How do YOU practice...best tips?

garybaldy

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Good advice here, especially the standing up thing. Only thing I can add is I almost never practice anymore unplugged. If you do that, you'll develop bad habits in terms of muting strings and playing cleanly an electric instrument, because you won't hear the unintended noise from other strings if you're unplugged. There are subtle techniques you'll develop from playing plugged in that you can miss out on if you play minus the amp. I always turn it up as loud as appropriate, so my technique is solid.
I totally agree - something learnt unplugged can sound clumsy and disjointed when amplified.
I would also suggest that playing your rock licks plugged in with a slightly retro clean sound will improve tightness and accuracy.Then turn up the gain!!!
 

Thumpalumpacus

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On the other hand, playing unplugged can teach you how to milk a note and get sustain without a sweating power section. There's good and bad to all the approaches.
 

River

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On the other hand, playing unplugged can teach you how to milk a note and get sustain without a sweating power section.
I put a LOT of stock in that approach. As you say, we're all different, but the "don't practice without your amp, you're playing the amp as much as the guitar" doesn't ring true for me. I mean, the latter part of the statement is true, but learning how to make an unplugged electric or acoustic sound like a R&R machine all on its own pays huge dividends when you plug in.

SoWhat?, what does your friend want to do? Maybe he just wants to make pleasing (to himself) noise. That's all I wanted to do for years - no, make that over two decades - and it was as gratifying as I needed it to be at the time. Now's different, but now's now and then was then.
 

snakeface

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play on backing tracks and try to improvise as much as possible...
 

Lungo

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This is an awesome way to practice.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCojcP_6AkI]Paul gilbert Rhythm lesson - YouTube[/ame]
 

kmrumedy

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The best way to learn hands down is to TRANSCRIBE music by ear. NO substitute. Most humbling and rewarding way to learn.
 

Satch0922

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The best way to learn hands down is to TRANSCRIBE music by ear. NO substitute. Most humbling and rewarding way to learn.

Exactly. Get some backing tracks of songs you know and after you learn them practice them with the backing tracks. Makes you get it right because you have no other guitars to fill the gaps!

Best way to practice songs before wasting someone's time at a rehearsal.
 

River

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The best way to learn hands down is to TRANSCRIBE music by ear. NO substitute. Most humbling and rewarding way to learn.
As in write it down in standard notation? :shock:

You do that, srsly? I'm sure it is, but I'm too old to start that shit. I transpose, and learn a lot from that, but transcribe, NFW.

PS: Satch does it too?! Damn, I'm a piker.
 

Satch0922

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As in write it down in standard notation? :shock:

You do that, srsly? I'm sure it is, but I'm too old to start that shit. I transpose, and learn a lot from that, but transcribe, NFW.

PS: Satch does it too?! Damn, I'm a piker.

hell no, I don't write it down! :wow:
 

So What

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I put a LOT of stock in that approach. As you say, we're all different, but the "don't practice without your amp, you're playing the amp as much as the guitar" doesn't ring true for me. I mean, the latter part of the statement is true, but learning how to make an unplugged electric or acoustic sound like a R&R machine all on its own pays huge dividends when you plug in.

SoWhat?, what does your friend want to do? Maybe he just wants to make pleasing (to himself) noise. That's all I wanted to do for years - no, make that over two decades - and it was as gratifying as I needed it to be at the time. Now's different, but now's now and then was then.


The biggest problem I notice from playing unplugged, is my attack is way too agressive, if I play unplugged too much. My main focus unplugged is the left hand, or fretting hand work you can practice unplugged. Working through a complicated lick to get the movement down, then plug in and try it at volume. No Doubt that "Tone" comes from your strumming hand.

Regarding my friend, he says he wants to play well enough to sit in live with our mutual gigging friends. But, he is not realistic about the time we have all put into learning to play. I totally agree that there is a difference between playing songs, and playing music. When I pick up a guitar, I don't try to play a specific song. I just do what ever comes to mind at the moment. A riff, or chord progression to get a feel for the guitar, and loosen up. When he picks up a guitar, he just trys to play whatever song he has been working on. Nothing loose and improvised, because he is just learning songs, not music. He eventually gets embarrassed when he messes up, or can't adapt to a new song right away, and quits. I have tried many times to explain the basics of music theory to him, so he can anticipate what will come next in the song, but he just keeps looking for a short cut. Like learning scale patterns, instead of the scale. To make matters worse, the songs he trys to learn are complicated Pink Floyd, Beatles, and Allman Borthers songs with many chord changes. He can't seem to accept that he is a beginner, and enjoy playing simple stuff that is within his ability.

We were all beginners at one point. But you eventually get out of it, exactly what you put into it.

I also agree with the suggestion of practicing standing up. I do this often, because it is true that standing up is a whole different perspective for playing. Especially playing slide.

And by the way, I'm just an Intermediate player.

I'm not a shredder, and don't ever want to be. Kind of like Golf...I'm better that the average Joe who buys a guitar/set of clubs, and calls himself a player. But, there are plenty of people waaayyyy better than me, and I still have a lot to learn.

But damn if I don't have fun!:jam:
 

Bobby Mahogany

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You could be right.

He only buys things like a Gilmour Strat, R8, Dickey Betts SG, etc... Then, he is so afraid he will scratch them, he won't play them. Which may also contribute to the learning progress, or lack there of.

I told him to buy some beat up POS so he could play without worry. So he buys a used EJ Strat with one nick on the fret board. :rolleyes:

Sad thing is, he is not rich. I believe he thinks he can buy tone and ability, and has not yet realized it just ain't gonna happen.

I would gladly buy some of his gear at 1/2 price!!!!!!!!!!
My guess would be: He needs to focus and relax. Or relax and focus. When you can't really play ('cause you're a beginner) and you have to worry about what guitar you're gonna play, what combination of gear you're gonna need to play what tone or style to play that song...oh no, that other song, yeah, that would be cool. Now let me see what I should use on this... it becomes too much and you loose focus on the simpliest thing. Learn and enjoy, then practice becomes fun and you develop your abilities and eventually, style. Learn to play well slowly before trying to play fast. Learn to play well at low volume or unplugged before you crank it up. I have sold guitar gear in the past (for 2 and a half years) and have seen so many people having all kinds of possibilities with a Line 6 Flextone 2 get lost in the knobs. They weren't experienced enough to understand what a certain type of amp does and what a certain effect is used for. Imagine a guy with a whole lotta gear trying to learn while playing loud. Nonsense. I'm not even sure he enjoys it.
 

Firebrand

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TOTALLY agree on the 'fiddling around' when watching TV. Easy way to get some consistent work in.
 

garybaldy

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On the other hand, playing unplugged can teach you how to milk a note and get sustain without a sweating power section. There's good and bad to all the approaches.
I still believe playing your regular gainy stuff clean will highlight your weaknesses
 
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