View Full Version : Where to start...

03-06-2003, 01:29 AM
Ok, I have decided to start fresh..
What is the first thing I should learn?

Bongo Boy
03-06-2003, 01:45 AM
Starting fresh with what, exactly?

In any case, I guess I'd say the first thing to do is make a note of why you're 'starting fresh', and why you feel you shouldn't do the same thing again. That's my definition of a "lesson learned". The idea is this: if you just have a vague idea that 'some things didn't quite work' and don't do some self-analysis, then the chances of doing some of those things a second time is pretty good. If that happens, then you haven't actually learned anything.

This may sound really stupid, corny and something only a dork would do, but try writing it down--'it' being whatever aspects of the first attempt were good, and not so good. Writing it down forces you to actually think critically, create a logical thread of reasoning, etc. Give it a rest for a few days, come back and re-read what you wrote, and challenge it.

We tend to make excuses for ourselves you know. This little exercise can help surface those rationalizations and get to the real issues. Then, whatever it is you decide to start 'fresh' at will have a good chance of actually being fresh.

Besides "dorky", what do you think? :D

03-06-2003, 01:57 AM
It's just I dont understand how to do it. My dad tells me I wont get it over night..I know this.
All I know how to do is play other people's music (mainly Creed, cause I am a huge Mark Tremonti fan)
I want to be able to play like my idols (Randy Rhoads, Mark Tremonti, Zakk Wylde, Jake E. Lee).
I want to practice, and actually see some outcome to it. Is this a real problem I'm having or is it just a psychological thing?

I mean, my friends and family same I am really good for only playing for a year. I want to be able to have a band (no-one around me plays an instrament). I want to be successful in the music business one day (I know it's extremely tough to be accepted into the world of music these days).
I hear songs like "Whats this life for" and "Higher" by Creed, and think to myself "How in the heck does he think this up?? It sounds sooo good." I want to be able to do this, I just dont know how, and what to start on. Like I said, All I do is play other bands songs. I've got techniques like Vabrato, and Slides, and Hammer-Ons, as well as tapping, but I gotta work on my Legato.

Sometime's when I play I cant get the sound I want, or the "Tone" as you all say it. I mean yeah, I play with a Squire (Fat Strat model)..and a Rogue CG-50H amp (50 watt). I can't get the smoothness of the clean tone, or the hissing crunch out of a palm-muted note (Such as the one in the pre-chorus to "Higher" by Creed)

Then I want to learn to "Shred", but all I hear is "learn your scale" I dont know Which scales to learn, and then what to do with them once learned. What excersises to do with them to help build up on. I dont take lessons, mainly cause there are no places that I know of here in Jamestown NC, where I live. I practice everyday (mainly playing songs). I've gone so far as to learn "Crazy Train" all the way threw including the solo. Learned "Bark at the Moon" and some of "Mr. Crowley".

Somebody please tell me whats Wrong.


Bongo Boy
03-07-2003, 02:36 AM
Originally posted by XxAxeDemonxX
I want to practice, and actually see some outcome to it. Is this a real problem I'm having or is it just a psychological thing?Yes, it certainly is a real problem. There's no doubt that a person could practice constantly and make little or no progress. It's also possible you're making more progress than you realize (see the thread on recording progress).

I can't address your problems because I don't have the experience--but I know this question comes up about once a month here, and James (szulc) has a post here somewhere that includes about 12 or so links to materials on this site that treat most of your questions.

Here is yet another thread on the topic of scales:

Use the search engine on this site and try searching for where to begin", etc. It's very good that you seem to understand the difference between practice and effective practice.

I just bought a book,

Guitar Scale Guru: The Scale Book - Your Guide For Success!
Author: Aranjo, Karl
Published: November 1997
Creative Concepts Publishing Corp.
ISBN: 1569221863

that is helpful. I don't think it's the greatest book in the world, but it does provide some insight into scales and the fretboard. It may not be books and exercises you need--sounds like you need to work with a mentor/instructor, if possible.

03-07-2003, 03:18 PM
I really needed to know..now that you say it, I think it could be that I'm making more progress than what I think I am.
I can tell that I have progressed threw time (Mainly from when I first started to know)


Bongo Boy
03-07-2003, 10:01 PM
Progressing over time is what makes us all get better.
Progressing through time, however, just makes us older. :D

I'm just being a smartass--I understand what you wrote.

1. Do you have any way to record some of your stuff and post it up on this thread as MP3?

2. How have you learned to play the stuff you currently know? Do you just listen to a recording then play it by ear 'till it sounds right or what?

3. What have you done as far as learning theory-related topics (intervals, scale construction, chord theory, etc)?

03-07-2003, 11:16 PM
I can record some stuff, cept I dont know how to convert it into an MP3, Some things..I can play by listening to a song, and others I need to ask my dad, or look at tabs.
Threw scales..I'd go to sites, and look for scales, I'd learn the diffrent positions, but I didnt know what to do with them


03-10-2003, 03:16 AM
Record yourself and listen to it critically. Be honest about what you are hearing, try to think what needs improving. Effective practice comes from identifying the things you are not good at, then working on those. You also need to learn to communicate with other musicians, get some music and learn to READ it not just TAB, actual staff. Learn musical terminology, learn how to construct scales and triads then seventh chords, learn the names of every note on your fretboard, learn the scale degrees of every scale in every position. Learn open as well as close voiced triads then learn Drop 2 and Drop 3 seventh chord voicings. Get a metronome and a diary and begin regimented practice of scale exercises. Keep accurate records of your progress indicating the metronome setting for each exercise. One day a week try to push your speed up a few notches. Never play faster than you can think or execute the passage cleanly. Only write down settings in your diary for the speeds you are playing cleanly all the way through. Keep the recordings of yourself to listen to in a few months. Make at least one recording every week. Try to learn other peoples stuff you like and recod it.
Just Play and have fun (record that too!) This is where you might come up with your own stuff.