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Old 08-27-2017, 05:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How can I improve my guitar playing?

I've owned an electric guitar for over 3 years, however I don't think my skill has improved a lot even though I practise for a few hours over the course of each week. My style comprises of power chords and strumming (almost in a way reminiscent of the late 80s Wedding Present stuff, with a tendency for the strumming to speed up at the end of a sequence), plus individual strings of chords played in a sequence, since I find this is more melodic than some experimental guitar solo, plus it's way easier. Normally I use a distortion pedal with a small amount of reverb, which creates a slightly jangly distorted tone similar to the old Mission of Burma material. I actually kind of like the way I sound but I still feel I'm not very good and that I'm a little out of sync at times (despite some people I don't know personally saying they found my stuff interesting) and I also can't think of anyone else that sounds exactly like me on the guitar. I have no idea how to play solos or anything that doesn't involve basic chords.

Not for song critique purposes, but for reference to give you an idea of how my guitar playing sounds, here are a handful of awful demos of original songs that I made between 2014 and now:

Victim Of The Modern World (2017)

Hours Division (2017)

Dublin Skies (2014)

I don't want to sound like Yngwie Malmsteen, since it would take a lot of practise and I don't even find him enjoyable - in other words it's money for nothing.

One thing I've found is that I find using a guitar pick gives a very scratchy sound, and so I strum with my index finger and pick out strings with my thumb, which works fine for my playing style.

I really don't know why I sound the way I sound (most people, even players of a similar ability level, sound different) and why I struggle emulating other styles, even after 3 years. Can people please critique my existing guitar style and more importantly suggest ways that I can/should improve.

Last edited by RJDG14; 08-27-2017 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 08-27-2017, 05:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Noodle.

If chords are what you're good with, dig deeper into them and learn how to add more dynamic to them. It was a big step for me when I started playing with chord structures and picking style as a way to sound like multiple instruments were playing at once.

I would learn songs that I want to emulate so that you can build a sort of muscle memory in a style of playing that you enjoy. Fwiw I think you approach jangly chords well. Maybe playing around with your tone more (or even trying out a couple of different guitars, if possible) can help you explore and expand the way you play if you feel like you're in a rut.
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Old 08-27-2017, 05:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 08-27-2017, 09:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Noodle.

If chords are what you're good with, dig deeper into them and learn how to add more dynamic to them. It was a big step for me when I started playing with chord structures and picking style as a way to sound like multiple instruments were playing at once.

I would learn songs that I want to emulate so that you can build a sort of muscle memory in a style of playing that you enjoy. Fwiw I think you approach jangly chords well. Maybe playing around with your tone more (or even trying out a couple of different guitars, if possible) can help you explore and expand the way you play if you feel like you're in a rut.
Why do you think I approach jangly chords best in your opinion? Just wondering.
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Old 08-27-2017, 09:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Mostly your guitar tone, but I think it's also the way that you sustain your chords along with how it sounds like you're playing all or most of the strings when you strum.
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Old 10-19-2017, 02:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Why do you think I approach jangly chords best in your opinion? Just wondering.
"jangle chords" are literally just open chords

you can get a capo to raise your pitch while still getting the open strings

you want to turn your treble up and bass down, generally use chorus+delay, adjust gain depending on how much attitude you want

the single note parts are picked apart cowboy chords usually so majors with 7ths

(generally speaking)
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Old 10-19-2017, 02:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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chorus
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Old 10-19-2017, 03:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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what's ur problem
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Old 10-19-2017, 03:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Chorus is a crutch and not even a cool one like delay.
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Old 10-19-2017, 04:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I hate to shatter any illusions but as far as the jangle angle even in a Marr piece that's all chorus

I feel the crutch thing when scrubs use too much reverb
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