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Old 03-29-2020, 07:10 PM   #1
DrippingInsanity
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Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

Ok, I haven't fully picked up a guitar in years and I've mostly forgotten everything I once knew. Considering I don't know where to begin, I'm coming to you for help (which is probably my first mistake). I wanted to see everything I should know/learn (obviously this is subjective), what exercises are best (both for warming up and to get better at a certain topic), best videos & books to learn from and everything else. Basically just assume I know nothing.


I looked through this thread and this is what I've condensed the thread to:
-learn to play your favorite songs/solos
-videos to look up: John Petrucci's Rock Discipline, Shawn Lane's Power Solos, Jeff Loomis' Super Shred Guitar Masterclass
-books to look up: Shawn Lane's Power Licks and Solos, Four Counterpoint Exercises, Allan Holdsworth's Reaching For the Uncommon Chord, Guthrie Govan's Creative Guitar 1 & 2,
-"...practice playing triads and seventh chords by putting together certain melodic ideas (arpeggiation, upper, lower and neighbor group tones, suspensions, pedals, passing tones, tension tones, etc.) to help you create more interesting lines"
-learn No Boundaries by Michael Angelo
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Old 03-29-2020, 07:40 PM   #2
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

Lick library is a good source.

As solo entrepreneurs, teachers as the whole package I think Andy James is terrific - I bought his six dvds on lead playing and his online video practically covers all the same basics.

Guthrie Govan is the next big thing, and yet a lot of his playing is theoretical; if you want a flashy guitarist check rick graham or perhaps per nilsson who fuse classic rock style with more fusion/classical.

For straight up metal you can never go wrong with loomis and his conquering dystopia ally. If you don’t shun djent try tossin abasi and misha mansoor, perhaps Dan Browne of architects and even the guys from polyphia.

Finally learn your favorite songs. Petrucci’s rock discipline is exceptional try getting your fingers used to pinpoint and claw shaped as opposed to dull lazy and flat as pancake. Stress balls work wonders. Play an acoustic as beat up and difficult to play as possible it’ll develop your electric playing faster.

Lastly lastly, you want to feel as relaxed as possible, always. Expend as little energy as possible.

Greatest tool in your arsenal will always be your vibrato, vai and loomis technique, circular and heavy, I find beats just wide a la Wylde. Hammett is a fine example of someone who didn’t develop it enough and the results are paltry when he isn’t speed playing.

Is it in some kinda monster when James steals his solo? Already he’s built up his hand strength - don’t hook your thumb over the neck is probably the lesson there, no matter how uncomfortable.

An obvious thing but it’s a difficult mistake to unlearn.

Learn the seven major shapes and five pentatonics as starting blocks.

Play with high action and low gain (enough for notes to fade if you don’t hit them accurately enough, where a ringing clean may hide too much), it will not only develop hand strength faster but enable you to find your own style easier. You’ll be dependent on molding yourself around the weaknesses of your instrument and gear as opposed to letting the hardware drive your entire tone.

When you see Jared dines a popular YouTube guitarist play vibrato his technique has been worked in post, for example, as the tone is wilder than the performance footage would suggest - he’s too dependent on his gear, exemplified by his shred wars with Matt Heafy, who lessens his drive and practices more.

You have two great resources Oleg and the dude from unfathomable if he’s still here.

Last edited by The Duff; 03-29-2020 at 08:00 PM..
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Old 03-30-2020, 02:36 PM   #3
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

Someone tell Marlon to come give us a rundown of how he got so good so quick. (The secret: "PRACTICE")

I just started learning guitar late last year myself so it'd be cool to see what the players on this board have to say!
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Old 03-30-2020, 02:58 PM   #4
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

Chromatics will be your best friend for picking and dexterity, try hammer on and off exercises all variations 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 2-3, 2-4, 3-4, as hard fast and for as long as possible. You’ll need a metronome. Start slow there’s a school of thought that says start at the speed you want to play and work up but this will ruin any feel or hand tenacity. You can get metronome apps now for cheap or perhaps even free. Learn the seven major shapes and five pentatonics shapes this will set you up for life, anything else is icing on the cake. Set the metronome and play open low string alternate for as long as, do the same for down picking. Buy heavy strings - 9’s and 10’s are boooooring, 11s are the new standard like rimming is the new straight.
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Old 03-30-2020, 04:24 PM   #5
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Post Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

Guthrie Govans creative guitar book explains very complicated stuff about guitar in the most simple basic way possible. It will teach you all the fundamentals you need to know and provide a good foundation for whatever you?re looking to accomplish. I wish I had discovered it earlier as I learned all that stuff the hard way. Would have saved me years off of my life.
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Old 03-30-2020, 07:48 PM   #6
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

Quote:
Originally Posted by ziel View Post
Someone tell Marlon to come give us a rundown of how he got so good so quick. (The secret: "PRACTICE")

I just started learning guitar late last year myself so it'd be cool to see what the players on this board have to say!
No, don't come back Marlon.

Excellent guitarist and Abhorrent are/were amazing but he was such a peanut.
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Old 03-31-2020, 08:35 AM   #7
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

don’t get a floating/ double locking tremolo on your first guitar. a floyd rose/equivalent is a cool tool but is not beginner friendly or accessible insofar as maintenance goes. imo, it’s better to start with something simple so you can familiarize yourself with how the core components (truss rod, saddle height, saddle slide, machine heads) and their functions (neck bow, action, intonation, tuning) of the instrument coincide with each other. i’ve noticed some companies throwing on a bunch of extra shit like locking tuners, coil taps, evertune bridges, etc likely because they bought too many of them and are trying to get rid of them.

i’m in the middle of a project that’s the culmination of a lot of ideas i’ve had. still waiting on some parts to finish but you can very easily take, say a squier affinity telecaster for $2-300, put in $1-200 in part upgrades, and have a nice one that will last as long as you do.

i would recommend a squier affinity tele or an ibanez rgrt421. both are very nice pieces for the prices that can shred out of the box but also really shine with minimal investment.

for playing, in my own experience, i would recommend learning riffs you like instead of songs you like. not to say you can’t do both but if you can figure out how to play something you enjoy, it can show you some insight into the skill required to generate the sound that caught your attention. i used to feel bad about having lots of riffs that went nowhere (riff a, riff b, chorus, bridge, blegh) until dudes like cloudkicker got big putting out loops of the one riff they build on creatively. the thing is, it’s all your interpretation. you can do whatever you want if you have the patience to articulate yourself accurately.

i wasn’t sure if you were looking for gear reqs but will share if interested.

Last edited by ray12a; 03-31-2020 at 08:43 AM..
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Old 04-01-2020, 02:10 PM   #8
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

Highly recommend Guthrie Govan's creative guitar series, it's an incredible resource for players of all levels. Some of my biggest breakthroughs in playing came from reading/watching Guthrie instructional material. I wouldn't recommend the Shawn Lane or Holdsworth books until you have years of playing under your belt. If you go into those at an early stage, you're just not going to absorb the full potential of material there and it will deter you from necessary fundamental progress. The Paul Gilbert and John Petrucci books are good, but mostly useful only if you're looking to shred above all else.

Definitely get guitar pro or any other program that features playback. This is your "smart" metronome. Gone are the days of sitting in your room in front of a metronome, the slow, agonizing duet of glaring silence and your inadequate playing. With a tab playback program, you fill the void of the metronome with backing tracks/accompanying rhythms and melodies, which helps you see and hear the bigger picture of what you're playing while practicing.

What do you want to do with guitar? Do you want to create your own music? Are you amazed by the music you hear and want to figure out how it's done? Either way, learn other songs. I would say that learning theory/scales is kind of important, but can be completely tossed out the window, for now. What's important is that you have drive and inspiration, and for me, learning songs that I love keeps that drive going, especially if I continue to challenge myself in the process by learning things way out of my range. Don't be afraid to try songs way out of your range. If you have tabs for it, you can play along to it at various levels of speed. Three years into my playing, I was learning Necrophagist songs, and playing them at 50-75% speed. I did this for about 2 years, and rarely got comfortable playing the songs full speed. You just have to keep going and being self-aware throughout the process, so that if you keep running into the same problems, you tackle those problems head on, even if it means changing your technique drastically.

If you have more questions or anything, I'm happy to help.

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WOW I haven't seen this in ages. What a throwback.
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Old 04-02-2020, 07:39 AM   #9
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

Quote:
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WOW I haven't seen this in ages. What a throwback.
Doug Steele! lol

I remember having him on MSN messenger for some reason... Still didn't learn to shred though
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Old 04-03-2020, 09:54 PM   #10
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

Honestly dude just play your favorite riffs like 500 times and then eventually add another riff you wanna learn and then know 6 riffs you love playing and then start the jerk off scale exercises cause otherwise it's boring as shit.

when you get the groove of your favorite riff and you hit all the notes right and you're feeling like you should have a band with really big sunglasses it's the only way you'll give a fuck about scales

tl;dr - learn how to slam dunk and get good at it THEN learn how to dribble dribbling is boring as shit trust me.

Last edited by Moemers; 04-03-2020 at 09:58 PM..
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Old 04-04-2020, 12:52 AM   #11
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

SQUEAL LIKE A PIG

SQUEAL LIKE A PIG
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Old 04-05-2020, 11:17 PM   #12
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Duff View Post
Lick library is a good source.
As solo entrepreneurs, teachers as the whole package I think Andy James is terrific - I bought his six dvds on lead playing and his online video practically covers all the same basics.
Guthrie Govan is the next big thing, and yet a lot of his playing is theoretical; if you want a flashy guitarist check rick graham or perhaps per nilsson who fuse classic rock style with more fusion/classical.
For straight up metal you can never go wrong with loomis and his conquering dystopia ally. If you don’t shun djent try tossin abasi and misha mansoor, perhaps Dan Browne of architects and even the guys from polyphia.
Finally learn your favorite songs. Petrucci’s rock discipline is exceptional try getting your fingers used to pinpoint and claw shaped as opposed to dull lazy and flat as pancake. Stress balls work wonders. Play an acoustic as beat up and difficult to play as possible it’ll develop your electric playing faster.
What are the six dvds called? Like, is it all in one package? What stuff of Rick Graham and Per Nilsson would you recommend if not Guthrie?

Basically, watch Andy James' dvds, Rock Discipline, Loomis vids and look up videos from Graham, Nilsson, Abasi & Mansoor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Duff View Post
Lastly lastly, you want to feel as relaxed as possible, always. Expend as little energy as possible.

Greatest tool in your arsenal will always be your vibrato, vai and loomis technique, circular and heavy, I find beats just wide a la Wylde. Hammett is a fine example of someone who didn’t develop it enough and the results are paltry when he isn’t speed playing.

Learn the seven major shapes and five pentatonics as starting blocks.

Play with high action and low gain (enough for notes to fade if you don’t hit them accurately enough, where a ringing clean may hide too much), it will not only develop hand strength faster but enable you to find your own style easier. You’ll be dependent on molding yourself around the weaknesses of your instrument and gear as opposed to letting the hardware drive your entire tone.

When you see Jared dines a popular YouTube guitarist play vibrato his technique has been worked in post, for example, as the tone is wilder than the performance footage would suggest - he’s too dependent on his gear, exemplified by his shred wars with Matt Heafy, who lessens his drive and practices more.

You have two great resources Oleg and the dude from unfathomable if he’s still here.
Just to summarize: Be relaxed when playing, use vibrato like Vai & Loomis, practice with minimal or no gain/clean channel, and learn the seven major modes and the five pentatonic shapes?

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Originally Posted by Flaccid Penguin View Post
Is Kirk, Carlos, and Toni's vibrato terrible because they bend the string in too small of increment and move more of the finger instead of moving the string?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ray12a View Post
it’s better to start with something simple so you can familiarize yourself with how the core components (truss rod, saddle height, saddle slide, machine heads) and their functions (neck bow, action, intonation, tuning) of the instrument coincide with each other.
How exactly would a beginner know what makes those core components quality and learn everything about their function? For reference, I have a Schecter C-1 Elite that I got like 14 years ago and a Washburn X-series (the first guitar I got back, I think, 17-18 years ago).
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Old 04-05-2020, 11:26 PM   #13
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oleg View Post
Highly recommend Guthrie Govan's creative guitar series, it's an incredible resource for players of all levels. Some of my biggest breakthroughs in playing came from reading/watching Guthrie instructional material. I wouldn't recommend the Shawn Lane or Holdsworth books until you have years of playing under your belt. If you go into those at an early stage, you're just not going to absorb the full potential of material there and it will deter you from necessary fundamental progress. The Paul Gilbert and John Petrucci books are good, but mostly useful only if you're looking to shred above all else.
Aside from the Guthrie Govan Creative Guitar 1 & 2 books, what of his videos would you recommend? By not being to absorb the material in the Shawn Lane & Allan Holdsworth material, do you mean that I wouldn't fully understand it as I don't know the fundamentals and many things would just go right over my head?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oleg View Post
Definitely get guitar pro or any other program that features playback. This is your "smart" metronome. Gone are the days of sitting in your room in front of a metronome, the slow, agonizing duet of glaring silence and your inadequate playing. With a tab playback program, you fill the void of the metronome with backing tracks/accompanying rhythms and melodies, which helps you see and hear the bigger picture of what you're playing while practicing.
I'll be sure to find some sort of free version of GP or DL it somehow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oleg View Post
What do you want to do with guitar? Do you want to create your own music? Are you amazed by the music you hear and want to figure out how it's done? Either way, learn other songs. I would say that learning theory/scales is kind of important, but can be completely tossed out the window, for now. What's important is that you have drive and inspiration, and for me, learning songs that I love keeps that drive going, especially if I continue to challenge myself in the process by learning things way out of my range. Don't be afraid to try songs way out of your range. If you have tabs for it, you can play along to it at various levels of speed. Three years into my playing, I was learning Necrophagist songs, and playing them at 50-75% speed. I did this for about 2 years, and rarely got comfortable playing the songs full speed. You just have to keep going and being self-aware throughout the process, so that if you keep running into the same problems, you tackle those problems head on, even if it means changing your technique drastically.

If you have more questions or anything, I'm happy to help.
My overall goal is to be a great guitarist, just like everyone else. Shredding is something I would like to have the ability to do, but isn't what I would want to do all the time. I know this sounds vague, but basically I want to be able to write something that evokes an emotion or portrays a certain atmosphere I want to create. I want to be able to turn an emotion or a certain sound in my head and be able to express that in a riff/song. Of course, improv would be a trait I'd to have in my back pocket, though it's something I'd use moreso in with trying to make songs with a full band (if that makes sense). Like, if another guitarist/bassist/keyboardist started playing some riff, I would like to know how to not only play something to go along with it, but also know how to turn that idea into a full song.

Having said that, a good riff or melody is more important to me. But, I'd like to be able to have the ability to shred (when needed).

So many people keep saying, "just learn songs or riffs". But, how the hell am I suppose to do that if I have no idea how to play it? How do I know I'm not only playing it correctly, but also using techniques that are correct (as in, not using sloppy/wrong techniques)? How would I even know what the guitarist's tuning is? Also, if all I practice are riffs and solos from songs I like, when I go to make my own songs, wouldn't I basically be stealing directly from those artists and won't be creating anything new (if that makes sense)?

Another thing I'm thinking of trying to learn is how to read sheet music, not just for playing guitar, but also because I'm kind of wanting to get into audio engineering. When I was an undergrad, I did an internship at a studio that mainly dealt with orchestras, choirs, and vocal artists. They all followed sheet music to go along with, make notes to, etc etc etc. However, I slightly tried to learn how to read sheet music back in high school when I was in marching band/jazz band for only my sophomore year (unsurprisingly, my parents signed me up for it and the band director was a dick most of the time, even after learning I didnt know how to sight read and such) and it was a bit hard to understand key signatures/circle of fifths/whatever. What are your thoughts on learning sheet music and such?

Sorry for the barrage of questions, but let me ask another. What do you do for warmups (both when you were starting out and what you do now)?
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Old 04-05-2020, 11:27 PM   #14
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

What about music theory? Like, what kind itinerary should I follow from start to beyond (in your opinion)? What books/videos should I look at (if any)? I vaguely remember Phil mentioning something about Total Harmony being excellent for learning about music theory, but I can't say for certain if that was it.

Last edited by DrippingInsanity; 04-05-2020 at 11:34 PM..
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Old 04-06-2020, 07:56 AM   #15
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

man, it sounds to me like you’re trying to start at the finish line. those words i gave you are a reference for setup and maintenance to get your axe into accordance with your preferences. seeing as how your fear is so old, it is likely past due for some TLC. i’m sure most everything suggested in this thread, save the DVDs, can be found in YT how to videos that will demonstrate everything better than i can articulate in text. i’m off work tomorrow and will come back to this thread with some cool shit i found.
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Old 04-06-2020, 03:08 PM   #16
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

I agree with Ray12a, it seems like you want everything all at once...and hell, who doesn't???

I only started <8 months ago but it seems like you might have some experience already, either way I've been following Justin's lessons to get started. Maybe you should check it out to give yourself a small refresher? https://www.justinguitar.com/categor...essons-grade-1

I'm not too worried about trying to shred, vibrato, or playing Necrophagist but I still enjoy Petrucci's dvd a lot and I practice some of the exercises from there (mainly the stretching and scale fragments).


Quote:
Originally Posted by DrippingInsanity View Post
What about music theory? Like, what kind itinerary should I follow from start to beyond (in your opinion)? What books/videos should I look at (if any)? I vaguely remember Phil mentioning something about Total Harmony being excellent for learning about music theory, but I can't say for certain if that was it.
I found Ben Levin's videos very helpful. Here's a playlist link!
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...lMPwZerVApkqmk
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Old 04-06-2020, 06:51 PM   #17
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

lmfao Shred Durst, what a throwback indeed!
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Old 04-07-2020, 09:18 AM   #18
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

Quote:
So many people keep saying, "just learn songs or riffs". But, how the hell am I suppose to do that if I have no idea how to play it? How do I know I'm not only playing it correctly, but also using techniques that are correct (as in, not using sloppy/wrong techniques)? How would I even know what the guitarist's tuning is? Also, if all I practice are riffs and solos from songs I like, when I go to make my own songs, wouldn't I basically be stealing directly from those artists and won't be creating anything new (if that makes sense)?
i used to have CDs i’d repeat for years with songs on them to jam to. nowadays computer software like any DAW, windows media player, or goldwave allow you to slow playback while maintaining pitch so you can hear the riff you want to learn slower. and the. you just start. you try to find one note, then another. maybe you adjust your tuning whichever way to make your interpretation of the riff easier to play. maybe you know some scales and modes and can anticipate where the riff will go. but yeah, you basically fuck it all up til you get it right.

Quote:
Another thing I'm thinking of trying to learn is how to read sheet music, not just for playing guitar, but also because I'm kind of wanting to get into audio engineering. When I was an undergrad, I did an internship at a studio that mainly dealt with orchestras, choirs, and vocal artists. They all followed sheet music to go along with, make notes to, etc etc etc. However, I slightly tried to learn how to read sheet music back in high school when I was in marching band/jazz band for only my sophomore year (unsurprisingly, my parents signed me up for it and the band director was a dick most of the time, even after learning I didnt know how to sight read and such) and it was a bit hard to understand key signatures/circle of fifths/whatever. What are your thoughts on learning sheet music and such?
sheet music is for lifers. those fucking nerds are so boring to talk to and are guaranteed to be some snobby audiophile. you don’t need to be able to read sheet music to handle a guitar. but maybe your locale has some place where people show up to jam together? learning to play in time with another is way more valuable than sheet music, i think.

Quote:
Sorry for the barrage of questions, but let me ask another. What do you do for warmups (both when you were starting out and what you do now)?
play riffs buddy, i want to hear your ugliest riff
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Old 04-07-2020, 09:26 AM   #19
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

well i looked up your guitars and am not quite sure which way to think. both of your guitars have models with and without double locking floating trems. this determines how you interact with the different systems of a guitar. could you please point me in the right direction?
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Old 04-07-2020, 01:27 PM   #20
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Talking Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

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My slang step like legless lizard
I fuck around, fashion a rocket
MY CLOTHES ARE BLACK %^%^%^&(()+*_)+
Shoot to Mercury, for the winter
Extended vacation till I decompose on my splinters
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BA$S SHR3DDER
EVERYBODY WHIP OUT YO DICKS


I NEED AI know what this calls for
Where's my scalpel? Operation cut
Like I'm bored, sew my inner war up like corn rows
My internal war blows, like freezing fog in Oslo
Frozen, I can't get soft, baptized in hoarfrost
Like h
I hate you so much>?(*)&*((^%&*$%#^$^%$%^{}{}{}\||||
I hate your need a cause

I hate your faux touch::""}}{{>?<<<>>$$@#%#$@^@6256245
carbon monoxide garage
Freeze your blink like sandman's flus
52345

I hate every last one of you
I ponder digesting razors, just to be done with you
I love you so much

TWOEL
PLEASE TEACH ME SHAWN LANE

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Old 04-08-2020, 05:08 PM   #21
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

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Originally Posted by DrippingInsanity View Post
Aside from the Guthrie Govan Creative Guitar 1 & 2 books, what of his videos would you recommend? By not being to absorb the material in the Shawn Lane & Allan Holdsworth material, do you mean that I wouldn't fully understand it as I don't know the fundamentals and many things would just go right over my head?
I can't point to any specific Guthrie Govan vids, I just watched all the ones I could find on youtube and absorbed what I came across. Seriously, there's something to learn in every Guthrie video you can find. Just make sure you watch videos of him playing AND videos of him talking. I've yet to come across another guitarist that's able to express his musical ideas in plain English as eloquently and down-to-earth as Guthrie. You have assholes like Marshall Harrison who just uploads 2-hour long videos jerking his fretboard (like a master), with little to be said about what he's actually doing. Guthrie will actually teach you things, and his lessons always extend beyond just playing guitar. The guy is a fountain of knowledge.

Regarding the other books, you got my point. You won't fully understand the concepts or be able to utilize them for years. Shawn Lane's books might be good for you to find stretch/dexterity exercises for your fretting hand, if you're looking to discipline yourself. But you can find those anywhere, and to be honest, the fretting hand exercises in Guthrie's books are better and more diverse than any others I've come across. Lane's books are good for learning pentatonic licks in shifting quintuplet groups at lightning speed. That's about it. Nobody needs that, especially if you're just starting out.

Holdsworth's books are so advanced that people with 15 years of playing under their belt will still have trouble understanding what they're learning. Not to mention, it's incredibly difficult to play his material, your fingers are just not capable of holding and shifting the chords that are in Holdsworth's music. I can barely play any holdsworth songs well. That should tell you something about the difficulty level of his material.

By all means, please check these (or any books) out if you're drawn to them. Stepping out of your comfort zone is essential to progress. Just know that extreme self-discouragement lies ahead and your time can be spent better working on stuff that's still difficult, but not at astronomical levels relative to your playing ability.

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Originally Posted by DrippingInsanity View Post
I want to be able to write something that evokes an emotion or portrays a certain atmosphere I want to create. I want to be able to turn an emotion or a certain sound in my head and be able to express that in a riff/song.
That's an incredibly difficult thing to do, and most musicians can't do that. Anything I've ever written has been a long sculpting process of trial and error with all original intent being lost by the time I have anything resembling a song. I'm okay with that (kinda). I look up to many musicians that ascribe to the idea that they don't "write" songs, they find them.

Just know that what you're gunning for is something that is cultivated through years of painstaking development of songwriting, and not time spent learning how to shred. Obviously it's not that cut and dry, but you really do want to set your priorities and work on them incessantly. Look at basically every pure shred guitar album. I'd say 90% feature unimaginative trash songwriting, but stunning technical proficiency. That's because those guys spent most of their time on their instrument just running up and down scales, when they've could've been cultivating how to write songs. I fall in that boat, except I stopped focusing on shred guitar and have stuck with just learning riffs for a decade now. I told myself at a young age that I would focus on the technical aspect of playing, thinking that the rest will naturally follow, and I was dead wrong. I'm completely inept at songwriting, but I'm getting in the habit of working on that. Alternatively, I've talked to great songwriters who always regret not working on their technique more. There are players few and far inbetween that master both playing and writing. It's not supposed to be such a dichotomy, but it seems to be that way everywhere I look. Try and find a balance that works for you. Don't do what I did.

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Originally Posted by DrippingInsanity View Post
So many people keep saying, "just learn songs or riffs". But, how the hell am I suppose to do that if I have no idea how to play it? How do I know I'm not only playing it correctly, but also using techniques that are correct (as in, not using sloppy/wrong techniques)?
Learn to read sheet music and/or tabs (tabs are so much easier for guitar), and get cracking. My first 3 years playing guitar, I was doing everything wrong. I held my pick with 3 fingers, my fretting hand wrist was always at a 90 degree angle, I exerted too much pressure and tensed my body, etc. I have carpal tunnel and tendonitis, and I'm sure that my terrible technique (along with playing a few lifetimes of Counter-Strike at a young age) exacerbated that. I had no guide, other than whatever was available on the internet at the time. I didn't know what alternate picking was until I realized that I couldn't play the riff from Cowboys From Hell unless I changed something. And it's little milestones like that which will lead you to further develop your technique. Watch how other guitarists hold their pick, how their fretting hand looks, what their body posture looks like, and try to incorporate all of that into your own playing. You need to try everything, and you need to stick with whatever styles you choose for a considerable amount of time before trying to revamp your playing entirely. Having a guitar teacher will help streamline your development, but you need to find someone good, and you need to be willing to pay. If you have a shitty guitar teacher, you're better off learning on your own.

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Originally Posted by DrippingInsanity View Post
How would I even know what the guitarist's tuning is?
Tuning is usually written out in tabs and sheet music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrippingInsanity View Post
Also, if all I practice are riffs and solos from songs I like, when I go to make my own songs, wouldn't I basically be stealing directly from those artists and won't be creating anything new (if that makes sense)?
That's a valid question and it's something you have to be conscious of. There have been many times where I thought I had an original riff in my head, only to realize after playing it for 45 min, that it's a riff from a song that's been stuck in my head for a week. You can choose to chuck the idea, or reinvent it. There are only 12 notes in Western musical culture, indirect plagiarism is just an occupational hazard. Think of it like this: when you learned to speak English, how did you do it? You weren't forming "original" ideas, you were regurgitating everything that was spoken around you. You have to first establish yourself with an existing vocabulary in order to put original intent behind it.

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Originally Posted by DrippingInsanity View Post
What are your thoughts on learning sheet music and such?
I think you should have SOME understanding of basic theoretical concepts, but not from the get go. I'm assuming you're trying to learn guitar on your own, in which case, you have a lot to focus on already. You have enough on your plate. Learn how to read tabs, even just free text format tabs, find a simple song you like, and learn it however you can. Nowadays, there's probably a video of somebody playing it for your reference. The theoretical concepts behind the song don't mean shit if you're struggling to move around or even hold a sustained power chord. Get acquainted with the physical aspect of playing first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrippingInsanity View Post
What do you do for warmups (both when you were starting out and what you do now)?
I used to do warmups when I started out, but I was never strict about it. You'll probably find a bunch of exercises online that consist of playing frets 1, 2, 3, 4 on the low E string, repeating that sequence every next string, and then doing 4, 3, 2, 1 on each string going down. And then doing that same thing up the fretboard, one fret at a time, so it would frets 2, 3, 4, 5, and then 3, 4, 5, 6, etc. Those are useful for the first few months MAYBE, because all those exercises do is get basic playing motions ingrained in your hands.

The best exercises for you are the ones that target a problem area in your playing. If you can play those boring, chromatic exercises well enough, but you realize that you can't hold a barre chord to save your life, you should stop playing those single note exercises, and focus only on chord exercises. The more you learn a variety of songs, the more you'll come across techniques and problems that you didn't know existed. You should then force yourself to overcome those new hurdles, either by form of exercises/warm-ups, or just practicing the songs that give you trouble. I prefer dilligently practicing songs as a form of exercise. It keeps my mind and ear stimulated moreso than mindlessly sitting in front of a metronome.
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Old 04-09-2020, 05:16 AM   #22
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

CHRIST ON A BIKE
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Old 04-09-2020, 12:02 PM   #23
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

Don't vibrato like Vai or Loomis, your vibrato is supposed to be unique to you, but they play it like a small massage, Loomis more vigorously than Vai; you want Wylde's anger but with Loomis' poise, but Wylde's vibrato although majestic sounding looks like smashing a square peg into a round hole - his playing is always very aggressive mind, even his picking hand which I wouldn't recommend either, it should come from the wrist not the elbow.

Don't learn solos note for note, technique for technique, your weaknesses must be implemented with improvisation, this way you will find your own voice while humbling your idols.

I just discovered how much my opinions match Shred Durst, but I don't think he's wrong.

An English Youtube channel (Bradley Hall) just uploaded a video of extremely high action and I can't help but notice how much better his playing looks and sounds, although this will take more practice.

Develop your ear foremost over learning sheet music, try learning simple songs without tabs and jam to tracks in all different keys. Yes there's tonnes more theory than what I'm suggesting with major shapes and pentatonics, but musicans build there careers on blues scales and they are formidable players.

Andy James DVDs are the Guitar Shred in Six Weeks, I consider Andy James a great all-round player, he's not too flashy but melodically he's beautiful and technically he's just on-point; he also uses a lot of his limitations as strengths, his repertoir appears endless but he's really only using about 5-6 techniques which he'll touch on, along with the styles of 6 separate guitarists, throughout the series.

Rick Graham has a Youtube channel but his techniques fall outside of the basic major shapes shredding. Great though if you're looking for exercises that will work all four fingers every which way, get you working finding a crucial balance between legato/alternate/economy picking.

Forget Per Nilsson, Mansoor and Abasi for now, they have their own thing going, but if you were interested in modern fusion that's where the metal scene is taking it.

Guthrie and Rock Discipline by Petrucci are probably your best bets though, go with Oleg over anyone as he handles incredibly complex stuff seemingly effortlessly although I'm shocked he suffers from carpal tunnel; try to learn entire songs (not necessarily the solos unless they're particularly favorites of yours), but it will strengthen your hands in adjustment to that guitarist's style, playing one riff of each will just make you very very lazy and shorten your practice sessions.

A great Youtube channel is Danny Cynic, the guy is not a very good guitarist (his technique is very sloppy) yet he is motivated enough to learn all of these classic songs and he plays them well.

I have nothing but love for Kirk Hammett as he's the reason I started playing, but you listen to Fade to Black and he just hasn't practiced what's important, a blight of 80s shred mentality. Carlos Santana's phrasing is lovely but as far as overrated goes he's probably on top of the pile.

I hope this answers everything I sure hope it does because I keep having to look at Sandoval's cock when scrolling up to double check which questions I've answered.

Last edited by The Duff; 04-09-2020 at 12:05 PM..
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Old 04-09-2020, 12:48 PM   #24
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

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although I'm shocked he suffers from carpal tunnel
I got the evaluation when I was 19, and I actively tried to nip it in the bud from the get-go by revamping my playing techniques. This is when Guthrie really spoke to me because his lessons often focus on breathing, full body relaxation, and generally eliminating any tension from your playing mechanics and mental state. I haven't experienced any major pain in my wrists since then. Thanks for the kind words dude.
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Old 04-09-2020, 02:51 PM   #25
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

I’ve followed you for a while in awe; you cover the tracks I wish I could play. I tried lash by lash can’t get past the first riff. Might try some of their demo material as more manageable.

When I see covers of Defeated sanity, gorguts, Ulcerate I just get really low.

Also you criticize obscura for being run of the mill but you play in one of the most cutting edge Avantgarde death metal bands haha

As for starting out guitars a c-1 is optimal, thick neck and doesn’t give too much. I shudder at Ibanez, solar and kiesel, all these super slick mechanics that do the job for you. How do you find any soul to your playing but then my judgement is very ignorant - I associated 7 strings with KORN for the longest time now they’re the best decision I ever made.

But I love schecter.
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Old 04-11-2020, 06:40 PM   #26
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

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Originally Posted by ray12a View Post
man, it sounds to me like you?re trying to start at the finish line.

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Originally Posted by ziel View Post
I agree with Ray12a, it seems like you want everything all at once...and hell, who doesn't???
Not too sure what you two mean by me wanting to start at the finish line. I just want to ask as many questions as possible and be thorough considering who knows the next time everyone will be back on this here (if the forum is even up and running, like what happened before).

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Originally Posted by ziel View Post
I only started <8 months ago but it seems like you might have some experience already, either way I've been following Justin's lessons to get started. Maybe you should check it out to give yourself a small refresher? https://www.justinguitar.com/categor...essons-grade-1

I'm not too worried about trying to shred, vibrato, or playing Necrophagist but I still enjoy Petrucci's dvd a lot and I practice some of the exercises from there (mainly the stretching and scale fragments).




I found Ben Levin's videos very helpful. Here's a playlist link!
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...lMPwZerVApkqmk
Thanks for the links! I'll certainly check out Justin's lessons as I definitely need a refresher course since it's been so long. haha

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well i looked up your guitars and am not quite sure which way to think. both of your guitars have models with and without double locking floating trems. this determines how you interact with the different systems of a guitar. could you please point me in the right direction?
https://i.imgur.com/eR6YNTu.jpg
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Old 04-14-2020, 02:34 PM   #27
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oleg View Post
I can't point to any specific Guthrie Govan vids, I just watched all the ones I could find on youtube and absorbed what I came across. Seriously, there's something to learn in every Guthrie video you can find. Just make sure you watch videos of him playing AND videos of him talking. I've yet to come across another guitarist that's able to express his musical ideas in plain English as eloquently and down-to-earth as Guthrie. You have assholes like Marshall Harrison who just uploads 2-hour long videos jerking his fretboard (like a master), with little to be said about what he's actually doing. Guthrie will actually teach you things, and his lessons always extend beyond just playing guitar. The guy is a fountain of knowledge.
Geez, you weren't kidding. Started looking around and found a handful of videos of him just speaking about music & playing and, while some of it seemed so obvious when I heard it, I didn't really think of it that way before watching the video.

Unrelated to playing, I've noticed that both in Creative Guitar 1 and in maaany of his videos, the first time he says something about guys playing guitar, he always makes sure to say something like, "who are we kidding, playing guitar is predominately done by guys". lol Just thought it was interesting that he keeps saying that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oleg View Post
Regarding the other books, you got my point. You won't fully understand the concepts or be able to utilize them for years. Shawn Lane's books might be good for you to find stretch/dexterity exercises for your fretting hand, if you're looking to discipline yourself. But you can find those anywhere, and to be honest, the fretting hand exercises in Guthrie's books are better and more diverse than any others I've come across. Lane's books are good for learning pentatonic licks in shifting quintuplet groups at lightning speed. That's about it. Nobody needs that, especially if you're just starting out.

Holdsworth's books are so advanced that people with 15 years of playing under their belt will still have trouble understanding what they're learning. Not to mention, it's incredibly difficult to play his material, your fingers are just not capable of holding and shifting the chords that are in Holdsworth's music. I can barely play any holdsworth songs well. That should tell you something about the difficulty level of his material.

By all means, please check these (or any books) out if you're drawn to them. Stepping out of your comfort zone is essential to progress. Just know that extreme self-discouragement lies ahead and your time can be spent better working on stuff that's still difficult, but not at astronomical levels relative to your playing ability.
In that case, I'll probably just try to find the books by Lane & Holdsworth and put them aside, that way I have them when I need them in the future. I watched a bit of one of Holdsworth's videos and I can tell exactly what you mean. He was explaining how he mapped out scales & such through math and then for chords, he made up his own language to decipher each kind of chord. Crazy. Although, I will say that if I were to have a guitar player to look up to, it'd be more Lane than Holdsworth.


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Originally Posted by Oleg View Post
That's an incredibly difficult thing to do, and most musicians can't do that. Anything I've ever written has been a long sculpting process of trial and error with all original intent being lost by the time I have anything resembling a song. I'm okay with that (kinda). I look up to many musicians that ascribe to the idea that they don't "write" songs, they find them.

Just know that what you're gunning for is something that is cultivated through years of painstaking development of songwriting, and not time spent learning how to shred. Obviously it's not that cut and dry, but you really do want to set your priorities and work on them incessantly. Look at basically every pure shred guitar album. I'd say 90% feature unimaginative trash songwriting, but stunning technical proficiency. That's because those guys spent most of their time on their instrument just running up and down scales, when they've could've been cultivating how to write songs. I fall in that boat, except I stopped focusing on shred guitar and have stuck with just learning riffs for a decade now. I told myself at a young age that I would focus on the technical aspect of playing, thinking that the rest will naturally follow, and I was dead wrong. I'm completely inept at songwriting, but I'm getting in the habit of working on that. Alternatively, I've talked to great songwriters who always regret not working on their technique more. There are players few and far inbetween that master both playing and writing. It's not supposed to be such a dichotomy, but it seems to be that way everywhere I look. Try and find a balance that works for you. Don't do what I did.
Oh, I definitely know that it'll take a loooong time to be able to do anything close to being able to write a song or riff that portrays the emotion/atmosphere I want to emulate. Also that it'll be a trial & error process, like you mentioned. I know not to put myself in a box and that only these certain scales/chords can create one type of emotion and that's all I can use in a song. What I kind of meant more was that I want to be able to have a bank of scales/chords/etc and know what (in general) which kinds of things would closely help me create that atmosphere, if that makes sense.

As I mentioned in a previous comment, I will want to have the skill of shred whenever needed. But, being a good songwriter and having the ability to craft a song that makes the listener feel a certain emotion or puts them into a different world is what I'd be more interested in learning to do. I suppose I never really put it in those terms before reading your comments, so thanks for that insight. Now, I know this question is going to be vague and will be hard to put into words, but what kinds of things would you say that have helped you become a better songwriter?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oleg View Post
Learn to read sheet music and/or tabs (tabs are so much easier for guitar), and get cracking. My first 3 years playing guitar, I was doing everything wrong. I held my pick with 3 fingers, my fretting hand wrist was always at a 90 degree angle, I exerted too much pressure and tensed my body, etc. I have carpal tunnel and tendonitis, and I'm sure that my terrible technique (along with playing a few lifetimes of Counter-Strike at a young age) exacerbated that. I had no guide, other than whatever was available on the internet at the time. I didn't know what alternate picking was until I realized that I couldn't play the riff from Cowboys From Hell unless I changed something. And it's little milestones like that which will lead you to further develop your technique. Watch how other guitarists hold their pick, how their fretting hand looks, what their body posture looks like, and try to incorporate all of that into your own playing. You need to try everything, and you need to stick with whatever styles you choose for a considerable amount of time before trying to revamp your playing entirely. Having a guitar teacher will help streamline your development, but you need to find someone good, and you need to be willing to pay. If you have a shitty guitar teacher, you're better off learning on your own. Tuning is usually written out in tabs and sheet music.
Yeah, I remember when I first got my guitar when I was like 12, the guitar teacher I had would only want me to bring in songs I wanted to learn and he'd tab them out. Unfortunately, at that time, I was mostly into punk stuff. So, everything he'd tab out was just power chords and like 10 note solos. lol There was another teacher right next to his door and I was always jealous of not having him as he seemed to actually teach his students.

Out of curiosity, Lane & Holdsworth aside, what other guitarists did you learn from in terms of incorporating into your own playing?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oleg View Post
That's a valid question and it's something you have to be conscious of. There have been many times where I thought I had an original riff in my head, only to realize after playing it for 45 min, that it's a riff from a song that's been stuck in my head for a week. You can choose to chuck the idea, or reinvent it. There are only 12 notes in Western musical culture, indirect plagiarism is just an occupational hazard. Think of it like this: when you learned to speak English, how did you do it? You weren't forming "original" ideas, you were regurgitating everything that was spoken around you. You have to first establish yourself with an existing vocabulary in order to put original intent behind it.

I think you should have SOME understanding of basic theoretical concepts, but not from the get go. I'm assuming you're trying to learn guitar on your own, in which case, you have a lot to focus on already. You have enough on your plate. Learn how to read tabs, even just free text format tabs, find a simple song you like, and learn it however you can. Nowadays, there's probably a video of somebody playing it for your reference. The theoretical concepts behind the song don't mean shit if you're struggling to move around or even hold a sustained power chord. Get acquainted with the physical aspect of playing first.
Putting it in that kind of context makes more sense now. Speaking of learning riffs/etc, aside from figuring it out yourself, do you have a favorite site(s) to get tabs from?
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Old 04-14-2020, 02:35 PM   #28
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oleg View Post
I used to do warmups when I started out, but I was never strict about it. You'll probably find a bunch of exercises online that consist of playing frets 1, 2, 3, 4 on the low E string, repeating that sequence every next string, and then doing 4, 3, 2, 1 on each string going down. And then doing that same thing up the fretboard, one fret at a time, so it would frets 2, 3, 4, 5, and then 3, 4, 5, 6, etc. Those are useful for the first few months MAYBE, because all those exercises do is get basic playing motions ingrained in your hands.

The best exercises for you are the ones that target a problem area in your playing. If you can play those boring, chromatic exercises well enough, but you realize that you can't hold a barre chord to save your life, you should stop playing those single note exercises, and focus only on chord exercises. The more you learn a variety of songs, the more you'll come across techniques and problems that you didn't know existed. You should then force yourself to overcome those new hurdles, either by form of exercises/warm-ups, or just practicing the songs that give you trouble. I prefer dilligently practicing songs as a form of exercise. It keeps my mind and ear stimulated moreso than mindlessly sitting in front of a metronome.
Yeah, I started to do the chromatic exercise you mentioned (1,2,3,4 on low e -> 2,3,4,5 on A, etc -> go back in reverse -> 1,2,3,4 on each string -> same as beginning except start on high e and go up and then more added to that) where I do that pattern at a certain bpm. Then, when I play it without messing up and play it clearly, bump up the bmps and then so on. I've noticed that while it is mind-numbing to do, it loosens up my fingers and I feel like I can move between random chords easier. Though, anytime I pick up the guitar, I would do this just as a warmup, just like you'd do some stretches before going on a run or something.

It definitely seems that I've got quite the road ahead of me. The biggest thing that's been daunting me is where to begin, when there's just so much I need to learn and practice, you know?

In any case, I cannot thank you enough to take the time out of your day to thoroughly answer my questions! I truly appreciate it.
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Old 04-14-2020, 03:18 PM   #29
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Duff View Post
Don't vibrato like Vai or Loomis, your vibrato is supposed to be unique to you, but they play it like a small massage, Loomis more vigorously than Vai; you want Wylde's anger but with Loomis' poise, but Wylde's vibrato although majestic sounding looks like smashing a square peg into a round hole - his playing is always very aggressive mind, even his picking hand which I wouldn't recommend either, it should come from the wrist not the elbow.

Don't learn solos note for note, technique for technique, your weaknesses must be implemented with improvisation, this way you will find your own voice while humbling your idols.

I just discovered how much my opinions match Shred Durst, but I don't think he's wrong.

Develop your ear foremost over learning sheet music, try learning simple songs without tabs and jam to tracks in all different keys. Yes there's tonnes more theory than what I'm suggesting with major shapes and pentatonics, but musicans build there careers on blues scales and they are formidable players.

Andy James DVDs are the Guitar Shred in Six Weeks, I consider Andy James a great all-round player, he's not too flashy but melodically he's beautiful and technically he's just on-point; he also uses a lot of his limitations as strengths, his repertoir appears endless but he's really only using about 5-6 techniques which he'll touch on, along with the styles of 6 separate guitarists, throughout the series.

Rick Graham has a Youtube channel but his techniques fall outside of the basic major shapes shredding. Great though if you're looking for exercises that will work all four fingers every which way, get you working finding a crucial balance between legato/alternate/economy picking.

Forget Per Nilsson, Mansoor and Abasi for now, they have their own thing going, but if you were interested in modern fusion that's where the metal scene is taking it.

Guthrie and Rock Discipline by Petrucci are probably your best bets though, go with Oleg over anyone as he handles incredibly complex stuff seemingly effortlessly although I'm shocked he suffers from carpal tunnel; try to learn entire songs (not necessarily the solos unless they're particularly favorites of yours), but it will strengthen your hands in adjustment to that guitarist's style, playing one riff of each will just make you very very lazy and shorten your practice sessions.

A great Youtube channel is Danny Cynic, the guy is not a very good guitarist (his technique is very sloppy) yet he is motivated enough to learn all of these classic songs and he plays them well.

I have nothing but love for Kirk Hammett as he's the reason I started playing, but you listen to Fade to Black and he just hasn't practiced what's important, a blight of 80s shred mentality. Carlos Santana's phrasing is lovely but as far as overrated goes he's probably on top of the pile.

I hope this answers everything I sure hope it does because I keep having to look at Sandoval's cock when scrolling up to double check which questions I've answered.
I think I understand what you're saying about vibrato and those specific guitarists. Thank you as well for taking the time to answer some of my dumb questions! I'll look up Cynic & graham's youtube channels and Andy James DVDS.
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Old 04-15-2020, 03:27 PM   #30
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Re: Beginning Guitar [Help Wanted]

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Originally Posted by DrippingInsanity View Post
Now, I know this question is going to be vague and will be hard to put into words, but what kinds of things would you say that have helped you become a better songwriter?
Well, my songwriting is still garbage, but what's been pushing me the most is working with Dan in Artificial Brain. Working with him closely got me more inspired than anything to try writing. He pushed me to start writing a riff a day for a month, then writing two conjoined riffs a day, then 3, etc. It was around that time that I was also feeling really stuck as a guitarist, because I wasn't getting the same level of satisfaction or reward from learning other songs, no matter how difficult or ambitious of a song it may be. So I figured the next logical step is to leave that behind, and focus on songwriting.

I try to listen to music differently now. I tend to be a very analytical person and I get hung up on details, so I often lose sight of the bigger picture. I actively try to change that by paying more attention to song structures, motifs, arrangment of riffs, etc. Made me realize that a lot of metal bands really are just riff salad, and there isn't some crazy abstract/linear superiority happening. There's just a lot of guys who slap riffs together without putting much thought into it and calling it a song. Not to say there's anything wrong with that, but I always had this underlying idea in my head, that most music is written with clear intent and knowledge that I didn't possess. My point is, anything that seems esoteric usually is just plain and simple humans getting shit done via trial and error (and you can too!).

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Originally Posted by DrippingInsanity View Post
Out of curiosity, Lane & Holdsworth aside, what other guitarists did you learn from in terms of incorporating into your own playing?
When I was starting out, I went absolutely nuts for any and all shred guitarists. Yngwie, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Greg Howe, Jason Becker, all those guys, even fuckin' Rusty Cooley. That got old quick, although I can stil jam Vai and Yngwie's first albums and have my jaw on the floor. Nowadays, if I had to choose three guitarists to idolize with their mastery of song crafting and technicality, it would be Guthrie Govan, Dan Mongrain (Martyr, Voivod) and Carl-Michael Eide (Virus).


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Originally Posted by DrippingInsanity View Post
do you have a favorite site(s) to get tabs from?
I mostly learn stuff by ear nowadays, so there may be more up to date info elsewhere, but Ultimate-Guitar is what I use if I ever need to find tabs. As far as I'm aware, it's the largest database since Power Tab archives got shut down like 10 years ago.
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