ok, everyone always says to practice in clean, but then i find once i turn on the distortion, little mistakes that i didn't notice in clean i can hear. such as lightly brushing up against strings i'm not plaing, and pulling off of strings slightly too hard making the open string ring out. what are your comments on this? do you guys still think it's wise to practice in clean?
Since you easier hear your mistakes with distortion, why change? I practise with clean but, just as long as you hear what you're playing wrong I guess..
i say do it clean. the brushing and things of that nature are more audible with distortion but the REALLY important stuff like playing cleanly can be heard a lot easier. lotsa posers crank the distortion and play fast n' sloppy and they don't even know they're going sloppily cuz they're playing distorted. then you listen to someone like paul gilbert who just wails and is perfectly tight. listen to some poseurs play fast, then listen to paul gilbert, its like day and night.
Sorry but that's total bollocks that you have to play everything clean. Of course you should play clean to make sure you're hitting all notes properly, but then you must do it with distortion.

Playing distorted is a completely different beast, and there's many other factors that arise or become more significant when the distortion is put up, such as: feedback, compression (affecting dynamics, meaning that if you brush a string on clean you won't hear it but when the gain is up it will naturally increase in volume and wail horribly), increased likelihood of note bleed, increased sustain (Again, if you brush a string not only will it sound much louder but it will persist much longer than an equivalent string brush while playing clean).... etc. etc. I could bang on for ages.

Unless you play a style of guitar that only involves clean then I predict you'll sound horrendous when you plug into a big ****off marshall and up the gain if you aren't accustommed to controlling it.

Playing distorted guitar is a different instrumental experience in its own right and your practice program must take this into account. Sounding proffesional on a highly distorted guitar is a much bigger deal than guys who make the clean channel sound nice and takes a lot of appropriate practice.
^ Yeah, I'd agree with that. Clean vs Distorted is very different. There's different
problems you need to address when very distorted vs very clean.

However, I think distortion is often used as a crutch to cover up weak playing.
Mostly, with distortion, you'll be concerned with muting techniques. The tone
dynamics are very flat and homogeneous. A clean setting is MUCH more dynamic
in tone and forces you to have to *project* your playing more. You'll really be
a much better player if you learn how to project your playing and deal with tone
dynamics on clean *prior* to dealing with the other problems of distortion.
^ thank you, this is really what i was trying to convey. i'm not saying DON'T practice with distortion (i do all the time) i'm just saying make sure you're practicing properly and not using it to cover up mistakes such as flubbing notes or missing notes or just flat out not playing well.
Yeah, if you really look at when distortion and compression are doing, to a large
extent, that is to make the note sound the same no matter how you hit it. If
you practice only with lots of distortion (as I suspect MANY do), you're really
missing out on subtleties of different ways of striking the string which really gives
you a lot of underlying control of your tone and feel no matter what your settings

It seems to me that's a more fundamental skill than muting. In other words,
someone who has spent a lot of time practicing clean will have an easier time
moving to distorted than vice-versa.
^ i agree 110% ... which is why people suggest practicing clean, 'cuz it's easier to move from clean to distorted than the other way around (and the whole covering up mistakes as already mentioned)
Sweep picking you wanna do both channels so you can manage strings ringing out. Legato you wanna practice with both so you can hammer/pull off hard enough and also be able to manage the the ringing. Same with any technique.
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it took you 15 consecutive hours of practice to realize that playing guitar makes you better at playing guitar. congratulations.

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But warming up you DEFINETELY wanna do in clean channel.
Quote by BigFatSandwich
it took you 15 consecutive hours of practice to realize that playing guitar makes you better at playing guitar. congratulations.

Quote by snowbert