Page 1 of 2
#1
What's up everybody! This is my first post on the UG forums so go easy on me!

Well, I've been playing for about 2 and a half years and I've gotten pretty good in those 2 and a half years, but somethings amiss in my skills......soloing.

No matter how much I try I just can't seem to get those fast solos. I can do a LOT of the moderately hard and easy solos, but I've been trying for the longest time to do some of the harder solos.

I know it may be because I haven't been playing long enough, but it still kinda gets me down a lot.

So heres my question:

Is it alright for someone to learn JUST rhythm and barely any solos just because maybe they can't do many solos? I mean, would that make someone suck?

I know this question may be a little childish but I'm kinda in a gloomy mood and I could use some perking up right about now, lol.
#2
no that doesn't make you suck.
2 and a half years? I'm surprised you haven't realized that soloing isn't what makes a guitarist good.
Send me off to bed forevermore.
#3
Yeah, you can JUST play rythm. You should still be able to play slow solos. Lots of people don't play fast. If you do want to get faster, however, I would suggest spider(?) runs. They're just chromatic exercises. Really easy to learn, but you shouldn't just run up and down in perfect oder. Mix up the fingering a bit, and get your fingers more agile.
#4
well, alot of people play rhythm. and for the most part, right the whole musical part of the song. this way you can focus on some really kickass riffs and such. and let a lead player focus on the tricky solos. this doesnt make you suck, it just mean you are more of a rhythm player is all. and if someone tell you that makes you suck, its prolly cuz they suck and just wanna make themselves feel better about how much they suck. but ph well, as long as their mom,y tells them they are good enough, hahahahahaha.

you dont suck, you are just not a soloist
#5
Don't give up. You've got the rest of your life to improve on soloing, so take it slowly and one step at a time.

I'm only now beginning to learn how to play Shred and it's a very slow process for me, but I feel it will be very worthwhile.

Perhaps you're simply suffering from a lack of patience when learning these solos. I know I do occasionally. I want to learn how to play a song, and I want to know how to be able to play and actually be able to play it immediately.

That's not the way you need to think. Being a good rhythm guitarist is great, and I do encourage you to work on that, but also think about being a good guitarist in general. You need to play both strong rhythm and strong lead.
#6
Well, you and I are in the same boat. I've been playing for a little over 2 and a half years, and I can't seem to nail the harder solos like in many Megadeth, Iron Maiden and Metallica songs. So, you are not alone.

The only advice I think you'll get here is to practice, and practice some more. I'm sure it will come to both of us in time.
#7
You'll get it in due time, just keep practicing. Take it slow and really memorize the solo, I mean to the point where your fingers automatically go to next position, then just keep speeding it up a little bit. Just remember that playing really fast solos isn't what makes something sound good, and that's what it's ultimately all about.
#8
ive been playin 2 years and i dont even try to learn fast solos, not my style, i go for the gilmour bluesy style solo, i think it has more feel
#9
Take your time. Everybody learns at different speeds. When I started playing (30 odd years ago) solos were actually the easier part but chords were really friggin hard for me and I had to work hard to nail them.

There are a lot of lesson on UG for speed picking so search for those. Practice with a metronome and start off slowly so you develope good habits. And again just take your time.
Quote by dale-banez

my gear:
oh wait, no one cares

Quote by uncboy19
man all guitars are female. if they werent you couldn't make sweet love to them with your fingers. ok somebody better quote that ****. thats like quantum guitar **** rite there.
#10
The time between two years after I started playing and three years after I started playing my technical abilities barely improved at all even though I played a lot and frequently. After that I started playing some harder stuff and I got much better; it seems a common place for the guitar player's skills to "lull" for a little while which can make it seem like you'll never learn to be able to do something because the progress before that is often so fast. I think you might be calling it quits on soloing a little too early.
People writing songs that voices never shared
No one dared
Disturb the Sound of Silence
#11
Quote by The.new.guy
Yeah, you can JUST play rythm. You should still be able to play slow solos. Lots of people don't play fast. If you do want to get faster, however, I would suggest spider(?) runs. They're just chromatic exercises. Really easy to learn, but you shouldn't just run up and down in perfect oder. Mix up the fingering a bit, and get your fingers more agile.


What exactly are spider runs? Do you get alcohol for underage arachnids when doing them? No, seriously, what are they?
Question not yourself. Challenge those who would deny you your true self for an independent thinker is the greatest enemy to those who seek to control you
#12
Thanks everybody, it's nice to see people willing to give out helpful advice without being total dicks.

Anyway, yeah I'll just REALLY work on the rhythm s*** and just perfect those solos I CAN do along the way.

PEACE!
#13
Work on improving your guitar-playing as a whole. I find that whenever my mindset involves becoming the fastest I can, ignoring everything else, I don't even improve my speed that much. But when I focus on improving all aspects as a whole, then my speed actually increases. Don't get too down; try to enjoy yourself
#14
Quote by fixationdarknes
Work on improving your guitar-playing as a whole. I find that whenever my mindset involves becoming the fastest I can, ignoring everything else, I don't even improve my speed that much. But when I focus on improving all aspects as a whole, then my speed actually increases. Don't get too down; try to enjoy yourself


That's weird, because the same thing happens to me. When I concentrate solely on improving my speed, it's a hardly noticeable increase, but when I focus on improving technique, both my speed and my technique increase significantly.
Question not yourself. Challenge those who would deny you your true self for an independent thinker is the greatest enemy to those who seek to control you
#15
Quote by Helloween_rox
That's weird, because the same thing happens to me. When I concentrate solely on improving my speed, it's a hardly noticeable increase, but when I focus on improving technique, both my speed and my technique increase significantly.


Ha. I don't find it weird at all actually. I'd say a big part of increasing speed is getting past mental blocks telling us that we can't do it. When the only thing on our mind is "gotta get faster, gotta get faster!!!" then it's quite easy for our brains to shut ourselves out of speed gains. Similarly, someone tells you NOT to think of a pink elephant, yet at that moment ALL you can think of is a pink elephant. Conclusion: work on overall technique, with the intention of gaining speed, but don't make it the only thing on your mind.
#16
Back to my question- what are "spider runs"?
Question not yourself. Challenge those who would deny you your true self for an independent thinker is the greatest enemy to those who seek to control you
#17
Quote by SoulMusiq77
What's up everybody! This is my first post on the UG forums so go easy on me!

Well, I've been playing for about 2 and a half years and I've gotten pretty good in those 2 and a half years, but somethings amiss in my skills......soloing.

No matter how much I try I just can't seem to get those fast solos. I can do a LOT of the moderately hard and easy solos, but I've been trying for the longest time to do some of the harder solos.

I know it may be because I haven't been playing long enough, but it still kinda gets me down a lot.

So heres my question:

Is it alright for someone to learn JUST rhythm and barely any solos just because maybe they can't do many solos? I mean, would that make someone suck?


First off, 2 and a half years isn't very long to have been playing, so part of your problem _is_ probably that you haven't been playing long enough. I don't think I started to play with much authority till I had been playing for about 4 years, though I'm probably a slow learner (and this was back when information was harder to come by).

Second, there's nothing wrong with just playing rhythm guitar. There aren't enough guitarists who can play good rhythm out there and you might actually be able to work more playing rhythm if you're really good at it. But there _is_ something wrong with just playing rhythm if you do so only because you are convinced you can't play lead. Trust me on this- if you are able to learn to play rhythm guitar you are also able to learn to play lead- in fact, having a really good sense of time, etc. will eventually help your lead a lot, IMHO. But if you decide that you just can't do it you run the risk of making that a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I'm going to make a couple of guesses based on your post- they may be wrong cause there's not a lot there to go on. First, I'm guessing that you are trying to learn a lot of solos note-for-note. That's a good thing to do, but you should recognize that in a lot of them you will only be able to play parts of them- after all, the guys playing them have been playing for years. Second I'm guessing that you are too hung up on speed. Don't get me wrong- it's important to be able to play fast. But at this point in your playing it is more important to be able to hit notes that sound good against the chords you're playing against. If you don't get that happening it won't matter if you learn to play fast, because what you play fast will sound bad- fast, but bad.

If I were you I would either record some good backing tracks, at a reasonable tempo, or get some recorded by other people, or use something like Band-in-a-box to generate them. Start off with something like a simple 12 bar blues. Figure out what scales you're going to use (for a 12 bar blues probably some mix of minor pentatonic, minor pentatonic with an added 2nd, and the blues scale, with additional notes pulled from the relative minor or the Dorian mode) and then just play over the changes for an hour or two a day. Play slow at first- concentrate on getting a good tone (don't use too much distortion for this) and on playing notes that sound good.

After a while your ears will start to guide your fingers. This is the most fundamental breakthrough you will ever make as a soloist, so you need to wait for it to happen, patiently. A while later you will start to play with some authority- this is the second biggest breakthrough, and it needs to be consistently cultivated. You can certainly cop some licks while doing this- I'd say that's mandatory. But don't try to cop whole solos yet.

Above all, be patient. 2 years is the blink of an eye when it comes to learning to play well.
#18
^ An excellent and inspiring post. I've been playing for a year and I'm feeling pretty much the same as the thread starter (although i'm struggling already at intermediate solos when i try to do them note for note). When i feel like a crappy guitarist and completely untrainable i try to think back to where i was a year ago not even able to play rhythm for a single song...
#19
Quote by mezzopiano
blah blah blah


Dayum boi, some sweet BBoy flow der, damn strate like twista yo.

Seriously +1.

TS, "rhythm guitar" is about four fifths of almost any style there is. It's also the more important part. Imagine you're in a studio, and the producer says -

"**** guys, this whole verse, chorus and bridge thing isn't working. We'll just make it a 30 second guitar solo."


Hmmm. More likely than the opposite? Exactly. Besides, if you're having fun, keep doing it. You'll be fine, anyhoo.
#20
Quote by SoulMusiq77
No matter how much I try I just can't seem to get those fast solos. I can do a LOT of the moderately hard and easy solos, but I've been trying for the longest time to do some of the harder solos.


I have just one name for you: Rick Renstrom

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqgTdVuGrAQ

Watch that, be inspired, then suck it up and practice
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#22
Quote by :-D


That's insane.


Oh yeah, he's brilliant; possibly the biggest inspiration I can possibly think of. A great lesson to anyone who thinks they 'just can't solo/shred'.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#25
2.5 years isn't that long.

work on some of the parts of those solos you want to learn and play them slowly. focus on keeping your movements small with both fretting hand and picking hand. stay relaxed and focus. about a week or two later you will notice that you barely have to even concentrate to make efficient movements (that you had to focus on two weeks prior). at this point move up in speed SLOWLY. go up 3-5 bpm each time, making sure that you are still relaxed and that your fingers aren't spazzing. if it starts to hurt, stop, figure out why (where is the tension coming from?). don't get down on yourself because you can't rip a solo at 200bpm, take pleasure in the amazing coordination and awareness you develop simply by practicing slowly. for me at least, it feels soooo much better knowing that what i'm playing is clean and that my fingers are making efficient movement. i feel much more accomplished. oh yea, i've been playing for about 2.5 years as well. just keep workin at it man and enjoy yourself, relish in your mastery of the guitar as a journey and not a destination.
#26
Quote by Helloween_rox
Back to my question- what are "spider runs"?


Chromatic finger exercises.


-----------------------------------------1-2-3-4-
---------------------------------1-2-3-4---------
-------------------------1-2-3-4-----------------
-----------------1-2-3-4-------------------------
---------1-2-3-4---------------------------------
-1-2-3-4-----------------------------------------

-5-4-3-2-----------------------------------------
---------5-4-3-2---------------------------------
-----------------5-4-3-2-------------------------
-------------------------5-4-3-2-----------------
---------------------------------5-4-3-2---------
-----------------------------------------5-4-3-2-


That's a common chromatic exercise. Grab a metronome and play that up and down the neck. It's great for developing finger strength and independence. Play it with strict alternate picking, and then try rearranging the fingering order.
Quote by dudetheman
So what? I wasted like 5 minutes watching DaddyTwoFoot's avatar.


Metalheads are the worst thing that ever happened to metal.
#27
Quote by SoulMusiq77
What's up everybody! This is my first post on the UG forums so go easy on me!

Well, I've been playing for about 2 and a half years and I've gotten pretty good in those 2 and a half years, but somethings amiss in my skills......soloing.

No matter how much I try I just can't seem to get those fast solos. I can do a LOT of the moderately hard and easy solos, but I've been trying for the longest time to do some of the harder solos.

I know it may be because I haven't been playing long enough, but it still kinda gets me down a lot.

So heres my question:

Is it alright for someone to learn JUST rhythm and barely any solos just because maybe they can't do many solos? I mean, would that make someone suck?

I know this question may be a little childish but I'm kinda in a gloomy mood and I could use some perking up right about now, lol.

well you shouldnt give up soloing all together. not everyone plays fast. plus, its only been 2 and a half years. everyone learns at different speeds. and the people you listen to have been playing a lot longer than you. give it time. if you really want it, it will come. but if you have a down attitude about it and dont practice enough, then chances are you wont get much better.
#28
Quote by DaddyTwoFoot
That's a common chromatic exercise. Grab a metronome and play that up and down the neck. It's great for developing finger strength and independence. Play it with strict alternate picking, and then try rearranging the fingering order.

Actually, that specific exercise does not promote finger independence, just synchronization and strengthening of all fingers. For finger independence, do something like:


e----------------------------------------------------2-3-4-1----------
B-----------------------------------------1-2-3-4---------------------
G-------------------------------4-1-2-3-------------------------------
D---------------------3-4-1-2-----------------------------------------
A-----------2-3-4-1---------------------------------------------------
E-1-2-3-4-------------------------------------------------------------
#29
Quote by :-D
Actually, that specific exercise does not promote finger independence, just synchronization and strengthening of all fingers. For finger independence, do something like:


e----------------------------------------------------2-3-4-1----------
B-----------------------------------------1-2-3-4---------------------
G-------------------------------4-1-2-3-------------------------------
D---------------------3-4-1-2-----------------------------------------
A-----------2-3-4-1---------------------------------------------------
E-1-2-3-4-------------------------------------------------------------


Eh, I would say that it would help the independence and coordination of the third and fourth fingers. The stretch, though small, is pretty significant for someone not used to it.
Quote by dudetheman
So what? I wasted like 5 minutes watching DaddyTwoFoot's avatar.


Metalheads are the worst thing that ever happened to metal.
#30
Quote by DaddyTwoFoot
Eh, I would say that it would help the independence and coordination of the third and fourth fingers. The stretch, though small, is pretty significant for someone not used to it.

Coordination yes, independence no. If you just play that 1-2-3-4 pattern straight and don't change it up often enough, the muscles of the pinky will want to hit the next fret as soon as the ring finger lands. You have to vary the order for the muscles to become independent, or they'll just do what they've been programmed to do in the 1-2-3-4 exercise.
#32
Well, before getting caught up in semantic bullshit, make sure to first recognize that I did emphasize rearranging finger order.
Quote by dudetheman
So what? I wasted like 5 minutes watching DaddyTwoFoot's avatar.


Metalheads are the worst thing that ever happened to metal.
#33
rhythm writes songs, remeber that. you can write good songs without solos in them.... yet if all. we've only got a few solos through our songs, its about proper placement and keeping them simple if thats what your skills are capable of. look at kurt cobains solos. lots of them are very very basic. dont try to be or play who you arnt, yet. do what they say above, that will deffinitally help, as i will even start doing this cause soloing is just starting to come to me. it really helped me to start learning to solo by learning scales without having to think about it. when you can jump around from different spots on the fingerboard to get the same notes. know the scales all over the place not just one way to play them. im no pro, but it helped me.
#34
Quote by DaddyTwoFoot
Well, before getting caught up in semantic bullshit, make sure to first recognize that I did emphasize rearranging finger order.



Good God. Calm down. I'll recognize your point, and I'll recognize that you said "it's great for promoting finger strength and independence", but the exercise you showed is not. That's all.
#35
Im just going to add that Im not a big fan of the quasi chromatic "spider" exercises. You can gain the same benefits by playing something more musically applicable, like scales and/or melodies & phrases.

I always felt like I lost more than I gained by doing the quasi-chromatic exercises.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 14, 2008,
#36
Quote by GuitarMunky
I always felt like I lost more than I gained by doing the quasi-chromatic exercises.
I would consider you the exception. A lot of people like them.

The advantage over real scales is that you use every finger on every string. Also, you can use strick alternate picking without even worrying about economy picking.
#37
4-note-per-string diminished scales FTW!

Seriously though; I think as long as you practice both in good measure they are both helpful.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#38
Fast does not= a solo, learn melodic and soul filled solos, they sound much better!
#39
Quote by GuitarMunky
Im just going to add that Im not a big fan of the quasi chromatic "spider" exercises. You can gain the same benefits by playing something more musically applicable, like scales and/or melodies & phrases.

I always felt like I lost more than I gained by doing the quasi-chromatic exercises.


Lol +1
#40
Quote by Jimi-is-god
Fast does not= a solo, learn melodic and soul filled solos, they sound much better!


This is the technique forum, meaning we discuss the physical mechanics of playing guitar.
Quote by dudetheman
So what? I wasted like 5 minutes watching DaddyTwoFoot's avatar.


Metalheads are the worst thing that ever happened to metal.
Page 1 of 2