For the first 6 months of my guitar playing journey I learned bits of various songs and practiced exercises too fast/sloppily because I had no metronome (got one at the beginning of this year) and wanted to be like those crazy guitarists you see videos of on youtube.

On the upside, I did start learning music theory and have a pretty good grasp on it now, from reading The Guitar Handbook. I got Total Scales, Techniques and Applications by Mark Sternal around the same time I got my metronome and I've learned the notes all over the neck. I also, sadly, didn't practice my open chord changes seriously til a few months ago, I can change between an Am to G chord at 60 bpm 1/8 notes (with an 1/8 note rest, I'm not that fast, should I get that faster?)

For a few months, I'd spend almost all my practice time on scalar sequences to work on my alternate picking because I'd like to be able to shred, and have good technique. A big problem of mine though is that I have trouble sticking to a few good exercises and practicing them consistently, which in turn leaves me unable to track my progress. Lately I've also practiced 2 note per string pentatonic scale positions in groups of 3 strings as sextuplets to get quicker at string crossing and moving my picking hand across the strings from the elbow (which I'm pretty comfortable with, I also don't anchor at all, I do have some trouble keeping the pick at a good angle to the string. I've mostly done this starting that with an upstroke, it's helped my 3 note per string technique I think, after only a few days of practicing that. I've uppicked different chromatic finger permutations and can do that at around 80 bpm tops, but once again, I don't do that everyday, maybe a few times a week, I'm afraid to do strict up or downpicking in the same practice session that I do alternate picking, fearing it will mess with my accuracy. I've done legato exercises inconsistently lately too, basically the stuff from Rock Discipline. I can do basic tapping okay and am not worried about sweeping for now, I'm trying to work on the basic things first.

I've worked on bends with each finger, and lately I've been warming up my left hand with practicing vibrato to the metronome at 60 bpm as 1/4, 1/8, 1/8 note triplets and 1/16 notes bending the string for every little count.

Should I be worrying less about my speed and technique and put more work into learning and being able to play a few Metallica songs all the way through and perfectly in time at speed? I practice during the day for 4 to 6 hrs. usually and at night for a few hours, and these past few nights I've been trying to create riffs and learn from the "...AJFA" tab book I have.
Originally Posted by SkyValley
yeah im a virgin but im also pretty good at things like ping-pong and drawing pictures of people playing water polo so it balances out
uhmm i never stuck to anything and practiced anything.. i just pressed the frets down and stuff lol
You may want to get a guitar teacher who can keep you more structured. Many people can systemize their own practice schedule and keep on it and others are better off with the direction of an instructor. I would say keep practicing what you are doing and add in learning complete songs but the teacher thing is probably a sure bet.
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You should definitely keep emphasizing technique. Speed will come to in time, and with proper alternate picking technique, your speed will greatly improve. You should be able to play a few Metallica songs with enough practice, albeit the less-technical ones. Before you play the more complicated songs, you'd want to solidify your technique first.

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People who finish things, and"
i wouldn't worrt about being super uber fast. like ledhead said, speed will come naturally with more practice and experience blah blah blah....its nice to see that you are serious about your practicing
Yeah well they're the band that made me want to play so I gotta play their music. I started learning "One," I practiced it solidly for a few days and even tackled the end section where it's machine gun riffing sextuplets at 108 which I can't handle, everything up to that though I was able to play perfectly in time to the metronome. I learned the first few solos but didn't play them to the metronome so I don't feel I've really "learned" them if you know what I mean.
Originally Posted by SkyValley
yeah im a virgin but im also pretty good at things like ping-pong and drawing pictures of people playing water polo so it balances out
I don't practice, ever. I just play. I assume that when I naturally develop a new skill, I will have been at a level that allows me to play said skill.

I'm more worried about trying to find my lyrical and singing niche, more than anything.
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