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In a rut and not getting anywhere


So now that my Axe-FX is on the way, I can only blame my lousy playing on myself. :)

That being said, I'm very much in a musical rut. I'm playing the same old pentatonic and minor scales and need to increase my knowledge of theory as well as improve my technique.

I guess you could say I fall firmly into the "intermediate" category and would like to improve all facets of my playing.

Can anyone recommend any instructional DVD's (for technique) and/or books that I can use to go back and re-learn the music theory that I used to know?

Thanks in advance for your responses!


This won't help your scales or your speed, but it might change your approach to music.
Read Victor Wooten's book "The Music Lesson".


Thanks - I'll check it out.

And yeah, anytime I get a new amp or toy, it makes me play lots more, but often I'll do the same tired stuff. What I'm hoping to do is get a more consistent practice routine too and play the way I play live (standing up, etc). A lot of times I'll sit down at home and shred, and then show up to practice and sound like a cow running through barbed wire!


It works both ways too. I find that when I work out new things standing up I have hard time playing them sitting down. Unless you want to look like a goof and have your guitar strapped so high it's in the same position as sitting. :lol


Fractal Fanatic
a little trick to simulate 'standing up' while sitting is to place the guitar on your left leg instead of the right (for right handed players)


Power User
Books are okay but I find the way I most get re-inspired is to just pick out a new tune and learn it! The key is to pick something that is somewhat more challenging than what you've learned previously... but not so incredibly difficult that you'll just get discouraged.

Windows Media Player has built-in half-speed playback and there are so many good tab sites out there that are good starting points. Just make sure you use your ears and not your eyes because the tabs will almost certainly have mistakes.


Check out some of the offerings at TrueFire ... you can sign up for TrueFire TV and get access to 100's of great lessons on theory and technique ... they are quite different than the typical put a finger here and put a finger there type of instructional video you see around ...


Fractal Fanatic
It breaks down to this.


Find something that you could never do in a thousand yrs and start breaking down and learn sections until you got it. In my opinion, to get out of a rut is to get out of your comfort zone and get into your learning zone constantly.
my 02 cents, actually somebody else's 02 cents that I just plagiarized from.


Fractal Fanatic
Also remember playing guitar is a journey and disciplin. if you get stuck walk away, enjoy the family and friends, but come back with a new focus, energy and passion. oh yeah, last thing, if what I said doesn't make work, take lessons on line somewhere. if you play heavy metal learn country or vice versa, become diverse in your approach. Sorry back to lurking.


Two years ago I bought 3 different Michael Angelo Batio Speed Kills DVD's and they sat collecting dust until 6 months ago I finally cracked the first dvd open and now I am almost finished with the second DVD and I have to say it is the biggest playing rut breaker. The lessons have improved my playing immensely and made me re-evaluate how I play and break bad habbits in technique even simply how I hold a pic. So many things small details I have picked up from the DVD's. I cant reccomend the DVD's enough.
There is no spoon.

I learned the most from playing with people who were or are better than me. Playing live will make you improve. Great tone makes me want to play more. Don't fall into thinking you have to have play a song perfectly, only the musicians will notice, and your not playing for them.. play for yourself. Make yo' sef' happy, as BFG says. All the scales and theory is great. The real deal is when you convey a feeling through your instrument and it connects with someone. When you experience that, then the circle is complete grasshopper.8)


Go to youtube and type in "guitar solo lesson". Click on a bunch of videos until you get to something that you like. It's free!


New Member
2 1/2 Years ago I started guitar. I now play many scales, clean picking at 850 npm. I sweep clean and fast, tap ect: I can also apply these techniques to playing songs. I went here and have never looked back. Online Guitar Lessons
I take the NR course because thats what I'm specifically interested in.


Power User
a little trick to simulate 'standing up' while sitting is to place the guitar on your left leg instead of the right (for right handed players)

And here all along I thought I was doing it wrong! :D

Due to major hip problems in my right hip when I was a teenager, when I was learning to play I couldn't play with the guitar on my right leg, so I always played with it on my left leg. Since then my hip has been replaced, and I can now sit comfortably in the guitar playing position, but the "playing on the left leg" habit has stuck. I've tried to play with it on the right, but it just feels too weird to me. :lol Oddly enough, I never had trouble transitioning to playing standing up, while my guitar playing buddies always had trouble with it. ;)


Fractal Fanatic
Also, don't be afraid to step outside of your box. If you're a rock player, learn a jazz tune. If you're a jazzer, learn a bluegrass song. If you always play with a flat pick, toss it and try some fingerstyle. Stretch yourself in new areas, and you'll add to your musical vocabulary.
Learn the full major scale and how all of the modes work within it... then learn a few licks for each mode. Hey presto, you're halfway there to being able to play anything you like!
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