#1
Hey UG, hows thing for ya'?

I need some advice on where to go next.

I've been playing guitar for about two and a half years now, and I had a teacher for my first year. I quit with my teacher after a year as I felt like I was getting nowhere.

I guess, right now I'm sort of lost.

I can play basic to intermediate stuff fine, but I can't play any advanced stuff, i.e. solo in Dirty Little Thing, Paradise City etc. and that's the style of guitar I really want to play.

I know a few scales at the moment but I feel like I need to learn more.

BASICALLY, I want to have a sort of hard rock/blues rock style of guitar like Slash in scale use and such, yet I can't play fast enough.
I've read numerous articles on how to increase playing speed but all of them seem to contradict each other :

Some say it just comes over practicing songs and such for a while,
Some say you need to do specific finger exercises.

All I do to practice at the moment is play songs to iTunes on my PC, and so far so good, but I feel like I need something more than that now.

Thanks!

Sean

P.S. Any good blues rock scales I can use?
#2
the essential is the minor pentatonic, and next up are your major/minor modes. learn those and you'll have probably 95% of all rock music covered, and definitely 100% of all slash's stuff.
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#3
for building speed you can play absolutely anything you want. i would advise a solo or lick that you love, playing scales is boring. you want a few different ones though to vary the way your fingers move.

get a metronome. set it to 80bpm (slower if need be) and play the licks/solos. once you have them down to absolute perfection, up the bpm by 2. continue until you can play whatever it was at 500bpm which will never happen (unless of course the notes were all ridiculously long to begin with)

guitar pro is a GREAT program for building speed as it lets you slow down midi files and play them back. I find it hard to play things when they are TOO slow because it just sounds nothing like the original and is hard to know if it's done right or whatever. guitar pro helps a lot. I've been playing for 3 years and am VERY slow. need to start doing speed exercises myself. atm I can play almost any lick at 110bpm with 16th notes, but that's not fast when people like steve vai are somwhere around 230bpm
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#5
Quote by Storm_Bringer_
for building speed you can play absolutely anything you want. i would advise a solo or lick that you love, playing scales is boring. you want a few different ones though to vary the way your fingers move.

get a metronome. set it to 80bpm (slower if need be) and play the licks/solos. once you have them down to absolute perfection, up the bpm by 2. continue until you can play whatever it was at 500bpm which will never happen (unless of course the notes were all ridiculously long to begin with)

guitar pro is a GREAT program for building speed as it lets you slow down midi files and play them back. I find it hard to play things when they are TOO slow because it just sounds nothing like the original and is hard to know if it's done right or whatever. guitar pro helps a lot. I've been playing for 3 years and am VERY slow. need to start doing speed exercises myself. atm I can play almost any lick at 110bpm with 16th notes, but that's not fast when people like steve vai are somwhere around 230bpm


Sorry for the double post, but do you think this would work to get my overall and general speed up in my playing? Or just a specific riff? I want to speed up my improvising as well, just wanted to know if these methods still apply. I practice my improvising over a couple of solos in songs but I don't know if it's just a waste of time or not.
#6
Try going back a bit further by listening to blues and some early 60s/70s rock - if you want to play a specific style, you gotta learn where it came from too....

As for practicing by jamming along on itunes, keep it up - you learn more from that then all the structured-learning crap people seem to be so into at the moment. The best way to learn more is to listen to more; if you feel you're getting stuck then buy a CD by someone you've never listened to and jam along! It keeps your soloing more natural and expressive than learning from a book.
Also, don't get too hung up on speed, concentrating on one thing tends to limit your creativity. To be honest, most audiences get quickly bored of robotic,high speed soloing (except when it's Satch, o'course). It really just depends what kind of guitarist you want to be...

But as mentioned above, the Minor Pentatonic is the king of scales - learn that and you're practically there!
#8
For scales, the major/minor are must knows really, and the pentatonics/blues scale for that blues sound.

It'd also be useful looking into your modes of the major scale as well, Slash uses the Myxolydian mode a lot.

For speed, just practice anything, taking it slow, making sure you are accurate, and as said above, just gradually increase the tempo.
This will get you faster at the lick you are playing, and learning others will take time, but will be a lot easier to do.