> What Are Your Weaknesses
Daniel Robinson
post May 5 2008, 07:48 AM
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Everyone always wants to be the best they can be, but as humans we tend to play to our strengths and ignore our weaknesses.

The same holds true for guitar playing, do you know what your weaknesses are as a player? I would assume most of you know where you are weak in your playing.

I would ask you all.

What are your weak spots in your playing and what can we do to help you overcome them?

Some weaknesses are relatively simple to correct, some are very difficult but until we admit to what we have to work on we will continue to ignore them and our goal of mastering the instrument will become very difficult and frustrating.

I will go first and tell you all that my legato technique is not what it should be, i tend to use my picking skills as a crutch in alot of circumstances. Don't get me wrong i can play legato but its not as smooth as i would like it to be so i have set aside time in my practicing schedule to really get down and dirty to put this problem area to rest.

I have started working on just strengthening my fingers doing trills and hammer on drills, to facilitate this i have also put 12's on my second guitar so i have to work harder to acheive the legato sound in the end i think i will make my fingers alot stronger. Even the last few days i have done this i have seen remarkable increase in finger strength.


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post May 5 2008, 03:50 PM
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Oh dear - I don't have any weaknessess at all... tongue.gif

Seriously I do have some trouble performing a good first finger vibrato in the forearm twisting fashion. Have you any tips for that Daniel - I really think I just haven't put in enough hours yet for it to feel easy, but any extra info could help.

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Daniel Robinson
post May 6 2008, 04:48 PM
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QUOTE (PlayAllDay @ May 5 2008, 10:50 AM) *
Oh dear - I don't have any weaknessess at all... tongue.gif

Seriously I do have some trouble performing a good first finger vibrato in the forearm twisting fashion. Have you any tips for that Daniel - I really think I just haven't put in enough hours yet for it to feel easy, but any extra info could help.


I don't use this vibrato much at all but when i have i can say for sure its less about finger strength as it is forearm strength. Which is the reason i tend not to use it. I have small forearms and wrists hence wimpy. A friend of mine uses this vibrato almost exclusively. He worked on building up his forearm with a weight. What he did was tie a string to a 5 pound weight and just lift the weight up and down by turning his forearm while resting his arm on a chair arm. Make sure you lock your finger straight before execution so it all comes from the wrist.

I have found when trying this vibrato that the vibrato is much more pronounced, which means you can hear very clearly if your going out of pitch. Be very careful that your movement is smooth and even, because even the slightest flutter from your finger or guitar movement can throw your pitch out.

Again also i mention as i did above to someone else make sure your vibrato fluctuations are close to a natural tempo against whatever it is your playing.

Another thing to point out about vibrato in general is you don't always have to do it right away. Think of vibrato like you would a singers voice. When they land on a long note the vibrato doesnt always start immediately. Try land dead on a pitch and holding it for a second then vibrato, try different lengths before starting to use it. It can add huge impact of emotion to the playing just by changing that subtle thing.

Thats the best advice i can give you on the subject since i don't personally use that vibrato myself, but i am sure there are others here who do who might be able to help you beyond what i have stated.


QUOTE (rokchik @ May 5 2008, 11:17 AM) *
Fantastic topic Daniel smile.gif

As for my weaknesses well I think I may crash GMC if I list them all tongue.gif wink.gif But some of what I've been trying to correct lately is my alternate picking - same as Andrew said the cleanliness and speed. I've noticed as well since I started recording myself that I tend to cut notes short, I don't let them ring so I've been working on that a lot the last few days and my vibrato is horrible, again something I noticed since I started recording. Those are just a few I've been trying to improve lately but the list goes on and on my friend.


Well if you crash GMC its for all the right reasons wink.gif

Anyway i have posted several thoughts on the AP aspect of playing with previous people so just peruse those for some insight. As well as vibrato.

On the cutting notes short problem i had this problem alot my first year or two i started playing. And just like you i didnt realize it till i heard myself recorded.

What i did find though was causing this issue was having to think too hard about where i was going. Trying to cram too many notes into a phrase and still staying in key was the issue. At that point i started using much shorter phrases but trying to get alot more out of them. You can take a 4 or 5 note phrase and speak volumes if you take the time to get across a specific feeling rather then a million notes that cover alot of ground.

The other thing partly of what i said above, when you do start using more notes in a phrase at least for now try not to cover too much ground on the neck as it adds to the problem because part of the cutting off of the notes has to do with having to do rapid posistion changes on the neck and to compensate for your skill your jumping the gun to get your hand into place.

Its all about training muscle memory so that later you can cover a huge span of the neck in a solo without really thinking much about where your fingers are going and you can concentrate on the attitude of what your playing rather then the execution. Which is where all good players really need to live. If you can play a million notes semi well people listening to it won't get the same out of as if you can play 3 or 4 notes with all your emotion, with conviction and attitude. Thats where your creativity and your inner spirit are revealed to the audience in a very intimate way and you connect with them on a very deep level.


QUOTE (ZakkWylde @ May 5 2008, 11:27 AM) *
I have extreme rythm problems because I can't stand to use the metronome.

I know alot of people that feel the same way Zakk,

My advice to help you is to create some simple Backing tracks for yourself at very specific BPM, then work on your scales, rhythm and solo patterns, in a very "Metronome" fashion over the backing tracks. This way its more like playing music and less like practicing.

This is doing two things for you, first of all its helping to correct your timing issues, and secondly your learning to train your ear to hear different intervals and such within the key your playing.


QUOTE (USAMAN @ May 5 2008, 11:32 AM) *
Endurance in downward picking...If I try to play master of pppets all down-picking my arm will explode.

Not being strict enough with my alternate picking....I cheat....alot.......

The only thing that can help endurance is repitition, i wish there was a magic switch i could flip for ya, or give some nifty exercise. But really the only thing you can do for this is just keep pushing your downpick speed levels. But for this you not only need to downpick faster but you need to do it for longer periods of time. I would suggest putting together a specific excersise for yourself that has you downpicking for at a close to your max speed for say 1 and a half minutes. Then every few days increasing the BPM by a couple notches and lengthening the time by 20 seconds. This way your slowly increasing your speed at the same time your increasing your endurance to do it.

As for cheating with alternate picking, we have all been there you have to just mentally spank yourself into really working thru it.


QUOTE (Canis @ May 5 2008, 11:39 AM) *
I have a lot of weaknesses... But if I were to pick one major one, I'd say it's playing along with a backing track.. I always play faster or slower then the backing track is made for. Example: I've "mastered" Marcus' Pentatonic Solo, but when I play along with the backing track, I'm never at the point I should be. Like in the middle there, the backing track get's faster, but I'm allready past that part or not yet there. Been looking at Kris' metronome lesson now and then to get some repetation on how to use the rhythm..

Other weaknesses is bending and vibrato.


I can certainly understand this happening. This generally is a mental awarness thing, once you learn the solo licks and can play them you have to really pay attention to the song your playing along with rather then focusing all your attention on what your playing. A big part of music is listening to and assimilate what everyone else is doing. Try to pick out certain things in the song that give you landmarks to go by, for instance lets say you hear a certain drum fill. Know exactly what follows that drum fill so that your always in the right place at the right time. If you find your self drifting too far try to find "landmarks" that are much close together. There will always be some subtle clue on the music map where your supposed to be at any given time. Even if you have to do it on a chord by chord basis.

Lets say in your instance with Marcus' lesson, what part of the lick is played over chord 1, what lick is played over chord 2 what lick is played over chord 3. Then you hear a drum fill...what lick is played after that drum fill. Its all about listening to the backing track for those landmarks.

I know i went thru a similar problem, where i was so focused on my hands that i forgot to listen to what was going on in the song i was playing.

As far as vibrato i have said several things on vibrato to other people above, so just look around for some ideas.


There are two things you have to work on for bending. One is pitch correction, a good practice for this is to play a note, doesnt matter where for sake of arguement play on the G-string on the 12th Fret, this way you can hear that note freshly in your mind, now move down to the 10 fret and bend right up to that 12th note. Go back and forth between the plucked note and the bent note working on making sure the pitch your bending up to is dead on. After awhile of doing this with different intervals bending will become alot easier because you will have done it so often that you have trained yourself with muscle memory of exactly how much pressure you need to apply to the string to hit the note you want to hit. After awhile it becomes second nature. Just keep training your ear to the pitch for now so you can train your fingers to hit the correct pitch on demand.


QUOTE (audiopaal @ May 5 2008, 11:59 AM) *
I think I'm pretty average in most things, and the only thing I think I'm great at is rythm guitar..
I will work on playing solos to get better at that at the moment but there will always be thinks to get better at, even my rythm guitar playing so I don't see it as weaknesses, only problems to be solved smile.gif

Thats a great attitude to have audiopaal, i find now i work on things that strike my fancy. I spend a great deal of time listening to different kinds of music, and i use the inspiration from things that i have heard to develop my own interpretation of those ideas, and 9 times outta 10 i have to work on a specific element of my playing to get those points across.


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Posts in this topic
- Daniel Robinson   What Are Your Weaknesses   May 5 2008, 07:48 AM
- - kyldeee   I also have some problems with legato, and also sw...   May 5 2008, 08:28 AM
|- - Daniel Robinson   QUOTE (kyldeee @ May 5 2008, 03:28 AM) I ...   May 5 2008, 08:31 AM
- - kyldeee   QUOTE (Daniel Robinson @ May 5 2008, 08:3...   May 5 2008, 08:37 AM
- - Daniel Robinson   Maybe this advice can help you, without knowing ex...   May 5 2008, 09:07 AM
- - kyldeee   QUOTE (Daniel Robinson @ May 5 2008, 09:0...   May 5 2008, 09:10 AM
- - superize   I feel that my waekness lies in my legato and espa...   May 5 2008, 10:16 AM
|- - Daniel Robinson   QUOTE (superize @ May 5 2008, 05:16 AM) I...   May 6 2008, 01:47 PM
|- - superize   QUOTE (Daniel Robinson @ May 6 2008, 02:4...   May 6 2008, 02:55 PM
- - Ivan Milenkovic   I have many weaknesses, and the things I should wo...   May 5 2008, 10:19 AM
|- - Andrew Cockburn   Great topic! Alternate Picking technique for ...   May 5 2008, 12:53 PM
|- - Daniel Robinson   QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ May 5 2008, 05:1...   May 6 2008, 02:41 PM
- - iainsteward   This is a great topic, thanks Daniel!! I ...   May 5 2008, 01:00 PM
- - Trond Vold   One of my many weaknesses is that i'm complete...   May 5 2008, 01:17 PM
|- - Hammerin Hank   QUOTE (Trond Vold @ May 5 2008, 08:17 AM)...   May 19 2008, 08:45 PM
- - chast   My weakness is playing guitar But my main problem...   May 5 2008, 01:22 PM
|- - Daniel Robinson   QUOTE (chast @ May 5 2008, 08:22 AM) My w...   May 6 2008, 03:24 PM
- - TreyDeschamp   Great Topic! I think my weakness is trying to...   May 5 2008, 01:25 PM
- - rokchik   Fantastic topic Daniel As for my weaknesses well...   May 5 2008, 04:17 PM
|- - Andrew Cockburn   QUOTE (rokchik @ May 5 2008, 11:17 AM) Fa...   May 5 2008, 06:27 PM
|- - rokchik   QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ May 5 2008, 02:2...   May 5 2008, 09:26 PM
- - ZakkWylde   I have extreme rythm problems because I can't ...   May 5 2008, 04:27 PM
- - USAMAN   Endurance in downward picking...If I try to play m...   May 5 2008, 04:32 PM
- - Canis   I have a lot of weaknesses... But if I were to pic...   May 5 2008, 04:39 PM
- - audiopaal   I think I'm pretty average in most things, and...   May 5 2008, 04:59 PM
- - Siggum   Got many weaknesess, for example fast alternate pi...   May 5 2008, 05:18 PM
|- - Muris Varajic   Probably note choice...million dollars question I ...   May 6 2008, 03:29 PM
||- - OrganisedConfusion   QUOTE (Muris Varajic @ May 6 2008, 03:29 ...   May 6 2008, 03:31 PM
||- - Pizzoaro   I have a lot "unfinished" practice L...   Jun 29 2008, 11:44 PM
|- - Daniel Robinson   QUOTE (Siggum @ May 5 2008, 12:18 PM) Got...   May 6 2008, 05:10 PM
|- - kjutte   My weakness is not having enough time to practise ...   Jun 29 2008, 08:33 PM
|- - Daniel Robinson   QUOTE (kjutte @ Jun 29 2008, 03:33 PM) My...   Jul 6 2008, 01:45 PM
- - Zizi Top   i think i have a lot of weakness when i go to vaca...   May 5 2008, 06:39 PM
- - DeepRoots   Hmm..weaknesses... I'd say my sweeping has go...   May 5 2008, 09:31 PM
|- - Daniel Robinson   QUOTE (DeepRoots @ May 5 2008, 04:31 PM) ...   May 7 2008, 05:43 PM
|- - DeepRoots   Daniel, i'm seeing some of the best one-on-one...   May 7 2008, 05:43 PM
|- - Daniel Robinson   QUOTE (DeepRoots @ May 7 2008, 12:43 PM) ...   May 9 2008, 12:52 AM
- - Nick325   i would say my sweeping, 5 string more than 3 stri...   May 5 2008, 09:37 PM
- - Gus   Sweep picking, definitely... I gave it more than ...   May 6 2008, 01:50 AM
|- - Daniel Robinson   QUOTE (Gus @ May 5 2008, 08:50 PM) Sweep ...   May 7 2008, 06:14 PM
- - Outlaw2112   Playing in front of people... I can play stuff per...   May 6 2008, 01:53 AM
- - The Uncreator   8 finger tapping, I have never progressed so slowl...   May 6 2008, 02:06 AM
|- - audiopaal   QUOTE (The Uncreator @ May 6 2008, 03:06 ...   May 6 2008, 07:41 AM
|- - DeepRoots   QUOTE (audiopaal @ May 6 2008, 07:41 AM) ...   May 6 2008, 07:46 AM
|- - audiopaal   QUOTE (DeepRoots @ May 6 2008, 08:46 AM) ...   May 6 2008, 08:08 AM
|- - DeepRoots   QUOTE (audiopaal @ May 6 2008, 08:08 AM) ...   May 6 2008, 08:22 AM
|- - Gus   QUOTE (audiopaal @ May 6 2008, 09:08 AM) ...   May 6 2008, 10:52 PM
- - fatb0t   SWEEPING and legato are my weaknesses.... ---- For...   May 6 2008, 02:37 AM
- - Nemanja Filipovic   Great topic Daniel.My weakness is that I don't...   May 6 2008, 01:53 PM
- - OrganisedConfusion   I'm just superb all across the board My weak...   May 6 2008, 02:57 PM
- - Canis   Wow, thanks a lot Daniel   May 6 2008, 04:49 PM
- - rokchik   Thank you very much Daniel for your response Ama...   May 6 2008, 08:41 PM
- - ActiveX   Strumming; nice simple strumming on the acoustic.....   May 6 2008, 09:00 PM
- - Nobody   Well my main weakness is playing an other guitaris...   May 6 2008, 09:14 PM
- - PlayAllDay   Thanks very much for all the points you metion in ...   May 7 2008, 12:57 AM
- - Nobody   PAD, actually there are some very good lessons on ...   May 7 2008, 03:02 PM
|- - PlayAllDay   QUOTE (Nobody @ May 7 2008, 11:02 PM) PAD...   May 7 2008, 03:54 PM
- - Alex87   my weakness on the guitar is picking. some days ar...   May 7 2008, 03:06 PM
|- - Daniel Robinson   QUOTE (Alex87 @ May 7 2008, 10:06 AM) my ...   May 7 2008, 06:20 PM
|- - Alex87   QUOTE (Daniel Robinson @ May 7 2008, 07:2...   May 18 2008, 05:33 PM
|- - Daniel Robinson   QUOTE (Alex87 @ May 18 2008, 12:33 PM) Hi...   May 20 2008, 09:29 AM
- - Siggum   Thanks alot for your answer Daniel, that was some ...   May 7 2008, 06:15 PM
- - coffeeman   My weakness is definitely timing. When I play with...   May 7 2008, 06:43 PM
|- - Daniel Robinson   QUOTE (coffeeman @ May 7 2008, 01:43 PM) ...   May 9 2008, 01:54 AM
- - besip   My weakness is playing over metronom actualy i...   May 7 2008, 06:56 PM
- - Andrew Cockburn   This is a great thread, and at Rokchik's sugge...   May 7 2008, 11:17 PM
- - Nick325   thanks for the advice daniel   May 7 2008, 11:25 PM
- - shellshock1911   Total lack of creativity or ability in writing mus...   May 8 2008, 10:11 PM
- - Stevie·Ray·Vaughn   Well Im becoming more and more happy with my writi...   May 8 2008, 10:12 PM
|- - shellshock1911   QUOTE (Stevie·Ray·Vaughn @ May 8 2008, 10...   May 8 2008, 10:19 PM
- - Sam Hook   Downstroke picking is my main weakness at the mome...   May 8 2008, 10:26 PM
- - Eat-Sleep-andJam   Weaknesses. Well Ive always had a good vibrato, ...   May 9 2008, 01:04 AM
|- - Daniel Robinson   QUOTE (Eat-Sleep-andJam @ May 8 200...   May 9 2008, 02:29 AM
|- - Eat-Sleep-andJam   QUOTE (Daniel Robinson @ May 8 2008, 05:2...   May 9 2008, 02:48 AM
|- - Daniel Robinson   QUOTE (Eat-Sleep-andJam @ May 8 200...   May 10 2008, 08:43 AM
- - audiopaal   Thanks a lot for the reply Daniel, and for doing t...   May 9 2008, 01:05 AM
- - FrankW   My main weakness is that I am lazy as hell.   May 13 2008, 12:45 AM
|- - Daniel Robinson   QUOTE (FrankW @ May 12 2008, 07:45 PM) My...   May 14 2008, 12:55 PM
- - besip   and couple more mine Weaknesses i'm all ready ...   May 13 2008, 06:24 AM
- - mattacuk   My distinct lack of Chordal knowledge! Some...   May 13 2008, 06:05 PM
- - at lights end   i can't play long AP runs. my hands seem to go...   May 18 2008, 05:39 PM
- - Outlaw2112   women....   May 18 2008, 05:44 PM
- - jacmoe   Excellent topic, Daniel! My weakness is tha...   Jun 13 2008, 09:12 PM
|- - Daniel Robinson   QUOTE (jacmoe @ Jun 13 2008, 04:12 PM) Ex...   Jun 26 2008, 07:32 AM
- - TreyDeschamp   I cant seem to make things up. of course i dont kn...   Jun 13 2008, 09:24 PM
- - Matt23   My main weakness is my pinky speed. It's stopp...   Jun 13 2008, 09:51 PM
- - Eat-Sleep-andJam   Another one of mine, Sticking to learning somethin...   Jun 13 2008, 09:55 PM
- - Gitarrero   My weakness is speed when playing solos. I`ve ...   Jun 27 2008, 09:16 AM
|- - Daniel Robinson   QUOTE (Gitarrero @ Jun 27 2008, 04:16 AM)...   Jun 29 2008, 07:23 PM
- - Mark.   My weakness is probably my picking hand dexterty, ...   Jun 29 2008, 09:26 PM
- - besip   NO.1 Theory!!!!!!! ...   Jun 29 2008, 11:13 PM
- - vintageplaya666   I have a few weeknesses. My little finger needs m...   Jun 29 2008, 11:38 PM
|- - Daniel Robinson   QUOTE (vintageplaya666 @ Jun 29 2008, 06...   Jul 6 2008, 02:39 PM
- - SonofDestiny   My weakness is definately speed. Alternate picking...   Jun 30 2008, 09:11 AM
- - Lithuanian   Motivation... Sadly...   Jul 2 2008, 07:25 PM
- - Jesse   ... my hand synch definately:D My left hand is jus...   Jul 6 2008, 01:49 PM
- - Canis   My number one weakness now, is that I'm on hol...   Jul 6 2008, 01:53 PM
- - Rated Htr   Well, I have areas where I have less trainning, bu...   Jul 8 2008, 06:56 AM
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