#1
I am dead set on advancing my guitar skills to a higher level right now.

What I need from you fellow UGers is a list of exercises/riffs/whatever to help me progress to a new level.

I've been playing about 3 years, the first year was really slow though. I'd play 2-3 songs a week. So averaged out, about 2 minutes a day. xD

Anyway... The song I'm currently working on is Holy Diver by Killswitch Engage. I can almost play the entire thing accurately. Still a little sloppy on the solo, and there's a lick in there I can't seem to get at full speed.

I hope that gives you an accurate description of my skills. I'm not a fast sweeper, I can sweep accurately about 90-120ish bpm (16th notes) depending on the shape and how I'm feeling that day. My alternate picking needs work, as well as string skipping and finger independence. I'd like to achieve a boost in speed, accuracy, dexterity, and maybe develop a new technique or two.

So please, I'm looking for first hand experience only. People who have been at my level and found stuff that seriously worked for THEM. Not to be a dick, but I don't want any half assed players coming in and telling me to do chromatic runs. I've tried doing chromatics, I don't think they help much at all except for building your chromatic run speed.... NOT something I intend on using in my playing. ><

Please, PLEASE refrain from suggesting something unless you KNOW it works. Again, I'm sorry I'm coming off as a douche, but... I really want to take this as far as I can. Thanks in advance.
Quote by rocknrollgod
well i can tall you this much do NOT get a marshall MG. becasue you will blow the speaker with duncans in the guitar. i know for experience.


Quote by Gutch220
Leave it to UGer's to argue over who "owns" a language


#2
Get a hold of some videos like:

John Petrucci's Rock Discipline
Michael Angelo Batio's Speed Kills.

I have those two and my playing skill has grown exponentially in the time I've had them.

I've heard that Rusty Cooley's Shred Manifesto is also really good but I don't have so I dunno.
I'm looking for a tab of The Marshall Plan, by Blue Oyster Cult, and of Mario Minor, by Powerglove. If you have one please PM me.
#3
Personally, i worked on my alternate picking and string skipping on blackened by Metallica
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#4
While you have a point I wouldn't knock chromatic runs and neither would I exclude them from my playing entirely (although obviously they won't be used more than 0.0001% of the time in your actual music). Furthermore, they improve your alternate picking ability greatly, so keep that in mind. That said the biggest thing is to start of with a scale you know, let's say a major scale. Just start with a basic box shape and go up and down, then play on different areas of the fretboard, etc. After that try making scale runs that go from high E to low E strings and vice versa but going from left to right and right to left (it may seem counterproductive to do the second but the idea is to get your mind to be able to wrap itself around odd movements). Then make up your own runs, try some slides in with it, exchange strict alternate picking with hammer ons and pulls offs. What you want to do is focus on anything that is difficult, whether it be going up a scale in the sense of low E to high E but going downwards on each string.

Ex.
e------------------------------
B-----------------------------
G-----------------------------
D-------------------9-7-5---
A----------9-7-5------------
E-8-7-5---------------------
(and so on)

or just simply using your pinky for something which is initially easier for your ring finger.
#5
Scale runs in different patterns help a lot. Straight up and down in sixteenths, triplets, sixteenths, groups of 5 and 6 in patterns like 123234345456 but with scales - simple concept but for some reason I can't explain it. Then you can do jumps in thirds, fourths, fifths, and sixes in sixteenth notes. Just do those and keep increasing speed, helps with alternate picking and string skipping, and timing especially with groups of 5 and 6.
#6
something that helped me all around was the "EVH-type" 2 string triplets. for example (in Em) frets 2,3,5 then go up an octave. then 3,5,7, up an octave. the picking could be down--hammer on--hammer on- (skip string) alt the triplets or you could just alt pick it all starting with an UPSTROKE (atleast i do cuz my upstrokes are weaker and need more practice). This helped me with string skipping and my picking. the speed and accuracy comes with time and practice. Check out the song Technical Difficulties by Racer X, its got a great riff for the triplets, so is Phantom of the Opera --Iron Maiden.. The best way to get faster is play everyday, you have to build momentum....if you stop for 3 days then practice again it wont be nearly as effective as doin it 20 min a day, everyday. like a train...if you stop you have to start slow alllll over again, keep the train going everyday
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#8
Quote by AgentWiggles
Get a hold of some videos like:

John Petrucci's Rock Discipline
Michael Angelo Batio's Speed Kills.

I have those two and my playing skill has grown exponentially in the time I've had them.

I've heard that Rusty Cooley's Shred Manifesto is also really good but I don't have so I dunno.


Do you use all of the exercises in RD?

I've youtubed a few clips of it, I absolutely hate that starting exercise. He says it's a warm up. It's the one where you go something like

13
12
11
10

With all your fingers on different adjacent strings. Then you swap them around moving two fingers at a time. I hate that exercise. Is it useful? Should I be doing all the warmups as well?
Quote by rocknrollgod
well i can tall you this much do NOT get a marshall MG. becasue you will blow the speaker with duncans in the guitar. i know for experience.


Quote by Gutch220
Leave it to UGer's to argue over who "owns" a language


#9
I look at Kristofer Dahl's vids on UG and also concentrate on technique to iron out any bad habits.(Pick holding etc.)
"Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes"

"Like a blind man at an orgy, I was going to have to feel my way through"

#10
People say to play it slowly and stuff but there is more... You have to memorize tad bits of the solo and put them together like a puzzle, don't know if that helped you any but guitar pro really helped me learn hard solos.
#11
For finger independence, play stuff like 4th fret E string with ring finger and 5th fret A string with pinky then switching to 4th fret A string with ring finger and 5th fret E string pinky.. Do that between all fingers and maybe some more frets apart.
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#12
Quote by sg-rocker173
Do you use all of the exercises in RD?

I've youtubed a few clips of it, I absolutely hate that starting exercise. He says it's a warm up. It's the one where you go something like

13
12
11
10

With all your fingers on different adjacent strings. Then you swap them around moving two fingers at a time. I hate that exercise. Is it useful? Should I be doing all the warmups as well?


That's my favorite excercise, lol.

It is a BITCH to get down at first, because of the insane stretches involved, but I've noticed nothing but improvement since I started doing that excercise, and I have only gotten into using the first 3 excercises in Rock Discipline, so I'd say it's a fir guess that that's the one helping my left hand a lot.
I'm looking for a tab of The Marshall Plan, by Blue Oyster Cult, and of Mario Minor, by Powerglove. If you have one please PM me.