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> No Idea What To Practice.
Qenzoz
post May 21 2011, 08:50 PM
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Hello smile.gif, as the topic says I have no idea what to practice, and it would mean alot to me if you would like to try and help me to solve the problem thats been keeping me away from playing guitar actively, and yeah I know that the text is somewhat long tongue.gif.

First of all, I haven't been playing guitar for that long, I've had a guitar for almost a year now, but due to not knowing what to practice, I have only played guitar for around 10-12 weeks.... I regret that alot (not having played more often), but I got really stressed since I didn't know if my practice routine was effective or not, of course no matter what you do (almost) gives you some sort of progress, but I wanted it to be effective too.

So, I checked out alot of guitar sites, YouTube videos & comments, and tried to find the "perfect" practice routine, and then I was like BAM I got it, but no i didn't. The routine it self might have been effective but not for me, since it was something like I had to sit for 5 minutes and play a pattern over and over again, and that just bores the hell out of me. So I thought that I should just learn songs and riffs, like I did when I first got my guitar, since that was fun, but then I remembered after the first 3 weeks I played guitar and then I wanted to get the "perfect" practice routine, I didn't even know what a F power chord, C chord was, a scale, palm muting was, etc.. all I did was I went to a tab site and downloaded the guitar pro tab, and that was it. By now I know theory and all that (chords, scales tongue.gif). And I was really worried that if I just played songs and had fun, and didn't "torture" my self I wouldn't get an effective way of progressing and maybe it would take alot longer before I could maybe play the stuff I really want to play.
(I like speedish/shreddish metal stuff especially something like Paul Gilbert, so, yeah speed is kind of an important thing for me tongue.gif).

Then I subscribed to GMC, the first time back in 2010, I didn't really get alot out of it, mostly just more stress since then I had more oppurtinities for practicing, then here again in 2011 I resubscribed, and now I've decided to create this little topic and maybe get some information/help about how to practice and how to get a fun and useful practice routine, or maybe if you guys could tell me how you practiced when you started out, BTW I am only at the 3-4 difficulty rating here at GMC.

But I have a major focus on developing techniques (legato, tapping, sweeping, tremolo picking, palm muting, etc) & speed, but in a fun way, like learning it from songs, instead of sitting for 5 minutes and playing something over and over and over and over and over till you actually enjoy the idea of going to school...

Well, thats about it, if you have any questions or anything just ask smile.gif, and I can easily spend 8 hours a day practicing/playing guitar, if I'm having fun biggrin.gif

Best regards, Qenzoz & thanks in advance smile.gif


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thefireball
post May 21 2011, 09:12 PM
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I am the same way with theory. I want to know what to practice. What should I focus on? Ok, intervals...but what about them? Should I know what a 5th and a 4th is for example? And that's all? Please give me some advice too. biggrin.gif


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MonkeyDAthos
post May 21 2011, 09:50 PM
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QUOTE (thefireball @ May 21 2011, 09:12 PM) *
I am the same way with theory. I want to know what to practice. What should I focus on? Ok, intervals...but what about them? Should I know what a 5th and a 4th is for example? And that's all? Please give me some advice too. biggrin.gif



that makes us 2 wink.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post May 21 2011, 11:29 PM
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Some members, including myself have made some lesson plans, check them out:

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...mp;#entry451092

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...mp;#entry312457

If you have any questions along the way - let us know! smile.gif


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zen
post May 22 2011, 12:49 AM
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QUOTE (Qenzoz @ May 22 2011, 05:50 AM) *
But I have a major focus on developing techniques (legato, tapping, sweeping, tremolo picking, palm muting, etc) & speed, but in a fun way, like learning it from songs, instead of sitting for 5 minutes and playing something over and over and over and over and over till you actually enjoy the idea of going to school...


The path to developing strong technique is via exercising and really working very hard at it. And accepting that sometimes, it will not be as much fun as playing a song. But the results will be 10 folds. You can make the exercises interesting by recording your own backing track etc rather than playing on metronome. Most songs contain a lot of techniques and you should be isolating them and drilling them. But those parts are far too short for you to exercise over to master that technique. You will get more bored learning that short sweep pattern of a song over n over again as compared to doing a complete sweeping exercises going across the neck in various chord progressions. That exercise will eventually help you to nail that short sweep pattern in the song. If you are really serious about this, please don't look for short cuts, it'll only hamper your progress. Instead, just balance out doing exercises with playing songs etc, so you still feel motivated.



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dark dude
post May 22 2011, 01:11 AM
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There are probably a lot of things you suck at on guitar. A lot of players will always choose to mess around on guitar, rather than concentrate on their weaknesses and do so regularly.

Once you know the areas you want to improve, analyse why you find them so difficult, and slowly work on that technique. Make sure that you acknowledge every bit of progress you make, and don't forget to choose a song you really love and practice that too. It's one thing to want to work on your technique and be stuck doing e.g. inside picking exercises for most of your session, but it will crush your motivation, and will most certainly not be fun.

Balance is the key.

Btw, one way of spicing up the boring technique part of practice is to use a drum machine instead of a metronome. Or perhaps using a backing track and practicing the technique in that key.


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SpaseMoonkey
post May 22 2011, 01:59 AM
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I remember when I started had teachers and that. It helped but the one moved and I gave up everything was so overwhelming.

Well a few years ago I picked up the guitar again self-taught myself. I hated doing exercises and techniques because it was really boring so I tried to work around it. Say I wanted to do alt picking on multi-strings. Well I'd try to play Master of Puppets or Crazy Train. I worked on them for awhile trying to play the intros till I got better then I'd move to a harder song like Technical Difficulties by Racer X. That way it made it more fun than just a 1-2-3-4 , 1-2-4 , 1-3-4.

After I got to a certain point I felt "stuck" like nothing I did I could get better. So I started to re-work everything the boring way. Before I started GMC I couldn't string skip or really play songs like Glasgow Kiss by Petrucci, now I can kind make my way slowly through it.

Everyone here promotes a 10-30m practice of a technique. So what I found works for me was. Play something boring for 10m, then I'll keep doing it while watching tv for 30m, check it after that and do another 10m session so that my body gets use to playing it but it becomes second nature. After that I go into learning riffs thats similar to what I need to work on.

For Instance I'm working my alt picking and bends. I recorded a video and posted it here took some key advice from others and they pointed out things that I'm like oh! Yeah I see what you mean I don't match this and wow look at them flying fingers. So I might tap a note on a higher string and use a lower string to bend to that note to work on my bending/ear training. Then I will run some scales then try and find solo's based of scale work and play it till I build up the speed and go from there with my alt picking.

We are all different and we each have different practicing needs. But others can always help you and make an impact.


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Azzaboi
post May 22 2011, 03:22 AM
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I personally think Guitar Pro is useless, specially for someone just learning, sure it's improved itself over the years, sounds better, but I still refuse to use it. You learn nothing except with notes to pick, you still play sloppy, no technique, no emotion, no creativity, etc. My point: While it nicely plays and shows possibly correct or incorrect tabs it in no way helps your learning, in fact all it did for me was help develop bad habits.

I highly recommend getting a book like from Troy Stetina, which actually focuses on each hand, position, technique, and breaks down the lick, so you come to know your bad habits and focus on your weak areas.

Don't practice on one thing too much. Mix it up with different patterns, etc, then give it a break. Come GMC and find a fun lick to play and practice from what you have learnt.

Rather than doing the same things over and over sloppy, thinking the 1000s time it's magically going to be clean and faster. Slow it down and first work on reducing movement in both hands. Break it down into small pieces. Playing fast isn't about thrashing the pick around, but less distance equals faster speeds.

When playing something over and over, you should be focusing on one of your hands, then the other, to improve. Keep relaxed. Once your got it, zone out, watch tv, etc, still while playing. Your automatically keep going and it's becomes second nature.

Theory is boring as! I won't lie. However, the idea of learning scales and some theory, is so you can make your own solos and licks. Scales can be loads of fun. Seriously learn one scale and you can shred around it like crazy. Learn more scales, suddenly they all link together and your entire fretboard becomes the playground. You can make your own or pick up on other songs and people playing, copy or recreate it!



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Ivan Milenkovic
post May 22 2011, 09:32 AM
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If you are only just starting out with guitar playing, I advise you that you first work on your chords, rhythm playing, and some simple licks around chords, this will be interesting enough. smile.gif

If you are only just starting out with guitar playing, I advise you that you first work on your chords, rhythm playing, and some simple licks around chords, this will be interesting enough. smile.gif


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Kristofer Dahl
post May 22 2011, 09:47 AM
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Hey Quenzoz - first of all it was very wise of you to pop in to the forum this time around and ask for help - rather than trying to figure it out on your own. Who knows it might be a game changer for you.

There are many ways to approach this - and therefore you will get different answers.

When reading your post - it is quite obvious to me that you DON'T need a set of fixed routines and exercises - as that will make you loose interest. Even though that might be the right thing to do at some point in your playing career - it is not the right thing for you to do now.

My answer to you is simple: Start with any lesson which seems fun and doable to you - your goal should be to just play all day and have fun. Whenever you get the "hey what I am doing playing this level 3 lesson when I want to shred" feeling, then just tell yourself that "as long as I am having fun and sitting with the guitar all day - I am going in the right direction".

Trust me that as soon as you stray from the 'having fun' path - and start pushing yourself in a direction you think will be beneficial (but not very fun) there is major risk you will put the guitar down.

SO: Have fun and play A LOT - don't worry too much about being technically proficient or your progress rate. I GUARANTEE you it will come as long as you don't put the guitar down.

Please keep us updated at least on a monthly basis on how you manage to keep your motivation up. You can post in this topic as it will be easier for us to track your progress.

This post has been edited by Kristofer Dahl: May 22 2011, 09:47 AM


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Ben Higgins
post May 22 2011, 10:56 AM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ May 22 2011, 09:47 AM) *
Hey Quenzoz - first of all it was very wise of you to pop in to the forum this time around and ask for help - rather than trying to figure it out on your own. Who knows it might be a game changer for you.

There are many ways to approach this - and therefore you will get different answers.

When reading your post - it is quite obvious to me that you DON'T need a set of fixed routines and exercises - as that will make you loose interest. Even though that might be the right thing to do at some point in your playing career - it is not the right thing for you to do now.

My answer to you is simple: Start with any lesson which seems fun and doable to you - your goal should be to just play all day and have fun. Whenever you get the "hey what I am doing playing this level 3 lesson when I want to shred" feeling, then just tell yourself that "as long as I am having fun and sitting with the guitar all day - I am going in the right direction".

Trust me that as soon as you stray from the 'having fun' path - and start pushing yourself in a direction you think will be beneficial (but not very fun) there is major risk you will put the guitar down.

SO: Have fun and play A LOT - don't worry too much about being technically proficient or your progress rate. I GUARANTEE you it will come as long as you don't put the guitar down.

Please keep us updated at least on a monthly basis on how you manage to keep your motivation up. You can post in this topic as it will be easier for us to track your progress.


The Messiah has spoken and taken the words out of mouth. Absolutely agree 100%.

I won't tell you what to do but I'll tell you how I got into guitar playing. I learnt a few chords on the acoustic guitar.. after a few months of jamming around with these chords and developing my rhythm and strumming capabilities, I asked my parents for an electric. When that finally happened all I did was try to learn riffs. The key area I developed was rhythm and timing. I didn't have the internet (or even a phone line !) so I wasn't distracted by the possibility of learning how to sweep (whatever that was) way before I should even think about attempting stuff like that.

Most of my time playing was spent either trying to play along to tapes of Maiden or Guns N Roses.. after I learnt basic chords shapes and barre chords (which was the holy grail to unlocking the power of finding riffs) I could then attempt find the right chords by moving around the nek until what I was doing sounded close to what I was hearing on the tapes. So as well as my timing I had been developing my ear without knowing it.

If I had not done this and instead had been presented with an endless temptation of licks that were well beyond my capability and maturity, I probably wouldn't have deveoped my foundations at a natural pace as well as enjoying it at the same time.. I think our formative years in guitar playing are when we need to just enjoy it and feel the passion of what we're doing so we get 'sucked down into' the world of the guitar to the point of no return ( wink.gif) and it's not until we're hooked and have reached a level of capability and confidence that we need to start looking at harder and ore ambitious techniques.

The trouble with having the internet is that it's tempting to skip ahead and attempt things that we're just not ready for yet (that goes for all of us) but in real life, a skill in an art develops itself at it's own natural pace by us putting one foot in front of the other and the rewards are gradually revealed.. we've just got to let it happen smile.gif


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Qenzoz
post May 22 2011, 12:44 PM
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Thanks for all your answers smile.gif.
It helps ALOT to get someone elses opinion on this, and I think I know what to do now.

I'm just going to learn alot of cool stuff here on GMC, songs, licks, riffs that suits me and then I bet i'll get to the shredding someday smile.gif
One thing that I love about GMC is there is a difficulty rating on the lessons, that is extremely motivating, so I think if I just start out playing stuff thats at level 2, and after sometime I feel like going for level 3, then 4 then 5, then 6, then 7, and then 10 suddenly biggrin.gif.
Now I just have to make sure I never put the guitar away again smile.gif

Its kind of weird, I created a topic on this site, and after 1 day I pretty much got the mind opening answers... Makes me sad somehow since I have used months on trying to figure out a good way to progress, but that just shows that GMC is the best place to be smile.gif

QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ May 22 2011, 08:47 AM) *
Please keep us updated at least on a monthly basis on how you manage to keep your motivation up. You can post in this topic as it will be easier for us to track your progress.

I will do that biggrin.gif
So in 1 month I hope I can say I haven't put the guitar away, and that I've just been rocking and having fun for the entire month biggrin.gif, all I need now is some patience medicine rolleyes.gif

Thanks again everyone smile.gif, cheers cool.gif


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