Things To Be Aware Of And Useful Tips

Some people, while learning, they develop wrong methods to make things easier for them but in fact it's not.It may be easy at once, but later at higher skill songs they may face difficulties because of the wrong methods they use, so here I am trying to share some of the wrong methods I used to use, and the correct ones.

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Playing guitar as a physical activity, may inolve bad habbits, which are so hard to quit for two reasons, 1st is that it takes ages to quit a bad habbit, and 2nd is because when you learn something and you are good at it, no matter if it's the wrong way or not, it's too hard to start all over again.So, this article is for beginners and intermediate players to be aware of some wrong methods for doing some techniques. (Note: I am not a guitar teacher, and that's not my profession, but it's just my experience, and some of other's like my teacher and other people online.) I don't know if there will be any farther parts of this, but it depends on your comments! Topics in this lesson: 1. Correct practice for the Vibrato. 2. Don't spoil the pinky. 3. Alternate picking while playing 2 strings differs than sweep picking. 4. Slides

Correct Practice For The Vibrato

The most common mistake among beginners is vibrating the string using finger motion, and not hand's motion.This is a FATAL mistake. It won't produce the right sound of the vibrato, it will never be effortless even after hundreds of years of performing it that way, plus it's really harmful & unhealthy for the finger's joints and may cause serious injuries. The correct method is to vibrate the string using your wrist and hand motion. While your finger is on the note you want to vibrate, you slightly rotate, (don't pull your hands downwards), but in a motion as if it was going to rotate. It's an angular motion, but with very small angle. Do it firstly so slow and slowly return to the original position.That should be BEND, actually the vibrato is a fast Bend & Release technique. It aint going to be easy first time around, so be patient, if you practise it everyday, it shall be really effortless after a while.So remember the very small angluar motion, Do it fast, back and forth, and you'll get the vibrato. NOTE: If your middle finger is the one to vibrate the note, let your index finger (which should be on a lower note)like if your middle finger is on the 5h fret on the 3rd string, your index should be on the 4th fret, the motion should be applied on both fingers, in that way the index finger would support the middle finger with vibrating the string. And here you go, if your using your ring finger to vibrate a string, the index and middle fingers, would support it(while they are on lower notes, i.e. lower frets). It may be hard to explain without a seeing it, so please try to be patient. An excellet example for this is "Canon" it's so well known. Here's a link for a version arranged for guitar. Observe the intro, and you should know what I mean. You can have the tab for this song, to try it out(if your a beginner you can just play the vibrato part.)

Don't Spoil The Pinky

Before I get into this, I like to define a playing range on the guitar neck, which is 4 frets long. You only change your hands from it's original position to a new one when you are playing anything, if there's a note outside the 4 frets range. Example of the concept is Fade to black by metallica. In this part, your hands is in a certain position on the neck, you play different notes, but within the 4 frets range. (In this part your index finger won't be on any fret but the 2nd fret, no matter which string)
|------------------------------|------------------------------------|
|------------------------------|------------------------------------|
|---------0--------------------|-----------0------------------------|
|-----4------4-------4-------4-|-------4-------4-----4-------4------|
|-2--------------2-------5-----|---0--------------0-------5---------|
|------------------------------|------------------------------------|

                                Here, the ring finger plays the 4th fret 
                                on the A string not the D like the previous
                                parts but it's still on the 4th fret.
|------------------------------|------------------------------------|
|------------------------------|------------------------------------|
|---------0--------------------|-----------2------------------------|
|-----4------4-------4-------4-|-------2-------2-----2-------2------|
|-2--------------2-------5-----|---4--------------4-------0---------|
|------------------------------|------------------------------------|
So I mean that you still don't have to change your hand's position, you are still within the range. So the range here is the 2nd fret on the neck, to the 5th, no matter what the string is. But here, Later in the song, You change your hand's position) (shift your hands away from the bridge), because you have the 1st fret.
|------------------------|---------------------------|Again you have a  
|------------------------|-------------------0----3--|range but now it is
|------------------------|-------1--------1----------|1st fret to 4th fret.
|-------0-----------2----|----2--------2-------------|(For this part you 
|----3-----------2-----2-|-2--------2----------------| need to change your  
|-1--------1--4----------|---------------------------| hand's position 
                                                       because it's a new
                                                       range.)
(Another example is the intro of south of heaven by slayer (example of changing hands position to a new range) My point is that in a given range, when you don't have to change your left hand's position yet, specific fingers should play on certain frets. Some people would rather switch to another position to play some note that's within the same range, just because they can't use their pinky or ring finger as they can do with their index, which makes your fingers skills not equal for each. That's wrong because you will create a lazy little finger, and you wouldn't be able to play solos because it totally depend on the use of your 4th finger.It's so common that guys would move their hands so that their ring finger would do the job that the pinky was supposed to do. So be aware of that, and try to not to move your hands when you are still within the same range. Use Your Small Finger! Perfect exercise for this is the song Last Resort by Papa roach. the guitar part played before the verse. In this whole part, you don't have to change your hand's position horizontally, because it's all within 4 frets range.
|-----------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------|
|-----------9---------0---------9---------|
|-7-10-9-10---10-9-10---10-9-10---10-9-10-|
|-----------------------------------------|

|-----------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------|
|-----------9------------------9----------|
|---10-9-10---10-9-10---10-9-10---10-9-10-|
|-8-------------------7-------------------|
Note: You can't apply that idea for after the 12th fret, because frets are not that wide like before it.

Alternate Picking While Playing 2 Strings Differ Than Sweep Picking

If you are playing a song, that involves fast picking on 2 strings in a sequence order like for master of puppets. The link for the tab. Consider the 3rd riff. Normally You start by playing the (----0----1---) on the E string, 0 with down stroke, and 1 with the up stroke, then the(--2--) on the A string with down stroke, then (----0-----1----)again but 0 with up stroke and 1 with down stroke. After that you have 2 options for playing the "3" on the A string. Most people would think it's easier to play it downstroke because you have already played the previous note on the E string with downstroke so you will just continue the motion downwards. But that's not the good choice, the better choice is to play it with upstroke.You may think it's easier to play it that way because most of beginners and intermediate players have a slower upstroke than their own downstroke, their downstroke is always faster, there maximum speed on music metronome for downstroke is faster than that of their upstroke. But actually it's easier to play it with upstroke for these reasons:
  • Your mind don't have to give many orders to your hands, because you are already playing with an order of up down, up down,up down.... but when you play 2 downstrokes in a row, and then one upstroke, then your mind has to give more signals for that, which may confuses you sometimes.(you are breaking the cycle of up/down up/down)
  • When u play the "3" note on the A string with downstroke, you will have to go back upwards with upsroke to play the(---0---1---) again, you will normally have to play the 0 open string with upstroke by default and in that way your picking hand is like imprisoned in the region between the E and A string, which doesn't give you free motion of your hands. Try it and you will know what i mean, try playing 2 strings like E and A, or A and D....etc. Let's pick the E and A for example, if you play the A string with a downstroke, and then u go up to pick the E string with upstroke, and keep doing it, you will notice that your pick is trapped in a very small reigon which is between these 2 strings, which would make it impossible to play songs that are faster than master of puppets if you play that way. So here you got 2 things to do:
  • 1st try to improve your upstroke to be as fast as your downstroke.
  • 2nd don't break the order of up/down up/down up/down while playing a song. An easy exercise is the song: Stay together for the kids by Blink 182. An intermediate exercise is master of puppets by metallica or painkiller by judas priest.There are many songs that you can play after mastering that technique(Down stroke and up strokes for 2 strings respectively in successive order) but those songs are what I can remember right now. What about sweep Picking? The wrong method people do in the previous case, is mistaking alternate picking for sweep picking. You must know what sweep picking is to get what I mean, if you don't you can read it in the guitar techniques lessons field on ultimate-guitar. For me sweep picking is just a slow chord picking but totally fast notes picking, as when you play some chord your actually playing a bunch of notes to create a new sound of harmony notes. So certain kinds of solos are just like broken chords, where you play the notes that create a chord but played in succession rather than simultaneously. Let's consider the solo in the intro of the song fade to black, the fast part played, is a simple example for sweep picking. When you play this part:(this is not the whole solo, you can look at the tab here)
    |----------15--14-----------------------------------------------|
    |---------------------15------------17--15---14-----------------|
    |--------------------------14---------------------------16---14-|
    |---------------------------------------------------------------|
    |---------------------------------------------------------------|
    |---------------------------------------------------------------|
    After playing the 15 with downstroke, you get a simple sweep picking solo with the 14 on the E, then 15 on the B string, then 14 on the G string, that's a simple sweep picking. So after the 15, you play the 14 with upstroke, then you pull your hands upwards in the same direction of the 14 upstroke, to reach the 14 on the G string. My point is that in kinda solo, don't mistake sweep picking for alternate picking, don't try to apply the up/down up/down up/down concept here.It's not tricky, you just have to know if you should use sweap picking or alternate.Alternate is when you are playing 2 string or 3 but with a certain root. Song like T&C by thrice will tell what I mean. Get it's guitar pro tab from ultimate-guitar and you will know what I mean.In that song you always have the root of the power chord as a reference or home after every note, plus you have to skip the string in the middle between 2 strings so you simply can't use sweep picking, because it's a case that's similar to the 2 string condition when you have to use alternate picking. But sweep is when you have fast solo, that you have to go from a note on the highest e string for example to a note on the A or even the Low E string, so you can't use alternate picking, it would be dumb.

    Slides

    I know that most of you can play slides perfectly, but I had a bad experience when I was learning how to play with slides, because once I didn't know that I have to pick the string after sliding to the note. Like if I have to slide from 3 to 9 on a string, I would pick the string at the 3 only and just slide to 9. But that's not right because you are supposed to pick the string at the 9th fret too. That's not the same story with hammer On an pull Off, since you have to pick the string at once and just hammer on or pull off the string. That was it! I know it may be long and boring, but I thought I would share what I got and to help others not to learn wrong methods like I did firstly. Feel free to post any comments even the worst! Email: Revolutionofidentityjesusfreak@Yahoo.com
  • 27 comments sorted by best / new / date

    comments policy
      jjack
      I dig what you're saying about the lazy pinky. I am really going back to the basics in a lot of respects because I learned to play with very poor technique and I have hit a wall in my ability as a result. It's good to see stuff like this.
      zakske
      Thelonesoldier, don't give up, everyone learns in his or her own way... If you find errors in your current ways of playing, try to correct them, learn from your mistakes, but don't let them bring you down... See it this way: You're in a river, and the stream is carrying everything what's coming towards you. Every comment you ever got from anyone, even yourself, is in it, just like every experience you ever had.... Study this stream, and pick everything up that seems positive, and keep it in your hart Maybe, if you're confused, you could try to find a teacher to guide you and give you more confidence... Greetings
      thelonesoldier
      God, I'm such a piece of shit awful guitarist. I've been playing for a year and I still can't jam or improvise anything with more then five notes and I can't shred or solo at all, and apparently I've been doing vibrato completely wrong. I didn't even know there was a correct way to do it, and now even after reading and watching several lessons and videos I still don't ****ing understand it. Probably all my technique is just complete shit and I'll never be able to correct it.
      isabellashine
      InsomniaRocks wrote: Ironically, in your attempt to prevent kids from learning things the wrong way, are actually sending them down the path of misinformation and misconception with this lesson. You are too quick to assume that you know the exact correct way to do these things that you discuss. You really think doing vibrato with your finger instead of your hand is a FATAL mistake?! That's ridiculous. You are right about using your pinky (that's a no brainer) but picking after sliding? Come on...You'll look back on this lesson and laugh some day, I promise.
      Oh come on dude,Silly mistakes happens all the time thats why SocialismCross made this topic just to pervent beginners from bad habits! My teacher guided me in a wrong direction,IF i hadnt search the net for details i too would had made the same mistakes!! Anyway its a great topic and im sure a huge help for people too!
      Mundus
      i liked the theory of the upstroke/downstroke constantly is a easier task on the mind, ill have to try that technique definatly, good lesson mate
      Thomas Vela
      thelonesoldier wrote: God, I'm such a piece of shit awful guitarist. I've been playing for a year and I still can't jam or improvise anything with more then five notes and I can't shred or solo at all, and apparently I've been doing vibrato completely wrong. I didn't even know there was a correct way to do it, and now even after reading and watching several lessons and videos I still don't ****ing understand it. Probably all my technique is just complete shit and I'll never be able to correct it.
      hey dude, most people dont learn within 2 years of playing, dont worry about it, just keep practicing, dont practice till your head is spinning but just practice. if you beat yourself up like that then you will never learn, ive been playing for 3 years and i still havent got that great at impovising. NEVER give up. ive met a dude before that has been playing for 7 years and is barely learning things like this. i used to say the same things to myself just a year ago. you will get it if you practice, but wut you have to do right now is just take a deep breath, relax for a wile, grab your guitar, lay down on your bed and just start messing with the guitar, play a rythem of four single notes and just keep it going unitl you got more notes in your head. dont give up just after one year
      alphablade7
      thelonesoldier wrote: God, I'm such a piece of shit awful guitarist. I've been playing for a year and I still can't jam or improvise anything with more then five notes and I can't shred or solo at all, and apparently I've been doing vibrato completely wrong. I didn't even know there was a correct way to do it, and now even after reading and watching several lessons and videos I still don't ****ing understand it. Probably all my technique is just complete shit and I'll never be able to correct it.
      dont worry about it, nobody expects you to be able to shred or even solo after a year tbh, and for those of you who can after a year have just put in more practice than the rest thats all. Everybodies vibrato is different so dont worry about that either, if we all did everything the same then everything would sound the same and thus making music boring. Soloing needs just as much theory work as it does practical work that could be where your struggling, start by learning your Major and Minor pentatonic scales only and get to grips with using them before you confuse yourself with other more exotic scales cause major and minor pentatonic can get you through almost anything anyways. and dont forget to have fun
      SocialismCross
      YES you do the up/down, up/down thing on two strings like E and A, IF it's something repetitive on the two. Like for the song master of puppets the 2nd riff. You keep going on the 1st two string (Low E and A) repetitively, and you have an EVEN order of notes on the two strings. i hope that's not confusing.
      SocialismCross
      well to be honest, i didn't come up with that, i just put it into words on here. AND PLEASE NOTE: that's not how you're supposed to do it always, but that's a default. Sometimes you have to do two successive down strokes, like if you are playing the lower E string, and wanna play a note on the A string. (economic picking)
      SocialismCross
      InsomniaRocks, yes using ur fingers motion instead of ur hand motion will only produce a lame weak vibrato, plus i can't really name a guitar legend that used his finger motion alone to produce a vibrato. Look at any hendrix or zakk wylde's vibrato. using ur pinky is like common sense i know, and thats what ppl try to do at 1st place, then they find it easier using other fingers, so they give up, i was just trying to say why i shouldn't just give up.
      SocialismCross
      InsomniaRocks wrote: Ironically, in your attempt to prevent kids from learning things the wrong way, are actually sending them down the path of misinformation and misconception with this lesson. You are too quick to assume that you know the exact correct way to do these things that you discuss. You really think doing vibrato with your finger instead of your hand is a FATAL mistake?! That's ridiculous. You are right about using your pinky (that's a no brainer) but picking after sliding? Come on...You'll look back on this lesson and laugh some day, I promise.[/qu Ironically, in your attempt to prevent kids from learning things the wrong way, are actually sending them down the path of misinformation and misconception with this lesson. You are too quick to assume that you know the exact correct way to do these things that you discuss. You really think doing vibrato with your finger instead of your hand is a FATAL mistake?! That's ridiculous. You are right about using your pinky (that's a no brainer) but picking after sliding? Come on...You'll look back on this lesson and laugh some day, I promise.
      PJ Chuckles wrote: actually, you dont always pick the second note of a slide. there are two types of slides: shift slides and legato slides. in a shift slide, you do pick the second note, while in a[quote]InsomniaRocks wrote: Ironically, in your attempt to prevent kids from learning things the wrong way, are actually sending them down the path of misinformation and misconception with this lesson. You are too quick to assume that you know the exact correct way to do these things that you discuss. You really think doing vibrato with your finger instead of your hand is a FATAL mistake?! That's ridiculous. You are right about using your pinky (that's a no brainer) but picking after sliding? Come on...You'll look back on this lesson and laugh some day, I promise.
      PJ Chuckles wrote: actually, you dont always pick the second note of a slide. there are two types of slides: shift slides and legato slides. in a shift slide, you do pick the second note, while in a legato slide you do not. it just depends on what slide the song calls for.
      Thanks for that comment, this lesson is not professional, it's just my learning experience, your advice really helps, but the thing is that many players like me, had no idea about picking the string at all, PLUS in legato slide, u can pluck the string by your fretting hand, not by your pick, or ur right hand at all, so i was mainly talking about picking the string with ur right hands. THANKS !
      gmurlow
      I found this quite helpful, i'm notorious for the not picking after a slide, and even though I knew it, reading it from someone else realy highlights it for me. Thanks for the good lesson.
      omgiplayguitar
      I'm sure this lesson would help a lot of people, and im not trying to brag or anything, but it didnt help me at all. I was already doing everything right...only been playing for 1 year and i already have the form of a pro XD
      PJ Chuckles
      actually, you dont always pick the second note of a slide. there are two types of slides: shift slides and legato slides. in a shift slide, you do pick the second note, while in a legato slide you do not. it just depends on what slide the song calls for.
      philbertfwog
      The basis for the lesson was excellent, but you really need to improve your sloppy english.
      Spamik
      Just prctise uppicking, skate, it'll be slow at first but thats where evryone starts. Just keep going.
      InsomniaRocks
      Ironically, in your attempt to prevent kids from learning things the wrong way, are actually sending them down the path of misinformation and misconception with this lesson. You are too quick to assume that you know the exact correct way to do these things that you discuss. You really think doing vibrato with your finger instead of your hand is a FATAL mistake?! That's ridiculous. You are right about using your pinky (that's a no brainer) but picking after sliding? Come on...You'll look back on this lesson and laugh some day, I promise.
      skate1789
      yea i seem to play better by downpicking everything, i cant seem to uppick very well, which limits me to sweep pcking, any suggestions?
      smileoutastyle
      Thx for the tips! I will keep it in mind. I haven't reached the levels that you are talking about in the end yet but I will remember it when I do. Good of you to take the time to post such good advice.