For everyone who has played a few years, what is one major thing that really upped you playing. Im not talking about a breakthrough moment when you just seemed to play better, but like when you were looking for improvement and you starting practcing somehting specific that really helped you play better. Thanks in advance.
Quote by bangoodcharlote
When I started to write original material.

I agree with that.

As well, when I started improvising solos, my skill, speed, and love for guitar and music in general boosted so much when I started improving.

Also, playing in a band really helps, because you feed off of the other people, and you push yourself to get better.
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I have to pretty much concur with these guys. Some form of writing my own material (improvising, songwriting, whatever) and playing with others really helped expand my bounds, as it helped me see other styles of play different from my own better than just learning a tab.
For me, hearing more advanced guitarists like Jason Becker really inspired me to look past power chords and start learning how to improvise and write better songs.
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Using a metronome.
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Learning how to play jazz guitar. This just set me on fire.
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justin, that was easily the most inspiring, helpful piece of advice anyone has ever given me in regards to my musical pursuits.

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Well I already knew theroy when I started playing guitar but it came in handy very much when I started learning scales and stuff like that. metronomes are great to.

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It wasn't one thing. It was many things.

First thing: going from single-note melodies from the first Sonic games, to the actual songs with power chords in the later Sonic games.

Second thing: Discovering the Living End, and thus learning a lot about barre chords.

Third thing: Discovering metal.

Fourth thing: Learning a lot about music theory.

Fifth thing: Rediscovering the Living End and learning their songs. Looking back now they're so simple.

That's about it.
Learning to play along with a metronome/backing track/drum machine. The rhythmic aspect of playing solos is sometimes overlooked.
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when i started to think of a guitar, not as a guitar, but as an instrument, and took musical influence from keyboardists/pianists, saxophonists, vocalists. that really helped me when writing music.

also. bass playing, i love approaching guitar as a bass, playing a backing track, walking line, single notes.. locking in with drummer whilst bassist does his solo.

and of course when i discovered how much you can learn if you write a guitar part over a song that has no guitar in it (lots of ELP for example) helps you out alot.

lesson: take influence from EVERYWHERE
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It terms of instrumentalism, I've yet to reach that point

In terms of compositional skill, once I gathered an understanding of chord analysis, non-harmonic tones, and cadences, I was at the point where I could write pretty sophisticated material with a degree of professionalism (aka, not just playing different things to see "what sounds good").
Learning the solo to Sails of Charon by the Scorpions, because that was the first time I really buckled down and actually LEARNED something.
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a few things have done it for me..

The first thing was when I joined a band... after that I hit a plateau then it was buying an SG (I got hella into AC/DC) then I hit another plateau, Then I started to listen to very technical music (thanks alot to the forums on here...) then I took music classes, then I started another band... then I started another band... anyway, they were all positive steps no matter how much it sucked when the 2 bands broke up...

Oh, there was a few live shows in there, that can up your improvement rate a good deal as well.
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taking the time to learn ABOUT the guitar instead of just the notes to play. it opened up so much. also you'd be suprised about taking the time to learn how to set a guitar up to your likings will improve your playing. as far as neck and string height.
When I started listening to Children of Bodom, and studying Alexi Laiho's style of playing, I found a major influence. Back then I was struggling with Lamb of God riffs.

3 months of hard work later, I'm working on sweep picking that's coming on quite well, and learning more complex songs, and my teacher said I am now at around a Grade 3/4 standard.

Also improvisation and using my pinky.
a few "get good" plateaus for me...

joining a band... i went from bedroom hack to semi-competent rhythm guitarist pretty quick. No specific songs to mention, but just learning to play in time, improvise, and play with a beat really helped.

then, i discovered a major influence... Jimmy Page and his work with Led Zeppelin. another inspirational level-up right there.

next, we had someone join the band who was way more experienced than any of us, and we all upped our chops... again, we just got better at improvising and writing.

then the band broke up, and i started beefing up on my basics, my chops, etc... for fear of being musically left behind when it came time to join a new band (btw... i'm now in 2 new bands, and a third is vying for my services).

after that, it's just been straight-up learning harder stuff, more diverse stuff... i felt that learning non-riff, non-power chord stuff really helped... try learning something like the Pink Panther music by Henry Mancini... it'll change the way you approach riffs.

lastly... learning and UNDERSTANDING music theory. I've been working on this since the beginning, but i'm starting get a much better picture of it after five years of playing. knowing all the notes and how to find them is key... once i learned how to pick notes from anywhere on the fretboard, my playing jumped up exponentially...
Last edited by frigginjerk at Jan 23, 2007,
the one thing that jumped my playing was when i started looking at improvising in a different way. before it was, 'well these notes are in key so they will sound good over this progression.' hey, thats how most people start out and it works. just stay in the little box shape and you wont sound out of key.

then i started to look at the intervals i was playing and how they want to move. so instead of thinking, 'ok, ninth fret on the D string then seventh fret on the G,' i think, 'ok, play the root then the minor third, which could move down half a step to the second, etc.' i know i still have a long way to go with working the backing chords more into the lead and with more interesting phrasing, but just coming at improv from this new angle helped me so much.

the other big thing was the first time i played in a live situation with another guitarist. not because it was fun or rewarding, but because it wasnt. most people have a band push them to get better. well after playing with this kid i had a view of what NOT to sound like and do. that can motivate a person just as much as playing with someone who is good.
I played guitar for about a year without know a single scale. and clueless as to solo/improv, then i decided to look up some scales and that was my "ONE" thing.
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learn piano, i played piano before i played guitar, its so much easier to get theory on a piano. its worth knowing the basics.
Originally Posted by Asthia
You know you're a guitar player when you tell your father what note he's yelling at you in and then improvise over the top.
I started to learn about music. Listening past the music and understanding how it all works.
when I stopped practicing with distortion (happened gradually)
Learning how to use target notes and chord tones in improvisation.
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It was probably when I learnt some theory properly and understood it. Just a few major and minor scales. I started improvising in key and it sounded a lot better.
Whenever you are improvising alone in you room along to a metronome or whatever, it sounds alright and you might even be pretty impressed on what you did. That was me for like 3-4 years.. then I got together with some guys I've never even met, a drummer, bassist, another guitarist, and a keyboardist. We decided on the sort of thing we were going to play, and just improvised it from there.. My breakthrough moment was hearing that sound of all the instruments collaberating, actually making something yoiu would want to listen to.. instead of sitting around playign alone

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