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Thread: Help me please...

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Help me please...

    I also posted in the Piano & Keys forum with a similar problem my friend is experiencing...

    OK, I have been playing the guitar for around 6 months to 1 year, i'm currently at, what i would call an Intermediate level, i know some chords, i know a small number (2-4) scales, i know legato techniques, i can alternate pick, bend, etc. I have a few problems with my playing, these consist of:

    1) Synchronisation issues between my two hands.

    2) Fast playing, both Legato and Picked.

    3) Improvisation, now, i know that evry guitarist at some point wants to do this... but i have done my research and this isnt just a "how do i sol0!?!!?" question, i know about the "2212221" notes in the Key, though i don't know what keys are interchangeable, nor do i know many scales to improvise round...Also, Backing Tracks would REALLY help here.

    4) Composition, This sort of carries on from Improvisation, but i know that just slapping any chords in the key of C together won't necessarilly sound good, i have heard vague things about the "tonic" notes, and how some notes "lead" onto each other, and some make the chord/progression sound "fuller" etc. but have never found anything i could understand explaining this properly to me

    I can't REALLY afford books at the minute, but if you can, suggest them anyway, and i'll hope to grab them at a later date.

    Finally, I understand that this isn't going to happen overnight, but is "Practice, Practice, Practice" the only thing that can be done to speed up this learning/development? The main reason for this "need for speed" is that, essentially, we are in a band, and want to improve as much as possible in as little time as we have in the summer holidays (though they haven't nearly started yet :P)

    We're pretty serious about music as a lifetime commitment, whether it be to 3 drunks in a bar in the middle of nowhere, or to however many thousands at the Download Festival...it doesn't really matter to us, it's just Live to Play, Play to Live.

    Thanks for your time

    -Arcor


    (Apologies for any "Identicalities" between this and the Piano & Keys post, it's late, and we have similar problems, and Windows has a copy function...:P)

  2. #2
    Registered User Lexavier's Avatar
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    hey Arcor,

    I can give a few good suggestions for your problems.

    Alright for synchronizing both of your hands. Now there are millions of exercise books out there, but the conclusion that everyone comes to is to do EVERYTHING, and I mean EVERYTHING, really really slow. muscle memory is a big part of any musical endeavor, unless theory, but you kind of have to apply that too , anyways! For getting your hands locked in though, seriously, do things slow, so you aren't straining. after doing whatever exercise or passage you are trying to nail, slowly and extensivley practice it. things will definatley come a lot faster. Another big thing is economy of motion.

    TWO VERY! important things-
    make sure your pick strokes are even, and close to the string (this is how you will get stuff faster) think about it. if your closer to the string you are playing, your going to get a lot more mileage out of your muscles as far as endurance goes, and you'll play notes quicker.
    The last band I was in really required me to get better at fast picking stuff, and the only thing that works is slow comfortable practice, and a metronome!!
    one last thing I have for developing a good pick hand is, instead of playing your scales up and down, picking each note once, instead, double pick everynote descending and ascending, thats a really good exercise! and then from there, do three notes, four notes ETC... and always use a metronome!

    (practice in front of a mirror also, make sure you look as comfortable as you feel when you play. when I watch players who look like they are going to spontaneously combust from tension, it makes me feel like I am going to also!)

    Legato-
    I haven't really delved into books on legato because you can just build left hand control with the 1234 exercises done legato. I am much better at legato than picking technique, due to laziness. The two books I can recommend are dimebags riffer madness and rock discipline by john petrucci. almost ALL guitarists will mention rock discipline. why? BECAUSE ITS FLEPPING AMAZING! I have the book. the book definatley has a plethora of picking exercises, but also a very good section filled with legato exercises. its right up your alley.
    Riffer madness- if it were not for the legato exercises in this book, I wouldn't be very strong in my left hand. This is where I started. I actually got the exercises from a guitar world column, my first EVER guitar world magazine not to mention! but all dimebags guitar world columns are in this book!
    remember ESPECIALLY with legato, keep those fingers close to the fret board, and play slow! I developed tendonitis from trying to get things done too fast and straining myself. you know what happened? I couldn't play for 3 months, and I had to go to physical therapy, so play slow!

    for now, use the technique articles on this website, they are phenomenal.

    alright for improv. You'll need to learn some theory if you want to know what notes sound good over what chord. So One book I can recommend to help you with scales, modes and CHORDS! is Music Theory for Guitarists : Everything You Ever Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask by Tom Kolb.

    A DVD that is very, very good and will help you with your improv. and chords is Diatonic Theory & Harmony By Doug Doppler. I got it, its reallly good.

    (Learn your circle of 5ths also- just memorize it even if you don't understand it. I memorized without knowing its functions, then my first month in my music theory class I said "holy $#!#, I understand" it will definatley make you more knowledgable on which key changes in a song are more stable

    Backing tracks - www.bluesblast.com

    Another good book for learning your neck and scales is "guitar fretboard workbook" by Barret tagliarino

    A more intermediate soloing book is Guitar Soloing : The Contemporary Guide to Improvisation By Daniel Gilbert.

    there you go, and goodluck.

    Dan



  3. #3
    I like music.
    Join Date
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    Memorize the Chromatic Scale. Know what your pallette is. C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A A#/Bb B C. Learn your circle of fifths, learn your circle of fourths. Yes, one is the same as the other backwards or fowards, but it doesn't discount the fact that you need to know both.

    I can help you out with the Improvization and Composition. Just ask some more defined questions. Seek and ye shall find. There's a whole world of knowledge out there, its just a matter of asking the right kind of question to pull it out.

    A few goals you should be working towards:

    *knowledge of the ENTIRE fretboard in all keys
    -scales
    -2 NPS
    -3 NPS
    -4 NPS
    -chords
    -arpeggios
    *comfort in playing all over the fretboard
    *fluency playing chords and changing positions cleanly and as legato as possible*

    these are not stylistic things and are things I am still working towards myself, but I know that actually setting concrete goals and practicing with them in mind helps immeasurably.
    Hard luck and trouble...

  4. #4
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    Ok, thanks guys (been cut-off from the internet, so not been able to post.)

    ok, i'll be sure to get all, or at least some of those books you mentioned. And i was going to leave the Circle of Fifths until i understod it, but i guess understanding it comes easier if you know it from memory.

    i guess the basic undertone of this post is: Thanks!

  5. #5
    Amateur gynecologist smallbusrider's Avatar
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    First of all, you are not an intermediate player.You are still a beginner. The way to master the instrument is this: Do not practice too many things at the same time. You want to become a better alternate picker? work on it over and over till you perfect it. Then move on to the next step in your development. I have never believed in an all encompassing regimen. Master a skill, move on to the next one. It takes time, just like any form of practice.
    Last edited by smallbusrider; 07-24-2006 at 12:46 AM.
    "Life's too short to dance with Psycho Chicks."

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