Complete Idiot's Guide to Progress on Electric Guitar?

Discussion in 'Beginner's Q&A Forum' started by dragonball, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. dragonball

    dragonball New Member

    I have started learning on electric guitar. I have practised chromatic patterns for a month now and I am pretty comfortable with it. Also I can roughly play certain instrumentals like Satriani - Ten Words, Wihspering a Prayer (half), etc. (basically slow songs), which actually motivates me to further my learning.

    Now I want to know what exercises to practise and for how much (avg.) time to steadily progress & develop speed, dexterity, etc. My goal is to eventually be able to play fast songs and shred.

    Is there a website/resource which can be followed for this purpose? Something which has routines that can be followed.
  2. wylder

    wylder New Member

    Learn the 3 notes per string major scale in all positions on the neck. Or atleast the 1st, 5th and 4th positions for starters. Learn it with alternate picking and legato.

    To get it up to speed, get a metronome. Start with a really slow and boring tempo where you can clearly think about the next note before fingering it. Also, make sure you do not cheat with your picking - you should stay strictly alternate picking (downstroke followed by upstroke followed by downstroke etc). Or for legato, only first note of the string played by downstroke while ascending and upstroke while descending the scale. Make sure your timing is perfect even if you cant speed up. Speed is a product of more practice and will develop over time but if you mess up your timing, unlearning the bad habit is a terrible thing to go through.

    Try out Satch's Always With Me... Gives you a good legato workout. Try to get it as exact as possible, especially in places where he plays a flurry of quick notes (legato runs).

    Alternate picking might take a little more patience as both your hands need to co-ordinate to get each note right, as opposed to more fretting hand focus for legato. But anyways, I thought it is easier to speed up one hand at a time. I love Zakk Wylde style licks so I would recommend you try his famous six note pattern in the solo on No More Tears. It is a tough ask if you are a beginner but Zakk's licks are very aggressive and useful for improvisation.

    Hope this helps...
  3. wylder

    wylder New Member

    About books to learn from...
    Try Troy Stetina's Speed Mechanics - a really simplified method to improve your technique for Rock/Metal.
    Another slightly more advanced one would be John Petrucci's Rock Discipline, especially if you like a lot of DT stuff as it has many challenging bits of their songs for practice.
    I had another book by Guthrie Govan (can't get the name of the book) which talked more about the approach to getting a better technique for rock - a good read, not too many exercises though.
    I also had a book called Guitar Gym by Guitar techniques magazine which was essentially a compilation of a column that they used to run. It has loads of workouts for specific technique mastery.

    Paul Gilbert has an awesome video from the old Mr Big days that had some easy but useful pentatonic stuff.
    Zakk Wylde's Pentatonic Hardcore is cool for techniques like pentatonic licks, wide (& wylde) vibrato, pinch harmonics etc
    Petrucci's Rock Discipline video is very inspiring but he can be a little scary with the technicalities, so save it for the intermediate to advanced levels. However, his explanation of the importance a metronome is the first thing you should check out if you want to seriously get to shredding.
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