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  1. #1

    Help With Learning to Solo

    I've been playing guitar for about three weeks now, and largely thanks to Rocksmith I'm playing at a level I would have assumed would take months to get to (heh,we hear that a lot around here, don't we?). Now, having knowledge of a decent number of chords and power chords feeling natural and easy to play, my next goal is to make headway with lead playing. A large part of that is of course solos, but I also have issues with a lot of single note guitar licks that move across multiple strings and/or positions. For me this is an issue with being able to pick accurately at speed just as much (if not more so) than it is being able to fret the right notes.

    Any tips, tricks, etc. would definitely be appreciated, though the main thing I'd like is suggestions of songs/solos/licks that are a good place to start. Just FYI, I do have all the DLC, and I'd be perfectly fine working with any song outside of Rocksmith as well. In the meantime, I should probably play more Scale Runner, lol.

    Thanks in advance!
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  2. #2
    I assume your are learning from yourself, and not taking lesson's. In this case just practice and be patient. IMO, stick with rocksmith, learn how to alternate picking, learn some scales and watch some youtube videos.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seyynFf-rrk (this is a good 30min video for guitar beginners)

    Rock on
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Steel_Nirvana's Avatar
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    Moving your fretting hand around will come with practice. I was having the same issues when I started, but after having RS 7 months, I'm finally able to move a couple of frets either direction without looking. The key is to play as much as possible looking at the screen and not the fretboard. Glance at the fretboard only when you have to.

    As for picking, alternate picking means you can move your picking hand half as fast...so definitely practice that.

    Personally, for both frets and strings, I remember relative position and work from there. So if I'm anchored on the 7th fret and have to move to the 5th, I don't think, "Go to the 5th fret now," but rather I move two frets lower. Same with strings--if I'm on the red and have to move to the blue, I move two strings higher rather than trying to remember absolutes. YMMV, but I find this easier to negotiate on the fly.

    A lot of the Black Keys songs center around a couple of pretty easy fret changes and string changes. They're good practice for what you're talking about.
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  4. #4
    Those are some pretty good tips, though I feel like you're assuming I'm at a level a little lower than I actually am, lol. Alternate picking I'm pretty comfortable with, heck, Do You Remember SN was like the third song I mastered. When I say "at speed" I mean more like the speed of things like the intro of What's My Age Again (which it just occurred to me might be finger picked anyway, lol), or the verses of Painkiller and Hanger 18. To give an example of something that's just beyond the edge of my ability, there's the main riff of Dammit, which I can play at like 3/4 speed, but any faster than that and my picking hand starts to get lost and I miss the strings I need to be strumming.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Steel_Nirvana's Avatar
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    Hey, you'd be surprised how many "good" players are astounded by the idea of alternate picking. Sounds like you just need practice, then.
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  6. #6
    Really? They must not have listened to much metal then, to not be familiar with alternate picking. Or played much Guitar Hero, for that matter. XD

    And yeah, just more practice is what I was thinking, I just wanted suggestions on what I should practice. But you were right about The Black Keys songs being a good place for me to start.
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  7. #7
    Yep just practice. And don't get me wrong, but it's impossible with only 3 weeks of guitar playing to be "absolute confortable" with alternate picking, no matter how good you are. Just take it easy. You can't rush things, practice and results will show up!
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by smkyzor View Post
    Yep just practice. And don't get me wrong, but it's impossible with only 3 weeks of guitar playing to be "absolute confortable" with alternate picking, no matter how good you are. Just take it easy. You can't rush things, practice and results will show up!
    IMO at least, alternate strumming in a game like Guitar Hero/Rock Band and alternate picking on a real guitar are extremely similar motions, so by that twisted logic I have a few years experience with alternate picking, at least when it comes to keeping rhythm.

    But yeah, I know what you're saying, and I'm by no means a master of the technique. I'm not trying to rush things either, I'm just wanting to work on what I feel is the next logical step to improving my all-around playing ability.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member C.Linton's Avatar
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    Learn scales and chord theory and learn how they work together in a song. Practice scales up and down the neck every day, using a good metronome to get your timing right..
    Important: It is better to start out slow and learn to play each note accurately and cleanly than it is to try to get faster. Speed will come the more you practice.
    Last edited by C.Linton; 05-21-2012 at 11:46 PM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Steel_Nirvana's Avatar
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    I'd also suggest, with the utmost respect, that maybe "Hangar 18" and "Painkiller" aren't the best places to start with only 3 weeks playing under your belt.
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