Considering Giving Up On Lead Guitar....

TheRedMageGuitarist

Garage band Groupie
Nov 6, 2021
93
371
Kansas City
22
Hey everyone....

I'm really considering throwing in the towel with lead guitar and I'd like to say why.

As a guitarist, I've ALWAYS been more heavily rhythm inclined. Even when I was learning, I'd spend HOURS and HOURS on the simplest solo, only to still struggle with it after a year of working on it. The Hail To The King solo is right back at 80% bpm, and even after working on it for almost two weeks it's not comfortably any faster. I'm struggling. My bends always feel weak, and no matter how much I try to strengthen them, my hands just feel like they're lifting a hundred pounds and have been weak for almost my whole guitar life. There's so much pressure to being considered a "great guitarist" by how well you can play lead, so I'm sitting here busting my fucking skull into the wall with 3-4 hour practice days and I can barely get that time in because I'm mentally tired of it. Learning lead and playing lead exhausts me.
A while ago, I made a post about "Is it time to move on?" because I had been practicing a part of a solo for almost two weeks to barely only improve by about 15 bpms. And honestly, it's getting to a point where it's discouraging and I feel like I'm beating a dead horse.

My heart is broken because I have dreams of playing my favorite solo alongside Syn one day on stage, playing in Trans Siberian Orchestra, and having the ability and skill to compose amazing solos full of rich harmonies. But it just doesn't seem to happen. I've been fighting with lead guitar, playing it religiously for 4 years and nothing seems to TRULY be moving forward. I'm always fighting with something. I'm always sucking. Never truly comfortable.

I feel like my time could be better spent on writing amazing songs. Solidifying my rhythm work to play classical, bossa nova or even the amazing thrash shit I've been wanting to do for a long time now. It's just like, it literally consumes 80% of my guitar practice time and I'm not seeing a lot of real, true and consistent growth. I'm exhausted. I hardly have any time to work on solidifying my own work or writing new things.

-OR-

I had this thought. Am I playing stuff that's too hard, therefor getting myself discouraged? I'm trying to play Northtale shit, attempting to mimic someone's skills who's been playing religiously for over 20 years. Should I try to find solos that are within my abilities to do? I've seen improvement yes. But I dunno. Maybe I'm being too hard on myself. Any words of advice are strongly appreciated
 

Alicia Willis

Moderator
Staff member
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    I'm going to go with the second option. :)
    You know you already are a great player !!! I've noticed though you try to play ridiculously fast super shreddy licks, because I know you love those. But, maybe that's just not your style ? (or just not your style yet !)
    I'll admit, I've 100% felt the same, and I've been playing for a minuscule amount of time compared to you.
    As guitarist we feel like lead guitar is THE SIGN OF SUCESS. However, rhythm guitar deserves just as much respect.
    TWO WORDS
    PAPA HET ! :love:
    The man is one of the best guitarists ever, and he is a rhythm player. Sure he plays some solos, but he plays HIS type of solos. He doesn't try to play or sound like anyone else.

    Maybe its time to find your comfy place and you're true voice. (because I know its a great one)
     

    Ed Seith

    Supreme Galactic Overlord
    Staff member
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Brave post, as always, Jak. Some thoughts.

    Difficulty bending. Can I talk to you about our Lord and Savior, 9-42s? The idea that heavy strings "sound better" is bullshit (BEATO SAID SO!), so it comes down to how it feels to YOU, the player, and no silly bragging rights bullshit. If you're falling short on bends because they're too hard, the easiest tool in your shed is dropping down a gauge. Billy Gibbons is a FUCKING LEGEND (like PG is now!) and dude has been rocking 8s for decades and I think he uses 7s now. I switched back down to 9-42 for standard and 9-46 for Drop D and I couldn't be fucking happier.

    4 hours a day is a LOT of time to practice. Do you feel like you're using that time to your best advantage? Most people can't focus hard on one task for more than 5-6 minutes at a time. Have you tried limiting each exercise you do to that, and seeing how you do? Chang eup your practice routine so it's not practicing ALL THINGS every single day? You've struggled with burnout before - I see a pattern. I say that with love. You may have a problem :) .

    Syn and Bill and many others play things that the best guitarists in the world 30 years ago couldn't do, with few exceptions. I've heard your leads, and I've heard the improvement over time. YES, you are being too hard on yourself. Maybe learn some easier leads. They still present challenges, but also present REWARDS. Your task, if you choose to accept it: The solo for In a Darkened Room. I know you know the song. Learn the solo. Too easy? Tell Scotti. Dude makes a living playing that tasty shit like a fuckin boss. And some of that phrasing is a bitch.

    So you're never going to be "the best?" That's okay. Strive more for being UNIQUE. That's why Syn is the GOAT. There are people that play more technical shit than him, but it's his note and phrasing choices (alongside the staggering technique) that set him apart and make him LEGEND. Be unique.

    You have come a LONG fucking way, kiddo. Put your fists away. You've used them on yourself too much. You need to change your mindset to ensure that what you're doing is FUN and FULFILLING.

    My wife always thought that if she was smart enough, she HAD to be a brain surgeon. Losing her mother to cancer and her brother to Covid this summer has made her rethink and refocus on what she really WANTS instead of impressing people with how far she got. That applies here. Learn to enjoy playing like Jak while also ENJOYING making some improvements here and here. You're not a beginner who's going to improve by leaps and bounds anymore. It's incremental. Enjoy the process, relax, and be proud of you.

    💜 💜💜
     

    TheRedMageGuitarist

    Garage band Groupie
    Nov 6, 2021
    93
    371
    Kansas City
    22
    You guys, I don't even know what to say. You both truly made such AMAZING points that actually inspired me to not give up. Like, when I say you both helped, I MEAN IT.

    Alicia, I know I told you this in a vm on IG already but you're right. I even openly admitted to myself that I feel I'm much more of a melodic lead player. Like, finding heartfelt melodies that are catchy or whatever is really my strong point that I really love. All of my favorite parts of solos are ones I can sing to, and even my favorite solo of all time just so happens to be the melodic second solo of The Stage. Even moreso than any Shreddy McShreddington stuff he or any other guitarist has ever done. I worship the solo from Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb", it's just SOOOOO fucking sexy. All of that melody, feel and passion just .... UGH, gets to me! I had completely overlooked this. And you're right about James! I need to embrace that side of me a bit more because he use to be someone I looked up to, way back when! I REALLLLLYYY thank you for giving me a head check, my girl! As you say, *chef's kiss*!

    Ed, I can't believe I overlooked my string gauge. I had a huge pride and ego about that for almost 15 years because Alex Skolnick used 13s. Well, Alex Skolnick is a dude with big hands, and I'm not. And eventually I need to let biology be biology. I use 10s, but I will gladly take your advice and go down a gauge because I'm tired of fighting it. When I play rhythm it's no issue at all and I even have a guitar that's got 12s on it for rhythm. But I need to sweep my pride under the rug and go down a gauge and see how I feel!
    As far as the "burnout" goes, I definitely don't change it up. I stick with the same thing for at least two weeks, stabbing myself in the face after about the 3rd day. I'm sorry. I just told Alicia openly that I wasn't disciplined properly as a child, and my parents truly inhibited my ability to be responsible. So now that I'm older and free, I feel like I have to OVERLY discipline myself or I'm an absolute failure. It's truly something I'm in the middle of trying to work on, and you're advice and notes on my behavior are VERY much appreciated. Thank you SO much for your acknowledgment of my growth, it helps to see friends say "Wait, you're delusional!" :)

    Both of you, really. I can't thank you enough. I really truly needed this and I cannot say enough how much these wonderful comments not only made me feel better, but they gave me guidance on what to do next and HELPED.

    MUCH FUCKING LOVE, my family
     

    Lindsey

    Campfire Attention Holder
  • Nov 16, 2019
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    I've felt the same, and still often do. I did give up on lead playing, I decided to learn the rhythm before I'd even think of trying the solo and it was the best desicion I ever made. I improved a lot. I know you're at a higher level than so you'd probably already know the rhythm parts.
    Another desicion I made was that if I can't play a song at 75% speed it's above my level. Speed is difficult to learn if the bpm is far higher than your current skills, this trick saved me a lot of frustration. I too have been trying to play the same songs for years, but I'll get closer to them by learning new things that are actually playable by me.
    It also saves you time so you can spend it on things you enjoy, which is probably more important. You can try using techniques and theory in your freeplay.

    Whatever you decide to do, you'll make it 🤘
     

    Noah Berends

    Stairway to Heaven Tab Studier
    Supporter
  • Nov 11, 2019
    383
    57
    Fort Wayne, IN
    13
    Rhythm guitarists getting a reputation of being the B-tier guitarist in the band is (in my opinion that probably isn't worth 2 cents) bullshit. Y'know what a lead guitarist spends the majority of a song doing anyways? Playing the rhythm. The coolest shred solo gets people nodding their head with a mild stinkface going "oooh, nice". The rhythm guitarist is what gets people jumping around and punching walls with a sick riff that just makes you wanna MOVE. A good rhythm player is no less valuable than a good lead player.

    I always tell my students to play to their strengths. Do they want to learn X style because THEY want to, or because someone told them they should want to? I play lead more because I have dyslexia, and have a TERRIBLE time with picking and rhythm patterns. I've been banging my head on a wall for 2 hours today trying to nail down the rhythm pattern to Shine by Collective Soul. Rhythm isn't my strength, so I play to what is. In a band setting, I NEED players whose rhythm is their strong suit. I couldn't function without y'all.

    Food for thought. And Ed hit the nail on the head with 9's. If anyone cares what string gauge you play, clearly they have a lot of things to improve about themselves before they should be caring. Do you, don't apologize.
     
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    Calvin Phillips

    Music Theory Bragger
    Nov 11, 2019
    2,467
    1,774
    Hey everyone....

    I'm really considering throwing in the towel with lead guitar and I'd like to say why.

    As a guitarist, I've ALWAYS been more heavily rhythm inclined. Even when I was learning, I'd spend HOURS and HOURS on the simplest solo, only to still struggle with it after a year of working on it. The Hail To The King solo is right back at 80% bpm, and even after working on it for almost two weeks it's not comfortably any faster. I'm struggling. My bends always feel weak, and no matter how much I try to strengthen them, my hands just feel like they're lifting a hundred pounds and have been weak for almost my whole guitar life. There's so much pressure to being considered a "great guitarist" by how well you can play lead, so I'm sitting here busting my fucking skull into the wall with 3-4 hour practice days and I can barely get that time in because I'm mentally tired of it. Learning lead and playing lead exhausts me.
    A while ago, I made a post about "Is it time to move on?" because I had been practicing a part of a solo for almost two weeks to barely only improve by about 15 bpms. And honestly, it's getting to a point where it's discouraging and I feel like I'm beating a dead horse.

    My heart is broken because I have dreams of playing my favorite solo alongside Syn one day on stage, playing in Trans Siberian Orchestra, and having the ability and skill to compose amazing solos full of rich harmonies. But it just doesn't seem to happen. I've been fighting with lead guitar, playing it religiously for 4 years and nothing seems to TRULY be moving forward. I'm always fighting with something. I'm always sucking. Never truly comfortable.

    I feel like my time could be better spent on writing amazing songs. Solidifying my rhythm work to play classical, bossa nova or even the amazing thrash shit I've been wanting to do for a long time now. It's just like, it literally consumes 80% of my guitar practice time and I'm not seeing a lot of real, true and consistent growth. I'm exhausted. I hardly have any time to work on solidifying my own work or writing new things.

    -OR-

    I had this thought. Am I playing stuff that's too hard, therefor getting myself discouraged? I'm trying to play Northtale shit, attempting to mimic someone's skills who's been playing religiously for over 20 years. Should I try to find solos that are within my abilities to do? I've seen improvement yes. But I dunno. Maybe I'm being too hard on myself. Any words of advice are strongly appreciated
    I think you said it best yourself.

    You should get your rhythm down pat.. get the confidence going again. Many songs can be great with just rhythm riffs. You dont need lead. Look at fear factory.. just one guitarist no solos but gut wrenching rhythm riffs. Maybe focus on that for a bit and see what happens. Cant hurt to try and even if lead doesn't work you'll still have some kick ass riffs to play.
     

    TheRedMageGuitarist

    Garage band Groupie
    Nov 6, 2021
    93
    371
    Kansas City
    22
    I've felt the same, and still often do. I did give up on lead playing, I decided to learn the rhythm before I'd even think of trying the solo and it was the best desicion I ever made. I improved a lot. I know you're at a higher level than so you'd probably already know the rhythm parts.
    Another desicion I made was that if I can't play a song at 75% speed it's above my level. Speed is difficult to learn if the bpm is far higher than your current skills, this trick saved me a lot of frustration. I too have been trying to play the same songs for years, but I'll get closer to them by learning new things that are actually playable by me.
    It also saves you time so you can spend it on things you enjoy, which is probably more important. You can try using techniques and theory in your freeplay.

    Whatever you decide to do, you'll make it 🤘
    OMG that freaking tip about "if I can't play it at 75% speed it's probably above my skill and ability level". Wow. That really hit hard. I'm going to seriously keep this in mind because four songs I'm trying to learn, I will NOT be able to even get them at 75% speed in MONTHS. I really appreciate the help and support. Your comment was super helpful! I'm going to keep this in mind as well!
     

    Lindsey

    Campfire Attention Holder
  • Nov 16, 2019
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    I stick with the same thing for at least two weeks, stabbing myself in the face after about the 3rd day.
    Have you tried making a schedule as if it's a physical workout schedule? With a physical workout you divide your workout into different muscle groups and perform different exercises for it on your workout days so that you don't get overtrained. I've done something simular with guitar before, I had a three day schedule and repeated it. It could keep it more fresh.

    Another option is making an exercise board/list, but you could overwork yourself with this one if you want to do too much at once anyway. It's when you make a list of exersices you want to do, but you stick to a time you've set out for yourself. You cross off thd exercises you've done and you'll continue the next day with the exercises you haven't done. This will also give you a variation instead of it becoming a slur.
     
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    Chris Johnston

    Music Theory Bragger
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    *Essay alert*

    Hey Jak, I can empathise with you so much with this post.

    One thing I've learned that's really helped me is to listen to my body & mind when I feel that pushback from what I'm attempting - Sounds hippy dippy, but hear me out 👌

    If you're continually hitting a wall with certain techniques and its feeling like a negative thing, immediately take a step back. Don't judge the step back, just take it - It's actually part of practicing the technique 😊 The virtuostic style of lead you want to play only happens comfortably when everything is relaxed & fine tuned. So any stress in your arms, wrist or even in your psyche will affect what you're trying to do. It's also worth reminding yourself what you're taking on - cause it's no easy feat!

    Here's an analogy I thought of:

    Most people (myself included) look up to Syn's playing and see him as the top of the mountain technique wise. And we can get tempted to try and run right to the peak all the time, fail, and judge ourselves when we can't get there. But it's obvious why - it's a f**king mountain! If you're going up concentrating on the peak it's going to be overwhelming, and rightly so.
    We can, however, go one tiny step at a time, use the right equipment, rest when we need & enjoy the view etc

    -Syn scaled that mountain through years of playing, practicing, years of touring & having it be his job to play. We're all just at different stages and no matter how hard we push we can't rush that sort of technique.

    But it doesn't have to be a mountain. Take it from someone who spent 90% of his teens getting angry for trying too hard to play fast too soon - Music & Guitar playing can be so much more exciting & than getting full speed on a solo. That can feel more like the Olympics 😂

    Learn a weird new chord, try and write a song in a genre you've never wrote in, binge watch some Rick Beato, try and sing a random melody & play it straight after. The possibilities are endless & they are all valuable to your playing! 🤟

    My overall advice besides random analogies and tangents: Enjoy yourself, create and take a breather when you hit a wall, you will 100% be able to play how you want, it will just take time 😊 The most important thing is how far you've come and that you don't let the frustration confuse you into thinking something's not for you. It's maybe just not for you yet. Listen to your body 👌

    Hope this helps!
     

    TheRedMageGuitarist

    Garage band Groupie
    Nov 6, 2021
    93
    371
    Kansas City
    22
    Rhythm guitarists getting a reputation of being the B-tier guitarist in the band is (in my opinion that probably isn't worth 2 cents) bullshit. Y'know what a lead guitarist spends the majority of a song doing anyways? Playing the rhythm. The coolest shred solo gets people nodding their head with a mild stinkface going "oooh, nice". The rhythm guitarist is what gets people jumping around and punching walls with a sick riff that just makes you wanna MOVE. A good rhythm player is no less valuable than a good lead player.

    I always tell my students to play to their strengths. Do they want to learn X style because THEY want to, or because someone told them they should want to? I play lead more because I have dyslexia, and have a TERRIBLE time with picking and rhythm patterns. I've been banging my head on a wall for 2 hours today trying to nail down the rhythm pattern to Shine by Collective Soul. Rhythm isn't my strength, so I play to what is. In a band setting, I NEED players whose rhythm is their strong suit. I couldn't function without y'all.

    Food for thought. And Ed hit the nail on the head with 9's. If anyone cares what string gauge you play, clearly they have a lot of things to improve about themselves before they should be caring. Do you, don't apologize.
    I hope you don't take this the wrong way but when you said you've been banging your head on a wall for 2 hours a day trying to learn Shine made me smile and go "Aww." Because I learned that rhythm effortlessly when I was like 14. I really appreciate you saying this because this let's me know that some people REALLY DO do better with other elements. And I don't feel like such a failure now. Because I guarantee you could shred my face off. Thank you. I really love the support and the encouragement, my man!!
     

    Noah Berends

    Stairway to Heaven Tab Studier
    Supporter
  • Nov 11, 2019
    383
    57
    Fort Wayne, IN
    13
    I hope you don't take this the wrong way but when you said you've been banging your head on a wall for 2 hours a day trying to learn Shine made me smile and go "Aww." Because I learned that rhythm effortlessly when I was like 14. I really appreciate you saying this because this let's me know that some people REALLY DO do better with other elements. And I don't feel like such a failure now. Because I guarantee you could shred my face off. Thank you. I really love the support and the encouragement, my man!!
    Haha, I totally getcha! I'm definitely driving my bassist up a wall though :)

    Seriously, no matter what style you fall into, there's a niche that needs you to fill it. There's no superiority when it comes to the guitar. We're all making a piece of wood with metal wires sing.
     
    Synner Endless Summer Collection

    Matt Wildcat

    The Fierce Deity
    Staff member
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Jak, you're a fucking phenomenal guitarist. Honestly, the stuff you can do blows me away. With so much out there that is possible with a guitar, finding the right path forward is always a tough one. That being said, your second option sounds to me like it's the way forward.

    I got totally burnt out trying to play stuff above my level. I didn't wanna admit it because "I've been playing for 7/8 years and I should be able to do this shit by now!! I should be able to shred and play like (insert guitarist here)!!! :mad:" but the thing is - I think trying to do that shit set me BACK, and NOT push me forward! Me rushing to do these difficult sweeps and stuff like that got me into terrible habits. Now I'm realising, had I just stepped back and properly learnt some basic shit, I, could slowly build on my skills. Instead I threw everything down and had a tantrum.

    So what I'm trying to say here is - don't beat yourself up so much. Your abilities are amazing, but you need to know where your limits currently lie, and build up slowly to push them further. Give yourself a fun break in terms of 'easier' riffs, solos, rhythm stuff, anything that sparks joy and means you're still learning and having fun doing it. Alicia is right when she mentions our Lord and Savior, Papa Het 😂 rhythm is fucking cool and a lot of fun.

    Remember, all these solos will still be here for you later on, when you feel confident and up to tackling them again. And you WILL achieve your dreams! But you gotta take the baby steps first before you can fly.

    Sorry for the ramble, hope that was helpful! You have all my love and support always! 🤘💀🤘
     

    ari.mac

    Local Dive Bar Favorite
    Legend
    Contest Winner!
  • Jul 16, 2020
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    I've been playing for a lot less time than most here and I don't feel like I can give proper advice on this, but I just wanted to say: don't be too hard on yourself and play what you love to play. If some solo is not where you want it in x days, move on to something else, and then maybe come back to it with a fresh mind and possibly some improvement gained while working on another lick or song. Don't beat yourself up over this, you don't need to be the best in everything to be great (that, you already are) ❤

    Side note: I love playing rhythm, I'm much more comfortable with it myself. I struggle a lot with solos 🥲 but I know I'm just at the beginning and can't leave that behind.
     

    Muz Malek

    Hot Topic Tourer
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    Nov 11, 2019
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    Hey everyone....

    I'm really considering throwing in the towel with lead guitar and I'd like to say why.

    As a guitarist, I've ALWAYS been more heavily rhythm inclined. Even when I was learning, I'd spend HOURS and HOURS on the simplest solo, only to still struggle with it after a year of working on it. The Hail To The King solo is right back at 80% bpm, and even after working on it for almost two weeks it's not comfortably any faster. I'm struggling. My bends always feel weak, and no matter how much I try to strengthen them, my hands just feel like they're lifting a hundred pounds and have been weak for almost my whole guitar life. There's so much pressure to being considered a "great guitarist" by how well you can play lead, so I'm sitting here busting my fucking skull into the wall with 3-4 hour practice days and I can barely get that time in because I'm mentally tired of it. Learning lead and playing lead exhausts me.
    A while ago, I made a post about "Is it time to move on?" because I had been practicing a part of a solo for almost two weeks to barely only improve by about 15 bpms. And honestly, it's getting to a point where it's discouraging and I feel like I'm beating a dead horse.

    My heart is broken because I have dreams of playing my favorite solo alongside Syn one day on stage, playing in Trans Siberian Orchestra, and having the ability and skill to compose amazing solos full of rich harmonies. But it just doesn't seem to happen. I've been fighting with lead guitar, playing it religiously for 4 years and nothing seems to TRULY be moving forward. I'm always fighting with something. I'm always sucking. Never truly comfortable.

    I feel like my time could be better spent on writing amazing songs. Solidifying my rhythm work to play classical, bossa nova or even the amazing thrash shit I've been wanting to do for a long time now. It's just like, it literally consumes 80% of my guitar practice time and I'm not seeing a lot of real, true and consistent growth. I'm exhausted. I hardly have any time to work on solidifying my own work or writing new things.

    -OR-

    I had this thought. Am I playing stuff that's too hard, therefor getting myself discouraged? I'm trying to play Northtale shit, attempting to mimic someone's skills who's been playing religiously for over 20 years. Should I try to find solos that are within my abilities to do? I've seen improvement yes. But I dunno. Maybe I'm being too hard on myself. Any words of advice are strongly appreciated
    Expectations, my friend.

    Among the more hidden & dangerous, yet subconscious mistakes we tend to make is having expectations overwhelm us without us knowing.

    I've watched countless interviews of ZV saying that he had to force himself to learn arpeggios to play those harmonizing parts with @Syn Gates , although ZV was more comfortable playing punk and rhythm, palm-muting, down-picking riffs. Does it make him a better guitar player? Certainly does. Could he have chosen not to learn those parts? He could, but he knew what he needed to do for the band. Else, Johnny would've taken that role despite lacking 2 strings. (also, ZV has one of the cleanest picking next to Syn)

    My humble advice would be to drop the expectations at the time you are practicing and close the 'comparison door'. Why? Because practice is for you and you only. We tend to give ourselves imaginary deadlines hence demotivates us from pursuing, say for example, a guitar solo. We have that voice telling us that we need to master a solo in 2 weeks, for example, but in actual fact, nobody is expecting or telling you to master that in that timespan. Nobody is telling you what should or should be or what is right or wrong in your guitar journey.

    Another thing would be the 'label'. Don't worry about not being able to 'play lead' for now. Take a break, move on to something else. The world of music is not limited to what you see and hear yourself being in. It's vast, it's beautiful. You'll probably be able to play lead one day again when your hands are warmed up from all the other things you've played and learned. Trust me.

    You don't just learn how to run by working your legs. Your upper body plays just as an important role. Metaphorically speaking.

    We've all been there, syster. You've been doing well and you'll only get better :)

    Cheers, Jak! :rock-hand:
     
    Last edited:

    Gabby Heafy

    Campfire Attention Holder
  • Apr 5, 2020
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    Jak, you are a very talented girl with the guitar and you always have an enthusiasm that is very valuable. yes i think you should look for solos that are within your possibilities and try not to be so hard with yourself. i know it must be frustrating to feel that you are not progressing but you are doing awesome and keep trying!!! You can also try to keep writing amazing songs, i am sure you are very talented too!!!

    sending much love! ❤️
     

    Adin Shepherd

    Music Theory Bragger
    Nov 11, 2019
    466
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    Melbourne, Australia
    Some great advice given already, I don't really have much that I could add.

    There are a lot grave sites along the ascent to the peak of Mt Everest, primarily those who were not as prepared for the journey as they first thought.

    Tackle a few smaller mountains first, Everest will still be there waiting to test you when you are ready.
     

    Forgetabull

    Local Dive Bar Favorite
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Brisbane, Australia
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    I use 8s and 9s.. granted I'm in standard tuning most of the time. If you do change your gauge lower, then it's probably worth having your action and intonation looked at if you can't do that yourself.

    With respect to solo-ing vs rhythm.. well.. there's no reason to do both.. when I'm jamming with mates, i'm most often providing fills/solos over the top of whatever we're playing, but sometimes I'll slot in the rhythm spot and when I'm on my own i'm trying to do both..

    Also.. there is a distinct difference playing your own stuff versas trying to mimic someone else's. When you're playing someone else's, you are essentially trying to copy both their technique and thinking of how the music was put together.. ..you have to be darn good to be able to do that. You'll find when you're doing your own shizz, it flows a lot easier because you instinctively know how your hands work where your destination is. When you're struggling with your own soloing, for me, it's I'm lacking the vocabulary, so I figure I have to experiment more, work on that.

    What can also be handy sometimes is trying to figure out why some guitarists play the notes they did.. like when you look at some of the AC/DC stuff, you tend to find Angus doesn't do much on the high E string with his chords to which I'm assuming because he has small hands, if you look at some of the early black sabbath stuff, say like with paranoid, the way Tommy Iommi is doing that hammer on, I figured was due to him not having completely real fingers due to the industrial accident; with some RHCP stuff, you see that Frusciante is just moving a chord shape around and not actually doing much finger wise.

    You can often get the gist of what others are playing once you figure that out. I guess that and I'm not striving to be note perfect, just more you know what I'm playing.

    but then.. these are just ramblings of an old man :)
     
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    TheRedMageGuitarist

    Garage band Groupie
    Nov 6, 2021
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    Some great advice given already, I don't really have much that I could add.

    There are a lot grave sites along the ascent to the peak of Mt Everest, primarily those who were not as prepared for the journey as they first thought.

    Tackle a few smaller mountains first, Everest will still be there waiting to test you when you are ready.
    That's actually a really honest thought there! Thank you so much, my friend. It means everything to me🙏
     
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    TheRedMageGuitarist

    Garage band Groupie
    Nov 6, 2021
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    371
    Kansas City
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    Jak, you are a very talented girl with the guitar and you always have an enthusiasm that is very valuable. yes i think you should look for solos that are within your possibilities and try not to be so hard with yourself. i know it must be frustrating to feel that you are not progressing but you are doing awesome and keep trying!!! You can also try to keep writing amazing songs, i am sure you are very talented too!!!

    sending much love! ❤️
    Gabby, you are always such a brimming light of positivity and love. I'm so thankful to know you!! Thank you so much for your love and support!! I mean it, Sys! 🙏
     
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