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Songs to Learn? (And advice in general)

Anthony Peña

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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Hey guys! I'm looking for any and all advice on whether you think learning songs is a genuinely efficient way to better learn techniques? Personal experience and examples is preferred. I feel like I've been getting better at certain techniques, but when I try to incorporate them in other areas, I realize that I've only gotten better at the SPECIFIC exercise taught on the school. And it's disheartening.

    If you guys think that learning songs is a sufficient method, could you recommend some beginner-intermediate level songs/solos that I could start learning? Avenged is my favorite band, but I know most of Syn's solos are no easy feat. I like most genres, and I'm just here to learn, so give me anything you've got.

    If you have any advice on how to better utilize the lessons on here, that is also much appreciated! Thank you in advance.
     

    Ids Schiere

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    Yes, songs work. I've never sat down just learning licks or do exercises. I just learn songs to develop my skills because it simply is more fun that way.

    If you want me to recommend songs you will have to be a bit more specific about what you like
     
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    Kim

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    Nov 11, 2019
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    Hi Anthony, my answer is yes. Play songs, its fun! Play exercises and do songs, not only the exercises.
    There are some topics here on beginner songs and solo's, I dont know your skill level, if its beginner I recommed for Avenged solo: Warmness on the soul.
    Other solo: californication RHCP, Smells Like teen spirit
    Songs: Enter Sandman, For Whom the bell tols, American Idiot, Nirvana songs (Polly, In Bloom, Smells Like), Greenday songs
     
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    Adin Shepherd

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    Nov 11, 2019
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    I think exercises are good when first learning a new technique, they help to build a good foundation but they often aren't very musical. Once I have a feel for it under my fingers I will then seek out riffs/licks that use whatever I am learning and turn them in to excercises for practice.
     

    Chris Johnston

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    Hey Anthony!

    Playing songs will always be an amazing thing for you're playing but I think your question really depends on which technique you're looking to learn. For example, if you wanted to work on Sweep Picking, then I'd definitely recommend isolating and perfecting that technique before trying it in a song, as it's one of those things that takes time and attention to get down properly.

    From my own experience, I use sweeping and economy picking techniques the most and I got comfortable with them from sitting at first with a metronome/drum track and working on every movement I was making in time - because that type of technique requires a high level of Left to Right hand calibration. My times in the past trying to play the along to a song with sweeps would just leave me frustrated because I wasn't really ready to do that at that point.

    But it totally all depends on which technique. Is there a particular one that you're looking to learn?
     

    Anthony Peña

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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Yes, songs work. I've never sat down just learning licks or do exercises. I just learn songs to develop my skills because it simply is more fun that way.

    If you want me to recommend songs you will have to be a bit more specific about what you like
    Hey Ids, thanks for your input! My favorite genre is metal, but the problem with that is that most solos I enjoy are too advanced for my level. If you know any songs that incorporate sweeping or have a good blend of techniques but isn't too hard, that would be perfect.
     
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    Ids Schiere

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    Hey Ids, thanks for your input! My favorite genre is metal, but the problem with that is that most solos I enjoy are too advanced for my level. If you know any songs that incorporate sweeping or have a good blend of techniques but isn't too hard, that would be perfect.
    Bat country, critical acclaim, almost easy have a good blend of techniques. Most of the solos on the self titled record are pretty doable imho. You can also try some Iron Maiden like Phantom of the opera(it has some 2 string sweeps in it) or fear of the dark. Dirty little girl by Burn Halo is also very doable

    I'm generally not that at home in the metal scene and sweeping usual goes pretty crazy. You could try the sweeps in the intro of not ready to die if you want.
     
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    Anthony Peña

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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Hi Anthony, my answer is yes. Play songs, its fun! Play exercises and do songs, not only the exercises.
    There are some topics here on beginner songs and solo's, I dont know your skill level, if its beginner I recommed for Avenged solo: Warmness on the soul.
    Other solo: californication RHCP, Smells Like teen spirit
    Songs: Enter Sandman, For Whom the bell tols, American Idiot, Nirvana songs (Polly, In Bloom, Smells Like), Greenday songs
    Thank you! I would say I'm an intermediate, but I will gladly learn those songs/solos, as they are still really good music.
     
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    Anthony Peña

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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    I think exercises are good when first learning a new technique, they help to build a good foundation but they often aren't very musical. Once I have a feel for it under my fingers I will then seek out riffs/licks that use whatever I am learning and turn them in to excercises for practice.
    That's what I was beginning to realize- I wasn't having fun and felt like a robot playing the same exercises day in, day out. Thanks for your input.
     

    Anthony Peña

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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Hey Anthony!

    Playing songs will always be an amazing thing for you're playing but I think your question really depends on which technique you're looking to learn. For example, if you wanted to work on Sweep Picking, then I'd definitely recommend isolating and perfecting that technique before trying it in a song, as it's one of those things that takes time and attention to get down properly.

    From my own experience, I use sweeping and economy picking techniques the most and I got comfortable with them from sitting at first with a metronome/drum track and working on every movement I was making in time - because that type of technique requires a high level of Left to Right hand calibration. My times in the past trying to play the along to a song with sweeps would just leave me frustrated because I wasn't really ready to do that at that point.

    But it totally all depends on which technique. Is there a particular one that you're looking to learn?
    I'm particularly interested in sweeping and eco picking- I've looked at the lessons a few times to make sure I'm doing the motions right, but I began to feel bored after playing them over and over and over. Yet when I tried to incorporate those techniques in songs, I couldn't do it, as you've experienced.

    I've heard that isolated a section at a time can be helpful, as it's an exercise AND a piece of the song. What do you think? For example, if I took one of Syn's solos and broke down a sweep/eco picking section down into 2-4 measures at a time, isolating the motion and then adding another section. What's your take?
     
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    Anthony Peña

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    how long have you been playing? and what songs/riffs are you practicing?
    I've "been playing" for a few years, but I didn't start to take it seriously until 2 years ago. I'd say I'm intermediate at this point. I'm not practicing any songs at the moment, only exercises, and that's exactly why I made this post.
     

    Anthony Peña

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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Bat country, critical acclaim, almost easy have a good blend of techniques. Most of the solos on the self titled record are pretty doable imho. You can also try some Iron Maiden like Phantom of the opera(it has some 2 string sweeps in it) or fear of the dark. Dirty little girl by Burn Halo is also very doable

    I'm generally not that at home in the metal scene and sweeping usual goes pretty crazy. You could try the sweeps in the intro of not ready to die if you want.
    Thanks man! You're right, most of the self-titled dolls aren't as complex as the albums after, minus Afterlife and Scream I'd say. I'll try them out, and the Iron Maiden and and Burn Halo songs your recommended. Thank you!!
     
    Synner Endless Summer Collection

    Chris Johnston

    Music Theory Bragger
  • Nov 11, 2019
    408
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    26
    North Ayrshire, Scotland
    14
    I'm particularly interested in sweeping and eco picking- I've looked at the lessons a few times to make sure I'm doing the motions right, but I began to feel bored after playing them over and over and over. Yet when I tried to incorporate those techniques in songs, I couldn't do it, as you've experienced.

    I've heard that isolated a section at a time can be helpful, as it's an exercise AND a piece of the song. What do you think? For example, if I took one of Syn's solos and broke down a sweep/eco picking section down into 2-4 measures at a time, isolating the motion and then adding another section. What's your take?


    Yeah 100% man, it can get really tedious just practicing the one technique over and over. One thing an old college lecturer taught me was called 'Eastenders Practice' for those kinda techniques (Eastenders is a popular TV show in Britain haha) - The idea is that you work on a technique while you sit with your guitar watching your favorite TV show. What ends up happening is that you start to relax and concentrate less on your Guitar while still going over the technique (which is almost what you should aim for if it's really natural in your playing) - from experience it's less pressure and you still work on your technique while binge-watching a netflix series for example. It sounds a bit mad but it's one to try!

    And if taking those 2-4 measures seems to be helping you then totally keep doing that! That's a really smart way of learning what you want to learn while not rushing yourself and still getting the techniques down. Basically if you're seeing/feeling an improvement when you try a certain thing, then that's progress. One thing to note is that the progress will never be drastic, it'll be small steps that eventually make up the perfected technique 🤟
     
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    Anthony Peña

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  • Nov 11, 2019
    61
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    Denton, TX
    3
    Yeah 100% man, it can get really tedious just practicing the one technique over and over. One thing an old college lecturer taught me was called 'Eastenders Practice' for those kinda techniques (Eastenders is a popular TV show in Britain haha) - The idea is that you work on a technique while you sit with your guitar watching your favorite TV show. What ends up happening is that you start to relax and concentrate less on your Guitar while still going over the technique (which is almost what you should aim for if it's really natural in your playing) - from experience it's less pressure and you still work on your technique while binge-watching a netflix series for example. It sounds a bit mad but it's one to try!

    And if taking those 2-4 measures seems to be helping you then totally keep doing that! That's a really smart way of learning what you want to learn while not rushing yourself and still getting the techniques down. Basically if you're seeing/feeling an improvement when you try a certain thing, then that's progress. One thing to note is that the progress will never be drastic, it'll be small steps that eventually make up the perfected technique 🤟
    That sounds like an amazing method. I think I'll try that right now! Thank you so much for the advice. And yeah, you're right. Progress is slow, but just like lifting weights, you can't ever lift heavy if you can't lift light.

    Up is up. Thanks again.
     
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    Jesse Salmons

    Stairway to Heaven Tab Studier
    Nov 11, 2019
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    For a good combination of eco picking and sweep picking, the solo in Hail to the King is a prime example and its not terribly difficult either. Another good one is Strength of the World (city of evil) is great for sweeps, Buried alive is full of sweep picking goodness and still not terribly difficult, Nightmare also. Best of luck buddy
     
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    Anthony Peña

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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    For a good combination of eco picking and sweep picking, the solo in Hail to the King is a prime example and its not terribly difficult either. Another good one is Strength of the World (city of evil) is great for sweeps, Buried alive is full of sweep picking goodness and still not terribly difficult, Nightmare also. Best of luck buddy
    Thanks man!! I love all of those solos, so I'll definitely check them out. Buried Alive used to be my favorite song, and I had learned most of it, but I was nowhere near the level I am now. Think I'll revisit that one first. Thanks again.