#1
OK, so I first picked up guitar three years ago. I've really only been *playing* for about a year and a half though, as the first year and a half was waste. (My teacher was an incompetent idiot who didn't teach me one useful thing, when I switched to group classes with a different teacher, the three n00bs in my class who had never played guitar in their life were up to my speed within three weeks).


Anyway, this past summer, I got pretty serious about guitar. During the summer, I was playing about 40+ hours a week. Now, with school in account, I'm playing about 30+ hours a week, depending on homework for that week. In the last six months, I have improved immensely, but I haven't improved half as much as I'd hoped to. My goal was to be able to at least play the solo on Pull Harder On the Strings of Your Martyr by Trivium by the end of the summer. I worked hard at it, tried various online lessons, scales, etc, that I thought would help me play. Well it's almost Fall now and I still can't play the bloody song.


I just read last night entitled "Help". This guy wanted some "Easy" songs to play to build his guitar skills back up to what they were. Someone suggested Crazy Train, a couple of Maiden songs, Civil War, Hells Bells, and Thunderstruck. I got the Guitar Pro files for all of these songs that I didn't already have on my computer, and took a look at all of them. I figured I'd go ahead and try Crazy Train. I got everything down except for four parts...

The little
------
------
4-2-0
------4-2-0
-------------4-2-0
----
section,

the solo,

the second fill
e --------2-----------------------------------------------------
B -----2-------5--2------2--------------------------------------
G 4^-----------------5------5--4--2-----4--2--------------------
D -----------------------------------4--------4--2----------p---
A --------------------------------------------------4--2~-0-----
E --------------------------------------------------------------

and the last fill

e -------14----------------------------------------------------
B ----14----17-14----14----------------------------------------
G 16^-------------17-----17-16-14----16-14---------------------
D --------------------------------16-------16-14---------------
A ------------------------------------------------16-14~---0---
E -------------------------------------------------------------


Now I know the generic answer most of you would give me is, "Just play it slow a million times, then 8 bpm faster 1.2 million times, and so on, until you're up to speed."

BUT, this is what I tried for months while working on the aforementioned Trivium solo, and I can barely do it any faster than I could in the beginning.

Now, I know that if I can pwn this solo (play it all the way through at full speed ) then I will be able to play many more songs, and reach a much higher plateau in my guitar skillage.

So my main question is this; what would be the most effective way to reach this plateau which I desire to reach?


Thanks in advance!
#2
You can't just run solos all the time. Painfully boring as it is, you're gonna need to sit and just run through scales/other practise routines for hours, I'm afraid. Everyone on here will tell you to do this with a metronome, but I never did and I can play in time, so don't worry too much about that.
Feel free to ignore my ranting.

Member of the Self-Taught Club.

A recent study shows that 8% of teenagers listen to nothing but music with guitars in it. Put this in your sig if you're one of the 92% who isn't a close-minded moron.
#4
He is probably right. I've been playing for two years and it sounds like we're around the same skill level. I started really focusing on learning chords/scales and I really have improved just out of that. Also, pick up some guitar magazines. I have a couple old ones that feature things like Tom Morello's "monster workout" (which if you can find a copy of the august '05 guitar world get it) and a couple other things like "improve your improv." They have helped me immensley to the point where I can fool people into thinking I'm good. I alsp tried something like you in that I tried learning the solo to A7X's "bat country." I too, was unsuccessfull.
#5
Hehe. Yeah I've been thinking of subscribing to a guitar magazine, but I can't decide which one.

I just bought John Petrucci's Rock Discipline and Wild Stringdom, as well as Joe Satriani's Guitar Secrets recently. I've been trying some of the exercises but haven't really noticed any improvement since.

Oh and I can also fool people into thinking I'm good, but only non-musicians and untalented musicians. =D
#6
Oops didn't see the two posts right below mine, my bad. But regarding scales, which ones should I bloody learn!!!!!!!!! I just bought a new metronome last week, and I also use guitar pro which is simpler than a metronome, so that's taken care of. I know the minor pentatonic scales, but I don't know which other ones to learn and how much to practice scales.

And yeah I'll check out the two Metallica ones, but which should I do first? Fade To Black?

I know you didn't post Enter Sandman, but I can play that whole song, except for the solo, and I'd like to learn the solo on that too. How much harder is that solo than the solo on Fade To Black/the other Metallica song you posted?
#7
Quote by TooLateForRoses
Oops didn't see the two posts right below mine, my bad. But regarding scales, which ones should I bloody learn!!!!!!!!! I just bought a new metronome last week, and I also use guitar pro which is simpler than a metronome, so that's taken care of. I know the minor pentatonic scales, but I don't know which other ones to learn and how much to practice scales.

And yeah I'll check out the two Metallica ones, but which should I do first? Fade To Black?

I know you didn't post Enter Sandman, but I can play that whole song, except for the solo, and I'd like to learn the solo on that too. How much harder is that solo than the solo on Fade To Black/the other Metallica song you posted?


Enter Sandman's solo's easier than Fade to Black's. I love Fade to Black though, amazing song.
Feel free to ignore my ranting.

Member of the Self-Taught Club.

A recent study shows that 8% of teenagers listen to nothing but music with guitars in it. Put this in your sig if you're one of the 92% who isn't a close-minded moron.
#8
Well that's really discouraging...I tried Enter Sandman for like 3 days awhile back and couldn't even get the first bar down.../turnsemo
#9
Why not? What was the problem? The first bar's a load of bends, nothing fast/shred-like.
Feel free to ignore my ranting.

Member of the Self-Taught Club.

A recent study shows that 8% of teenagers listen to nothing but music with guitars in it. Put this in your sig if you're one of the 92% who isn't a close-minded moron.
#11
Hmm... well when I said the Fade to Black solo was harder I meant the 'big' solo, not the slower one at the start, you could try screwing around with that for a bit.
Feel free to ignore my ranting.

Member of the Self-Taught Club.

A recent study shows that 8% of teenagers listen to nothing but music with guitars in it. Put this in your sig if you're one of the 92% who isn't a close-minded moron.
#12
Mr Crowley. Not the solos but play it the way he played it, not the powerchord way. I don't know if its on this site but learn it with the bar chords and the fills. The solos aren't really that hard either but then again I learned classical guitar for a couple years when i was really young so i had to do scales a lot. So good luck with all this. Playing with other people will help you a lot too.
#13
Yeah, I try to play with others as much as possible, but that doesn't really help me to build my chops and play solos.

I'll check out Mr. Crowley at some point, though I'm so sick of not being able to play any hard solos, I really want to stay on task and complete one of those songs.

Really what I'd like you guys to tell me is what scales to practice and how long to practice them and what patterns I should use to make them most effective. Thanks guys.
#14
For 10 dollars a week, Ill use a webcam to show you with audio/video how to play anything you want. Ive been teaching for a year now, and playing guitar for 3 years. This year has been my biggest improvement yet, and Im going to berklee next summer, so just drop me a line Nows your chance, before I start charging more to internet folk! I charge 60 dollars an hour where I teach now, im 18 years old, and I give lessons once a week. if you want more than an hour and more than once a week let me know. But 10 dollars seems fair. Youll be shredding in no time.
#15
^ You sound like one of those internet scams that says: play like Jimi in 30 minutes or you're money back*

*if asked for money back you will lose you're penis.
#16
Yeah, I'm sorry man, but I'm not going to dish out 10 bucks a week to a guy whom I have never met and have no knowledge of his actual skill. I also honestly don't believe that a guy who has been teaching for a year and playing for three is going to be worth 10 bucks an hour over a webcam, where he can't be as specific and targetting my problems and such as a he can't see him, will be as good as paying around 18 bucks an hour for a group class with a local teacher who can see my problems and better help me adjust to them...
#17
First scale you oughta learn is the minor pentatonic

(E Minor)
e---------------------------------------0--3-
B--------------------------------0--3--------
G------------------------0--2----------------
D-----------------0--2-----------------------
A----------0--2------------------------------
E--0--3--------------------------------------

Practise ascending and descending with no breaks in between the ascent/descent with alternate picking while staying in time. Do this a lot.
Feel free to ignore my ranting.

Member of the Self-Taught Club.

A recent study shows that 8% of teenagers listen to nothing but music with guitars in it. Put this in your sig if you're one of the 92% who isn't a close-minded moron.
#18
Quote by crazylaughboy
^ You sound like one of those internet scams that says: play like Jimi in 30 minutes or you're money back*

*if asked for money back you will lose you're penis.
I asked for my money back
#19
Actually, on webcam itd be great if we both had webcams..but I see where you are coming from..No scam though, I did it twice before. No problem dude
#20
Quote by TooLateForRoses
Hehe. Yeah I've been thinking of subscribing to a guitar magazine, but I can't decide which one.

I just bought John Petrucci's Rock Discipline and Wild Stringdom, as well as Joe Satriani's Guitar Secrets recently. I've been trying some of the exercises but haven't really noticed any improvement since.

Oh and I can also fool people into thinking I'm good, but only non-musicians and untalented musicians. =D


I got those books and they have helped improve speed/accuracy/endurance, but you have to spend 1-3 hours with them daily, with a metronome, at first you wont feel a huge improvement but in a few weeks you will notice improvement.

The most important thing is to play them daily though, playing them once a week or 2-3 times a week wont really do it, it will probably just keep you at the same level or give you slight and I mean very slight improvements, because I did the same thing for a few months sence I didnt have time to play with them daily, but once I started daily they help...

Also if you can get the movie (rock disipline) get it, JP will give you some nice tips, its also up on google video if you want to see it there, quality kind of sucks but just listen to what JP says.
#21
I have the Rock Discipline DVD.

And I don't just practice 2-3 times a week with it, I practice every day. I practice a total of aroudn 4 hours a day, and I would say 1-2 of that is stuff from Rock Discipline.

How long was it before you noticed some serious improvement from them?
#22
OK, I went and tried the Enter Sandman solo again, and then I just looked at the text version of the solo, and it seems alot easier. I'll try to master it and let you guys know how I do and what areas I need help in if I need any.
#23
Well, I think I've decided to drop Enter Sandman for now. It uses the 22nd and 24th frets, and my crappy little guitar only has 22 frets, and the 22nd is extremely hard to access, so I'll save that one for when I get a new guitar.

Back to Crazy Train I guess...


Anyone have any scales or modes that I should practice to help with my soloing?
#25
i think you should work on your minor pentatonic first, get a feel for it. ive been playin for 6 years now, 3 yrs were spent on the damn minor pentatonic. but it sure helped. it helps give u a basic idea for ur fingering dude. like which fingers should go on where, plus its a real basic scale. look it up, and try to make ur fingering as comfortable as possible. try not to over strech or bend your fingers. try to find suitable positions for your hand. and work that pinky dude
#26
I'll try to find the Locrain and Natural Harmonic (I already know the Minor Pentatonics I just have to start practicing them again.)

And yeah that little pinky has always been giving me hell, so I just bought a gripmaster so I can build some strength on him. We'll see if it's worked after a month or so.

EDIT: I'm having trouble finding a pre-tabbed out version of the Locrian and can't find the Natural Harmonic at all...if you could help that would be awesome...
Last edited by TooLateForRoses at Sep 19, 2006,
#27
a grip master is cool, but whenever you dont have it on you, you can always just tap your fingers around, like tap your thigh or sumthin hard surfaced. good luck bro, but mostly hang in there, cos everyone sucked at one point or the other, all we can do is work hard. nothing good comes easy eh? peace bro..
#28
Quote by TooLateForRoses
I'm having trouble finding a pre-tabbed out version of the Locrian and can't find the Natural Harmonic at all...if you could help that would be awesome...
...Natural Harmonic?
#29
Quote by yawn
...Natural Harmonic?



somewhere around UG theres a basics lesson..i think it covers most of the scales... its quite a long lesson, i was lookin thru it last nite but im at a different Pc now.. and im at work..so maybe later on i could help you dude..will post it here later..peace!
#30
Alright man, let me know if you find it. Thanks!


Also, my buddy Josh who is really good at guitar and knows alot about theory said he'll go over some of theory that I don't know tonight and tomorrow, which included main scales and modes. Maybe once I get music theory down more it'll all make sense and I'll be able to put everything together...
#31
As far as the first lick you have for crazy train, If you know how to use legato, that might help make that one a lot easier for you to pull off.

in regards to your questions, sadly enough the things you don't want to hear are the ones that are the most true. It may seem like playing it slow does nothing at all, but in reality it is training you how to coordinate pick and fret hand for accuracy, so that when it does come time to play it fast, you hit it cleanly and not like a big jumble of distorted garbage. None of us want to sit down and play something at a slow annoying speed when we know we can do faster, but thats just how you have to do if it you want to sound clean and accurate.

In my opinion I don't think I would classify crazy train as a song for the beginner, I would sway more toward intermediate, just because of said fills which is require very good coordination to hit them up to speed.

I think your giving yourself too much of a hard time really. Like you said you basically have a year and half of actual playing under your belt, it's going to be a little rough at this point, I mean hell if it was that easy we would see more teenage shredders on TV than you could shake a stick at. You have to remember we have a different pace that we learn at, some people how a more natural ability to pick things up and progress faster because of this, others without this added ability can still reach that level it just takes more time.

Try to dedicate a lot of your practice time to technical skills and right and left hand coordination, anytime something is too fast for you, it's because one of these hands cannot keep up. Try to work on different songs to give you a bit of a confidence boost, like try some Black Sabbath, instead of jumping right into Randy's style of playing.

I also agree with what someone else said about John Petrucci's "Rock Discipline" DVD. It is very good for players of all levels and it helps cover how to get both hands syncronized like I have talked about. If you spent a few hours following it everyday I would guarantee you see a big improvement, as most players only roadblock to achieveing speed it because both hands are not syncronized in attack.
Quote by Shredlet
Cheers Sinister that was really helpful a Dime-point to you!


"Any problem you can't solve with a good guitar, is either, unsolvable or isn't a problem."
#32
Thanks man. I'll work on my legato and try some Sabbath stuff. Also, it's not that I don't like slowing stuff down, it's just that I don't like when I slow it down and practice it for 12 hours only to get stuck at the same tempo which is still only (insert number here)% of the actual speed which it is played.


For example, this one fill in the chorus of Trivium's Pull Harder On The Strings of Your Martyr was making me extremely frustrated. The tempo it had it under on Guitar Pro was 144. I slowed down that bar to 36, until I had the pattern memorized smoothly. I then increased it to 44. I played it over and over for hours every day, only to get stuck at a tempo somewhere in the 80's. Barely more than half of the actual tempo. My frustration was unbearable, and was hindering me from learning other stuff, so I simply had to give up on it. All that time and effort put into it, and for what? Nothing.

That's when I hate slowing stuff down.
#33
Ahh that stinks but this is what happened to me. When i first learned Mr crowley it was with my teacher and when the solos came he asked me to play what I knew which was basicly just a part where i strummed to hit all the notes, well he made me play each individule note in the solo until i could play it flawlessy and could shred it. Needless to say it took a very long time but i learned that solo like hell. Just go slow and eventrually youll be fast enough.
#34
I have just learned my first scale I asked my teacher about scales and he thought me the Pentatonic.. I think, hehe well anyway is that a good beginners scale or is the Pentatonic minor better? I had a lot of fun last night while screwing around with the Pentatonic scale over a backing track And isn't true when your having fun you learn way more faster?

I'm just curious
#35
Quote by TooLateForRoses


For example, this one fill in the chorus of Trivium's Pull Harder On The Strings of Your Martyr was making me extremely frustrated. The tempo it had it under on Guitar Pro was 144. I slowed down that bar to 36, until I had the pattern memorized smoothly. I then increased it to 44. I played it over and over for hours every day, only to get stuck at a tempo somewhere in the 80's. Barely more than half of the actual tempo. My frustration was unbearable, and was hindering me from learning other stuff, so I simply had to give up on it. All that time and effort put into it, and for what? Nothing.

That's when I hate slowing stuff down.



Well, the faster you go, the harder it is to break the BPM barrier. Practise slow for like, 45 minutes. Then play at your fastest for about 5 minutes. It helps.

Anyway, I'm just going to say there is no easy way out of any of this. No amount of grip masters and videos will help. You just quite simply have to practise and stick to it.

Do you use all the fingers on your left hand? Do you alternate pick?
Don't tell me what can not be done

Don't tell me what can be done, either.



I love you all no matter what.
#36
ive been playin since february march and i have just got that solo down apart from the little fill halfway through matts solo, it needs a bit f work, but i basically just played the same bits over and over again, although i dont use a metronome. i just keep playing it faster and faster until i can keep in time with the song for that section then i take another little bit and do that untill i get the whole solo

edit: u r kinda jumpin in at the deep end goin for gunshot, i would try maybe 'dying in your arms' then 'like light to the flies' as they have fast runs but not consistently fast the whole way through so u can gain speed from them
#37
Quote by nightwind

Do you use all the fingers on your left hand? Do you alternate pick?


Yes and yes. Now I'm actually trying to teach myself inside alternate picking (when alternating between two strings picking the inside of both of them rather than the outside, to increase speed.) And I've been doing alot of chromatic stuff recently, to use all four of my fingers even more.

Oh and to the other person, I can already play Like Light To Flies and I could probably Dying In Your Arms but I never feel like learning. And I wasn't going for Gunshot to The Head of Trepidation, I was going for Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr. It's much harder lol.
#38
OK so I picked a solo and I'm going to stick with it; Stairway To Heaven.

I got the first 2 bars up to speed last night and the next 4 so far today. I've gotten 6 out of like 20 bars up to speed, and I think I'm going to *try* to get the next 4 done today, that way I'll have half the solo. I have a question though; at one point in the solo on Guitar Pro, something like this comes along

----
13-15b-13b-
----------------14
Repeat 3 times or so, comes along. I tried to go through the whole solo, just to say how it hard would be, and when I get to this part I cannot get it to sound right at all...I don't understand how to transfer from the 15b to the 13b properly....

EDIT: Yeah, I got the next two bars down, so now I'm to that part I don't understand, and it takes up the next 6 bars, and so if someone could help me with that part then I could probably finish this solo today, tomorrow at the very latest.
Last edited by TooLateForRoses at Sep 23, 2006,
#39
Split the solo up into parts. Learn a part a day. Practice each part seperatley then combine them. You can't just learn the whole thing at once.
[IMG]http://img206.imageshack.us/img206/7971/ugsig7ej.gif[/IMG]
#40
That's what I've been doing holmes...I split it up and learn 1-2 bars at a time. I'm stuck at the above part because I don't know how to play it. I learn one or two bars at a time and then push them up to speed.

You just told me what I'm doing, I need to know how to do this

13-15b-13b-----13-15b-13b-
----------------14-----------------

It says bend the 15 up and 13 down, and I can't get it to sound right whatsoever, so I know there's got to be some trick to bending two notes consecutively without picking them twice.