what to practice for an intermediate.


jason.windish
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Joined: 04/10/22
Posts: 3
jason.windish
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Joined: 04/10/22
Posts: 3
12/07/2023 4:04 am

hello i know this may be a hard question to answer but. ok i'm an intermediate player and i'm at a loss on what to actually practice when i pick up my guitar to progress my skills. i cannot afford the 39 dollar lesson plan atm . i'm working thru all the level 2 GT courses, is there any good intermediate videos for practicing here that someone can recommend?, it's hard because everything is either too easy or too hard and TBH it's kinda hard to navigate the lessons here that are outside of the courses. i know a handful of songs, the cowboy chords, barre chords, power chords, the major scale positions, a little bit of the modes. i can improvise solo's a bit but i dont have any memorized.......they are all either too easy or too hard........ idk maybe someone can just recommend a good first blues or rock solo or song for an intermediate to memorize. something thats not just a few pentatonic notes or. something thats not all crazy. i.e. louie louie solo is too easy and no way can i remember sweet home chicago solo.


edited
# 1
William MG
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William MG
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Joined: 03/08/19
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12/07/2023 12:30 pm

1st, there is nothing wrong with remaining an intermediate player. I think that would describe most players actually. You already have a lot of stuff down with the exception, if I may be bold, of discipline. That is probably why you are not getting those solos memorized. It takes practice after practice after practice to play a lick smoothly. If you are still thinking about the lick as you play it, you haven't drilled it into muscle memory.


Check out Red House by Hendrix. It is an awesome tune with so many good licks you can use again and again over lots of stuff, it should be something every player has in the bag. The song is deceptive in that it is not a fast song, but there are parts of it where Jimi is getting a bunch of notes in over a very short piece of time and this takes a lot of work to get down. 


Other than that, I wouldn't know what else to suggest because I don't know where you want this to go. As I said, you already have a lot you can do and if you joined us for a jam you could probably fit right in.


But if you want to know what my practice time looks like, it goes something like this:


Learning a new song or part of a song
Writing and recording my own songs
Picking up songs by ear - something new I just started. So I put on a song and try to find the chords and play along to the song. I don't care about strum pattern so much, just that I have the right chords and my timing is spot on. In my head I would like to be like someone I play with. Mark can listen and just start playing the chords by ear. That would be awesome and something to work towards. For now I have to go down the 6th string note by note. Its take a lot of work, but it is very satisfying to "find a song on the guitar" on my own. 


Good luck


Edit:


This guy just popped up in my YouTube feed. I've never heard of him, but he is pretty much on message... gotta love these old muscians lol


https://youtu.be/2YLfj0Xub8I?si=dDEGgkmyWJhx9IwM


edited

This year the diet is definitely gonna stick!

# 2
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,404
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,404
12/07/2023 3:41 pm
#1 Originally Posted by: jason.windish

hello i know this may be a hard question to answer but. ok i'm an intermediate player and i'm at a loss on what to actually practice when i pick up my guitar to progress my skills. i cannot afford the 39 dollar lesson plan atm . i'm working thru all the level 2 GT courses, is there any good intermediate videos for practicing here that someone can recommend?, it's hard because everything is either too easy or too hard and TBH it's kinda hard to navigate the lessons here that are outside of the courses. i know a handful of songs, the cowboy chords, barre chords, power chords, the major scale positions, a little bit of the modes. i can improvise solo's a bit but i dont have any memorized.......they are all either too easy or too hard........ idk maybe someone can just recommend a good first blues or rock solo or song for an intermediate to memorize. something thats not just a few pentatonic notes or. something thats not all crazy. i.e. louie louie solo is too easy and no way can i remember sweet home chicago solo.

Hey & welcome.


Thanks for the your list of skills.  The more detailed you can be about your goals, the more precisely we can help you find lessons that will help you achieve them.


For example, you mention learning a blues or rock solo.  I can recommend a few songs.  But it sounds like maybe you want to improve your lead playing in general.  What's really going to help here is for you to understand the process of improvisation and then build a repertoire of licks that you can play anytime you need them, and adapt them to the specific song, key or situation you are working on.


With all that in mind, here's a list of thing to check out.


These two songs are filled with classic blues licks & riffs.  Great stuff for intermediate players to learn from & material that is used in a hundred other blues songs & you can reuse for as long as you play guitar.


T-Bone Shuffle
https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial/2092/


Bright Lights, Big City
https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial/1763/


Learning the conceptual process of improvisation can also be helpful.  These lessons start very simple, then get more advanced.  But the point is that you learn how improvising is 3 step process:  identify key signature, target chord tones, build melodies.  If the first few tutorials are too easy, then just watch through them & quickly move forward to the material that interests you & targets your skill level.


https://www.guitartricks.com/collection/learning-to-improvise


Ultimately the reason you learn songs & how to improvise is to have a repertoire of licks, a library of things to play in the moment.  It's like learning a language in order to have a real time conversation.  This list of tutorials is aimed at building a repertoire of licks.  Again, it starts simply, but that has the advantage of being able to jump right in playing along with the practice backing tracks.  But if any of the early tutorials are too simple, then jump ahead to the material that matches your skill level & is something that you can learn from in order to improve your playing.  In particular make sure to look at the second half of the list which are how to play a complete arrangement of a blues song with a variety of rhythm comping & lead fills.


https://www.guitartricks.com/collection/Bread-and-Butter-Butter-Blues-Licks


Hope that helps.  If you have more questions, please ask.  Best of success!


 


edited
Christopher Schlegel
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Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 3
acidoxid3
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Joined: 11/29/17
Posts: 6
acidoxid3
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Joined: 11/29/17
Posts: 6
12/08/2023 12:06 pm

Navigating the sea of guitar lessons can be tricky. Since you're into blues and rock, I'd suggest checking out the solo from "Red House" by Hendrix. It's got a nice mix of challenge without going overboard. Plus, it's a killer tune.


# 4
jason.windish
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Joined: 04/10/22
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jason.windish
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Joined: 04/10/22
Posts: 3
12/08/2023 6:32 pm

thanks for the replies guys. good suggestions,and i am going to follow them. i guess my problem is  1. i gotta figure out how to come up with a good practice routine for myself, and 2. i want to be able to remember set solo's like back in black, but i feel there are probably be some easier solo's that i should learn first......i do know a few blues licks i just dont know where to take it from here, but yea ima check out chris's bread and butter licks course, i remember seeing it a few weeks ago but didnt watch all of it yet.


# 5
jason.windish
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Joined: 04/10/22
Posts: 3
jason.windish
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Joined: 04/10/22
Posts: 3
12/08/2023 6:40 pm
#3 Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel

Hey & welcome.


Thanks for the your list of skills.  The more detailed you can be about your goals, the more precisely we can help you find lessons that will help you achieve them.


For example, you mention learning a blues or rock solo.  I can recommend a few songs.  But it sounds like maybe you want to improve your lead playing in general.  What's really going to help here is for you to understand the process of improvisation and then build a repertoire of licks that you can play anytime you need them, and adapt them to the specific song, key or situation you are working on.


With all that in mind, here's a list of thing to check out.


These two songs are filled with classic blues licks & riffs.  Great stuff for intermediate players to learn from & material that is used in a hundred other blues songs & you can reuse for as long as you play guitar.


T-Bone Shuffle
https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial/2092/


Bright Lights, Big City
https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial/1763/


Learning the conceptual process of improvisation can also be helpful.  These lessons start very simple, then get more advanced.  But the point is that you learn how improvising is 3 step process:  identify key signature, target chord tones, build melodies.  If the first few tutorials are too easy, then just watch through them & quickly move forward to the material that interests you & targets your skill level.


https://www.guitartricks.com/collection/learning-to-improvise


Ultimately the reason you learn songs & how to improvise is to have a repertoire of licks, a library of things to play in the moment.  It's like learning a language in order to have a real time conversation.  This list of tutorials is aimed at building a repertoire of licks.  Again, it starts simply, but that has the advantage of being able to jump right in playing along with the practice backing tracks.  But if any of the early tutorials are too simple, then jump ahead to the material that matches your skill level & is something that you can learn from in order to improve your playing.  In particular make sure to look at the second half of the list which are how to play a complete arrangement of a blues song with a variety of rhythm comping & lead fills.


https://www.guitartricks.com/collection/Bread-and-Butter-Butter-Blues-Licks


Hope that helps.  If you have more questions, please ask.  Best of success!


 

thank you so much chris. i am a fan of your lessons and i will definitely follow your suggestions you just gave me. i guess i'm just having a hard time coming up with my own practice routine is the biggest problem, because i find my self just playing the same few songs i know, or just jamming with backing tracks doing the same few licks or meandering scales, without really progressing in the past few months, even though i play every day.


# 6
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,404
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,404
12/08/2023 6:47 pm
#5 Originally Posted by: jason.windish

thanks for the replies guys. good suggestions,and i am going to follow them. i guess my problem is  1. i gotta figure out how to come up with a good practice routine for myself, and 2. i want to be able to remember set solo's like back in black, but i feel there are probably be some easier solo's that i should learn first......i do know a few blues licks i just dont know where to take it from here, but yea ima check out chris's bread and butter licks course, i remember seeing it a few weeks ago but didnt watch all of it yet.

You're welcome.


Practice something specific everyday.  Do something fun you already know to warm up, then challenge yourself with something new.  Maybe 4 bars from the AC/DC solo you want to learn.  Then finish with something you know again to keep it fun.


Memorizing set solos is simply a matter of starting with one phrase at a time & repeating it until it's second nature.  Then go to the next phrase & keep adding them until you know the whole thing.  Try 2 or 4 bars at a time.  Be patient with yourself.  Keep going.


Learning the licks I linked will help you with those types of phrases you will see again and again.  Some of them are in that solo.


The improvisation concepts will help you see the patterns.  For example, in a couple of parts of the AC/DC solo he plays a simple descending melody: e-d-c#.  Those notes are chord tones from the chord progression:  E-D-A


e root of E, d root of D, c# major 3rd of A.


Then he plays a variety of pentatonic minor blues rock types licks that are cliches you find all over his other solos & a bunch of other rock solos.  Once you learn some of those licks or one of his solos you start to see patterns that get reused over & again.


Hope that helps!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 7

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