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Yeah, I've seen this before and it's a mess. It's so sloppy, and frankly even if it was clean as a whistle he's using such a shrill tone that's been so utterly washed out with chorus I don't honestly think it ever had the possibility of sounding good, at least certainly not to me. That's particularly evident with the tapping he does, where even though it's actually (as far as I can tell) relatively clean... it still sounds horrible to my ears.

For my money you're absolutely right, Billy's flailing at scales and picking as fast as he can without any real heed as to whether they sync up. You can really see that when he gets to the end of a fast passage and wants to end on a big bend; the transition between the fast playing and the bend is all muted notes and mess because there's absolutely no reliability about where his fingers are going to be, so he's essentially stopping doing anything coherent for a moment to get in place for the bend.

Positives though: his picking and fretting techniques, independently, are actually pretty good: he's relaxed, his movements aren't fantastically efficient but they're far from the most egregious I've seen. His tapping is actually fine, nothing revolutionary, but it's definitely usable.

It's pretty clear, really, why he didn't get anywhere with shred, after all this is the year after Malmsteen's Rising Force album came out, but I honestly think that someone with that technique could be made in to a damn fine shredder with some woodshedding.

While I think recognising where he's going wrong is important, it's also very important to recognise the things you can take away from this that are good.
Is it possible for you to post a video of this? It can be very difficult to diagnose what's wrong without seeing what you're doing.
Well what songs do you like? What noises would you like to hear yourself make? Is there some other solo that makes you think "yeah, I love that sound"?

Because the answer to those questions and the answer to this are the same
Quote by ajjhenson1
It is a good idea to slow things down to where you are comfortable but to do it at one tempo for 21 days is autistic and weird. John Petrucci had a lesson in one of his 90's videos I think where you play a passage for a few bars at a comfortable level that you can manage and then occasionally speed up past your limit for one bar and then go back to slow. Practice a passage where you can do it without excess tension and then push the tempo when you are comfortable. The exact time you should spend learning something varies on the passage and your level.. to arbitrarily choose 21 days to do one tempo is weird and I would not follow the advice of the people recommending this.  

1 - I've warned you privately but I'm going to say this publicly as well: use of "autistic" as a slur is not something I'm going to accept on my forum.

2 - Before dismissing the idea of the 21 day challenge, you should probably examine the rationale behind doing it. The idea is not necessarily to speed up but to make playing a particular passage or piece so habitual that it's easy. That's not a process that you can speed up, and it's definitely not the same thing as trying to push something faster. Using this idea you might end up being able to play something faster than before, but that's not the point.

Quote by ballajoe010
ajjhenson1 Thank you so much, I'm gonna try that method out from John Petrucci. I watched about 2hrs of his lessons, he seem decent as a teacher

I think it's worth noting that no single way of practicing is complete on its own; you should aim to take methods and exercises from as many places as possible to get as much breadth of experience as you can.
This is a super broad question, is there something more specific you're looking for? For example, do you want to know how to sound like a specific player, or is there a part from a song that you don't understand?
ballajoe010 don't get me wrong, it's a good thing to do and I wish I had that kind of ethic about my practice back in the day, and being honest with yourself is a key part of that, but it's also important to keep some sense of perspective
Yeah, I think noobX is right about this one: logging your practice is for self accountability: no one else is going to care, if they ever look anyway. What other people care about is the results of your practice, not really how you got there. At least not unless you become a teacher anyway.
Thread was moved to forum: Musician Talk
The way you're doing it is totally fine, not a bad habit at all, to be honest I can probably name a few big shredders who would choose to play it the way you do. I mean, if you finding more success with the other way of doing it then stick to it, it can be very helpful to experiment and find the way that works best with the technique you have, but I do think it's important for you to know that you're not doing something that is inherently wrong.
ballajoe010 out of curiosity, I looked in to this a little, and it seems that a decent amount of the real first wave death metal guys didn't know much of any theory, there's a load of the people they worked with who were very studied players. For example, Chuck Schuldiner it seems knew little to no theory, but if you look at the players he worked with, like Paul Masvidal, James Murphy, Andy LaRoque, and Ralph Santolla, they all had hours of real study behind them. This seems to be a similar pattern for other bands as well.

The split these days, is more difficult to quantify, but I think you're much more likely to find it's more even, I think as time has gone on a lot of guitarists are much less averse to learning theory properly.
Going to agree with VikingBradley on this one: it's so different depending on the player you're talking about. There's tonnes of musicians on both sides of the camp, although to be honest learning and knowing theory is becoming much more of a thing these days since it's about a million times easier to get the resources than it used to be before the Internet exploded.

But just for some sort of reference: Brendon Small (creator of Metalocalypse/Dethklok) graduated from Berklee School Of Music, Ihsahn from Emperor knows at least some theory (check out some of his lessons called The Left Hand Path from Guitar World), most of the guitarists from Death (and probably Chuck himself included) have been really educated guys, and in what might be the ultimate example Ron Jarzombek from Blotted Science and his own solo material is a friggin' musical savant.

That said, I think you'll find that while a lot of players are very studied, the best players put that to the side when doing a lot of writing. Theory is great for explaining things once they've been written, and it can help you find different ways to express the same idea and develop it over a song, any musician worth anything will know that theory doesn't write things for you.
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wolflen if you report the post, we can take quicker action
My best guess is that they're using their pick, and pressing the edge of it against the strings somewhere over the pickups. I've tried to find a quick example of this (I've seen Guthrie Govan do a similar thing and actually use the pitch generated for humorous effect), but can't quite find it in the time that I have. Experiment with it and see what you can come up with, though, should be fun if nothing else!
This thread was closed by Zaphod_Beeblebr

Please put random instructional/lesson videos in the thread stickied specifically for them.
Just going to say while I'm here: this thread is great and these are all the Best Bois. Also, my partner and I wish we could have a dog, but renting sucks and right now we aren't allowed
dannyalcatraz thanks for doing the ban, I've cleaned the post out.
What these guys are saying is good advice, but I think another thing to look at might be to actually step away from the guitar for a minute, and think about what sounds you want to make. Either sing a solo out loud or in your head, and try to recreate that on the guitar. Stringing licks together can be great (and it's certainly fun!), but if we're talking about actual musical expression, you should aim to start with an idea that you want to get out on the guitar, rather than picking up a guitar and hoping that a good musical idea will happen.
This thread was closed by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Ok, I get the frustration but this is a really broad question and it's difficult to really answer it with anything really helpful right now, sadly.

Could you clarify a bit? Like, what is it about how you sound that you don't like? Is it a tone thing? Do you think you're playing things badly?
hesterprynne1226 no worries, just want to be as clear as possible before answering anything

As for actually helping you, assuming you're not doing anything totally crazy, I almost hate to say it but I think you just need to practice a bit more, forming chords is difficult and it's quite possible that playing bass has coloured your expectations of what you should be able to do.

That said, there are a couple of things you can do to try and help yourself a bit more:
  • Try putting down the barre first, and then getting the rest of your fingers in place, almost like fingering the chord in two parts. It's not something you want to do all the time, but as a practice habit to get the shape down.
  • Try forming the chord shape in the air, before you touch the fretboard at all. Get it right before touching the strings, and put all your fingers down at once.

I know that these are contradictory, you can only do one at once, but you can work on them independently to try and get the fingerings down as good as possible. That said... I think the most important thing is just putting more time in to it right now.

Whatever you do, good luck, and you'll get there in time if you keep working at it!
What you're saying kind of makes sense, but I'm not sure enough of what you mean to be able to help, like... are you finding that you can't form chords quickly enough for what you want?
Quote by theo.ferraris
Hey there ! It's my first post on this forum, and it's not a merry one
I've been playing guitar for a year and a half, in a thrash metal band and I have some really discouraging issues about my playing. I'm a rythm guy and we play with a LOT of distortion ( I mean, thrash right ? ), and my playing is dirty as hell, I can't seem to play without some strings ringing out now and then, even though I try to mute with both my right and left hand, it's still messy.
I'm also struggling to play standing up, my right hand feels really uncomfortable, I tire out really quickly when playing some fast alternate picking riffs, and I let out even more string noise when standing up... I practice hours a day, standing up mainly, and still, nothing... I'm getting pretty demoralized, even considered stopping guitar a few times... Got any tips or help for me ?

Thanks in advance !

First thing's first: this happens to everyone. All of us get this feeling at some point, and it's absolutely fine. There's nothing wrong with this at all, and in fact it's almost a natural consequence of pushing yourself outside your comfort zone: playing guitar to a high level is really difficult, but you will get there if you keep it up!

So right now I think what's actually most important for you is to step back from practice and try to find the joy in playing again, after all that's why we do this right? Because playing music and making noise is fun! So my initial advice is to plug in, turn up, and play something simple that's really awesome.

Second thing is: the best thing you can do to help us help you is try to record some video of you playing (any smart phone made in the last 5-ish years will get good enough footage), and from a few different angles, so we can see what might be holding you back right now. Don't get me wrong, people above are asking good questions, but seeing you play would be really useful.

Quote by theo.ferraris
Well I don't know if it's normal but I play differently when I play slow versus when I play fast, like I feel the motion is different.

While it might not be the biggest deal in the world, ideally you should be using the same technique to play fast and slow, or at least when you're doing slow practice you should be using the same technique as you do when you bring a part up to speed. This is part of programming your muscle memory, and the best thing you can do is to play consistently, so you're not having to make a load of unconscious adjustments to your playing to make it work. Like I say, it's not absolutely necessary, so I wouldn't worry about it too much, it's just something to be aware of on some level.

Quote by theo.ferraris
Besides, there's something weird about my hand, when doing alternate pick I can't mute ALL the strings with my right hand, the g string is always ringing, or if I do mute all the strings it feel really uncomfortable to alternate pick anything, and I don't think playing slow will change anything

This is a bit of a misconception somewhere: you probably shouldn't be trying to mute all the strings with just your picking hand, even players with the biggest hands (Guthrie Govan, Paul Gilbert, Emil Werstler, Plini) don't really mute everything with their picking hand, at least not all the time.

It should be a combination of both of your hands:
  • Your thumb muscle rests on the strings lower that the one you're playing
  • Your fretting hand index finger rests on the strings higher than the one you're playing

Now these two are very general points, and as Guthrie Govan once said: you should really be muting with about any piece of spare flesh you have. This applies double when you're playing with distortion, it can be difficult to control, and you need to be very purposeful about muting out strings you're not playing.

This may also be obvious as well, but when you're removing your fingers from the strings, you want to be careful to make sure your fingers are coming as straight as possible off the strings (unless you're doing a pull-off), so there's the smallest chance possible that you're going to hit any strings you don't want to sound.


Like I say, though, this is somewhat generic advice, the best thing you can do to get super specific help is record a video of your playing so we can see exactly what's going on.
This thread was closed by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Warned for spam based on your posting history, I'm also going to close this as we have a thread for random video lessons.
Quote by rossenrot
i'll be in nyc this summer if you want to fight meet me by the tree in central park faggot

Warned. Take that sort of language elsewhere.
This thread was closed by Zaphod_Beeblebr
This thread was closed by Zaphod_Beeblebr
GosssPhantumgrey don't reply to the bots kids.
allenhaoevss no harm, no foul, nothing to be sorry for, thanks for being on the forum and for being brave enough to post original music!
Just going to drop this here, new music from legion alumnus Bowen's band Gomorrah:



For fans of: anything disgustingly heavy.
First things first, doing my mod-ly duty: generally if you're looking for technical feedback, you should probably post this in the Technique Analysis thread.

That said... this is really nice!  I really enjoyed listening to it, that main hook (with the tapped notes) is really cool!  To be honest, I don't think there's really a huge amount to change about your technique, aside from maybe adding some really subtle (i.e. slow and shallow) vibrato to the notes around 1:35 so they have a tiny bit more life, but without losing the effect of just holding the note.

Really though, anything here is going to be a total nit pick, this is some really tasteful playing on a genuinely likeable song, keep it up!
finndergast awesome, was just about to explain that but I'm glad you figured it out on your own, that's awesome!

Well done, and good luck with the song!
That is almost guaranteed to not be what you have to do, the chances of almost any song needing a capo change part way through is basically zero.  Not saying it's never going to happen... but it's definitely not in Space Oddity

Could you link the tabs here so we can have a look and explain what's actually going on in the song?
I think calling it "randomized" is definitely a mischaracterisation, it's recording a bunch of improvised takes and taking the best moments from each to try and get the "best" solo, that still sounds and feels fresh and energetic and unrehearsed.

I'm also 100% unsure of what value judgement DLR is putting on it there, personally I don't really care how it's 'written' as long as the end product is good.
Thread was moved to forum: Electric Guitar
Ok, so first things first: 4 months is like... no time at all. I'm really happy that you're playing and (presumably) enjoying it, but be aware that playing guitar is a life long journey, so 4 months is basically no time at all

Secondly: I know this is going to suck as a piece of advice, it's really not much fun, but pushing for speed is either not helpful, or actively counter-productive. Aiming to play things smoothly is a much more important aim and thing to practice for. If you play the things you play really well, you'll generally get faster in due course.

Third: the way you should probably practice is generally the same: start slow, make sure your technique is good, speed up when you're absolutely comfortable. Again, I know this is kind of crappy to hear, again it's just no fun, but there's no secret to it. If you really want to push for speed, then there are other considerations that we might talk about if you want, but right now, it's infinitely more important to make sure that you're playing regularly and basically just not doing anything stupid. As far as I'm concerned that's basically finding Justin Sandercoe's lessons and following his advice. He's a wonderful teacher and a very accomplished guitarist, so he's pretty essential for beginners in my opinion.

If anything I've said here is something you'd like to know more about or if anything is confusing or unclear, feel absolutely free to ask and I (or someone else) will do our best to answer. Welcome to the forum!