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Follow up to guitar soloing and "Child of Evil"


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I recently received a PM via cosmo112 and Cavean about many of you wanting some advice and help learning how to play metal solos or just even cool solos. Well, I'm no expert, but I can hold my own, and I have studied enough to know what works and what doesn't.


1. Practice. I can't say this enough, and many other guitarists will agree.


2. Scales and arpeggios. Pick up any standard scale and arpeggio chart and learn everything. Learn the basic major scale, minor scale, harmonic minor scale, modes, everything. I am not even up to speed and technique like I wish I was, but I have developed a lot better chops just running through scales and arpeggios.


3. Learn theory! This will help for forming scales on different positions of the fretboard and it will help for forming chords, everything. No matter what anyone says, theory never hurts, it only helps.


4. Learn how to play in many styles and in the styles you like. I spent weeks studying Eric Johnson just so I could benefit from it. And I have. I am not Eric Johnson, but I can play much better having learned from his technique. Same with John Petrucci and Iron Maiden, etc. But never limit yourself. I don't care how much you like Zach Wylde, if that's the only guy you imitate, you'll never know anything beyond Zach Wylde.


5. Find books and movies and stuff that will help you practice and motivate you. I learned from all kinds of material.


6. Don't listen to JUST metal. I like everything. I take ideas and concepts from Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, blues, country, hard rock. There's nothing wrong with songs without solos, and sometimes just jamming over a song without a solo (e.g. filling in your own solo even if lyrics are playing) is a great way to learn how to play in different keys, etc.


7. Find something to motivate you. If you need to go buy a new distortion pedal cause it sounds A LITTLE BIT different from your other one, fine. As long as your wallet can support it and it gets you to practice and play more.


8. If you hit a slump or feel like you aren't getting any better, ask for help. This forum is great and its free.


9. Take lessons form someone who's qualified. I had a great instructor because we loved the same thing: music. We also happened to like the same types of music. If your teacher really likes bluegrass and you just don't, don't give up on lessons, find a guy who likes what you do.


10. Don't give up! I consider myself fairly natural when it comes to having raw talent to play guitar, but I still get frusturated when I see Petrucci solo or when I hear something really cool that I wish to imitate. Everyone is going to have ups and downs. Don't think it's all a cakewalk. Even practicing constantly doesn't always lend itself the results we wish.


Anyway, I hope that some of you will benefit from this advice. I'm trying to get ahold of an old thread I started about metal lessons that I wrote, but I can't find it. If anyone knows where the Forumite lessons thread is, please feel free to chime in with a link. Thanks again!



Shut up and play.
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1. Practice.


This has got to be the greatest roadblock to my becoming a guitarist, a better player, an occcasional player, any type of musician.


PRACTICE PRACTICE, the greatest advice anyone can give.


Good Post!


If I had spent a quarter of the time I spent on the internet over the past two years I am sure my guitar playing would be on a whole new level.


We cannot bring back time, we must pick up our guitars now and unite!



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Top notch advice man!

Couldn't agree more with points 3 & 4.


Versatility is a key skill to have.

It will make you more employable and, probably better still, will give you the tools to blend and form new styles and help develop YOUR voice.


Learn theory and put it into PRACTICE.

Learning and applying modal and synthetic scales will open the fretboard, freeing you from playing 'in the box', and once again giving your 'voice' greater range.


I'd totally recommend reolead's advice to all new players...and even suggest that old timers might have something to learn from this advice too.

How can we fight ignorance and apathy?

Who knows! Who cares!

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