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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm really having a problem and I need recommendation.. Two years into guitar.. I can play like the whole of Master of Puppets and songs that are a bit up tempo but nothing like Gilbert..I can say I have decent speed and decent rhythm.. But maybe I need more speed? more rhythm? Recently, I've just been sitting stupidly playin nothing on my guitar.. and I dnt know any music theory because it doesnt make sense to me.. and I dont really have any practice planned out.. like ever since I've moved here, I felt I've gone backwards like my pick feels weird (seriously!).. so what do you think i should go onto now? learn more songs?.. figure out a whole book on theory?
 

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I suggest that you learn a bit of music theory. Listening to a wide range of artists isn't bad too. Listening to artists like Pat Metheny and Vai will help you understand music better (i.e the composition of the song, musical direction etc). Practicing scales will help you improve your speed, especially if you have a metronome. You may want to hear from more experienced players on this site, as I'm kinda in your position at the moment. :)
 

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It appears that you don't have a goal in mind.

Think of that. Things like "Playing like Gilbert" are too general. What specifically do you want to do? That will help you decide your next steps. Thing to keep in mind is that playing nonsense could still be helpful, especially when it comes to improvising, and composing. Also, structure your practices. Do things like the Rock Discipline thing (start with warm ups, stretching, then do scales, then do legatto stuff, arps, chords, then do what your goal is (or work on it)).
 

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Hi. I would highly suggest getting in a band or just finding some friends to play with. You'll be amazed at how much that can give you direction as well as incentive to practice on your own. Playing with a decent drummer will let you know pretty quickly how your rhythm chops are. Good luck and have fun... that's what it's ultimately about.
 

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The slower you play the faster you'll be.Wired I know but it does help to tell what your weaknesses are.
Speed takes time but isn't the b all & the end all of guitar playing.Although I can shred my nut's off.Pink floyd doesn't go at anywere near the speed that Via/Satch/Patrucci go but does as good! I like to play fast myself & it's taken years.What you should do is listen to your hero's & they will cahnge through the years & then adjust what why have learnt to build upon your own style.Then your be a playing guru in no time.It just takes time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
mi2tom said:
I don't know what happen to you but maybe you aren't enjoying what you're playing
Not saying this in a bad way.. but nah.. i'm not losing interest.. in fact, one of the reasons why I learnt guitar was that i realized i could make/play music and create sounds that are appealin to people's ear.. kinda weird.. but ya.. it's just that i'm not developing as much as i had i guess is what im trying to say.. I guess what I'm saying is.. should I ultimately focus on techniques or on music theory now and move on? Ps. know any sites where they teach music theory in English and not in their own language? Thanks!
 

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I agree with Ibateur, in that it seems that you don't have any specific goal(s) in mind.

One thing you can try is to just jot down your short term goals. For example some things that you'd like to "get done" within the next month or two months. (i.e.: Learn a "showcase piece", get into a band, improve your scale knowledge, metronome work, etc....)

Then, also jot down your long term goals. Things you hope to acheive over the next 6 months to a year. (i.e.: Gig with your band, begin writing your own songs, etc....)

Doesn't necessarily have to be anything that is listed above, those are just suggestions. It really comes down to what's important for you.

I don't think you need to focus on any one thing specifically. All things contribute to the big picture.

If you don't have a "practice routine". Meaning, if your current practice session is basically made up of you just noodling aimlessly. Then, you might want to put some order to it. This way you're actually "getting something out of it".

- Warm up (includes scale/metronome work)
- Work on songs, or showcase piece. (Try to learn entire songs, instead of just little bits and pieces.)
- Work on your WEAKNESSESS. Perhaps there's a part of a song you are having difficulty with, OR it might be a very small section of a solo that's giving you trouble.

Whatever it may be, when you hit that trouble spot, STOP and see what the problem is. Then, put together your own exercise to address that problem.
- Work on "the little things", like vibrato, bending in tune, phrasing, inflection, etc...
- Learning Modal Theory at least will help you understand "what's going on". Which will help you find more possiblities. The rest comes from your own creativity, and your ears.

Like Ibateur mentioned, "Playing like Paul Gilbert" is too broad of a statement, and is not really a "goal". But, it is a start.

Meaning, break out your metronome, learn how to sub-divide beats, and get your picking in order....(Warm-up section of your practice session) Then, take it from there.

"What else do you want or feel you need to learn/do in order to "Play like Paul Gilbert"?

Hopefully some of this helps.
 

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arthurlee04 said:
Not saying this in a bad way.. but nah.. i'm not losing interest.. in fact, one of the reasons why I learnt guitar was that i realized i could make/play music and create sounds that are appealin to people's ear.. kinda weird.. but ya.. it's just that i'm not developing as much as i had i guess is what im trying to say.. I guess what I'm saying is.. should I ultimately focus on techniques or on music theory now and move on? Ps. know any sites where they teach music theory in English and not in their own language? Thanks!
May be you're trying to hard.... ;) Anyway I've learn to play the guitar first and then only I learn theory... Guitar wise I play it and learn it mostly by myself, I have a teacher for only one year and ready to go by myself.. And theory wise I get a teacher, learning it for one and the half year and currently stuck at grade six... It's fascinating to know that music theory is very damn important. There are the stave, Keys, modulation to subdominant or dominant, able to hear the differences of major and minor, been able to tell your teacher what interval is that, for example he'll play two notes and you got to tell him what are the intervals.. major 2nd, minor 3rd, perfect 4th??? or perfect 5th???? or an octave. Ahh an octave is easy :wink:, composing using the stave alone only (this is very challenging but it's cool) I get to know all those classical composers Bach, Beethoven, chopin, Mozart, Handel, Wagner, Lizst this crap can go on. And the music era of that time , Baroque period, Classical period, Romantic period, impressionism period, anti romanticism period, And I get to know how music evolve that time to the music today. Hell.. I get to know how rock music was formed .. it's a fusion between blues and country.... And I got to know the range of orchestra instrument, strings (violin, viola, cello, double bass), woodwind (clarinet, flute, piccolo, etc), brass (trumpet, horn, saxophone), percussion (timpani, bass drum, xylophone) and this is only at grade six. Grade 7 and grade 8 is hell.... I'm very happy that I took up theory. It aids your playing a lot... For example before I've taken up theory I can only improvise in one key...... now I can apply my theory to good use Modulating from it's tonic key to it's dominant and so on and so forth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
WOW! Thank you so much. Especially Angelo and mi2tom. Two years on guitar and I think I've been doing what Angelo has mentioned like working on weakness, eg. Rhythm. And I really think that it's time to get my brains to work and learn how to create music than to focus on techniques. Thanks!
 

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Kamikaze's advice is good, try to listen to other artists, especially non-guitar ones. Maybe try listening to some classical music as well. You won't necessarily be able to apply any of what you hear to guitar, but over time some of it will creep in there by osmosis, and would make your playing more interesting.

Try picking up some music theory. It is definately beneficial, as mi2tom said, but you might not have the time for such thorough study of it as he sugested. Maybe start off by learning scales on the guitar fretboard, and how they relate to chords (try to "find the chord shapes within the scale", very useful for soloing over chordds). Also try to learn how chords are constructed (with chord formulas, i.e. major chord = 1 3 5 note of the scale, minor chord = 1 b3 5, etc...). This way you will be able to work out more advanced chords without haveing to memorise them.

As for technique, as mentioned before, practice with metronome will help you develop speed. For more subtle things like bends and vibrato, try to learn a few slower solos note by note (something by David Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, or Eric Clapton would be good) and try to get all the nuances right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
pawel said:
Kamikaze's advice is good, try to listen to other artists, especially non-guitar ones. Maybe try listening to some classical music as well. You won't necessarily be able to apply any of what you hear to guitar, but over time some of it will creep in there by osmosis, and would make your playing more interesting.

Try picking up some music theory. It is definately beneficial, as mi2tom said, but you might not have the time for such thorough study of it as he sugested. Maybe start off by learning scales on the guitar fretboard, and how they relate to chords (try to "find the chord shapes within the scale", very useful for soloing over chordds). Also try to learn how chords are constructed (with chord formulas, i.e. major chord = 1 3 5 note of the scale, minor chord = 1 b3 5, etc...). This way you will be able to work out more advanced chords without haveing to memorise them.

As for technique, as mentioned before, practice with metronome will help you develop speed. For more subtle things like bends and vibrato, try to learn a few slower solos note by note (something by David Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, or Eric Clapton would be good) and try to get all the nuances right.
Yeah i think i actually am going to get a teacher because books can't really teach you and explain it to you in depth like a teacher. As for the metronome, I think that's one of the things I've been able to do more than any other 'cause I've spent lots of time with drummers playing. And I have a friend who likes Vai but he's reluctant to play with a drummer to a simple song cause it's too easy but I've told him so many times you learn so much by being in a band. I guess all I need is to practice a lot, focus more, and most importantly, learn some theory. Lots of homework! =P
 

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You want to play like gilbert etc?

gl, they practise EVERY day, for usually 5 hrs or more. Thats why they are the best, their life is guitar, its their job.
Unless you want to practise that much, it will take a long time to get any where near as good as they are.
Ive had 2 great guitar teachers, both have been playing since around the age of 14, and still havnt reached that level of skill.

It requires dedication, and a **** load of time.
Also you cant try to be like someone else, try to be original in what you do, not just another rip off.
 

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wallie! said:
also improvisation is very important.

gilbert, petrucci, vai etc can all improvise, so its a good skill to have.
For improvisation, I suggest getting into some Jazz players, I wouldn't call any of the above an authority on improv. I wouldn't be surprised if they could all blow over a Jazz tune, but we're not likely to hear that anytime soon.
 

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Jazz is a bad example, but they certainly know their theory. Im saying they know it so well they could easily improvise to say a blues backing track or something :p

Bit hard for them if they arent "lilly livered jazz enthusiasts" :p
 

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...well, here's my advice!

Master of Puppets, if you can truly play the song in it's full form, solos and all, at tempo, cleanly, then you're on your way and are ready for newer music styles.

But if all you want to do is get up to Gilbert speed, then you've already got the basics. You just break it down into smaller bits and learn how to alternate pick like crazy!...but without some type of knowledge of what sounds good together, it's kinda useless....you just sound like mush after that.

Keep practicing on Master. Listen to the chords, transitions. You can come up with a load of "Guitar Discipline" by taking that song apart!

Some other advice?...sometimes, find some guitar based bands you really like and, purposely, DON'T learn how to play it!...learn to enjoy the guitar without having the 'need' to know how to play it. I find that cuts down on the 'wear and tear' boredom factor.

Good luck, and keep it fun.
 
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