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need expert advice

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22 Jul 2005 12:19 | Quote
Posts: 2
I've learned pretty much all guitar theory,
(i.e. modes,theory etc, but I feel like I still don't know much. I want to know what else I need to learn to make me a good guitarist. What else beside's learning modes will make me a good guitarist?
23 Jul 2005 11:13 | Quote
Posts: 15
u cant just learn your theory u have to get good at all the technics and beable to use them when playing, theory is just one thing u have to do to be a good player.
23 Jul 2005 13:24 | Quote
Posts: 2
Need more advice. What type of technique must one aquire to be a successful guitarist? I'm in to all genres of music so what will help me become a well rounded player? Is it all about phrasing and feeling?, or is there a guidline I must follow?
23 Jul 2005 18:05 | Quote
Posts: 3
Depends on what your goal is. Playing scales is what many experienced musicians (i'm not) often recommend, listening a lot to great players' solos and playing along, playing in a band... There's so much you can do. Again, it depends on where you want to arrive.
24 Jul 2005 22:03 | Quote
Posts: 4
improve your fingerpicking.. everyone likes the sound of it. Speed, precision, timing... Also, no matter how good of a guitarist you are, you won't get recognized if you can't put good use of your ability. ie. killer riffs, beautiful melodies, facemelting solos etc. etc. :P

So just experiment with what you've learned, I guess.
24 Jul 2005 22:34 | Quote
Posts: 4
Actually you don't even need to be an uberguitarist, if you're ubercreative. Heard of a band called Black Sabbath? :P
Iommi(Black Sabbath guitarist) has never been a guitarist who's known for great technique, or theory. He's still probably one of the most influental musicians of the 1900's. In the first seven or eight Sabbath albums (The Black Sabbath with Ozzy), He probably uses like.. four different scales on his solos. He just manages to use the scales so originally, no-one could ever sound like him. The scale he uses 70% of the time in those albums, is something as bizarre as the pentatonic major.
10 Aug 2005 07:43 | Quote
Posts: 7
All you need is to be able to make your own music. ANYONE can just play an assortment of notes. I for one can play very very few songs, but i have many of my own songs with both very little technical ability involved and some with quite a bit of technicality. I know hardly any scales too.
All you need is to be creative.
26 Aug 2005 15:17 | Quote
United States
Posts: 91
I have found that just learning music theory has helped my playing. I am still really bad at knowing my scales but because I understand what notes fit in each key I can add much more to my music. I think what really makes you a great guitar player is how you present yourself when you play your music. If you are like, "I don't know what I am doing," the people you are playing to will probably agree with you. But, if all you know how to play is a G, A and E chord but you play them like you know what you are doing, people will want to listen to your. Or maybe i am just crazy, :) !
31 Aug 2005 03:02 | Quote
Posts: 1
amazing guitarists are easy to come by, theyre a dime a dozen. good players are hard to find. a man told me that once and i think its a pretty clever observation. what with the millions of studio quality players in the world, if you want to be good youll end up one of them. which wouldnt be half bad if you are into music to make money.

i think (and this is just my opinion and i love to talk with someone who thinks im totally crazy) that you should concentrate less on being "good" and just start playing what you feel like playing. i know people will probably say they feel like playing whatever they play but i bet if they couldnt make money doing it or couldnt impress people by doing it then they wouldnt do it. its sad but i think thats a pretty decent assumption.(or at least one that will spark some conversation)
like people make it sound impossible to learn guitar without lessons but if you just familiarize yourself with the guitar then playing music will be second nature and music will flow from you... as cheesey as that sounds. sure you might not know the locrian mode in a d major scale or something like that but i think that thats a rather limiting and impersonal way of approaching music. im not saying that theory is the devil im just saying that youll find your own way of making music in time just keep playing as much as you can. even if it is the same stuff keep playing around.
31 Aug 2005 07:42 | Quote
United States
Posts: 91
To build on justin's post, by playing what you like you become good at what you like. Ex. I love chords and because of that I know them better than the back of my hand.
7 Nov 2005 18:47 | Quote
Posts: 4
I agree with Chimzar's sentiment when he says confidence is important. I sang in a band during college and was forced to learn to play rhythm guitar (even though that bastages wouldn't sing back up lol). Anyway I learned you basic cowboy chords for the songs I needed to know, and I learned to switch between them by learning specific songs at first. Eventually I became comfortable with all the cowboy chords and could switch between them easily and I learned the basic bar chord forms in both Major and Minor to fill in where cowboy chords could not be found. I do not consider myself a guitar player. I kept playing chords after the band broke up because it allowed me to sing (my true love) without having a band around. The funny thing is most people I know think I can play guitar because they have seen me strum a few chords while singing along with them. I always tell them I can't really play, but to the layman, he sees me play the guitar and sing, so I am a guitar player. Chimzar is right about chords. I seldom play with a pick anymore, and usually play an acoustic. I am sure my technique is laughable since it's based around my singing rather than my wanting to be a great guitar player, but I can get a hell of a lot of mileage out of strumming chords. I tend to use my thumb because it gives me a nice warm sound when I strum, but my thumbnail can bring brilliance to any chord on an upstroke in a heartbeat, plus I can fake licks by picking individual notes in the chord here and there with my thumb. They key is I "look" like I know what I am doing to some extent, so no one ever questions whether I can play. Now if I could just learn to play real licks I might qualify as a guitar player, but to me I'd rather use the guitars dynamic range and hokey strumming (combined with my voice) to produce music.

As for theory, I have become interested in it in the last few years, and I think it's great. Funny thing is, I think to appreciate the value of theory, you almost need to be able to play first, then learn the theory. Without the skill to play something, it's very difficult to appreciate some aspects of theory. A good example is Major scales and their relative minors. Until you understand cadence and the notion of a root note with your ear, I think it's tough to learn it. A book just doesn't do it for me. Also, being a singer I need to "feel" notes to understand them. I am not a trained singer either, but to me music always relates to my voice no matter what instrument I hear. If I want to figure out a chord progression for a song, sometimes I can do it simply by remembering the vocal melody, without even hearing the song. But not always.

I also agree with Mattalac that being creative and willing to experiment is vital. I don't know that any one element is what is needed to become a great guitar player. To me a great guitar player, and a great song writer are not the same thing. I used to now a guy who gave guitar lessons and could play anything by ear the second he heard it. But the songs he wrote were terrible. He was a great player, but not a great writer. I think often people think one leads to the other, and I don't agree. Again I am not a real guitar player, but Deebo's original post about theory caught my interest and I just signed up here (great site) so I thought I would put in my two cents.
12 Nov 2005 07:29 | Quote
Posts: 4
I agree with CHIMZAR There..haha!! ..i am more into lead guitaring so i am working on my scales and memorizing heaps of scales and adding bend , Vibrato ,Pulloffs and hammer ons ...But i would want to know chords at the back of my head instantly liek Chimzar does but i love lead guitaring more though :D! ..but of course theory isnt everything in guitar..Like Tommy Immanuel one of the best guitarist in the world from Australia .. He doesnt know how to read music notes but because he practices everyday and applies what he knows into music APPREGIOS , SWEEP PICKING etc into his guitar playing ..So knowing your theory is good..but applying it effectively is more important..

A quick question for chimzar , How do you remember all the chord positions ? haha ..Like all those jazz chords ..There are like so many kind of CHORDS OUT THERE..more then 100 chord progressions man :P..Its quite tedious trying to remember all of them..
12 Nov 2005 14:55 | Quote
United States
Posts: 91
If you memorize the notes on the two lowest strings, you can just play the root note with the chord you want.
13 Nov 2005 06:02 | Quote
Posts: 4
Thanks for the tip
25 Nov 2005 06:17 | Quote
Posts: 1
Hi all,
This is my first post I noticed the forum link while hunting around for some stuff. Anyway, I thought I might add in my opinion to this interesting post.

It’s funny how ones opinions towards playing guitar, choice of music and practice progresses over time.

For me I started off trying to play anything that involved blues acoustic and finger picking. I then got very heavily involved in electric. Focusing on speed and scales the more technically challenging the better. I spent a good deal of time developing speed and accuracy. I did some writing but mostly focused on being able to technically achieve what others (guitarists that I admired) were doing.

Although I can now mostly play what I want (given some time and practice), the goal of being able to play technically perfect and at blistering speeds has gone for me.

See I think I wanted to play all that stuff from a perspective of ego. Not because I was interested in the music as such. It was more like "check out what I can do".

Approaching guitar from this perspective is limiting to your playing. I’m not saying you should not strive to be technically good. I’m saying that in order to really progress as a player the reason for your playing should be more. If you truly want to become a great player.

So I think to become a good player you need to practice allot that’s just a given (no real questions asked there). However I learnt that making music is about people and their emotions.

If you want to be a great player learn how to communicate with people through music. The better you can do that the better your music will become, in my opinion. This goes for any genre.

For example, there is stuff that I love to play. Mostly its little bits of things all put together and played fast. I like that its fun. But I know others just don’t relate because there is not real meaning to it.

The reason there is no meaning is because I’m technically challenging myself.

So now I try to learn how to play in a way that appeals to the emotions of a person.

Its a bigger challenge and approaching guitar playing from this perspective means that you are thinking differently about what you are playing and you may find that you need to get technically better to pull off what your trying to communicate. At this point there is a separation between need to be good AT playing and being a good player.

I hope that helps,

14 Dec 2005 15:44 | Quote
Posts: 4
Hi group; my first post here, but Ive been playing guitar for 38 years now and grew up with the greats Van Halen, Randy Rhodes, etc..too many to mention, and I used to et so frustrated when I could play note for note, the solo's and licks and although those days are gone as for bein the IN thing, what I learned having met them and talked with backtage at concerts is that the way you play is the way you are...when eddie van halen was on tour early with Ted Nugent, Ted plugged into eddie's rig and it staill sounded like ted...because thats the way he my opinion, its not about being a good, great player, or playing great, it about being and playing yourself...although I am accomplished finge picker since thats the way I learned to play when I was 5 because I could keep up with my, i found that when you take a song and make it your way, whether original or copy, it shows who you are to the listeners and thats what makes you shine...none of us will probably be as good as the greats, but I still enjoy playing today and always will play the way I am, and the biggest advise I could give is the concentrate on writing GREAT songs, not chord progressions, incoporate it, but dont make it too complicated, make it passion fruit...some of the greates songs ever written were only 3-4 chords used, but they can be done powerfully,,,and yes, I know theory to the hilt, but rearely used most of it...rock on!!

8 Dec 2007 05:58 | Quote
Joined: 08 Dec 2007
United States
Karma: 9
I have 2 agree 100% with cestricklin.....and to add to it with all due respect, i found out that you cant sit and write music with out experience,meaning youu know theory,scales,modes,runs now how do you put them together? FEELING!!!!!get out have fun with life good and bad times that is what shaped my thoughts,you cant write about something you havent experienced!!!!! To me that is the most important!!!!

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