Hey guys, I have been playing for about 4-5 years now just on and off, not doing to much to get better but just playing the basic part of songs, which are mostly 90's to present hard rock. I don't know much and I would like to start improving on my current ability. I was just looking for some tips on how to improve my finger speed for solos and such - I just don't know what to practice but I am willing to spend time on improving my techinque. If I could get any basic scales or anything to practice that would be great. Thanks for any replies!
Last edited by alpkitno at Sep 26, 2007,
Describe what you know, what you can do, and where you want to be. "I need help getting better" is a multiple-variable equation.
Please excuse my failure to describe terms correctly, but here goes. I've never taken any music classes or been in any bands or anything, so I can't read music well at all, just tabs. I had some lessons when I was young - about 10 or 11 years old. It was just simple picking techiques and playing simple little songs. I never really got into chords in those lessons. I stopped playing for a while then picked up the guitar again at about 15 years old. I learned the major chords and just went from there, learning more and more chords over time. I can do power chords and bar chords pretty well, but my ability to move my fingers fast to play individual strings is terrible. I just learned to play songs through chord combinations and never really did anything with scales or anything like that because I never had the material to learn from and never had a higher level instructor. Now I would like to improve upon just the chords. I would like to get to the point where I could play moderately challenging solos (my dream would be to play the solo to Stairway To Heaven), and be able to improvise with decent skills (if that makes any sense). Any help would be appreciated.
Start out just learning more songs, getting ones with trickier riffs and patterns that are specific to what your problem is. I know most guys aren't going to like this response and are going to say "go practice scales to a metronome", but I never did that in the beginning nor do I think I would have liked it much.

However, if you would like to try that, go here:http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/for_beginners/am_pentatonic_scale_use.html

Learn that simple scale position up and down, get it totally memorized so that you can play it without thinking about it. Then, go here:


Set it to a low setting like 60 or 80 BPM, and for every click, hit a note. Just go straight up and down over and over. If that gets too easy, try playing two notes for every click, then three, then four. Practice like this is simple and boring, but it is the best way to work on general technique (not to mention learning a simple scale position is the gateway to improvising).

Great way to start with technique. Where to go from there, is a question of how much you are willing to learn and how you are going to let your view of music be affected by the knowledge you will gain. In the words of B.B. King, "The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you".
Thanks so much for the advice. I practiced for probably 20 minutes with the metronome and things were getting easier. I tried a few other songs and noticed improvement, just from those 20 minutes. Thanks a ton for getting me started! I just needed a starting point because there are so many things to learn out there, and I just didn't know what I should and shouldn't do, so thanks again!