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Old 11-01-2011, 02:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Not sure where this goes, so i guessed. I've been playing for about a year and half without really letting anyone other than direct family hear me. I need some feedback. Some tips on how to be better, maybe bad habits or something. Anything (BTW, I know during the end I went out of key, I lost my place. )

youtube.com/watch?v=wJPMhOj-gEQ]Jamming.wmv
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Old 11-02-2011, 05:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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1 - If you're gonna play to something, make absolutely sure you're in time. There are plenty of online metronomes that will help you keep a steady rythm. This is the NUMBER ONE thing in sounding professional. You can get away with being slightly out of tune, musicians will notice but an audience won't, not until you're WAY off. On the other hand, if an audience hears you go out of time with the rest of the band, they're going to nail it instantly.

Don't be fooled into thinking a looper means you're playing in time btw. Its very easy to loop something that speeds up or slows down. Use a proper, steady source of rythm. If its a backing track, thats fine, if its a metronome, again, fine. Just make sure its something.

2 - Don't try and run before you can walk. The thing that seperates a hobbyist from a professional is control. If you can't play something perfectly, don't play it at all, outside of practice. People are more impressed by nursery rhymes played perfectly than they are by shred played badly.You need to be able to admit to yourself when you can't play something. If you think of playing a lick as "moving your fingers this way", then you're going to be missing the whole point, which is that you should be able to listen to a recording of yourself playing that lick, and say "I think that could be on the original CD and sound like it fit". Thats the difference between professionals and amateurs. Being able to hold yourself to a standard one or two levels higher than other people.

As an example, Guthrie Govan is a MONSTER guitar player. He doesn't practice for speed. He practices until he can play what he wants to play, and, to rephrase what he says, "If a time comes when you need that little bit of extra speed, it should already be there at your fingertips because of the practice you've done at slower speeds"

3 - FOCUS ON YOUR PICKING HAND.

Watch this video. -
Paul Gilbert - Technical Difficulties + Tabs - YouTube

This song is HARD AS HELL to play. It could be made a LOT easier if it weren't for one thing. Paul Gilbert picks almost every ****ing note in the entire song.

Now listen to this: Jacqueline92's Channel - YouTube

This girl has a ****ing legion of youtube followers because of the way she looks, but if you can watch this video without thinking with your dick, you'll realise that actually, she kind of ****ing sucks. She plays a few really really fast passages in this video that are TERRIBLE. You know why they're terrible? Because her RIGHT hand is doing completely different **** to her LEFT hand. She's spazzing the **** out with her right hand to pick fast, while she flails with her left hand to hit a lot of notes. She has NO IDEA how the two are interacting during that time. She couldn't repeat the phrase at a slow speed if she tried, because she probably THINKS she's playing something completely different to what she IS.

Maintain an awareness of EXACTLY what your hands are doing to create EACH NOTE. If you're playing slow, thats easy, but you should be able to play a really fast lick and at the same time say to yourself afterwards "I know that every time I changed note in that lick, BOTH hands did it at the SAME time."


As far as exact practice tips, there aren't really many good ones. The more you play and the more you push yourself the better you will get an the faster you will get better. Learning difficult things is one half of the key to practicing effectively.

The other half of practicing effectively is knowing your own limits. Its very easy to fool yourself into thinking you can play something, when in reality you're just fluffing your way through it. Listen to the sound coming out of the amp, or record yourself. Then compare what you hear, to the sound you expect of a really good musician. The likelihood is, even when you reach a professional level, there'll be a process going on where you do this and the first time, you say "No, that sounds horrible", then you practice and you get there bit by bit until you can say to yourself "I can play this song as well as anyone should be expected to play this song".


EDIT: IMPORTANT **** I JUST REMEMBERED TO INCLUDE

Ok, so I just realised, there is exactly ONE thing that will ALWAYS help with your practice. (Ok, so I lied, there are a couple times it wont, but they fall into one, very specific category - Effects that can only be brought out of the guitar with distortion. Stuff like the tapped harmonics in the "beat it" solo)

If you cannot play a song and have it sound good, and right, and correct, on a CLEAN amplifier channel, you have work to do. Distortion masks ALL KINDS of mistakes, from sloppy palm muting to missed notes, even being out of tune. If you can't play a song on a clean channel and be happy with the way it sounds, then you're subconsciously RELYING on the way distortion masks your mistakes. Practice clean the majority of the time, at least until you get confident in the way you practice.
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Last edited by GuitarBizarre; 11-02-2011 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 11-03-2011, 07:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow, I've never seen anybody offer such a comprehensive response for a 'get it and quit it' OP. You probably deserve an award for that.

You might also want to mention that foot tapping is a good way to keep time in transition from a metronome to playing alongside an actual drummer. Most professional musicians don't in a live setting, but there are still plenty of guitarists (like the Edge) who still keep time by tapping their feet.
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Old 11-12-2011, 09:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucifer_sam View Post
Wow, I've never seen anybody offer such a comprehensive response for a 'get it and quit it' OP. You probably deserve an award for that.

You might also want to mention that foot tapping is a good way to keep time in transition from a metronome to playing alongside an actual drummer. Most professional musicians don't in a live setting, but there are still plenty of guitarists (like the Edge) who still keep time by tapping their feet.
Yea man gb always gives great answers in the forum section.


GuitarB: So many times on youtube I will see a male play something better than a female and he will get shat on while she is praised with 2million views. Kind of sad really.
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Wow, great advice and plenty of it! THANK YOU!
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