#1
Basically I've been playing for about 4 years. In my second year of playing I went to my cousin who is a metal guitarist, and he taught me all I know, until last year, when he told me there was nothing more that he could teach me.

Not to sound cocky, or anything, because I'm not, but I'd say I'm getting fairly good at what I do. I'm a metal guitarist, lead or rhythm, mostly lead tho. As of late I've been able to pull off Pantera, Megadeth, Arch Enemy, Dream Theater solos without any real problem, I mean it takes time, but at the end I can do it all fluidly.

But I'm from a pretty small city, and most of the bands around here are indie or punk or screamo. I'm trying to start a band but am having a hard time finding a metal singer, bassist, and drummer. I'm only 16 right now, but I can write pretty decent songs of my own that are melodic and heavy.

So do I post adds everywhere and hold out until I have a full band, or do I join one of these punk or indie bands around here looking for a lead guitarist. I like doing solos quite a bit, and really try to make them fit into the song, but I don't know exactly how happy I'd be being in a band that is pretty far from my own style, you know?
#2
Go into one fo those bands and spread your influence and you guys'll have a really unique sound, if it doesnt suck.
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#4
Well you know, now like 100% never miss a note kind of thing, but there are a couple (The whole part of In the Name of God, from 7:36 on) that I can do pretty well.
#5
Enough Dream Theater.. I disagree with everything that has been said. Here's what I think you should do, and it's one of the most important music advice tips I give anyone:

Play with ANYONE who will hire you.

Musicians think about themselves way too much, and that's a reason a lot perform to the hamster in the corner of their bedrooms and never leave there. Join one of those indie or screamo bands now so you at least get out there. Here's part of my story:

When I came back from Boston, I was influenced by electronica, acoustic pop, and showed very little interest in rock. When I came back, I started working with some past friends who had a rock band and that lead to one of the bands I'm in now. That band is post-hardcore/electronic and we have played with Screamo, indie, alternative, death metal, hard rock, and psychedlic jazz bands. I'm near a small city too, and most shows around often have a variety of genres perform in the same night because of lack of places to play, lack of a central music scene, etc. However, this means excellent networking since you'll probabbly run into another band and other musicians who like the stuff you are really into.

Don't worry about soloing. People (general public) don't go to shows to hear guitar solos anymore, they go to shows to hear great songs; that's all that matters. You won't know how happy you'll be playing a genre far from yours until you try. Plus most pop/rock music is the same, it's just performed different and arranged differently. Becoming very diverse and educated are two important ingredidents I think are important for every musiciain.

The most important thing you need to do right now is start playing live with bands.
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#7
Yeah, no kidding. Good call on that one man. I'm pretty tired of practicin my ass off every night and not performing. After high school I'll end up moving to a bigger city to go to a music school, so I guess I shouldn't be fussy as to what type of band I play in my last year here, thanks!!