#1
Just to introduce myself a bit, I'm 24 and am fairly new to the six-string guitar, but not to music. I had a guitar when I was 12, learned to play a few things, stopped playing for a while, and took up the bass at 16. I devoted just about every waking second of that summer to the bass, and learned to read music fairly well. Then I put music on hold to do other things in high school, and it ended up being a very long hold. Recently I picked up a guitar, played it straight through the night, and decided I wasn't going to let any more time pass without doing something I'd loved so much.

What I want to avoid doing at all costs is spend years playing the guitar, only to realize I know a lot of songs and a handful of chords but haven't really developed a comprehensive foundation. I want to be able to do it all--play any style, sight-read and play virtually anything, write my own stuff and have a solid grounding in theory to back it up.

I recently bought three books: The Guitar Grimoire: Scales and Modes, an encyclopedia of chords with a quick explanation of how they're constructed, and another chord book with practical applications of the most common chords. The guitar I ordered isn't yet here, but I have access to a piano and have been using it to train myself to recognize intervals. I've memorized every fret on the fretboard. This is good, and I know I'm making progress, but I'd like to know I'm making it in the most efficient way possible. Anything I can do to use my time more effectively would be good. If you have books to recommend, or recommendations on how to divide my practice time (I've set aside about six hours a day), that would be great.

I know someone's going to say, "If you're that serious, take lessons," but I took them when I played the bass (at one of the most prestigious studios in the area) and didn't feel they were worth the $15 a week. All the teacher did was make sure I'd learned the sheet music he gave me, which I always did, and then give me new music to learn. The main function he served was to make sure I was learning the book, and I can do that just fine on my own.

Thanks for reading.
I don't have talent, so I get up earlier.

--Henry Rollins
#2
Well I would say if you want to make good technical practice, learn as many songs as you can. And when I say songs, they should be very challenging. I am not sure what music you play, but you should set a goal.

A good solo to work on would be Stairway to heaven, its recognizable, teaches a lot of good skills (alt picking, better fretting) and I found it to be VERY difficult when starting. If you practice as much as you say you will, you could probably play it (not well maybe) within your first 4 months. I am certainly not suggesting this be your first (something like smells like teen spirit is an easy solo to start with, or Holiday)

Intro solo to fade to black by metallica is another good one I recommend to those looking or a challenge who are just starting. Some may say its a little difficult to a beginner, but if you work at it, it will pay off, and you can become better quicker. Hotel california is a long beast but, it also really familiarizes you with bending and other things, but you would have to be playing for a few months before attempting that one :P.

Do not practice the 6 hours a day unless you really are enjoying it. Just play songs that you think are really difficult, but within reason, and you can get better really quick

edit: learning theory is also essential like you were saying, you can learn a good bit on this site, but that is where the music teacher came in handy for me. Technically I was a good player, but when in came to theory, I could not understand it, after a music teacher though, It all came together . You may look into it, although I think lessons do not do much for you unless you can approach your teacher each week and bombard him with questions, otherwise, like you were saying they just say "play this".
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Last edited by sacamano79 at Jul 14, 2008,
#3
I would still advise that you find a teacher to help you; it sounds to me like your teacher before wasn't actually very good, a teacher shouldn't just teach you songs but should teach you technique and music theory and give you pointers on how to make your playing better in general.

If you can find a good teacher, and it may take some searching, it would be well worth the investment.
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Quote by Master Foo
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#6
Quote by Vixus
You.. er.. 'memorised every fret on the fretboard'?


Yeah, so I can look at any fret on any string and instantly name the note. Is that strange or something?
I don't have talent, so I get up earlier.

--Henry Rollins
#7
Quote by Therion42
Yeah, so I can look at any fret on any string and instantly name the note. Is that strange or something?


That's absolutely brilliant; it's something some guitarists never do and is key to getting the most out of scales. Good for you
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.
#8
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
That's absolutely brilliant; it's something some guitarists never do and is key to getting the most out of scales. Good for you


It was quite a chore, but I figure it will pay huge dividends when I start to really delve into exotic scales and chords. I don't want to be learning mode six of the Persian scale, or whatever, and have to slow down and furrow my brow just because I can't remember the names of all the notes on all the strings. Now that I've memorized every note on the guitar, I'm mixing it up with different little games that I'm inventing on the fly to really connect everything, like glancing at a random note, naming it, and then finding all its unisons, or all its octaves, or all its perfect fifths, as fast as I can.

Thanks for the encouragement.
I don't have talent, so I get up earlier.

--Henry Rollins
#10
Quote by MeltedMetal
If you like memorising things, here's a resource you may find useful:

http://www.jguitar.com/scale

Try remembering the scale diagrams and shapes, you'll find it infinitely benefits your playing later on.


Bearing in mind that he already knows the fretboard he'd be much better off starting to memorize scales as notes rather than shapes; if what he says is true he should be able to memorize what notes are in any given scale and then play it all over the neck.
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.