#1
What's key to getting really good at guitar? I know practice and all that but, I mean, what has helped you the most at getting good. I would think something like scales would be key. I've been playing for a year now, Im not horrible but Im not great either, I just feel like i should be better than what I am.
#2
The key.. Depend on tab as little as possible. Take a song you know (Say a song with Chords G D F#m Bm) and play it your own way at different rhythms, Play simple chords or riffs and repeat them, improvising on them every 4th measure or anywhere where it seems fit. Try to figure out simple songs by ear instead of jumping to tab. Look online for jam tracks and play to them in the correct key.
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#3
Just practice and love your guitar and everything else will come sooner or later
Hmmm...
#4
i found this on google. It's a diagram for the major pentatonic scale in G.

G major pentatonic

Those diagrams all overlap over the top of each other (the rightmost notes of the first are the leftmost of the second, etc). I just learnt the patter for the whole guitar at once (so you can go up on and down on a single string), but this was the best diagram I could find.
The red dots are the root notes. In this case G. Just shift the whole thing around to play in different keys.

It's the same pattern as for a minor pentatonic scale, only you start in a different place so the G major scale is exactly the same pattern as the E minor scale (be sure not to confuse flat with minor).

there are more notes in the scale than shown here, but those are non pentatonic notes. The difference is basically that none pentatonic notes don't always sound as good (especially when playing over the top of another instrument, or when jumping large distances around the guitar). But this should be enough to go on for now.

basically, you can't go wrong with pentatonics, but they can be a bit dull. more emotional and memorable melodies usually venture into none pentatonic notes.

If you want to work out what key a song is in, here's my little trick. Pause the song at some point, and imagine the song ending on one big chord. That chord is almost certainly the root note of the scale.
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Last edited by Lin at Jul 25, 2006,
#5
^Yeah. What the hell has that got to do with the key to being a good guitar player?

The key for me was knowing how to practice.

I've exhausted myself in saying that people should learn how to practice. I played for 7 years without knowing how to truly practice, in the one year since I've exelled far beyond any of my expectations.
#6
Well, he said scales would be useful. I know I was never really a good guitar player until I learnt them. "Learn how to practice" is a bit vague. I was trying to offer something specific.
The thing for me has always been to avoid getting stuck in a rutt and getting complacent with my abilities.
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#7
Quote by Lin
Well, he said scales would be useful. I know I was never really a good guitar player until I learnt them. "Learn how to practice" is a bit vague. I was trying to offer something specific.
The thing for me has always been to avoid getting stuck in a rutt and getting complacent with my abilities.


I know what you mean, and I didn't mean that your post was irrelevant, I just meant that scales aren't exactly the holy grail of guitar playing. I meant... knowing all those scales is completely futile if you don't know how to practice them and use them.

Perhaps my post was vague, but really, I'm tired of quoting the same old websites that no-one ever visits... one minute you're answering a question on tension and pointing them to Guitar Principles, next minute you're answering a question on anchoring... it's frustrating that the one link that could change someones guitar playing is completely ignored by most - so I really don't bother to go into detail on such things when it's all there at hand on the website, if only it would be read or bought.

I mean, what you said is completely valid... knowing scales is a stepping stone - but it's far from being key. The key for me, and many people - was knowing how to practice those scales.

Sorry if I offended you
#8
Quote by Johnljones7443
I mean, what you said is completely valid... knowing scales is a stepping stone - but it's far from being key. The key for me, and many people - was knowing how to practice those scales.

I agree with you. The mechanical fundamentals are the most important thing. Rote knowledge is secondary.
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#9
Quote by Johnljones7443
The key for me, and many people - was knowing how to practice those scales.:


I figured scales would be a big part at speed and overall skill. But what do you mean by how to practice the scales? Just by playing them or what?
#10
I found the best way, is to just learn songs, solos and riffs that other bands/people have already written. They are good for teaching the physical part of playing:

Guns n Roses - Sweet Child o mine solo (3.35 minutes in, gets v fast later on but the first bit is good)

Deep Purple - Burn solo (2.16 minutes in)

JerryC - Canon in D (as much as you can)

Ozzy - Crazy Train (such a fun song once youve got it down)

And others i cant be bothered to think of.

Once you feel confident with the guitar in your hands then start learning theory like scales. Beginners often get bogged down by trying to learn scales and forget that guitar is meant to be enjoyed.