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Thread: Proper Technique for Solos

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2002

    Proper Technique for Solos

    Maybe that's not the right subject title but here goes.

    I can play leads. I'm not that great so I want to get better. Are there any books or archived articles on this site to help me? My main issue is proper fingering when switching strings either up or down during a run such as you might find in a Randy Rhoads lead. My fingers end up getting all fumbled half the time and that's very frustrating. One article or post I came across in here recently talked about using all four fingers on one string and as you move to the next string, just move one finger at a time and keep "walking" to the next string. Very helpful exercise and just the type of thing I'm looking for.

    I just don't have the time to take actual lessons so any help would be much appreciated.

    I don't know if I've explained myself very well. I guess I'll see what kind of answers I get.

    Thanks, ya'll!

  2. #2
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Jackson MS
    Practice playing SLOWLY with very PRECISE movement of the fingers.

    Start with 4 note/String semi-chromatic exercises. (Sort of chromatic) Practice these ascending and descending. Then practice 3 note per string semi-chromatic exercises, practice these ascending and descending and also starting with both upstrokes and downstrokes.

    Now once you have done this for a while and kept a diary of your progress with metonome markings for each exercise, your technique will improve.

    Move up to pentatonic, and diatonic scales. Start by learning CAGED forms of both of these types of scales make up some little mathematical exercises and keep diary entries. Move on after several weeks ( I suggest 1 mode per day, so then you can get through 1 Key per Week, in 12 weeks you can get through all 12 keys) to 3 note per string diatonic forms, repeat the same process, this is the first place you will begin position shifting in diatonic forms, all the while keep doing all the previous exercises, and remember not to play anything faster than you can execute CLEANLY ( At least don't mark any metronome time down for any passage at a faster tempo than you can execute the passage CLEANLY and in TIME) It is ok and even desirable to push your self once in a while and try to play somthing faster than you ever have, just for a little while, then return to your normal speed.

    Now you can move on to two note per string diatonic forms, repeat process. These are constantly shifting positions.

    Now you can move on to octave type diatonic forms, repeat process. These are constantly shifting positions.

    If you have made it here you can try Four note per string diatonic forms, and three note per string pentatonic forms, repeat process. These are constantly shifting positions.

    Practice diatonic bending, bending to exact scale pitches.
    Practice VIBRATO, all kinds, get the feel of this.

    Now in particular if you have a lick that requires some position shifting between strings alway try to keep your thumb behind the neck just about opposite your middle finger, so pre-position (anticipate) your thumb when about to make a leap in position mid-lick so when the rest of your fingers arrive the thumb is correctly positioned.

    If you can get through this I personally Guarantee, that you will have DRASTICALLY improved your single line technique.
    Depending on the amount of time you can devote and your level of tenacity and begining skill level, this could take 6 months to the rest of your life.
    This is a journey without a destination, you will always want to get better.
    "Listen to the Spaces Between the sounds."
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