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What is the best method?

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Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6
Topic starter  

Hi, I'm new here, first post!

I've been noodleing around with guitar for years now! and I really would like to break free of where I'm at now.

I know some chords, but honestly, not alot. Just enough to get by playing the music I use to cover. I'm pretty good speed wise. I can play almost everything on John Petrucci's rock discipline video, at his speed. I guess I would say, technically I'm ok, but I need to get past this. I need to learn scales, chords and how to put it all together into music.

I'm torn at how to go about doing this? Should I learn scale "patterns", you know the box things... or should I just go ahead and memorize the major scale all over the fretboard in every key? This is what I've been doing, and its not to hard. The box thing looks appealing, but seems like an around the mountian sort of way to get to memorizing the whole fretboard. Am I missing something here? Should I be learning box patterns?

I figured if I followed this path, I would get better.
1. Learn all the notes on the fretboard (better than I already do, I'm slow).
2. Learn the Major scale in every key all over the fretboard.
3. Learn all the "necessary" chords for play in many styles.
4. Do ear training.
5. Music Theory, so I know how to use Chords to make Songs, and Then use chord tones, to make melodies, and then since I know all the scales (major) then I can spruce up that solo.
6. Learn Pentatonic all over the fretboard in all keys, possibly use boxes for this? They are very box like.

I don't know, I'm just tired of being where I'm at. People see me play so fast and clean and they think I'm good, but I really don't know that much, and I'm ready to persevere.

Any thoughts? Suggestions? I'm new here, so I haven't had time to read anything much yet.


Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1128

sounds like a plan, and a good one :wink: 8)

even god loves rock-n-roll

Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 259

I think that music theory kind of goes with ear training, understanding music theory particularly regarding common chord progressions will help you figure things out by ear.

Where you go from where you are is a big question that depends entirely on you, ever been in a band?You said you used to cover some songs but I assume that you meant playing the few that are available from whatever guitar book/video you had. If you aren't in a band, it might help to get into one. Easier than a band, start recording, it might provide some inspiration to have a second instrument, but with just a guitar you can try to lay down different tracks, this will help you improve your tempo/rhythm and maybe get those creative juices flowing for putting things together. Playing with other people will provide a great deal of inspiration to get to the next level, though you might not be hurting in that department, otherwise I'd say pick the things you need to improve the most and work on those.

Lessons might help too if you have the time and money (I assume you have the time or you wouldn't have posted this thread).

Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 52

I know exactly where you're at!!!!! I'm going through the exact same thing. been playing for a long time but who wanted to waste hours and hours doing scales and memorizing the notes on the neck.
Now i've discovered free lessons on line and bought a new guitar(I HAVE GAS...AGAIN allready)
Started with the major scales and reading up on theory here. Don't feel like i fit in yet becouse some of these folk been playing half as long and know twice as much as me. But i'm sorry guy's you're stuck with me..... I'm learning to much to toss it in.
already revamping some of my tunes and studying to record so others can help help me here.
Gave me to many directions to study all at once.
You're on the right track, keep it going.
I know I shouldn't mention it again but .....
A new,shiny,vibrating,sweet,deep...Martin,Gibson,Fender,...etc......Marshall,Peavy....etc..can get your heart pumping


If I don't remember it....It didn't happen