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Canis
post Apr 17 2009, 10:11 AM
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My biggest weakness these days is muting the higher strings while playing solos.. I can palm mute the lower strings fair eough, but I often get accidental accidentals from the high E and B strings, so to speak tongue.gif


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Daniel Robinson
post Apr 17 2009, 11:35 AM
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QUOTE (mhskeide @ Dec 18 2008, 12:12 PM) *
I`ve got TONS of weaknesses. I could mention someone like sweeping(getting better), sweeptaps, legato, particulary AP(as I mentioned in another topic I`ll usually play economy picking which falls more naturally for me), phrasing, and sure a whole lot more.

But my most annoying weakness per today, is my lack of theory competance. Even though I find it interesting to study how the scales etc are built and how they color the sound of the music, I`m almost not spending one exercise on practising exclusesivly one scale or something like that. And I`m horrible at analysising the music I`m playing, even if it`s by tab or ear. Usually I just find a minor pentatonic which fits over the song and improvise from that.



I wish i could just zap the information into your head, but unfortunately i am not Harry Potter. Theory is an ongoing process. Honestly music theory in general is a lifelong pursuit. When you get the basics of it, then you start to see emerging patterns that make you go back to analyze something more complex, etc and so forth. Someone who has an absolute mastery of music theory has taken years and years for them to hone that particular skill. Just take the steps that will get you where you want to go for right now. Your musical influences, and ideas will mature just as your guitar playing will. So dont try to learn it all right now, you have time smile.gif


Daniel

This post has been edited by Daniel Robinson: Apr 17 2009, 11:36 AM


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enforcer
post Apr 17 2009, 11:40 AM
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Clean sweep picking, tapping sweeps, and vibrato(I think I nailed this last one lately)


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Daniel Robinson
post Apr 17 2009, 12:35 PM
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QUOTE (Alexiaden93 @ Apr 16 2009, 01:13 PM) *
Hey, I just registered and I am really satisfied. I've started the "Heavy Metal - Solo & Rhythm exercise" by Hisham Al-Sanea, and it's a really beautiful composition, and good exercise for my fingers. (Sorry, I guess this statement doesn't belong in this thread...)

Anyway, as an amateur guitar player I would say I have tonnes of weaknesses, most of them easily removable through practice.

1. As quite a lot of other people up the comments-list, I have a problem with legato, and tend to use fast picking as an alternative. In the end, however, I have to realise that fast picking can never get as fast and smooth as legato, and I will have to practice more, and maybe use some of the advice Daniel Robinson gave. My problem with legato is that I can't adapt to many different speeds, as I kind of get carried away with my maximum speed. This is most likely a finger-strength problem.

2. I need to build more strength in my ring-finger (3rd finger), for things like hammer-on / pull-of triplets, which I can only do very fast with my "doigt d'honneur" as the French would say (2nd finger). I can just forget writing about my wimpling of a pinky !

3. I need to get a bit better at bending, but his might of course be the fat strings on my guitar. My goal is to be able to bend 2 frets on the second fret, and hopefully with a wailing artificial harmonic. I am talking, of course, about the Don't Cry intro (Guns N' Roses)... smile.gif

I will stop my verbal diarrhoea right now, as the instructors will need to drink coffee to stay awake during the lecture of my comment, and I could certainly write two Bible-lengthed books about my weaknesses in guitar playing.

Alexander, 15



Good to have you aboard Alex smile.gif

As stated in this particular thread in a few cases, speed is not evil, nor is going slow. Its all about the process that will help you write a particular song to get a specific idea or mood across to a listener. Sometimes that requires lightning fast precision. Sometimes it requires blatant use of silence. I can certainly relate to your legato issues, for i myself don't have a strong repertoire of legato licks. The best advice i can give is listen to some professional players that have really strong legato skills and try to emulate them. Even if you have to learn the songs by TAB, at least you have a reference for good legato technique. Obviously Joe Satriani comes to mind, as he has one of the smoothest techniques in the business.

As for your ring finger strength, i can sympathize as well with this. What most guitarists eventually will learn though is that ring finger and pinky strength is really a paradox. Think about what happens when you trill between index and ring finger. The strength you need to build up is in your hand because of the motion of those two fingers. Just keep exercising that muscle grouping any way you can and the strength will come.

Pinky is another beast entirely, getting that little sucker to do what you want it to, first requires you to get some dexterity using it. Once you get used to using it, then the strength will come. Luckily when i first started learning guitar i was learning from a friend in highschool, since i was watching and learning from him he already used his pinky heavily, and the licks he taught me almost always utilized that finger. Try composing some licks that rely on your pinky and take some time during your practice session to work on them.

As i stated in a previous post, bending is something that requires both strength, and listening. Strength to push the string to the pitch you want, and listening so that you hit that pitch. Don't burn yourself out though trying to push a whole step on the second fret, with heavy guage strings on your guitar. Practice bending all over the neck, middle of the neck is good for starting to strengthen your fingers for bending, higher then the 12th fret is a good exercise for ear training because it require next to no effort to bend that high up the neck.

If you have any specific areas that i can help with please feel free to ask.

Daniel

QUOTE (Canis @ Apr 17 2009, 04:11 AM) *
My biggest weakness these days is muting the higher strings while playing solos.. I can palm mute the lower strings fair eough, but I often get accidental accidentals from the high E and B strings, so to speak tongue.gif



Hey Canis,

I don't know if this will help you or not, because i don't know exactly what is happening to you. But, that being said most of the time this thing will happen not because of your palm muting technique per se, but its a hand position issue. I was rather guilty of this in my earlier days because i thought that my picking hand should be somewhat anchored to the bridge. There is a very subtle shifting of your hand down towards the floor that should be taking place when you start playing on the higher strings.

It's really easy to get into a habit of resting your hand on the bottom strings at a particular angle and instead of literally moving your hand down a bit as you approach the top strings, instead you open your hand a bit and stretch out. The correct technique is to not to stretch your hand out, but keep it the same and just adjust down a bit. If you can palm mute on the lower strings it should be at the same angle as with the top strings. I hope i explained it so you could understand. Just know that there is a subtle movement down. It takes a bit of getting used to, just make sure you don't change the angle of your hand that you are used to, just move it down a little bit as you approach the top strings


Daniel

QUOTE (enforcer @ Apr 17 2009, 05:40 AM) *
Clean sweep picking, tapping sweeps, and vibrato(I think I nailed this last one lately)




Hey Enforcer,


As far as "Clean sweep picking" goes, if you can already sweep pick, just sloppy, you have to now pay close attention to the other techniques that seem like no brainers when you are not a beginner anymore. Especially your palm muting technique. Sweep picking requires an advanced palm muting skill. Its not that you need to do anything really different, but you have to refine more. Clean sweep picking requires more precise palm muting then normal. Also, the other thing to watch for is the intervals with which you "roll" your fingers across the pattern you are sweeping. It should be as uniform like if you were tapping your fingers on a desk for instance. Make sure you are letting up on the previous note uniformally even. As for sweeping in general i have stated my ideas on practicing it several times in this particular thread. As far as sweep tapping, i would suggest you look to Muris, Emir, David etc...I have a few sweep tapping licks in songs i have written, but wrote them out of necessity for something particular, and am not really going to give you advice to take to the bank on this technique because its something i do very rarely.

And as for vibrato, if you are happy with your vibrato, now what you have to do is look at it for what it is and listen to it and find out what is it exactly you like about it. Once you do that you can start to refine it so that you bring more to the surface of what you like about your vibrato. Vibrato particularly is a very personal thing, and it is imo what sets us apart from all other guitar players in feel and technique. You take someone like Ynqwie, what i love about his vibrato is the intensity it conveys his vibrato screams at you and it makes you remember it long after the song is done. At the other end of the spectrum, someone like Joe Satriani, even typing this i can't hear his vibrato in my head. There is nothing memorable about it......unless you are listening to it right at this moment Joe is about subltety of expression. You have to be in the moment to understand it.

Just find what you like about yours and bring more of it really make it your own.


Daniel


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Alexiaden93
post Jul 13 2009, 04:09 AM
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QUOTE (Daniel Robinson @ Apr 17 2009, 01:35 PM) *
Good to have you aboard Alex smile.gif

As stated in this particular thread in a few cases, speed is not evil, nor is going slow. Its all about the process that will help you write a particular song to get a specific idea or mood across to a listener. Sometimes that requires lightning fast precision. Sometimes it requires blatant use of silence. I can certainly relate to your legato issues, for i myself don't have a strong repertoire of legato licks. The best advice i can give is listen to some professional players that have really strong legato skills and try to emulate them. Even if you have to learn the songs by TAB, at least you have a reference for good legato technique. Obviously Joe Satriani comes to mind, as he has one of the smoothest techniques in the business.

As for your ring finger strength, i can sympathize as well with this. What most guitarists eventually will learn though is that ring finger and pinky strength is really a paradox. Think about what happens when you trill between index and ring finger. The strength you need to build up is in your hand because of the motion of those two fingers. Just keep exercising that muscle grouping any way you can and the strength will come.

Pinky is another beast entirely, getting that little sucker to do what you want it to, first requires you to get some dexterity using it. Once you get used to using it, then the strength will come. Luckily when i first started learning guitar i was learning from a friend in highschool, since i was watching and learning from him he already used his pinky heavily, and the licks he taught me almost always utilized that finger. Try composing some licks that rely on your pinky and take some time during your practice session to work on them.

As i stated in a previous post, bending is something that requires both strength, and listening. Strength to push the string to the pitch you want, and listening so that you hit that pitch. Don't burn yourself out though trying to push a whole step on the second fret, with heavy guage strings on your guitar. Practice bending all over the neck, middle of the neck is good for starting to strengthen your fingers for bending, higher then the 12th fret is a good exercise for ear training because it require next to no effort to bend that high up the neck.

If you have any specific areas that i can help with please feel free to ask.

Daniel

Thanks a lot for your advice, Daniel ! I somehow lost track of this thread, and I hence haven't had a chance to read your reply to my comment (whose font colour was rather irritating, which is why I changed it now) ! biggrin.gif I guess I posted that comment quite a long time ago, and I feel legato is getting slightly better after having worked on it for some time, the same with my ring and pinky fingers... smile.gif

Thanks again,
Alexander smile.gif


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Daniel Robinson
post Sep 10 2010, 11:42 PM
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I thought it was time to kinda resurrect this thread. Its been pinned to the top of the board in another sub-category but some time has gone by since people were being helped by this thread.

I assume we have many more new people who would benefit from the topics covered here and also voice their own weaknesses and get questions answered.

So if you please what are your weaknesses (old or new) that you are having trouble with and lets see if we can't get you squared away.


Daniel Robinson


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slash48
post Sep 11 2010, 03:10 AM
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Cool! I'm glad it's started again!
My biggest problem is my picking technique which is limiting me from quickly accessing the lower strings with ease like I need to-E string, A string
I've been playing for 4 or 5 years and my current picking technique is resting my picking hand wrist lightly on the strings above what I am currently playing and picking at a slight angle. When I go from higher strings to say low E, I have no strings above E to rest my hand on so I have to move it to the guitar's body. This puts my hand in a completely new position and my elbow in an awkward position (since I have monkey arms) and makes it nearly impossible to change registers quickly. I know some guitarists anchor their pinky on the body of the guitar but my hands are not big enough for that and I've heard it causes tension in the hand. A new picking technique for the lower register would be great! (I'm sorry for the long ramble, I'm 13 and have more time on my hands to play guitar then I probably should.) tongue.gif


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thefireball
post Sep 11 2010, 03:33 AM
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Sweeping, arpeggios, fast AP


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Daniel Robinson
post Sep 11 2010, 09:13 AM
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QUOTE (slash48 @ Sep 10 2010, 09:10 PM) *
Cool! I'm glad it's started again!
My biggest problem is my picking technique which is limiting me from quickly accessing the lower strings with ease like I need to-E string, A string
I've been playing for 4 or 5 years and my current picking technique is resting my picking hand wrist lightly on the strings above what I am currently playing and picking at a slight angle. When I go from higher strings to say low E, I have no strings above E to rest my hand on so I have to move it to the guitar's body. This puts my hand in a completely new position and my elbow in an awkward position (since I have monkey arms) and makes it nearly impossible to change registers quickly. I know some guitarists anchor their pinky on the body of the guitar but my hands are not big enough for that and I've heard it causes tension in the hand. A new picking technique for the lower register would be great! (I'm sorry for the long ramble, I'm 13 and have more time on my hands to play guitar then I probably should.) tongue.gif



I am not sure i truly understand what your talking about. I am gonna go on the assumption that when your playing stuff on the low E and A string that your hand is completely off the strings. If that's the case i can understand why you have difficulty with string transition.

You shouldn't have your picking hand all together off the strings on the body of the guitar. Now i know probably part of the problem is your hand just isn't big enough to palm mute all the strings because your age. But try to do what i tell you here.

Take the side of your hand and stand it up just above the string saddles on the bridge. (like your hand is a knife and your gonna cut the strings with the side of your hand.) Now put your pick in your hand the way you hold it. Now without moving the position of the hand just lay it down (like closing a book). Now note where your hand is. This should be the position that you play from. Obviously there is a little bit of adjustment up and down as you go up and down the strings, but its not a big motion. Most of the shifting will come from just rotation of the wrist a little bit as you go down.

Now this is the tricky part, when playing full chords you will do 1 of 2 things. Either you will shift your hand towards the bridge even more and strum. (this will sound the chord but it also softens it a little bit), or you will just pick up your hand as you strum the chord and come back to this position.

Playing rock guitar with distortion requires your hand to be resting on the strings in order to silence any string noise which will be much greater with lots of distortion. Generally speaking if your hand is back far enough toward the bridge the low E and A string you can actually just keep resting your hand on the strings and it will still ring a note. If you find your notes on those strings to be too muffled, then adjust your hand so its closer to the bridge of the guitar.

I hope this helps (if i understood your problem if not i will try to better understand your problem and go from there.)



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Vaidya
post Sep 11 2010, 09:39 AM
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My main weakness is muting.Whether its sweep picking or alternate picking,when i switch over to another string I can hear the open string sound.


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slash48
post Sep 11 2010, 03:34 PM
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Thanks Daniel! That fix worked fantastic.


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stratman79
post Sep 11 2010, 03:56 PM
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A lot of it is relative to what you want to be as a guitarist...

I personally wouldn't say sweeps or AP are a particular weakness (well I never AP always economy) but if you put my technique in the hands of someone who wanted to shred they would feel they had a million miles to go...

My weakness as far as I'm concerned are
1. Sight reading, esp further up the neck than 7th position. But my reading is prob better the 90 percent of the guitarists out there.
2. My Ear, I can get by, but hearing complex chord progressions and melodies with non pentatonic/major scale notes is hard.
3. Application of theory during solos, my theory is pretty good and knowledge of scales and arppegios in CAGED system is ok buthe application of them over a Jazz chord progression is really hard..this is the one that I am currently working on with my teacher...

But yeah sweeping, tapping, AP all could be far better but I'd rather focus my energy into places that would make me a better musicain.
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Daniel Robinson
post Sep 11 2010, 10:41 PM
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QUOTE (thefireball @ Sep 10 2010, 09:33 PM) *
Sweeping, arpeggios, fast AP



I find the best approach to sweep picking is to break the sweeping down to the most basic components and work on each individual thing till you get the technique down.

First, imo you should work on just 3 strings, the highest 3 strings work well for this. What you want to do is first just mute all the strings with your left hand,(we are not playing any notes here we are just raking the strings) just practice sweeping up the 3 highest strings. Pay special attention to the *clicks* of the string make sure they are all uniform i.e. your not making some notes faster than others. Once you can do this start going up than down. As before just get comfortable with sweeping up...then down. Make sure the *clicks* are uniform and clean.

After you have those down, now start from the first exercise, but this time your gonna play notes. For the sake of this exercise place your fingers with index finger on the 9th fret high E string, middle finger on the 10th fret on the B string, and ring finger on the 11th fret on the G string.

Now with the same sweeping motion you did in the first exercise sweep from the G string to the E string in one fluid motion, make sure your using good palm muting technique to squash unwanted string noise, and also make sure as you make the transition from one string to another you lift your finger off the previous note so each note sounds individually (imagine its like when you tap your fingers on a table it is the same kind of motion). Once you can do this so it sounds really good than do, then add the down from the high E string.

Now once you get his going at a good pace and it sounds good, practice it on different frets, and different string groupings. Once your comfortable with this just start adding 1 note at a time and practice it. Honestly once you get it down for 3 strings you can add strings pretty easy.

Now for arpeggios, obviously an arpeggio is just notes of a chord played separately i would suggest you look for lessons on arps here on GMC and look at the different shapes so you can get a good bit of shapes to practice for picking arps...as well as sweeping them.


Now as for fast AP, i hold to the idea of breaking down AP into its most basic form. The biggest problem to overcome with AP is just sync between left and right hand. Lets break it down to the most basic to get your hands working together.

This is also part of my warm up things, what i do is just pick two notes on the same string usually right next to each other. It doesnt really matter which string or what fret, what your going to be doing is a an AP trill. Normally when you trill is just hammer ons and pull offs but for this exercise your gonna AP the trill. Start out at a slow pace and slowly speed up (not like metronome work) your gonna speed up fairly quickly keep paying attention to when you fret the note and pick it it should be in sync. Up down ...up down etc, while playing 2 separate notes. Once you can do that at a fair amount of speed just add 1 note to the mix any 3nps shape will do thats not important at this time. Just work with that one shape and keep AP'ing as quickly as you can without messing up.

Once you can do this start changing the fingering so you get used to syncing up your other fingers with your picking hand.


I think if you just break down each thing you want to acheive to the most basic components most times it will come much easier than say...trying to learn a whole lick first.


Daniel



QUOTE (Vaidya @ Sep 11 2010, 03:39 AM) *
My main weakness is muting.Whether its sweep picking or alternate picking,when i switch over to another string I can hear the open string sound.



Good palm muting takes time but i would ask if your hand is just coming off the string, or it rings despite your hand resting there.

The reason i ask is if your still getting string noise even when your hand is resting on the strings its not a muting problem per se but a problem with your picking hand rest position.

If indeed your are having your hand rest on the strings but they are still ringing than you need to adjust your hand position. Move your hand rest position slightly more away from the bridge of the guitar. Even though you muffle the strings real close to the bridge you can't deaden them entirely, you need to "choke up" more on the muting so your closer to the looser part of the strings.

Try to adjust your hand slightly and see if that helps.

QUOTE (stratman79 @ Sep 11 2010, 09:56 AM) *
A lot of it is relative to what you want to be as a guitarist...

I personally wouldn't say sweeps or AP are a particular weakness (well I never AP always economy) but if you put my technique in the hands of someone who wanted to shred they would feel they had a million miles to go...

My weakness as far as I'm concerned are
1. Sight reading, esp further up the neck than 7th position. But my reading is prob better the 90 percent of the guitarists out there.
2. My Ear, I can get by, but hearing complex chord progressions and melodies with non pentatonic/major scale notes is hard.
3. Application of theory during solos, my theory is pretty good and knowledge of scales and arppegios in CAGED system is ok buthe application of them over a Jazz chord progression is really hard..this is the one that I am currently working on with my teacher...

But yeah sweeping, tapping, AP all could be far better but I'd rather focus my energy into places that would make me a better musicain.



Just as i told Fireball above the thing with sweeping and AP its best to break them down to the most basic components to achieve greater control in those areas

I am not a big sight reader myself, i suppose if someone put a gun to my head i could manage but i have developed my ear more than my ability to sight read.

The ability to apply theory to Jazz chord progressions is difficult to do even for a seasoned guitar player. My best advice is just to learn all you can from people who do it well. Thats why i really enjoy Pedja's video chat sessions. He is really knowledgeable on that subject.

Hearing complex chord progressions is another tricky thing from an ear training perspective. What helped me a great deal was listening to orchestral music. Listening to that kind of music allows your ear to take in all the varied levels of hearing the chord layers. I would suggest trying to find some symphonic type music that you would enjoy, and listening to that. And if possible pick up the score for the things you are listening to so you can see the relationships of the different chord layers and how they are grouped together to make a whole.



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