Question for Intermediate Guitar Players

MichaelAndrew3435

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
3,148
Reaction score
2,596
I didn't necessarily say anything about a band. It applies infinitely more if you play solo. I recently had to play (and sing) a total of ONE song at a party. I practiced it for a week and a half and it was just a simple cowboy chord song. Being a good player is not just about advanced playing....it's about playing even the simplest things well.....with precision, timing, feel.
This is very true, and it’s kind of how I advertised myself to local bands. My ad said something like “Hey, I’m an intermediate player. I’m not Jimi Hendrix but I can keep up well and play plenty of songs well enough” Not word for word, but it was something along those lines. I always use a backing track when I cover a song. It’s helped me a lot with timing.

Finding people who play locally who are interested in the same stuff as myself is difficult. Being my age isn’t required but I prefer not to play with someone who could be my grandfather (I’m 27 btw). In a rare situation where I find a player my age, they’re usually into some kind of awful screamo metal music.
 
Last edited:

Malikon

죽을래
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
75,265
Reaction score
215,806
The trick with some EVH is he holds the pick between middle finger and thumb freeing up his index finger. I held my pick between thumb and index and used my middle finger, my sound man told me to stop it.

yeah I used to tap with my middle finger but it's not working well and isn't accurate enough for EVH style. So I've been palming it into my middle finger and then back into playing position when I need it.

20190826_142445.jpg
 
Last edited:

rogue3

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2017
Messages
2,580
Reaction score
3,155
I found most legit guys to be pretty cool, as long as you didn’t try to snow them on your skills.
The only ones who are trouble are the guys who think they could do it better, and sometimes they can which begged the question, why weren’t they in a band.
Agree mostly.better is a relative question.Some guys sound incredibly impressive, but they can't play outside of a rigid structure.They are lost when that happens,and insert trusted phrases they can play well,because they've played them 1,000's of times.
 

MichaelAndrew3435

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
3,148
Reaction score
2,596
I guess I went the easy route with practicing hours a day and getting better and all that crap.
Motivating myself to play isn’t usually an issue. I spend a good 8 hours total playing on weekends when I don’t have other obligations. I’m just trying to figure out what I should do next to become a better player, while also making sure I’m doing it right.
 

SteveGangi

V.I.P. Member
Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
33,620
Reaction score
63,555
Some have been mentioned. Learn to play complete songs from start to finish and play in a band or with a drummer.

As far as pushing myself I just did (and still) do that by finding other guitarists that do something I don't know how to do and learning to do it.

When I was a kid I learned Sabbath and Zeppelin, then I pushed myself to learn Metallica, then it was Megadeth, then it was Slayer (because they're very fast), then it was Yngwie, Satriani, Alex Skolnick,

In the past 15 or 20 years it was Paco Pena and Paco DeLucia, and Al Dimeola, Brent Mason, Brad Paisley and Danny Gatton.

In the past couple months I've been revisiting Satriani and Skolnick and Jake E Lee, and I've been learning to play Van Halen songs. My hope is to learn all the songs on all the albums plus the solos that I find interesting, (like Jump, You Really Got Me, You're No Good, etc. )

Mostly with EVH it's not the playing that's tricky, it's palming the pick in the middle of playing so you can tap, then pulling the pick out again to play with it. I feel like with EVH I'm practicing a pick-palming/magic trick more than I'm practicing guitar.

But I've gotten pretty fluid with it over the past month, so..... I'm still learning.

Always learning, always writing.

Guitar is a lot of fun. When it stops being fun I stop playing for a while until it's fun again.
All of the above...

I also branched out into other types of music. I do rock, blues, classical, fingerstyle jazz, etc.
I do songs that I CAN'T do, until I can. Some I still can't do. I do songs that all require different techniques or "moves".

If I just did what I already can do, what I already know, I'd get bored.
 

Bytor1958

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
13,038
Reaction score
32,396
From the video that was posted the OP, I kinda meandered down the rabbit hole and discovered Steve Stine. Probably the first guy that really made sense to me in applying basic music theory to the fretboard. :applause:
Steve Stine and Marty Schwartz for me.

I have a lot of their DVDs.
 

stringbender11

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2012
Messages
1,027
Reaction score
727
I agree with the advice to play with others, and playing lots of songs from start to finish. Also it helps a lot if you have a sort of mentor player that is willing to trade some licks with you practicing songs once a week or so.

I've reached intermediate status (for the most part) in the past, but currently consider myself a beginner+, lol. My interest waxes and wanes..
 

ErictheRed

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
5,335
Reaction score
6,569
One thing I'd say is to learn ALL of the guitar parts to songs. Don't just half-ass the rhythm like 95% of amateurs seem to. Good rhythm guitar work is more important for actual songs and musicality and playing with other people than anything else.

Every time you learn a song, learn all of the guitar parts so that you can play any piece very well, and you understand how it all fits together.
 

stringbender11

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2012
Messages
1,027
Reaction score
727
I wanted to mention also that a lot of the advice on here - and it is great advice - is the stuff many amateurs don't do, because it's difficult and sometimes monotonous. But that's what you gotta do imo, if you want to get better.

I always get a chuckle out of people that sort of have this dream of becoming a blues player and hanging out in bars playing stuff. Often these people are retired and have some disposable income, so they buy a super expensive guitar (LP or Martin, anyone?), a TON of books and CDs on how to play, and every accessory you could imagine. The problem is, getting decent at guitar involves none of those things, or few of them, anyway. These same people quickly discover that guitar isn't actually as easy as society often makes it out to be, and the player ends up being able to barely string together 3 chords and a scale or two. Then after a year or two all that stuff ends up on CL.

You have to really want to e good at playing imo, and that means a lot of practice.
 

Lungo

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
7,233
Reaction score
11,327
Motivating myself to play isn’t usually an issue. I spend a good 8 hours total playing on weekends when I don’t have other obligations. I’m just trying to figure out what I should do next to become a better player, while also making sure I’m doing it right.
Sorry to clutter up your thread, but I was just giving 'ol Tim a hard time busting his balls a little.
 

DotStudio

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Messages
5,068
Reaction score
10,702
Honestly, something that worked for me was to put a random backing track on YouTube and play along with whatever pops up next. You can go from blues, to jazz, to heavy metal, and back again.

And I'll just put a plug in for the backing track of the month threads in the "Guitar Lessons" sub-forum. They've really helped me become a better player.
 

MichaelAndrew3435

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
3,148
Reaction score
2,596
Define intermediate.

Playing four chord songs to a cheering crowd of 20,000.

Bedroom shredder that has a meltdown playing with other musicians.

I've seen both.

Most would call the shredder advanced.
I disagree.
An intermediate guitar player IMHO can do all of these and was in the link of my OP:

"To be considered an intermediate player, you’ll need to be able to do the following:

- Know and be able to change smoothly between your fundamental open chords. - Know power chords and be able to move them around cleanly.
- Know the basic Major and Minor bar chord shapes.
- Know the note names on the Low E and A strings. - You’ll need to have all the basic strumming patterns down. - Be able to play along to a metronome.
- Hear and match Major and Minor chords.
- Hear and identify the keys of simple songs. - Understand music theory for keys and chords. - Play through several complete songs.
- Play the Blues scale.
- Play the Major scale.
- Play the Major Pentatonic Scale.
- Play the Minor Pentatonic Scale.
- You’ll need to know basic lead technique: Picking, Bending, Sliding, & Vibrato.
- Depending on your goals you may need to be able to read music."


This is subjective of course, but it seems about right to me.
 

MikeyTheCat

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
14,140
Reaction score
21,557
yeah I used to tap with my middle finger but it's not working well and isn't accurate enough for EVH style. So I've been palming it into my middle finger and then back into playing position when I need it.

View attachment 402283
He would also just lightly rest his index finger on the pick.
Oddly enough I’m moving to this because of a touch of arthritis in my index finger.

 

MikeyTheCat

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
14,140
Reaction score
21,557
An intermediate guitar player IMHO can do all of these and was in the link of my OP:

"To be considered an intermediate player, you’ll need to be able to do the following:

- Know and be able to change smoothly between your fundamental open chords. - Know power chords and be able to move them around cleanly.
- Know the basic Major and Minor bar chord shapes.
- Know the note names on the Low E and A strings. - You’ll need to have all the basic strumming patterns down. - Be able to play along to a metronome.
- Hear and match Major and Minor chords.
- Hear and identify the keys of simple songs. - Understand music theory for keys and chords. - Play through several complete songs.
- Play the Blues scale.
- Play the Major scale.
- Play the Major Pentatonic Scale.
- Play the Minor Pentatonic Scale.
- You’ll need to know basic lead technique: Picking, Bending, Sliding, & Vibrato.
- Depending on your goals you may need to be able to read music."


This is subjective of course, but it seems about right to me.
See I would consider that less than intermediate, and call that knowing the bare bones basics to be functional. I guess it’s a matter of perspective and who you think is advanced.
 

northernguitarguy

SWeAT hOg
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
33,462
Reaction score
58,379
This may sound strange, but I think African hand-drumming lessons helped my rhythm playing, a lot. I think anything you can do musically can be translated to other instruments.
 
Last edited:

MichaelAndrew3435

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
3,148
Reaction score
2,596
See I would consider that less than intermediate, and call that knowing the bare bones basics to be functional. I guess it’s a matter of perspective and who you think is advanced.
Maybe that is a little basic. It's also important to note that knowing how to do what's in the list might be basic, but how you use it is what's more important. Guys have made careers off of what I previously mentioned.

What would you add? Here's another list that's a bit more advanced than my first.

 
Last edited:

MikeyTheCat

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
14,140
Reaction score
21,557
Maybe that is a little basic. It's also important to note that knowing how to do what's in the list might be basic, but how you use it is what's more important. Guys have made careers off of what I previously mentioned.

What would you add? Here's another list that's a bit more advanced than my first.

Honestly I don’t know. When I was playing I knew music theory as I took it in HS, knew my scales and modes along with some of the exotic variations, had decent technical skills for the time, could move around the neck without a problem, could solo over some outside changes, could play in multiple styles from folk to country to rock to Jazz without much problem, had a basket full of chords, could fake it if needed and was a good band mate. I was asked to join bands with players who were incredible but I always thought of myself as just OK and a lucky SOB.
I never judged myself or anybody else based on beginner intermediate or advanced, but more along the lines of “I could do that”, “I need to learn to do that”, or “forget about it I better use a trick”.

You know what you know and you do what you can do. After that it’s just chasing new things to keep working or enjoying the instrument.
 




Top