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#1
Hello everyone, I just have a few questions here and a little about my play style or so. I apoligize if this is the wrong forum(thread_ to place this topic. I am a beginner-intermed player and i have some moderate gear for beginning. I have a fender stratocaster with Ernie Ball super slinky's (gives me good tone and are bright) and a 15 watt starter amp.

I've read alot about theory and practice, I've also read about different techniques and I'm learning legato, sweep picking, and alt strumming (along with economy picking). I've made up my mind of becoming expert at legato (love applying that to my style of music) and would like some hints on how to get better at that, but first is there an easier way to take in all this information? I have a friend that has been playing for 5 years with a neo-classical play style and has told me to learn the chords and modes (he is self taught with a bit of theory) i have theory (a little) from learning saxophone so i know about half rests full rests and etc, i learned all about scales and increasing speed with a metronome. Right now though i seem to be in a rut, i have no idea how to apply proper practice for legato and scales. My guitar play style is metal so does anyone have any ideas or opinions they can use to help me out a bit? if you need anymore about my play style or current skill feel free to ask.

Sorry if this seems a bit mumbled from anyone's prospective, ill try to do more research on legato and improving as a guitar player for now.
#3
Is there a way I can benefit the "sounding good" end with only good legato/tapping and ok strumming? I think if i can train my strumming hand to at least 120 bm and keep it in sync with my fretting hand i think it will be good for now. What do you think?

Edited: I'm saying this because i don't think i can become a really good strummer
#4
Quote by Mix Master
Is there a way I can benefit the "sounding good" end with only good legato/tapping and ok strumming? I think if i can train my strumming hand to at least 120 bm and keep it in sync with my fretting hand i think it will be good for now. What do you think?

Edited: I'm saying this because i don't think i can become a really good strummer



Yes, there's a way but you'll find having a vaster array of techniques in your repertoire will help you become a better well rounded musician and give you more variety in your compositions when you come to play them.

Just legato's going to be very limiting, it'll be mind-numbingly boring at first, but you must practice your alternate picking, it'll benefit you greatly in the long run.

John Petrucci used to be a purely legato player but while he found it easy, he realized he needed more variety in his technique and used both legato and staccato.
#5
I'm gonna say master the basics like chord work and rhythm before you try any of those advanced techniques. While they may sound lie they are fun to play, they require a lot of work to get perfect, and if you spend all that time getting good at legato and sweeping, then you try join a band and you can't even play a basic I-IV-V chord progression with decent rhythm youl get booted faster than you can say 'shred'.

I see too many players spending all their time on lead work and thinking they are amazing players, but the most complex rhythmic thing they can play is 8-to-the-bar power chords
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#6
It sounds right to me, When i first started guitar, i hear alot of beginners talking about jumping into a band straight ahead. First time i bought mine i said to myself "there's alot of work to do before getting good" right now i think if i get a bit better I'm going to start playing solo then join up with friends. I have a question though, using chords as a band, how do bands get back on track after a solo? Wouldn't they be a little disgruntled after breaking their usual chord progressions and then trying to reform them after a solo?

Edited: My favorite scale is the minor pentatonic since it has a dark sound to it, I should learn and practice all the scales right? major/minor/dim/dom?
Last edited by Mix Master at Jul 14, 2008,
#7
Quote by Mix Master
It sounds right to me, When i first started guitar, i hear alot of beginners talking about jumping into a band straight ahead. First time i bought mine i said to myself "there's alot of work to do before getting good" right now i think if i get a bit better I'm going to start playing solo then join up with friends. I have a question though, using chords as a band, how do bands get back on track after a solo? Wouldn't they be a little disgruntled after breaking their usual chord progressions and then trying to reform them after a solo?

Edited: My favorite scale is the minor pentatonic since it has a dark sound to it, I should learn and practice all the scales right? major/minor/dim/dom?

Well the rhythm section (drums, bass, rhythm guitar) are playing a riff behind the solo, and after they've finished, after 4 or 8 times through the riff usually, they move into another riff and the lead guitarist joins in. It's pretty easy to get the hang of.
I'd suggest you learn the E, D and A Minor Pentatonic scales in all positions first, then move on to E, A and D minor scales. Depends what style of music you play, but these scales would be useful in pretty much any style to be honest.
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#8
One last question: To improve my speed using a metronome, what licks should i play to increase speed for practice? scales?


Thanks for your help everyone, ill be sure to study some of this stuff and use this thread for anymore questions i have.
Last edited by Mix Master at Jul 15, 2008,
#11
definetely learn chords :p - noone can do without.

I do this for warmup;

lotsa open chords, some barre and jazz chords too

Stack picking (upwards and downwards)

Tapping and legato licks

Sweep picking

Hybrid picking

finger picking

Mattias Eklundh style harmonic melody (because I love that technique :p)

and then some.

I do every licks 5 times in a row to a metronome, if I fail, it's all over again.

Then I proceed to play and learn actual songs :p


...but that's just me of course.
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#12
Quote by Mix Master
Edited: I'm saying this because i don't think i can become a really good strummer


Don't be too down on yourself, I used to think the same thing. It comes in time... Just because you're not Hendrix/Van Halen/whoever you aspire to right now, doesn't mean you can't do it later on. =]
#13
i also have a question about speed. @ how many bpm you can say you are pretty fast ( practicing scales ATM)
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#14
Quote by Firewind Raging
Well the rhythm section (drums, bass, rhythm guitar) are playing a riff behind the solo, and after they've finished, after 4 or 8 times through the riff usually, they move into another riff and the lead guitarist joins in. It's pretty easy to get the hang of.
I'd suggest you learn the E, D and A Minor Pentatonic scales in all positions first, then move on to E, A and D minor scales. Depends what style of music you play, but these scales would be useful in pretty much any style to be honest.


Your kidding right?
seriously, learn the E, D and A of a scale? If you don't know what your talking about, why try to give advice? If you've realy LEARNED the scale, you can easily switch it into any key, they pattern is going to stay the same...
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#15
okay, i practiced a bit and took in some advice here, the highest bpm i can play at is about 180 (if that is variable) with a metronome i been practicing certain arpeggio patterns on my favorite song (yngwie malmsteen - vengeance) and i'm continuing to learn the modes and review them.

Out of this practice i seemed to notice my sweep picking is really lacking so i'm taking a bit of time out of my regular speed routine to actually practice rhythm sweeps a bit. I finally found my main focus and genre i want to pursue and that is neo-classical metal, i also figured i want to learn about speed and when i get those down i can incorporate feel into the combination. Does anyone happen to have advice on neo-classical(or classical) scales, sweep picking, and speed?

In the meanwhile ill continue to search for more on these and thank you guys for being so helpful and hinting me in the right direction.
#16
I did some research and heard that diminished scales, dim7 arpeggios, chromaticism, are good for neo-classical and the modes: phrygian dominant aeolian are good also. anyone with theory or a neo classical guitarist to back that up? There are probably more that i need to learn for this play style or metal in general, i know the basics but I'm wondering if there are any other modes that fit the style.
#17
For a Neo-classical sound Phrygian and Harmonic Minor are what you want to use, that and chromatic Diminished arppegios. Alternate picking and legato are ESSENTIAL in this style of music. Listen to the Yngwie Malmsteen songs "I am a Viking, and Deja Vu" for some ideas on awesome neo-classical riffage

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Last edited by MulanoSG at Aug 7, 2008,
#18
He's my guitar hero . I noticed he uses alot of sweep picking, should i try to become advanced at that after i learn the scales i need and the modes?
#19
He's mine too along with Jason Becker . Definitely try and practice as many technical techniques as you possibly can start with three string sweeps and work your way up. It will be slow work at first so don't get discouraged if you're not where you want to be. For inspiration for your leads listen to Yngwie's Alchemy album, and for riffs listen to Eclipse and the like

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Last edited by MulanoSG at Aug 7, 2008,
#20
Thank you very much i actually have the time and drive to go for 10 hours of practice a day. i'm on 6 string arpeggios now, ill have to increase my speed though, the good thing also is i start from triads then go up from there for a warm up i start my practice off with 10 mins of chromatics or so to strengthen my fingers a bit if i work on it a bit in 3 months i may be a better sweep picker. does any one have any thoughts on my practice routine?

  • chromatics
  • legato runs
  • alt/economy exercises
  • ear training
  • sweep picking exercises
  • use of metronome with each item in the list
  • 10 min break per 3 items
#21
learn hybrid picking (chickin pickin). Trust me it makes you a lot better player
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#22
where did chords and riffs go?

You need to learn rythm too :p
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#23
I say lighten up and don't take it so seriously, 10 hours a day is mental it would do you more bad than good. You will end up getting frustrated to easily i reckon and not get as much results as you might think. just chill out maybe get a couple hours lessons with a registered tutor every week and just have fun
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#24
Quote by lwayneio
I say lighten up and don't take it so seriously, 10 hours a day is mental it would do you more bad than good. You will end up getting frustrated to easily i reckon and not get as much results as you might think. just chill out maybe get a couple hours lessons with a registered tutor every week and just have fun


I agree! I find I get the most improvements when I don't play! Meaning, I practice for like an hour and I'm not much better afterwards - but then the next day or so, I pick up the guitar and I can finally nail that riff. You gotta let the mind and body rest!
#25
Quote by 5RV
I agree! I find I get the most improvements when I don't play! Meaning, I practice for like an hour and I'm not much better afterwards - but then the next day or so, I pick up the guitar and I can finally nail that riff. You gotta let the mind and body rest!


yep exactly its the same as working out in the gym you need a few days of rest for your body to recover and build on what its undergone. I find that you could sit there for hours working on somin and never get it but in a few days time you suddenly understand it, sometimes you have to let things sink in and settle before they become clear. Im not saying dont practise just dont go crazy with 10 hours I mean 3 is more than enough
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#26
Quote by PhantomNote
where did chords and riffs go?

You need to learn rythm too :p
Oh sorry! i forgot to say the scales i practice for all of these exercises i mostly use the sweep picking, harmonic minors, aeolian lycorian? for the rhythm in my routine. I try to turn the chord work into arpeggios to complement my sweep .

And yes, about the part where you practice a riff you can't play and you take in all the information during a night's sleep and think about the best way to do it next day and you end up nailing it. That's why i decided i can do 10 hours of practice because i can absorb more and think when i sleep. Also that i have time. My goal kinda stops me from being disappointed right now (thanks metronome) i just think mind over matter to help me through it all.

3 hours is enough? during the weekend ill try this. i usually do 10 hr practice on weekdays and just do chromatics and sweeps for about an hour or so on weekends for a break. If it seems good on the weekend ill think about lowering to 5 hours . Oh and thanks again everyone
#27
I honestly dont see why you would need 10hours practice a day, try going out and getting some exercise in the day lol, meet up with friends and have a laugh don't sit in all day practicing its just not natural. treat it as a fun hobby not a day job or you really will fall out of love with it. I mean your literally talking about it as a scheduled job which to my mind is just weird.
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#28
I have been practicing 12 hours a day everyday this summer so far and have been greatly improving 10 hours is just fine.

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#29
I love that "It seems like I'm improving a lot" feeling, I get it too.
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#30
lol you people are crazy dont you work or have any other interests? 12 hours is a full day how can you do that? i can manage maybe 4-5 max if i aint got work and then il need to go for a walk or see my friends else il go mad
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#31
Im doing legato patterns as I type this, so that is how I practice so much

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#32
I am 14 years old and work part-time, friends are busy with other stuff too, we do get to see sunlight of course :P

Yeah man im doing sweeps right now
#33
well i am holding my guitar right now practicing chord changes but still lol. I dont have work today even though i thought i did so i turnt up at 9am and got told to leave lol well pissed off i coulda slept more
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#34
i been up all night, gotta stay up to order the pizza hut today and keep playing guitar. I lost my metronome, does anyone have a site i can use for temporary use?
#35
Quote by Mix Master
i been up all night, gotta stay up to order the pizza hut today and keep playing guitar. I lost my metronome, does anyone have a site i can use for temporary use?


lol not sleeping will just make you play worse surely. Your brain will turn to mush lol and pizza hut isnt exactly the food of kings lol eat some fresh fish and salad, its brain food and might help with learning
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#37
hmmm...you may want to work on rhythm patterns like triplets also. malmsteen also uses alot of pedal tones. i.e. notes you keep coming back to, like the 19 in this example:

e|-19-17-19-15-19-14-19--------
B|----------------------17-----
G|-----------------------------
D|-----------------------------
A|-----------------------------
E|-----------------------------


just try not to be an exact malmsteen copy :-\

have fun with that exercise though. it's from an yngwie song called "echo etude." youtube it, it's very good. the tabs can be found here.
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#38
Quote by Talicom
hmmm...you may want to work on rhythm patterns like triplets also. malmsteen also uses alot of pedal tones. i.e. notes you keep coming back to, like the 19 in this example:

e|-19-17-19-15-19-14-19--------
B|----------------------17-----
G|-----------------------------
D|-----------------------------
A|-----------------------------
E|-----------------------------


just try not to be an exact malmsteen copy :-\

have fun with that exercise though. it's from an yngwie song called "echo etude." youtube it, it's very good. the tabs can be found here.

Thank you, i have it in my ipod, from when i saw the dvd. I learned a bit from it and i got into a bit of emulating his style. As tempting as it sounds to be a Malmsteen copy, I'm also working on a second style of guitar playing, (i like rock n roll also other then neo classical metal so i need to learn all the rhythm I can,) and thank you to whoever recommended hybrid picking
#39
Do stretches to warm up your hands and arms before practice to get the blood flowing.
Also, if you do 15 minutes straight of an exercise, you should rest for maybe as much as 5 minutes. So 2-3 minutes rest for 5 minutes of constant exercise.
You'll learn faster if you let your mind and body rest often, and you won't risk injury.
If you're going to be doing exercises for 10 hours then you should do stretches now and again as well. Get up and have a walk around. Play with the cat. Get your mind off guitar playing for 5 minutes, then back to full focus again. And then more stretches when you're done!

Always go for clean over quick. If you practice something every day for 3 months increasing it by 5bpm every day... Not a big speed increase, but in the end you'll be flying.
Actually, that's a 450bpm increase. Hehe. Pretty good!

Edit: If your head or arms get really tired you should relax or have a nap, you won't learn anything when you're tired. If you get tired and then keep on practicing you aren't gonna improve, in the worst case you'll regress!
Last edited by WackZylde at Aug 14, 2008,
#40
This thread seams a little old, but since others are adding there input then I figured I'd try to help you out a little bit, cause it seams like you're still taking the advice. Sorry if I repeat something that somebody else has said.

Alright,
When you first pick up your guitar to practice, you should always warm up. There are plenty of simple excersizes to do to warm up, and you should do some of them for about 10-15 minutes, and take a few minute rest. Also, when you're warming up, you should still try to use a metronome. When I warm up, I tend to take certain scales and move them all over the neck, rather then just doing them on 1, 2, 3, 4 or 12, 13, 14, 15 ect.

After excersizing you of course go on with what you want to practice. I don't think practicing the same thing constantly everyday will do much good, so I try to mix it up a little bit. For instance, I've read that you're working on sweep picking. Don't sit there for 10 hours a day just working on your sweep picking, I'd probably practice something a little different each hour, because eventually you'll get bored with it and not wanna work on it anymore. When you practicing something new, put your amp on the 'clean' channel so you can here your mistakes. Lets say you're practicing a scale at 100bpm, you should never move up the BPM's unless you're completely comfortable with the 100bpm and can play it repeatadly without any mistakes. This will make your style much much cleaner then what it would be if your rushed yourself.

I find that with sweeps, you should work on the clean channel as well, but then switch to a 'distortion' channel and do it all over again. Doing it this way you'll be able to hear if the strings are being muted correctly after playing, and that each note is being played correctly. I tend to see alot of people who are very sloppy with there sweep picking, and that's because they rushed themselves and didn't take time to take things slow to learn the right way.

Another thing is that you seam to have your mind set on practicing certain techniques. You should keep your mind open to new things, and learn whatever can. You'll be a much better musician if you do this, because you'll be cabable of playing more then one style of music. I'll use myself as an example, my primary style would be metal, but I try to learn things like jazz and blues, and use some of those techniques to write my own music. Some people find that if you spend some time listening and playing a different style of music then what you ussually would, it helps you improve your overall playing. Maybe you could listen to some jazz, blues or maybe even country every once and a while.

Another important thing is not to over practice. Practicing all day everyday will eventually get boring and you'll lose interest, or you'll find yourself accually becoming worse. Try making everything you do fun, it will accually help you alot, rather then forcing yourself to do something you don't wanna do. Finding other musicians to play with will help you improve. I can't tell you how many times I didn't pick up guitar for a few months because I didn't have anybody else to jam with, which caused me to lose some interest in playing. Even now I don't have many people to play with, so I accually started taking lessons about a month ago so I always have something new to work on. Getting one on one help with a teacher will also help make a huge improvement, and if it's a good teacher, it'll also help your technique. I've been taking lessons for 3 weeks, and already I feel like I've become a better overall player.

Just have fun practicing whatever you choose to practice, and be sure to mix it up every once and a while. Like I said, having somebody to jam with helps, esspecially if they're better then you. Practice with a metronome as much as possible and just be sure to take it slow. One of the hardest things about playing has to be patience, everything's not going to come to you over night, and it's best that you accept the fact that becoming a good musician takes time and dedication.

All of this is just my opinion of course, but I hope what I've said can help you out a bit. Keep in mind that some things come quicker for others, but you can honestly do whatever you set your mind too. Rythem is a huge thing to consider too, lead playing would be nothing without a good rythem behind it. Good luck.


-Mike.
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