i want to be better!

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Fuzzdawg, Mar 2, 2006.


  1. Fuzzdawg

    Fuzzdawg Member

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    i have been playing guitar for ten years. i play accoustic and electric, both rhythm and lead, and sometimes both at the same time. i know enough about the guitar to know that i play pretty good. not great, but pretty good. and it sounds good. people love it.

    the only problem is that i want my solos to sound better. i mean, they sound good, and i hit good notes, i just don't have enough practice to play really scortchin solos. specifically, i want to play blues solo's better. and i want something i can do by myself... you know, not guitar lessons.

    what do you guys recommend that will help me get better? finger excersizes? instructional dvd's? just keep soloing?
     
  2. ari

    ari Member

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    I hear ya. I feel that I'm in a similar place -- people seem to be very appreciative of my playing, but I know I have much, much more in me that's not realized.

    I guess the first thing to do is to self-analyze. Or if it's hard to do it yourself, find someone else mature and hopefully more experienced/developed (a teacher, ideally) to do it with you. Specifically, here's how you
    1. What are your goals?
    2. Which areas of your playing are lacking in relation to your goals?
    3. What are the best practice methods to improve the problem area?
    For me, I didn't take the time/money to seek out a teacher so I did it myself. I bought Tomo Fujita's DVD that everyone's talking about. I bought it not just because of its reputation, but because I knew that it covered the fundamentals well. When I tested myself against 4 most important areas he covers, (technique/precision, ear training, rhythm, and familiarity with common styles and grooves), I came up most short in the first area. I sort of knew that, but this was a confirmation. I am a player who lacks the technique to execute the music I hear in my head.

    Technique/chops/precision is easy for some players, but not for me. Fortunately, ways to develop it are not hard to figure out. So I've instituted a 15-minute every day exercise routine. (My practice habit used to be 2-3 hours, 1-2 times a week. It's too inconsistent. ) I also record myself whenever possible, and practice with metronome all the time.

    It got long but so this is how I am going about improving my playing. I am confident that if I keep this up it will achieve the results I am hoping for.

    Good luck!

    ari
     
  3. UnderTheGroove

    UnderTheGroove Supporting Member

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    A couple of suggestions:

    Practice playing solos more. Concentrate on your phrasing and think about melodies and themes instead of patterns on the fretboard. Play over some backing tracks and focus on being musical.

    Fingering exercises are going to be helpful if you keep finding yourself getting stuck and not able to physically play what you hear in your head. The Tomo DVD would be a good place to start with this. There is a book called the 30 Day Guitar Workout that is good as well.

    Learn solos by some players you like. Identify what they are playing and why it sounds good to you. Then you can incorporate some of those ideas in your own playing.
     
  4. e-z

    e-z Member

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    Try singing your solos. This can help with your phrasing. Practice with a metronome to improve your time and (eventually) speed.
     
  5. Fuzzdawg

    Fuzzdawg Member

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  6. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Member

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    +1

    Richard
     
  7. ABKB

    ABKB Member

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    If I can add something to this Fuzzdawg, and this really helped me out when I first started in a worship team. I started to pick up the song melody and playing it as a phrase of my solo during practice, then I would alter the song melody next time around. Once you get the song melody on the guitar, then you know what notes will really work with the tune, then you can alter and play with it, add some speed or double picking and whatever ya want. It works well. :AOK
     
  8. mbratch

    mbratch Member

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    The best suggestions have already been made. I'll just add that you want to listen closely and frequently to the types of music that speak to you in ways that you would like to communicate. Music is a language and is learned ultimately like a language. You can study all the grammar you want, but if you don't hang with the natives and try to talk to them, you'll never be good at it.

    And, has already been stated, practice regularly. Find opportunities to play and exercise what you know and have learned in soloing.
     
  9. KustietheKlown

    KustietheKlown Member

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    It also helps with your rate of progress if you sell your soul to the devil.
     
  10. Rush_898

    Rush_898 Member

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    I'll vouch for that.
     
  11. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

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    The most efficient way to improve your soloing bar none is by dissecting solos that you like with a phrase trainer. These handy devices allow you to play back a section of music at half speed or less without changing the pitch. The Best bang for the buck is a piece of software call "the amazing slow downer". Google it.

    This method is better than lessons and better than books/DVDs. Although I do recommend lessons if you ever want to know WHY a a certain lick sounds good over a certain chord.
     
  12. will132

    will132 Member

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    One thing I would suggest is get a subscription to Guitar Techniques for a year and dig into some of the stuff they have each month. May give you ideas and directions you may not have thought of otherwise. That and the backing tracks provided on the CD will give you a chance to try some things out by expanding on just the lesson.

    One thing they used to do is give you a transcription of a song and show you the note by note way and then throw in some alternate whys of playing certain phases. I've got one for Purple Haze that is so cool.

    Just a thought.
     

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