Hey! I think I’ve introduced myself here before but my name is Dave. I’ve been playing on & off for 10 years now but I want to ACTUALLY learn some theory and really feel like I know what I’m doing on guitar. After watching Justin’s SMART Goals video I have a question: how can I play like my guitar heroes: Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Rivers Cuomo of Weezer specifically his soloing, Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio. I also play a lot of metal like Killswitch Engage, Slipknot and Gojira. But what should I be practicing specifically in order to get to where the first 3 artists are at? What lessons on here would help me with this? My ultimate goal is to possibly join a band but really I want to put out covers! I’ll probably post in the future about help with recording set up and all that jazz but for I’m just curious about what to practice they will get me where I want to go!
I have been somewhat active on here in the past but I want to make it a point to be more active on here with others!
Welcome again, David. I’m unable to answer the questions. Justin’s theory will help and maybe reviewing his courses to confirm your technique, close any gaps. Then perhaps just about listening, transcribing, and trying to copy … but as I say above my play-grade to answer with confidence.
I started penning a reply but stopped, as I am not sure I am qualified to answer specifically. Indeed I just watched the video this evening and having a ponder about my own goals.
I am sure someone with more experience can give you more specific answers but it would be good for you to clarify your current level. Goals & Destination is Grade 3 Module 17, so have you completed the proceeding Grades?
Hey Toby, Thanks for reaching out! I would say I’m not so much a NEW new beginner but a seasoned beginner hahah I know a few open chords but can play along to many of my favorites songs using tabs as well a figuring it out by ear. As for completed modules I think I’m part way through 1 if I remember. I know we can “build” our own routines but i work best if there’s a set path in front of me and I know I can work at my own pace down that set path. Building my own routine is overwhelming which is probably one of MANY reasons why I haven’t progressed as fast as I’d like. I hope this answers your question!
Based on this reply I’d suggest you revise and review from the first lesson of grade 1, module by module. The programme has been revamped. You will no doubt find that some lessons you power through but others may introduce some new aspects. It will ensure that your foundation is solid. May pick up some nuggets along the way that help with ultimate aspiration.
Once you reach the end of Grade 3, which Justin is currently producing, then you should be able to make appropriate choices as to path to take into Intermediate. There are a number of options of which many will take you forward.
You said it yourself
Start with your biggest problem and learn some theory as David suggests. (At least try the free lessons.) When you understand more of that it will be easier to figure out what your guitar heroes are actually doing to make them ‘sound like that’.
The Community is full of folk who want to play like [insert hero]
I understand hours and hours of practice is another requirement, although I haven’t tried that properly.
Thanks, that puts things into perspective. OK nail on the head “building your own routine”. If you are like me or like I was, that was my downfall and led to many restarts. What you will need for the genres you like, which pretty much high tempo rock (yeah with lots of labels these days) is a strong foundation built on rhythm. That needs to be based 1/4, 1/8 and 1/16 note strumming specifically 1/8s and 1/16th. So you definitely need to work your way through Grade 1 and 2 which will cover some stuff you know but I suspect lots you will not have picked up. As @DavidP said Justin has re-written the Beginners Course with lots of new content, some of that including riff lessons, building the initial foundation of Lead guitar.
Rhythm underpins everything and you can’t play decent Lead without a good knowledge and feel for rhythm. So as our good friend @Richard_close2u says all the time, Learn Songs Learn Songs. My advice on that is to learn all sorts and styles, especially if it is music you would not normally listen too. The aim is to learn to play the guitar, so you can then play any style. A lot of folk get too focused on one style, then their favourite band pushes out a ballad and they’re stuck.
Prime example, I am kinda old skool 60s 70s Rock (now called Classic ???) , some early Punk, Metal in the guise of Sabbath, Maiden etc and a good dose of Southern Rock (well a hell of a dose). Yeah been around a bit. One of the best learning experiences I had going through the old Beginners Course was learning Taylor Swift Back To December. So you tell me where that fits in on the list ?? But a great example of a song with many parts and some good rhythm challenges. Keep your mind and ears open.
So rhythm is the key. But … for lead work you will need to know the minor and Major Pentatonic and Major scale in at least one position (pattern). That will get you going and you can learn improvising and then start learning licks and solos. You’ll need more that one pattern eventually but focusing on one, at the right time, will get you started. For the other patterns you will need to understand the CAGED system and potentially some Modes.
Again as DavidP said some Practical Music Theory along the way.
Now this is all high level stuff but a good percentage of this is covered by beginner Grades 1 & 2 and expanded further in the Intermediate Grades 4 to 6. The lesson map might make that clearer. Grade 3 has been introduced as a bridge between the two and is in development.
I tried taking the music theory course from the start and while some of it made sense in one video by the next video I was completely lost. I look at theory how I look at math. With fear because I hate math and was never good with it haha but I suppose the best place to start is at the beginning again! Thank you!!
If I’m being honest… I wouldn’t mind learning a bit of blues! I play bass as well and I think learning some blues could help. Other than that outside of punk & metal I do listen to pop, a ton of hip hop and R&b. I hate (most) county and almost all classic rock with a passion. But I think expanding my listening habits would help. Thank you all so much for the feedback, I wasn’t expecting this much at all and I’m starting to feel part of the community!
Honestly you could be a godsend haha it wasn’t until college that i met professors and tutors that helped explain math in a way I could understand. I’m much more of a literary, words person than analytical
I reckon finish grade 1, then do some theory. Justin recommends it at the end of each grade. It’s challenging to launch into theory without the related playing fundamentals. My personal experience at least.