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Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582

As I learn new songs/solo's there is invariably a part in most solo's that will be difficult for me maybe it's a real fast run , or sweep picking or pinch harmonics you name it. By learning the solos note for note and then hearing how these are used in the context of a song will help me when I try crafting my own. Sure some of these are techniques you could theoretically learn on their own but I think you learn them better if you learn them in the context they will be used. it's like just aimlessly running up and down scales doesn't help much more than loosening up your fingers, it doesn't help you understand how to use those notes correctly in context.

Chris, I agree with you completely on this. I have never been a person to just sit and practice techniques (although I do). I have always believed it is better to copy a song or solo with a technique, at least it's a lot more fun. So, I think learning Eruption by Van Halen is an excellent way to learn tapping, or at least start. If you can get that tapping intro down, you are gonna be pretty good.

But I think you will reach a point where you want to play your own music. I know my greatest desire is to have my own individual style. All the great players have their own sound. Anybody can recognize Santana or Hendrix with just a few notes. Sometimes this is the gear used, but more often it is a playing style that is recognized. Jimi still sounded like Jimi on acoustic.

Of course, nobody can be 100% original. Music has been around for a few thousand years, there's nothing new under the sun. So everybody sounds like someone else to a degree. This is why I think it is important to listen to many different artists and pick up a little here and there from them all. So copying licks is good. And once you've learned many different licks from many different artists, when you sum them together you will have your own individual style. :D

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

Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1224

"Individuality" is the rule, in my mind. Seen heaps of Mother Earth and I can see "that certain spark" in every single soul I've ever come across. It's GOTTA be the same with music! Sure, we all share certain modes that are germane to everyone else...but, then, there's where you take it from there, as well.

You can tuck away lots in yer noggin' just from listening to how others play...but then...seeing as you've now accrued a "resource base" in that otherwise thick skull (mine's diamond-hard!)'ll just create nice things and soon come to forget the "how'd I do that?" bit!

(See caption, below...)


"Feel what you what you feel!"

Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 49

Do whatever is the most fun. This pretty much stands up for any question about guitar playing.

Hope this helps! (yeah yeah its a bit of a cop out i know :lol: )


Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1224

Playing the guitar is problem-solving. Play it your way until you find a way to play it that's closer to your "ideal" version of how to play it. But a little improvisation is in the spirit of things, I'd say.

Been reading this thread for a bit now...and have been keen to see a better insigh than this one! Nope!

Basically, "just go with it" and don't be clinical about it.

This is pretty much where it's at!


"Feel what you what you feel!"

Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2171

My whole post really revolves around the physicality of playing the music not about the music content or how it sounds. There is no other way to play a 230 bpm passage other than playing it at 230 bpm. If you played it at 190 bpm that don't count!

You all have to remember I am a beginner compared to alot of you. Once I feel I can play the songs I want from start to finish either the rhythm or lead then I will worry about making songs my own for now I try and learn them note for note cuz I'm stupid liek that.

One of the things I think I'm hearing here is that you are not just saying you want to play a solo note for note, but that you want to do it exactly as the original artist did it, same place on the guitar, same finger on the same string etc.

If I'm reading you right, I think you need to realize that it is the notes that are important, not which string you play them on. If you have small hands, then you're not going to be able to play a solo the exact same way that someone with very large hands can play it. But that doens't mean you can't play it, but you may have to play it in different positions, or with more position switching, or whatever.

That doesn't mean you aren't making progress, it does mean you aren't the person you're seeing in the video.

Now if you want to really feel like you're not making progress, go try to do some Django solos. 2 of his fingers were crippled in a fire, so he only has 2 working fingers on his fretting hand, and he plays stuff I still can't do after years of trying. Talk about a real inferiority complex!! :)

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST

Famed Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4459


I agree with what you are saying, so far I haven't really run into that problem of not being able to play something becuase of a physical limitation, but then again I try and pick the songs carefully so there are no situations like that, that I have run into.

It's for me just a benchmark to try and gauge my progress and also allows me to play along with a CD since I'm theoretically playing the same notes it's usually easy to tell when I missed a note played soemthing to fast/slow etc.

If I were younger I would do things alot different then I am doing now but for what I want and can possibly even do with my guitar playing it works.

The one thing that is good is that once I've learned a song and play it for someone they don't ever have to ask. "What song was that"

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!

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