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(@globetro)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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I've been trying to work through the Troy Stetina Lead Guitar book. One thing I'm having trouble with is figuring out how to structure my practices around it. I guess it's a question I have in general about working through these type of books.

They basically have a bunch of little exercises to practice. How do you figure out how many exercises you should tackle per week? And how do you know when you're "done" with an exercise so that you can move on to the next one?

Also, it seems like since most of these are exercises, you should always be practicing them. However, this doesn't seem feasible since the book contains around 80 exercises or so. I thought maybe I can just pick a few exercises per day and do them, but it seems hard to progress this way since each exercise will probably only get practiced once every two weeks.

I really wish these practice books would lay out a rough timeline of how to go through the book!


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 jimh
(@jimh)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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I think that most of those works are at your own pace.

You probably don't need to practice every lesson every time, but go back every now and again to refresh yourself. Most of these workbooks are designed to build on prior lessons...

Music is the universal language.


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(@globetro)
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I guess for me, it's hard to figure out what my pace should be. I think it'd help if the books set a target BPM for each exercise, so that once you can do it perfectly at that speed, then you move on.


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 jimh
(@jimh)
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But, I think that would depend on your definition of perfect. I think the main thing is, slow down and don't be in a rush. Absorb the material and conduct the practices at a pace that is comfortable for you. The more you can get out of each lesson the first time, the less you'll have to go back and revisit.

Music is the universal language.


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(@welchsboy)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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I have that book, if you're going through volume one it should take you roughly 6 months...of course actual time taken is gonna be way different for everyone...

Didn't you get a CD with that book? The author plays through every exercise at the intended speed, if you can make it sound similar to the CD then you should be good to go. Basically gotta estimate your own progress....I actually flipped to the last lesson first and gave it a try then went back and started working my way through from page 1...


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(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

I own Speed Mechanics, another good book by Troy, it has about 250 exercises! :D

You should play each exercise at a comfortable speed. That's different for everybody, and some exercises are more difficult than others. But you should start at a relaxed speed, maybe 60-70 BPM (get a metronome). Once you have an exercise down, speed up maybe 4 BPM. Continue in this manner until you cannot keep up with the metronome or make mistakes. Slow down maybe 10 BPM and start over. In a few short months your speed will increase dramatically, as well as technique.

It is hard to play dozens of exercises. I usually work on the ones that give me the most difficulty. Why practice something that is easy and natural? When you can play an exercise well at pretty good speed, then move on to others.

Whatever you do, guitar is supposed to be fun. Always have fun playing. Be patient, it takes years to get good on guitar, there are no shortcuts. Just play everyday. Mix it up. Play exercises, but just jam out too. Have fun. If you keep playing you will get good.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@elecktrablue)
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I've been trying to work through the Troy Stetina Lead Guitar book. One thing I'm having trouble with is figuring out how to structure my practices around it. I guess it's a question I have in general about working through these type of books.

They basically have a bunch of little exercises to practice. How do you figure out how many exercises you should tackle per week? And how do you know when you're "done" with an exercise so that you can move on to the next one?

When I was using books, the way I did it was to practice each exercise until I could do it without thinking about it. Then I would move on. Some exercises took longer than others, and some were a piece of cake. At the beginnings of my practices, though, I would try to run through some of the more difficult exercises that I'd already mastered befor tackling a new one.
Also, it seems like since most of these are exercises, you should always be practicing them. However, this doesn't seem feasible since the book contains around 80 exercises or so. I thought maybe I can just pick a few exercises per day and do them, but it seems hard to progress this way since each exercise will probably only get practiced once every two weeks.

I really wish these practice books would lay out a rough timeline of how to go through the book!

You really should be practicing, not necessarily ALL of the exercises in the book, but you should learn each one of the exercises, and practice some of them all of the time. I still do exercises to keep my fingers limber, but I choose the more challenging ones now and I try to "expand" them, if you will, by adding a little something here and there to change it up and keep me on my toes.

Learn them all, choose the ones that challenge you to practice regularly.

IMHO. :D

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ .·´
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´ -:¦:- Elecktrablue -:¦:-

"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"


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(@globetro)
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Topic starter  

Cool, thanks for the great advice! I did listen to the CD, and it seemed like a lot of the exercises were played rather slowly. So it seemed like I was able to play it at that speed after just a few minutes of practicing... so I wasn't sure if that was "good enough" to just move on to the next exercise, or if I was supposed to keep practicing it until I could do it at lightning speed.

I actually first tried working through the Speed Mechanics book, but the number of exercises were too overwhelming, which is why I switched to the Lead Guitar one first.

I also worry that even if I get an exercise up to a really fast speed, if I don't practice it for a few weeks, then I'll lose a lot of the speed. But I suppose the other exercises I do should keep my chops up?


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(@wes-inman)
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I think those exercises should be used to create your own riffs. It is more about developing technique than learning "licks".
When I first started playing I was big into Hendrix. Man, I practiced all Hendrix for several years. And you know, I started to sound exactly like Hendrix. That may sound great, but it is not. There has already been a Hendrix, nobody really wants another one. No, people want someone new and fresh with a sound of their own. So I spent a lot of time after that listening and copying other guitarists. Everybody you copy, a little bit of their style becomes your own. And than after a few years I quit copying other guitarists and just played my own style. This should be the aim of every guitarist.

What I'm saying is that if all you do is practice Troy's exercises exactly as shown, you will sound like him. You don't want that. So do like ElecktraBlue says and add your own touch and style to a riff. Change up the melody or rhythm some. Listen to many guitarists and steal a few favorite licks. Your own personal style is really the sum of all your influences.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@embrace_the_darkness)
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For me, learning the guitar has always been about playing songs; exercises are great, they are designed to improve your playing technique - you then have to apply what you are practicing to songs you play.

Guess what I'm trying to say is, don't look at these exercises as 'pieces' that you have to learn by heart and be able to reporoduce any time - what counts is that you are learning something from the exercises, and that knowledge is being incorporated into your actual playing technique.

So when you say I also worry that even if I get an exercise up to a really fast speed, if I don't practice it for a few weeks, then I'll lose a lot of the speed. it seems you are focussing on playing that certain riff at a high speed, instead of developing faster playing technique.

Of course, the playing of that riff at a higher speed is good practice, but try to apply that "speed knowledge" to other pieces as well, otherwise you may well find that you can only play that one riff at a faster speed as you have learnt the piece, not the skill.

This is all just my POV, it might be crap but it's worked for me

Pete

ETD - Formerly "10141748 - Reincarnate"


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(@ballybiker)
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i'm on pete's side of the fence...what techniques you learn are there to put into actual songs...after all...playing guitar is basically a case of learning maybe thirty different techniques as a whole and then putting them all together to be a player...you could learn 100 poems...but it wouldn't make you a poet if you see my point 8)

what did the drummer get on his I.Q. test?....

Drool

http://www.myspace.com/ballybiker


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(@causnorign)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 559
 

I've got a guitar fitness book with about 200+ exercises. When I first bought it I just tried to breeze through them all, a several a day and did it in about a month, I don't think it helped me much. I recently started going thru the book again at a much slower rate (ie one exercise a day for about 10 minutes) using a metronome, I think its working better. The point is, you'll be learning for the rest of your life (hopefully) so don't rush it.


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