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How to get better at guitar...FAST

Discussion in 'Bar' started by HandsOfDespair, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. HandsOfDespair

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    Hey guys,

    I really want to improve my guitar playing, but I don't know where to start...I want to be tighter with the click and have a cleaner playing when I do solos...

    Any exercises you would recommend? I wonder if it's better to play exercises or to learn real songs... Let's say I have 4 hours a day to practice, how should I divide it?

    Thanks!
     
  2. SentencedToBurn

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    only way to get better playing with a click is to practice playing with a click.
     
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  3. Harry Hughes

    Harry Hughes   ‬‬

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    To be honest, as far as playing to a click goes, that's it really, just keep playing to the click. Exercises, writing riffs and practicing riffs to a click........just as long as you're playing to that click really.
    If you can't play something at full speed, slow it down by maybe half, or whatever, and gradually increase the tempo over the weeks and months.
    Maybe increase the tempo by 1BPM a day, or a few
    BPM every few days. You just have to find out with experimenting what will work for you.
    Speed is a by product of accuracy. Once you have that speed down, it's a matter of maintaining it, which fortunately is a lot easier than getting to that point in the first place.
    Also helps to try not to play stuff that's beyond your level. A lot of musicians do this and end up sloppy as fuck on stage.
    Yes, you might have to sacrifice a bit of perceived technicality, but playing something a little bit simpler beats the hell out of trying to play beyond your ability and having it sound like ass.
     
  4. tarbh666

    tarbh666 Member

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    Practice a bunch of scales such as the harmonic minor, diminished scales to a click and start at a really low tempo like 60bpm. Use strict alternate picking (down, up, down, up). Practice at this tempo for like a minute and then start increasing the tempo of the metronome and follow the same procedure until you get to your comfort zone. You can always push your boundaries by trying at a speed that's too much and then dropping back the tempo by 8bpm.
    Also, I suggest string skipping exercises, legato, economy picking and sweeped arpeggios. You can find tons of exercises on sites such as metalguitarist, sevenstring.org, riversofgore.com

    Also, practice with a clean sound. I can't stress that enough. That will improve your picking and technique more than the use of a click.
     
  5. Boerboel666

    Boerboel666 Member

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    Go find the book Creative guitar 1 by Guthrie Govan . The first third of the book is Guthrie talking about everything to do with practice routines playing with clicks how to clean up your tech and a whole lot more . There are also lots of exercises each one has some commentary from Guthrie explaining why he developed these practice routines . If you buy this book and follow it through correctly it will sort your playing out big time . Comes with a cd as well .
     
  6. Fragle

    Fragle Member

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    disagree. you really need some gain in there, otherwise you won't notice any bad dampening, weird pick noises and other. i see where you're coming from though.
    i suggest practicing with a distorted but rather low gain sound. to get any real crunch out of a setting like that you have to dig in hard, too, which is always good.

    also, record yourself. it's amazing how different things tend to sound when you're playing them as opposed to just listening to something you've recorded.

    last but not least: it's true, start SLOW. muscle memory is a great thing.
     
  7. wutzington

    wutzington massive member

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    What helped me clean up my riffs and really had an "aha-effect" was slowing my riffs down to really painful tempos for practice. Let's say you have an alternate picking riff at 250 bpm - set your click to 100bpm and play the riff 10 times. Then add 10bpm, if you didn't make any mistakes. If you notice just one little sloppiness/mistake, play it 10 more times. Add 10 bpm everytime you manage to get through 10 times in a row perfectly, until you are at your desired speed.
    Brutal exercise, but works.
     
  8. Meelad360

    Meelad360 New Metal Member

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    On AJ Minette's formspring, I read that what he does is starts at a slow tempo, then once he can play it perfectly, he increases the bpm by 4, then once playing that perfectly, he decreases by 2. Once he hits his max speed he decreases by 2, plays it perfectly, then increases by 4.
     
  9. ATLA

    ATLA Member

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    practice to click. dont practice with high gain! start slow and feel what ever it is your practicing until your 100% sure you have the feel of the riff/lick down and then increase the speed until your satisfied.
     
  10. Skinny Viking

    Skinny Viking ¯\(°_o)/¯ How do Lydian?

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    instead of practicing scales and shit to a click set up drum grooves in your DAW or on a drum machine and practice to that. Its a lot more fun to play to beats that a *blip blip blip bleep* and if its more fun, its more interesting ... if its more interesting the desire to continue playing and practicing is greater. More playing & practice filled with fun = vast improvement in shorter amount of time
     
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  11. SimonTaddio_Qc

    SimonTaddio_Qc Headbanger

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    1) Achète le DVD de Howen Morgan Fingerboard Breakthrough
    2) Regarde le
    3) Pratique
    4) Répète l'étape 2 et 3 tous les jours jusqu'à ce que l'effet désiré soit ressenti
     
  12. Uladyne

    Uladyne Greg

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    I'm really horrible at guitar because I never practice and I'm sure you're light years ahead of me, but in addition to what everyone else said, if no one has already said it I have two things to add:

    1. Record your practices and try to double them. If you can play it clean multiple times, bravo, but if you can lay an identical clean performance over the top of an already clean performance, you're the fucking man.

    2. Cut your click tempo in half. I learned this from an Adam Nitti video, and if i ever practiced this would probably be one of my main exercises. :D Basically start playing a riff or lead run or whatever at a comfortable speed with the metronome clicking off quarter notes. Once you've done this for a while, cut the tempo in half but play the riff/lead run at the same speed you were playing before, so now you're only hearing half note clicks. Then cut it in half again and you're only getting a click at the start of each measure. Keep cutting it in half to challenge yourself and see if you can stay on time while only hearing a click at the start of every other measure, or go even further if you can (depends on the riff).

    This would actually be a great exercise for any band member, especially drummers. :)
     
  13. SimonTaddio_Qc

    SimonTaddio_Qc Headbanger

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    I could add try practicing with the click on beat 2 and 4 (say, like a regular snare hit).
    Sounds waaay easier than it is
     
  14. JonWormwood

    JonWormwood Member

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    Try practicing with the click on the "and" ( 1 and 2 and etc)

    It's a bitch.
     
  15. midget donkeys

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    Hello I am Mr. Donkeys and I support this message. Brought to you by the council for fun guitar practice.

    If you want to make it even cooler after you jam with the drum loop for a bit record a riff you come up with, then loop it and jam over the top of yourself. This is how I write songs/practice/have fun etc.
     
  16. Jind

    Jind Grrrr!!! (I'm a bear)

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    Basically this is it for me - playing painfully slow to get clean and fast (to a click of course). Also playing something correct at whatever speed your at as a repeatable behavior. I tend to use 20 times for whatever practice sequence or riff I'm attempting. Say it's something like chromatic runs - I play it at a particular speed and only when I can play it 20 times in a row without error do I move up a few beats. If I fail on the 19th time, I stop - shake out my hands and start at 1 again at that speed - only moving up speed when it's flawless. I had an instructor who got me into that little self discipline routine and it helped quite a bit.

    But unfortunately there is no "quick" way to skilled playing.
     
  17. abigor731

    abigor731 Member

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    the "if i can play it flawlessly then i move 5bpm up" approach does work, and it usually does lead to tight playing, but on its own it is not the most efficient one

    the big problem of that concept is that you aren't doing the same motions when you play at diffenent tempos
    it sounds plausible that you can program a flawless pattern of motions into your muscle memory, and then speed it up by "training" it, but this is not entirely how it works
    you can program a motion pattern into your muscle memory, but if it can be sped up depends on the speed limit of the individual motions used
    individual motions cannot be trained to go faster beyond a certain point, the motion just changes when you go faster then

    the problem is that it is virtually impossible to execute the same motion pattern both slow and fast
    there is the analogy of walking and running:
    if you play something slow, trying to use the same motions as when playing fast, its like trying to run in slow motion, it can look the same, but from the perspective of muscles used, muscle memory etc. its not the same

    so my advice would be to play both slow and fast from time to time, and when playing fast its not a problem if there are some mistakes, the most important thing is to analyze them,
    analyze your technique, try to understand what motions you're doing

    if you're always accidentially hitting too much strings when you change strings on a specific up-/downstroke/string change combinaition, you might need to incorporate a short motion into the motion pattern which moves the pick away from the strings before digging into the next string,
    then you need to find a motion that works for this (preferably fast, slow ones are easier to find anyway),
    it can help to start slow when finding a motion, but i recommend trying it fast too, it doesn't have to work right away, just try to see if it could be done fast
    then try to practice it as isolated as possible

    there are two kinds of mistakes, mistakes that come from insufficient routine and practice, ans mistakes that come from wrong technique (those are the ones you're always doing again and again)
    with the strict good old "play clean before you play fast" approach you're on the safe side, because if you play something clean your technique is right for that.
    however it may be right for the tempo that you can play it clean, but also wrong for another tempo,
    in practice thats the case when you reach a plateau, a plateau is when you've reached a point where the motion you're using can't be sped up any more
    that's also where the conventional approach is ineficcient, because you just repeat the same motion over and over until you accidentially find a better one
    this is the point where its better to actively think about other motions, holds, etc. that you could use and try them out without caring too much about mistakes, it can inspire you to use diffenent motions that perhaps can go faster, or yeld different tones

    EDIT: i misread the thread title, i thought it would be just about playing fast, but the OP actually specified the areas where he wants to get better, and playing faster is not one of them
    in that case i agree with the others, practicing to a click/pattern is the most important thing, recording yourself also helps
    what i wrote about analyzing one's technique still applies

    oh and about the gain thing:
    i think sweeps should be practiced both undergained and overgained, because an integral part of sweeping is dampening technique, and you can hear ringing strings, cratching noise etc. better with more gain
    riffs should be practiced undergained mostly, also normalgained sometimes, because the chuggas sound totally different, and the thing with the ringing strings still applies
    it really helps to use different tones,
    buzzy tones (like bloodbath, lots of bass before the distortion) behave totally different like tighter ones (stuff with ts, more higs before the distortion), and are harder to control sometimes
     
  18. NSGUITAR

    NSGUITAR Member

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    there's some good instructors right here on the forum ;)
     
  19. riffer_mania

    riffer_mania New Metal Member

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    just pray to God and go to sleep...next day you will play faster for sure...
     
  20. nezvers

    nezvers Beast

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    For click stuff - in my experience just playing with click isn't always the answer. Sometimes it's needed to dial your brain and subconscious into click by simple exercise - hitting tight short note/ sound to 1/8 or 1/16 click or kick sample. You need to actually pay attention so your playing and click sound almost like one sound. Especially useful if you had week or so off playing. After that play some riffs and actually concentrate for that monolithic sound. Later your subconscious will do that for you.
     

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