Advice from "Advanced" guitarists (Be honest with yourself)

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by WhoThenNow7, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. WhoThenNow7

    WhoThenNow7 SS.org Regular

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    Hi all, I'm seeking advice from those who consider themselves "Advanced". Now, I realize that no matter how good we all are, we all may never be good enough to satisfy ourselves.

    But.. I'm seeking advice from advanced players on what types of exercises you all did and/or do to get to where you are now; and maybe some key things you really focused on or emphasized on, that made your journey easier.

    I honestly consider myself an intermediate player to just entering the "advanced" category. Either way, I think this may be a good thread for a lot of members to read, and maybe even post back with results after continued practice of exercises over a period of time.

    The exercises you use doesn't have to be anything specific: Speed picking, alternate picking, legato, sweeping, etc. Trust me, I have plenty of exercises that I practice in my routine, but I just think it would be awesome to hear what some advanced players have to share on what they practice to get to where you all are!

    Note: I realize some people may be wondering what I mean by advanced.. Advanced, pretty much the guys on here who post videos of them soloing and everyone is like :bowdown:
     
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  2. CTID

    CTID SS.org Regular

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    I wouldn't call myself an "advanced" player. But then, I wouldn't say that 99% of the guitarists in my local music scene have even entered the beginner category, either.

    Anyway, practice with a metronome.

    /thread
     
  3. KristapsCoCoo

    KristapsCoCoo SS.org Regular

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    Practice those things that seems 'more advanced' to you and the things you suck at. It's hard to understand what exactly do you mean by advanced though, but anyhow - those probably are the things you should practice!
     
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  4. decreebass

    decreebass ...Mulva?

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    As you've stated, we all have a long way to go no matter how "good" we get...

    But some things that've helped me are:
    1) Practice with a metronome
    2) Learn all the notes on your guitar
    3) Learn all modes of the major scale - that'll give you the basis for all the basic shapes you're gonna be using.
    4) one finger per fret ALWAYS (keeps your pinky involved and strong)
    5) Study solos of your favorite artists. I can't tell you how much technique I've acquired from learning John Petrucci's solos. Each one is jam-packed with a bunch of little techniques that you can add to your own repertoire
    6) Don't give up. It takes time to "get better" and like any endeavor, the more you know, the more you don't know. It's possible to get highly specialized in one thing but completely neglect something very basic and fundamental, which brings me to my next point:
    7) Balanced practice - practice shredding, scales, chords, arpeggios, sweeps, strumming, alternate picking, legato technique, palm muting, etc etc.
    8) Play with other people. Nothing exposes the weaknesses in your playing like jamming with people. Play with people better than you. I've found that MOST people are willing to have a "lesser" musician in the band if you...
    9) Stay open-minded and willing to learn. If the drummer makes a suggestion and he's been playing for 20 years, you better believe he knows a thing or two about guitar. Hell - probably plays better than you. Maybe he plays keys and bass too. You never know. I've switched instruments a bunch of times in my career. Thus...
    10) Be well-rounded. Know how other instruments work - their capabilities, ranges, purposes. Don't feel like you're relegated to just guitar forever - be a conduit for music; however you're able.
    11) Finally, and I know this has been posted here before (it's where I saw it for the first time) but you will find an amazing amount of wisdom from this man here:
     
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  5. WhoThenNow7

    WhoThenNow7 SS.org Regular

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    I have gone through this approach and actually thought about this a lot! Good suggestion.

    Thanks for the info! It seems every couple years I hit a plateau, and keep looking for different things to practice. I have to learn to just be a little more patient! Good suggestions, and on #10, I have also thought about that as well, possibly learning another instrument.
     
  6. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk SS.org Regular

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    (subscribes to this thread)
     
  7. CrushingAnvil

    CrushingAnvil Ironically enough, now in Jesus Land

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    There's the ability to play at a speed, and then there's the ability to play with a certain timing.

    Simply: work on speed and dexterity, but also work on understanding and playing irrational groupings.

    Chromatic exercises are good, but I'm an advanced guitar player today because of the amount of songs I've mastered over the 11-12 years I've been playing.

    Right now I'm mastering various Dream Theater songs and certain lead parts played by Steve Lukather in Toto. Bluesy jazz fusion stuff (like Steve Lukather's solos) are great to learn.

    My method is pretty simple: find the correct Guitar Pro tab and just play it at every speed and spend a long time at .75 speed.

    Lastly, don't think that you have to develop your own completely unique style. There's no shame in finding a style of a technique and doing it that way. People praise my vibrato and bends because of the amount of Marty Friedman leads I've taught myself. So, play the music you listen to.

    That's about it!
     
  8. schwiz

    schwiz Lefty

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    I'm not "advanced" by any means, but I've been playing for 15 years so I've picked up a thing or two, and the first two words that come to mind are: Guitar Pro.

    There are plenty of legato, sweeping and various exercises on ultimate-guitar.com. Play them at a quarter speed, then half, then full speed. While learning the exercises its important to be cognizant of your picking hand and how deep you pick your strings, as well as how far your fretting fingers are away from the fretboard. I've seen people that when they play their fingers get so far away from the fretboard, that I wonder how they can be accurate. Rick Graham talks about this stuff all the time, and gives techniques for how you can be mentally aware of what you're doing so you don't just go through the motions. I've also found that it helps to switch what style of picks you use, and eventually you work around the physical differences of each pick. Currently, I've found that Dunlop Carbon Fiber Jazz picks are incredible for leads.
     
  9. KristapsCoCoo

    KristapsCoCoo SS.org Regular

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    True dat! I actually don't remember the last time I've learned a complicated song without Guitar Pro... 'Speed trainer' function is what I basically have to thank to for all of my skill, haha...
     
  10. will_shred

    will_shred Wannabe audio engineer

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    Paul Gilbert instructional tapes honestly help a lot.
     
  11. coffeeflush

    coffeeflush Well-Known Member

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  12. RandyC_deactivated

    RandyC_deactivated bobandy

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    I don't consider myself advanced by any means but i agree with the previous responses when they say METRONOME+warmups and METRONOME+exercises.
    Also I found that changing up my regular warm up routine and exercise routines helped my muscle memory more than if i just played the same warm ups and routines everyday(kind of like using muscle confusion to increase gains when you're weight lifting, except when you apply that to guitar you gain speed, technique, accuracy and the general feel for that particular guitar).
    Also if you slow it down and practice slow & "perfect"(no mistakes) your muscle memory will be more in tune when you speed things up and you'll find it easier to play at higher speeds. You definitely need to slowly increase the speed by small increments at a time though, you cant expect to just rip out face melting, gut wrenching hispeed licks after just a few minutes of practicing at 100 bpm. And if you try to jump to that high of a speed right off the bat let me tell you what happens from experience, you'll hurt your hand! It like cramps up and makes you want to cry and spear your guitar through the wall and the pain in your hand can last for weeks if you're not careful. So make sure to actually warm up, don't learn the hard way like me lol.
     
  13. ace_operations

    ace_operations SS.org Regular

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    As much as Guitar Pro has helped me in the past, it is also great to try to tab things out yourself. You can start with simple riffs in the beginning and then move on to some simple solos before hitting the insane stuff. The advantage of this is that you learn to recognize patterns by ear and identify hard and easy parts. For example, you hear something and go, "those are 16th note triplets at 160 bpm! - I'm gonna work on that". It is also great to get your ear trained for times you don't have tabs. A good case would be when you audition for a band, and they give you a few songs to learn before you show up. You might have only a few days to get your act together and make an impression. Just my 2c.
     
  14. gorthul

    gorthul SS.org Regular

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    I'm far from being an advanced play, I consider myself more like an intermediate-beginner. But this is pretty much the best tip. If you want to be fast AND clean, you have to learn to play accurately in time.
    Also another thing that really helped me is to record what I play and check if it is clean and / or in time.

    So download Reaper or use another DAW of your choice and record it next time you practice scales. You will make improvements in a pretty short time when you do this. You get to realize when you are off time even when it is only a few milliseconds, you won't notice these micro-mistakes when you are just playing along to a metronome.

    Also one other thing that is very important in my opinion is, to not only focus on the genre of music you want to play. Sure, you need to play metal music if you want to play metalmusic, but it can also help you to learn some jazz or funk, even hip hop. Simply because other techniques and music can be very inspiring and will eventually make your own music more interesting, if those other genres shine through.
     
  15. GiveUpGuitar

    GiveUpGuitar Give Up the Goods!

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    Play SLOWER. The key to all things guitar. Practice/warm up slow, but precise. You'll love yourself for doing so.
     
  16. Konfyouzd

    Konfyouzd Return of the Dread-I

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    Where you feel you are weak, spend more time practicing. There's no secret.
     
  17. decreebass

    decreebass ...Mulva?

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    I love this tip. I still think of Dream Theater's "One Last Time" where it slows WAY down. Many drummers I've worked with have the most difficult time playing slow and cleanly/in time. It's easy to play fast.

     
  18. TonyGD

    TonyGD The (other) Dude

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    Play to a metronome every day, if not whenever you decide to play. Create little warm up exercises for yourself. EX:You're learning a riff from a song, you can't play it clean 100%- make a warm up riff out of that one riff til ya get it right.
    No matter how annoying it gets repetition will help you build muscle memory.
    Playing with amp in a clean setting will also help you hear more mistakes that can be masked by distortion.
    Starting slow is a great tip too. Just like anything else:if you regularly exercise a weak area, it will gradually become stronger.
     
  19. CTID

    CTID SS.org Regular

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    Another tip I can actually think of is record yourself playing. Nothing points out the glaringly obvious flaws in your playing that you didn't notice at the time like listening afterwards. When I first started recording myself I noticed ridiculous amounts of flaws in my playing, and it's motivated me to clean it up a LOT.
     
  20. FILTHnFEAR

    FILTHnFEAR Dread it, run from it....

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    I'm not advanced by any means, but the things that have made me improve the most is:

    practicing consistently and with a metronome

    recording myself playing so I can hear what I need to improve

    getting back to playing with other people
     

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