coz once you can use you lil fiinger solos become MUCH more easier. Don't give up dude, that is NOT an option..just try harder.
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#21
Challenge yourself. Learn solos and songs that are tough.

Let's say you try to learn a song way out of your league. Push yourself to do the best you can. You wont master it, but maybe you could play it slowly. Now move on to another song and do the same.

Repeat this for the rest of your life.
#22
If you had Tab Software (PowerTab or GuitarPro) it would be slightly easier.

This is how I do it.

Find your Tempo in which you can easily play anything, mine is 80 bpm.

In your tab, you reduce it all to 80bpm and play through it and then keep raising to the correct tempo once you've "mastered" (And I don't mean that strictly) it.

For soloing, it would probably be faster than the actually tempo of the whole song, so you just drop it way down and raise it up again..

Like right now, I'm learning some Dragonforce, and I've played less than two years but it's fun. They have a song which is at 234 (Bloody hell...) and I can play it at below half the tempo but if you build it up, you'll surprise yourself one day.

Good luck.

By the way, Eric Clapton, Oasis and a few leads like... Trivium (who usually dual or harmonize) are good to practice your picking and speed. Their whole songs are good practice even if you don't play their solos (more importantly, Trivium)
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#23
Quote by Punk_Ninja
thats a pickle, i'm only 9 monthes and i can do the mr crowley solo and all sorts of sabbath and stuff, i suggest practice some scales and maybe the steve vai 10 hour workout, only the first excersise, i practice that a couple of times a day and my picking and finger's are faster, it really helps.

**** thats pretty good the crowley solo is a tough one.
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#24
2 years of practicing like once a month is not as good as someone whose been playing for a month with 2 hours practice every day.
#26
Quote by Eternal_One
Some of the replies here are shocking.


Give up???

Learn Economy picking??


Greatness.....

Dude take your time, don't rush. Play each note at a time and dude there is NO substitute for practice. Practice practice practice. Do finger excersises until you gain full control of your lil finger, coz once you can use you lil fiinger solos become MUCH more easier. Don't give up dude, that is NOT an option..just try harder.


What the hell is wrong with economy picking? Its certainly better and much more efficient then alternate.

Threadstarter, start working on things such as economy picking and just exercises up and down strings and the neck. As ed suggested, get a book of some sort to teach you the proper ways of doing things.

You can always go to a guitar teacher.
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#27
Quote by ClassicAxe
What the hell is wrong with economy picking? Its certainly better and much more efficient then alternate.


There's absolutely nothing wrong with it.

But I really doubt suggesting advanced techniques or "really hard" stuff is going
to help this guy out much if his basic technique is flawed and he doesn't know how
to practice. If he can't alternate pick very well, hoping that economy picking
can replace it isn't a very good solution. Sweeping problems under the rug
seldom is.

The only way to get better is to look at what your problems are and fix them.
It's really pretty simple. How you go about identifying your problems and fixing
them is all contained in the guitar principles stuff.
#28
Economy picking is easy... The guy probably hasnt learned alternate yet, so if he starts out learning economy, id say he'd be well on his way. I wish i would have known about economy picking before i started tring to blaze through scales using alternate.

Economy is only hard when your used to using alternate.
RIG
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#29
There is nothing wrong with Economy picking as I use it myself.

My point was that this guy can't even play the "solo" from Smells Like Teen Spirit, so you obviously need to go WAYYY back to the basics.

I didn't mean to offend anyone by that comment, I just find Economy picking to just be outta his league right now.
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Quote by madbasslover
What's the big deal with Gibsons, anyway?
I've heard loads of Gibsons being played before
and they don't sound any more special than
any other guitar.

^UG's King Of Fail.
#30
I can play the smells like teen spirit solo wit alternate picking, but i struggle with any other solo's.
Tokai Love Rock (Les Paul)
Valeta Acoustic

Line 6 Spider II 75
Boss DS-1 Distortion
Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive
Zoom 606

Please Visit My Bands Myspace

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#32
if you do decide to get a gripmaster dont get cocky and try to get the heaviest one cuz it wont help ive had the light(blue) one for a while and i still have trouble with some of the excersises

also read th manual that comes with it
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#33
Quote by ClassicAxe
Economy picking is easy... Economy is only hard when your used to using alternate.


Well maybe you got lucky and have a knack for it. I dunno, never heard your playing.
But I think most people, myself included, would say it's harder. It has timing
subtleties that can make it very challenging.
#34
If you don't have a metronome yet, GET A METRONOME. It is essential to getting better. It's the only way you can track your progress and steadily improve.

Not using a metronome to practice would be like going to the gym to workout, but not keeping track of what weights you're using, and how many sets/reps you're doing. It'd be very hard to get stronger if you just randomly decide on what weights/reps/sets to do each time you worked out.

You can't improve unless you have a way of measuring improvement.
#35
Way out of his ability? Out of his league?

You guys understand what economy picking is?

It's simply what's easier for you to pick. You hit a note and the next note is on a string below the one you played it's natural to pick on down. If it's over the string you'd pick on up.

Sometimes you do the opposite.

With practive you'll find a way to pick relaxed. It'll feel natural to do it too.
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#36
Your nor terrible everyone learns at their own pace...
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#37
ya ur probably doing what i do. you look at it and try part of it and go no this will take to long, like someone above said you just have to "buckle down" and learn it and keep trying
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#38
At two years, my playing abilities were not so great, but I was a solid guitarist (I worked on timing, chords, scales, different playing styles). I could play most songs I wanted to learn, but some were too fast/complicated for me, or at least I though.

In the past year (my third year of playing), I started pushing myself a lot harder. Instead of just giving up and saying "I'll never be able to do this" or "this is too hard for me", I kept at it and practiced until I got it down as well as I could, and then practiced more. I'm a faster, smoother, and cleaner player because of that. I don't miss notes, I can switch hard chords like it's nothing, and my songwriting has greatly improved and my spectrum of playing has widened as well.

My best advice:
a) Learn to alternate-pick - only down-picking is a crutch.
b) Use your pinky whenever you can - I use my pinky in my playing as much as any other finger. It's a big helper in almost everything I play, and I'm thankful that I started using it earlier because I see some players that only use their first three fingers, and they can't play like I play.
c) Don't give up - keep on trying until you get it. Slow it down, gradually build speed. Get a meteronome if you need to, it'll help you a lot.
#40
Look...I'm not an awesome guitarist or anything, but I know that you will only get out what you put in, and that's true with anything in life. So, if you want to get better, you'll have to practice more. Personally having a teacher helps a lot, but if you don't want to do that UG has some great exercises in the lessons section. Some people just get better faster than others....don't quit, just try something different.
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