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> How To Learn The Missing Pieces?, Only played metal, how to evolve?
Wilska
post Apr 15 2011, 10:56 PM
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Hey guys.. I need some help/support.
I've had almost no formal training (a couple of private lessons but that's all), but I have come a pretty long way by myself. I'm somewhat happy with my guitarplaying when it comes to metal, but here's the thing: I pretty much can't play anything else.

What I mean with this, is it's very easy for me to learn new songs in my style, I can somewhat easily improvise riffs and melodies that are metal.
But I can't pick up an acoustic guitar at someone and play a complete song.
I can't come up with decent rock riffs a la van halen, mr big or extreme.
I can't play anything - is what it feels like.

My lead playing is probably way better than my rhythm playing, because I started in that end when first picking up the guitar. The last 2 years or so I really started paying more attention to tight rhythm and I have become much better - when playing metal.

I wonder if anyone here has any tips on what I could do to step out of my comfort zone and start becoming more comfortable as a "real" guitarist.

One goal I have set it up is to _really_ learn the notes all over the fretboard, and get more comfortable with playing major scales (damn metal minor scales!). I want to be able to dabble in many styles of music.

I feel my weakest points are these:
Chord knowledge (sure, I know my powerchords, 3rds, 5ths etc, but "real" chords)
Rhythms that doesn't use a pedalnote or even lots of palmmuting.
Coming up with chordprogressions on the fly that aren't in the key of E or A
Freestyling fills like Jake E lee or any of the blues gods.
Different rhythm styles

I don't know where to start or even how to approach any of these problems. Any tips?


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Kristian Hyvarin...
post Apr 15 2011, 11:09 PM
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I'm sleepy right now but I'll try to give some tips. At least you've come to the right place. smile.gif Of course I could just advise you to learn some chords and scales and play some blues, but since we are at GMC, let's see what this site has to offer.

I'll tell you what has helped me here - GMC has so much material, there is a thousand ways to do things. Ivan Milenkovich has some great series and lessons (mostly about blues, but also about arpeggios, chords and modes and lots more) that practically have made me the guitar player I'm now (and frankly I'm not half bad, even if it might sound as if I was boasting). Muris Varajic has plenty of lessons even though he isn't active here atm, and he often explains the theory behind each lick in great detail. Pedja Simovic (also known as Pedjazz biggrin.gif) has done a great deal of lessons about chords and inversions, definitely stuff worth learning.

I also advise you just to look around the site - if you want to learn, you've got to listen to stuff you'd like to play. And there's no one but you to tell what kind of stuff you like the best (for example, I don't like all blues even though blues is the guitar music I love the most).

Have fun learning, hopefully this helped a little. smile.gif

This post has been edited by Kristian Hyvarinen: Apr 15 2011, 11:10 PM
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dark dude
post Apr 15 2011, 11:24 PM
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Listen to styles you want to play, have a look at some tabs, see what scales are used, see what licks are used, learn some of these songs, and, if you're brave, transcribe some too.

Just get out there and try playing these songs, it'll be easier to fill in the gaps.

If you named some styles you'd like to get into, perhaps people could point you in the direction of some artists to listen to.


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Kristian Hyvarin...
post Apr 15 2011, 11:29 PM
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Yup, simply listening to good music does half the job. smile.gif Sounds almost too easy, but it's the way to go.

In my case good music includes styles besides those where guitar is being played - ambient, triphop, trance, dubstep, classical music... it all affects my playing and the emotions I convey and the way I convey them. It's all there. Listen to loads of music. It's important.

I really got to sleep now, I can't write anything without nodding all the time... damn GMC, too addictive. laugh.gif

This post has been edited by Kristian Hyvarinen: Apr 15 2011, 11:30 PM
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Apr 17 2011, 08:23 AM
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QUOTE (Wilska @ Apr 15 2011, 11:56 PM) *
I feel my weakest points are these:
Chord knowledge (sure, I know my powerchords, 3rds, 5ths etc, but "real" chords)
Rhythms that doesn't use a pedalnote or even lots of palmmuting.
Coming up with chordprogressions on the fly that aren't in the key of E or A
Freestyling fills like Jake E lee or any of the blues gods.
Different rhythm styles


There you have it mate, you answered all your problems! biggrin.gif

- Start with this order and work on chords first. First check out in theory how chords are being made and derived out of scales. Then, start practicing those chords on the fretboard.

- practice strumming the chords with various 16th note patterns

- If you want to learn chord progressions that are not in the key of E or A, you need to know all the chords within a specific keys. There are 12 keys in diatonic theory, each having a specific set of 7 chords. Try to memorize them all - it will only do you good.

- Try recording some fills of your own, in order to see what is important when creating them. Then analyze what you recorded.

- If you want to learn some other style of music, the best way to do this is to start listening that particular style a bit, and try to create some of your own songs in that style. They don't have to be hits or anything, but just record something that will sound cool and in style. This is an excellent practice for that.


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Ben Higgins
post Apr 17 2011, 11:50 AM
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Hi Wilska,

It's a totally understandable point of view that you have and I think we've all found ourselves in this position (and still do sometimes)

Sometimes it feels like we're just 1 trick ponies and that we're not well rounded enough as 'musicians' ?

From my own personal experience, I first started learning simple chords on an acoustic. I started with some really simple songs. Then I actually started jamming with the few chords I knew, so my rhythm playing developed, and my ear for minor, major sounds. The more confident and relaxed I became at strumming the rhythms I heard in my head, I was able to approach more complex things.

After a while, I started arrpeggiating chords.. just guessing my way through them.. but this is one of those key moments where you discover new ways to play chords... and to ultimately write songs.

I'm sure this is stuff you already know but my point is that learning to feel different rhythms can sometimes be the key to unlock a different approach. As for playing chords as arpeggios, you can take that anywhere.. you're not tied to a particular rhythm.

As a final point, this is something I remind myself when I think I should be able to do 'more'. We have to reconcile with ourselves, the balance between what we really want to play and what we think we 'should' be able to play. For example, I consider myself a metal guy.. although I believe that we owe it to ourselves to continue learning as musicians, I still want to play metal. That's who I am. I'm not worried about being able to play Jazz, or Calypso or Flamenco.. the people who we look up to as masters in their field are precisely that; master in their field, not masters of everything.

So somewhere between all that, it all comes together in a balance of what you want and who you are. Apart from that, everything else the other guys said ! wink.gif


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