Lead Guitar for a beginner (technique/Speed/theory).

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Nightlock
Posts: 1309

Lead Guitar for a beginner (technique/Speed/theory).

Post#1 » Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:47 am

I guess I should start by saying I’ve never had lessons and haven’t been very critical on learning to play the instrument properly (Including the theory side) until now. I’ve got to say I’m not a very good lead player but would like suggestions/help, what I should do to improve my technique and speed? and if anyone has tricks they’d like to share that helped them improve in these areas when they were still beginners.

I know very little to nothing of scales as well but can usually work out stuff if it’s slow enough. This is all a bit embarrassing but anyway better to ask for help than not.
:oops: :P
"On your knees
Into the night that you'll never remember"

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Helm
Posts: 1465

Post#2 » Fri Jul 06, 2007 5:19 am

No shame in what you say, we're not all born with inherent hand-eye coordination and musical talent. I certainly wasn't as fortunate. As you might expect, we have to work twice as hard as the prodigies.

Theory is needed. It's one thing to try to memorize a series of fret numbers, and another to realize in what scale a solo is in and just therefore have to memorize interval jumps. It will really help to devote some time in basic music theory, even if it's all self-taught. Plus, if you intend to write music yourself, it's a bit of a must. I'm not saying go all bookworm, just a basic primer.

About actual precision and speed, this will sound really lame, but it's the method that works. Do scale practises (there's a few variations you'll find in any guitar book) at a slow tempo with a metronome until you can confidently play that particular scale and its phrase variations with clean unrushed tone, and then up the metronome 5 bpm. Repeat until ludicrous speed is reached. Do both 'up-down' scale work and horizontal repositioning of the phrases.

Muscle memory needs training, it won't happen overnight (though you *will* see progress overnight in a particular lick you weren't able to play for shit when you started practising it and now magically you see your hands do it with minimal effort) so expect to put in a few hours of scales practise daily for months before your overall fluency with solos upgrades.

Mind your hands, warm up and cool down, you don't want tenontitis.

Every time you feel this is pointless and frustrating, learn a new Heavy Metal song (try not to use tabs but ear train while you're at it) and see where all that scale practise applies to: rocking the hell out.
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otakon
Posts: 153

Post#3 » Sat Jul 07, 2007 2:45 am

i play the bass and i've been trying to learn the blues scale. i could play it up and down the entire fretboard but i cant do a decent melody within it :lol:. i guess i just need to train my ear on the scale more

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Nightlock
Posts: 1309

Post#4 » Sun Jul 08, 2007 6:43 am

Thanks for the advice Helm, I’m not the complete hack I probably come across as I can write fairly decent stuff already but your advice helps thankyou. :D
"On your knees

Into the night that you'll never remember"

acid
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Post#5 » Mon Aug 06, 2007 3:15 pm

A good song to play along the solo with is Deep Purple's "Highway Star" (or take the Metal Church cover... ha). It's not too fast but the solo part is really varied including bends, taps/HO's & PO's.... it's one of the songs I started with when I wanted to learn lead/solo-guitar.
Geen gezeik, ik heb gelijk.

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ATHEIST
Posts: 37

Post#6 » Wed Dec 05, 2007 2:49 am

acid wrote:A good song to play along the solo with is Deep Purple's "Highway Star" (or take the Metal Church cover... ha). It's not too fast but the solo part is really varied including bends, taps/HO's & PO's.... it's one of the songs I started with when I wanted to learn lead/solo-guitar.


I'll try to learn that solo, not seems to be hard

jman
Posts: 176

Post#7 » Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:06 am

a metronome is the best accessory to a guitar you can buy when starting to play. It gets monotonous practicing with one, but it's worth the effort. Besides practicing basic scales, I recommend making up your own music
[edit] didn't notice your post about already writing music!

I also recommend buying a cheap handheld tape recorder and recording yourself playing/practicing everyday. It makes mistakes that might not have been obvious stand out and it gives you something to listen to notice your improvement.

I recommend reading the book "Body Mind Mastery" by Dan Millman, a book centered on athletics, but most of it is applicable to musicians as well. There's a lot of interesting ideas about muscle memory and practice that should be read. Troy Stetina wrote some books about playing w/speed and precision based upon similar principles but I can't find the books here right now.
WHEW long post, I hope some of that helps.

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