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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Introduction:

I've been playing a little over 6 years now, September of 2004 was when I started playing guitar. Nothing super interesting happened for a majority of the time. Thrash started it for me; Metallica, Pantera, etc. and then I moved to Death Metal, and I'm into Black Metal now, as well as Progressive Rock, Fusion, Folk/some New Age music, and classical. As everyone knows, Black Metal is about 95% devoid of skillful guitar playing, and very few bands write interesting music. It's my personal favorite metal genre, but I want to expand as far as soloing goes.

Now for the interesting bit...

My favorite guitar players are David Gilmour, John Mclaughlin, Ihsahn, the guys from Negura Bunget and now Dordeduh, Roger Trigaux(Univers Zero and then Present), Frank Zappa, Alex Lifeson, John Gossard, Michael Hedges, John Doan, etc.

What I want to know is how to approach soloing, some songs to start with learning, technique, etc.

I've never:
taken lessons
used a backing track
learned scales for the guitar
taken ear training seriously, so I have no idea how to "listen"
played live

My frustration has been born out of not understanding my instrument, so bad that I don;t even want to play it most days and the fact that I cannot jam with friends, ie. I have no idea what to do when it's my turn to solo/riff etc.

Anything is helpful!

Thanks,
Trevor
 

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Pallin' around
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Introduction:

I've never:
taken lessons
used a backing track
learned scales for the guitar
taken ear training seriously, so I have no idea how to "listen"
To be honest, do all of this. Learning theory is an important task that allows you to create interesting lines over chord changes. You need to know scales otherwise you will be playing "Slayer solos".

Really, you will just have to take things slowly. I highly recommend finding a guitar teacher you like (don't just randomly choose one, try a few out), and start digging into the material. There is a fair amount of work involved in being a good lead player, but in my opinion, it is worth it.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
To be honest, do all of this. Learning theory is an important task that allows you to create interesting lines over chord changes. You need to know scales otherwise you will be playing "Slayer solos".

Really, you will just have to take things slowly. I highly recommend finding a guitar teacher you like (don't just randomly choose one, try a few out), and start digging into the material. There is a fair amount of work involved in being a good lead player, but in my opinion, it is worth it.
To be honest, I have theory knowledge. That's no issue. I took lessons from a guy for a month and learned nothing. There are 3 guitar stores in my area that offer lessons. I'll be talking with them now! Thanks man! Any songs I should learn?
 

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Pallin' around
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To be honest, I have theory knowledge. That's no issue. I took lessons from a guy for a month and learned nothing. There are 3 guitar stores in my area that offer lessons. I'll be talking with them now! Thanks man! Any songs I should learn?
How do you have theory knowledge but you say you never learned scales on the guitar? If you know theory you already know the scales. If you know theory well enough you would never even have to memorize scales, because you would know the invervallic spelling of each scale and mode, and be able to play them instantly without practicing it.

As far as songs that you should learn, I would say start with jazz standards, because they often switch modes and keys, as well as utilize chord substitutions.

However, if you are just looking to increase your technical competency, try the stuff mentioned in this thread:

http://www.metalguitarist.org/forum/guitar-theory-playing/24139-left-right-hand-synchronization.html

I have a post on page 2 that should help you out a bit.

Also, technical difficulties by Paul Gilbert is a great song for alternate picking technique practice.
 

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NSLALP
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13,286 Posts
Definitely recommend a teacher with whom you see eye-to-eye on; don't find an old blues dude if you are into tech death. My teacher is a straight-up 80's shred and prog guy, and while that's not my bag, it translates well into a variety of musical styles, and I can appreciate his background and he appreciates mine.

Working through a method, using a metronome, and combining technical work with songwriting practice and song learning will make you a versatile musician.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
How do you have theory knowledge but you say you never learned scales on the guitar? If you know theory you already know the scales. If you know theory well enough you would never even have to memorize scales, because you would know the invervallic spelling of each scale and mode, and be able to play them instantly without practicing it.

As far as songs that you should learn, I would say start with jazz standards, because they often switch modes and keys, as well as utilize chord substitutions.

However, if you are just looking to increase your technical competency, try the stuff mentioned in this thread:

http://www.metalguitarist.org/forum/guitar-theory-playing/24139-left-right-hand-synchronization.html

I have a post on page 2 that should help you out a bit.

Also, technical difficulties by Paul Gilbert is a great song for alternate picking technique practice.
I know it's weird, but I've only learned minor and major scales and never went further. But yes, I am familiar with harmonic, melodic, dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian, etc. scales. I also never learned 12 bar blues. I guess the two have never really crossed over.

If it helps, I learned the solos from Shine On You Crazy Diamond. If I can get the camera to work, I'll post a video of my playing that.
 

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NSLALP
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I know it's weird, but I've only learned minor and major scales and never went further. But yes, I am familiar with harmonic, melodic, dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian, etc. scales. I also never learned 12 bar blues. I guess the two have never really crossed over.
Bro, no offense intended obviously, but it seems like your music theory is not 100%, so a teacher can help you in this regard if you find a good one. There's a lot more to it than knowing the formulae for the different modes, etc. For serious self-study, the Guitar Grimoire books are highly regarded in this matter.
 

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Pallin' around
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I know it's weird, but I've only learned minor and major scales and never went further. But yes, I am familiar with harmonic, melodic, dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian, etc. scales.
That don't make no damn sense :lol:

Well, it seems like you are well on your way to soloing, you don't need my advice. Just keep at it. :yesway:
 

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Where?!
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OK, sounds like you're at least approaching it in the right way.:yesway:

I'd say you MUST know the following to start with...

Scales.

Major and minor (sounds like you've got these down!) and their associated pentatonics. Don't just learn them in one position though. Make sure you know them all over the neck. Don't worry too much about wrapping your head around modes intitially...just make sure you know the major and minor inside out, all over the neck.
After that, get stuck into the diminished scale, the harmonic minor and its mode, the melodic minor and its modes, the augmented scale, and the wholetone scale. You could also learn the harmonic major and its modes, but that doesn't really pop up much, so it's not really essential.

Chords.

This relates to the above. Learn how chords are derived from scales, and get used to seeing chord voicings within the scales you've already learnt.
The biggest problem most people have with turning scales into music is that a lot of the time they've just leant an intervallic formula (WWHWWWH etc.) and haven't taken the time to break each scale down into its component parts and really learnt to resolve phrases to chord tones.
In terms of voicings, learn triads on all string combinations, the CAGED system, and then seventh chords. Don't worry about extended voicings or drop voicings initially. Just make sure you can relate the voicings you do know to your scales.

Progressions.

As above, start simple. For a chosen scale, record yourself playing the I chord over and over again and practice playing melodically against it, trying to resolve nicely to chord tones. Don't worry about trying to shred over it; that's pointless if you've got no idea where to finish a phrase. Try doing this all over the neck, in all the scale positions you've learnt.
After that, add a second chord, like a I-IV, I-V, or I-vi vamp, and get used to targeting the appropriate tones in each bar.
After that you can get into longer progressions like 12 bar blues, or pretty much anything else that takes your fancy. Avoid throwing yourself into jazz too quickly, as most jazz tunes go back and forth between keys fairly rapidly, and will be pretty overwhelming if this stuff isn't second nature.

Ear training.

Try downloading an ear training programme called Solfege. It's a massive help for learning to identify chords and intervals, and is pretty easy to use. Also, try singing along with your scales while you practice them, as this really helps you internalise the sounds.
Start off by learning to identify individual intervals and chord types, and then try deciphering actual melodies without your guitar.

Hope that all makes sense...good luck!
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Bro, no offense intended obviously, but it seems like your music theory is not 100%, so a teacher can help you in this regard if you find a good one. There's a lot more to it than knowing the formulae for the different modes, etc. For serious self-study, the Guitar Grimoire books are highly regarded in this matter.
Yeah, I figured as much. The Guitar Grimoire books, I thought had not the greatest reviews. I have a book called The Progressive Guitarist Scale book, and that one is actually pretty good. It suggests chords to use over scales, and also goes over modes and some more exotic scales :yesway:

Thanks a lot so far guys!
 

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Registered
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OK, sounds like you're at least approaching it in the right way.:yesway:

I'd say you MUST know the following to start with...

*snip*

Hope that all makes sense...good luck!
How long would you say it takes for someone completely music illiterate to get through this program?
 

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THUNDERBEEEEAR!
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Allan holdsworth says it takes about 5 years from you learn something until you can apply it to your music....










;)
 

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THUNDERBEEEEAR!
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that was ment to be a joke, although he did say that in an interview.
It really depends on the person and how hard you apply yourself. I know people that became really good players in a year or two, at least technically, maturity as a musician takes a while longer imo.
 

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Theory Guy
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Yeah, I figured as much. The Guitar Grimoire books, I thought had not the greatest reviews. I have a book called The Progressive Guitarist Scale book, and that one is actually pretty good. It suggests chords to use over scales, and also goes over modes and some more exotic scales :yesway:

Thanks a lot so far guys!
Yeah, I'm not a big fan of the Grimoire series. There's no method: it's just concepts without relation or theory.
 

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Where?!
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How long would you say it takes for someone completely music illiterate to get through this program?
Errrm...I think that really depends on the person. If you consistently work at a little bit of everything every day, you should begin to see results fairly quickly...
 

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Is Actually Recording
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Yeah, I'm not a big fan of the Grimoire series. There's no method: it's just concepts without relation or theory.
That was my issue with it, too. It just presented you a lot of scale patterns, with only cursory information about what to do with them.

Um, soloing, for an absolute beginner...

You're definitely going to want to learn your theory, but while I'd definitely start studying it and learning it as well as you can, more immediately I'd just start in on learning a few simple, melodic solos. You're a huge Gilmour fan - so am I, and I think he's a great guy to start with. Try the first "Comfortably Numb" solo, or the "Mother" lead break, maybe, or "Have a Cigar." None of them are particularly technical so you should be able to get the notes down pretty easily.

Then, really spend some time working on your bends and your vibrato. Practice playing a note, and then bending into it from a lower note. For example, play the 17th fret on the B string, then play the 15th and bend up to the pitch of the 17th. Spend some time thinking about how you bend - whether you want to bend into it slowly and gradually come up to pitch, bend quickly and immediately up and sustain it at pitch, bend quickyl to just shy of pitch and then slowly come up from there, etc. There's an infinite number of ways you can bend a note, so spend some time thinking about how the different ways sound and make bending in different manners part of your style.

Ditto with vibrato - practice wide and narrow vibratos, fast and slow vibratos, etc. A good vibrato really can make a solo come alive.
 
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Drew is wise :agreed:

I never spent nearly enough time on vibrato and bends, and that is why I sound like a Guitar Pro file when soloing :lol:
 
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