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  1. #1
    Banned! againstthewind's Avatar
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    Default Most difficult riffs you have had trouble with

    I am about to flippin' SCREAM!! So frustrating sometimes when you work on something over and over again, and you still F$*K it all up. I am embarrased that I can't get this, what seems to be simple little riff down, but everytime I think I have it, I come back later and screw it up all over again. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I have been here before with certain other riffs, but this might be the most frustrating, it is the opening riff to Sweet Child O Mine....Good Lord I just can't get it right. So in that realm of thought I thought I would throw that question out to my fellow guitarists, in part to make me feel like I don't suck as bad as I know I probably do, and also just to know others are going through the same thing. So what are the ones you folks have struggled with?? I honestly would be embarrased to tell you how much time I have spent trying to get this down!!! Sheesh!!

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    Atomic Punk WinterlessIceness's Avatar
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    It gotta be one of my songs which sounds similar to "Roses For The Dead" by FFAF (doesn't matter), so many pinky swings there I can't really play it half as good as I want to.

    Other than that - "Perry Manson", I simply can't make it sound as smooth as Zakk does.

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    Hot For Teacher PassingBy's Avatar
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    Instead of looking for company in misery, you should reflect on your practicing and admit to yourself (very hard, no smiley) that you're practicing wrongly.

    You are trying it a a pace that is too fast, then you make mistakes, and then you try again and make more mistakes. What you are teaching yourself by repetition is how to make mistakes.

    Play it at a pace that you dont make mistakes, even if its a note a minute and the gradually work up.
    Thanks for paying my rent. -- EVH

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    Banned! againstthewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PassingBy
    Instead of looking for company in misery, you should reflect on your practicing and admit to yourself (very hard, no smiley) that you're practicing wrongly.

    You are trying it a a pace that is too fast, then you make mistakes, and then you try again and make more mistakes. What you are teaching yourself by repetition is how to make mistakes.

    Play it at a pace that you dont make mistakes, even if its a note a minute and the gradually work up.

    While I appreciate the advice, you're diagnosis does not fit on this one. I have tried exactly what you are saying, this one is just giving me fits. Obviously, I am not a very advanced guitarist, but certainly not a beginner either.....intermediate level, with a bit more time, I will be there.....maybe. Hell, maybe I should just admit to myself that I suck...lol....but you know what sometimes the truth hurts. Anyway, thanks for the tip, i'll try to remember to have more patience and slow down, most riffs aren't this tough, but thanks.

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    Hot For Teacher PassingBy's Avatar
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    Well at what kind of bpm level do you have a problem ? Do you always play faultless at halfspeed ?
    Thanks for paying my rent. -- EVH

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    Banned! againstthewind's Avatar
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    At half speed with most other riffs, or full speed with most other riffs....yes. I may have to work at them a bit, but eventually I get 'em down. Take Great white buffalo for instance, started on that one a while back, took a bit, but no prob now....not nearly as difficult as this. It's just those last two or three notes on this partic riff, I want to cheat, and move my hand to the 14 frett but that seems to make too much noise, and the timing is a bit awkward. I have the ability to use my pinky to pull this off, and sometimes it is flawless at full speed, but then I come back later, and I F it all up again. Maybe it is just a mental thing!

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    Hot For Teacher PassingBy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by againstthewind
    At half speed with most other riffs, or full speed with most other riffs....yes. I may have to work at them a bit, but eventually I get 'em down. Take Great white buffalo for instance, started on that one a while back, took a bit, but no prob now....not nearly as difficult as this. It's just those last two or three notes on this partic riff, I want to cheat, and move my hand to the 14 frett but that seems to make too much noise, and the timing is a bit awkward. I have the ability to use my pinky to pull this off, and sometimes it is flawless at full speed, but then I come back later, and I F it all up again. Maybe it is just a mental thing!
    Because you say fret 14, do you mean this riff ?

    Code:
    e--------------15----14--------------------15----14-----|
    B-----15--------------------------15--------------------|
    G-------14-12----14----14------------14-12----14----14--|
    D--12--------------------------14-----------------------|
    A-------------------------------------------------------|
    E-------------------------------------------------------|
    I tried this, and I think if you barre over the D/G 12 with the first finger, then barre with the ring finger G/B/e 14 and with the pinky B/e 15, it seems it would be just a matter of lifting barre fingers and then fretting them again, fairly easy. (12-15-14 all down, lift ring 12, 15, down ring 14, lift pinky 14 etc.)

    But I don't know if that would be sonically pleasing enough for you, hard to do vibrato that way.

    Not trying to be a wiseass (for once ), just trying to help.
    Thanks for paying my rent. -- EVH

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by againstthewind
    While I appreciate the advice, you're diagnosis does not fit on this one. I have tried exactly what you are saying, this one is just giving me fits. Obviously, I am not a very advanced guitarist, but certainly not a beginner either.....intermediate level, with a bit more time, I will be there.....maybe. Hell, maybe I should just admit to myself that I suck...lol....but you know what sometimes the truth hurts. Anyway, thanks for the tip, i'll try to remember to have more patience and slow down, most riffs aren't this tough, but thanks.
    As you play you will discover song's that will be difficult for you no matter how long your at it. That riff your working on incorporates techniques that were common in the late 80's. Stuff that's played today are completely different, you may relate more to stuff that's on the radio today.

    Im a huge fan of Tool, to me their stuff sounds complex and a little foreign to my ear. I remember a few years ago me and a buddy where checking out a Guitar Center in San Diego. There was a kid in there playing through a bunch of Tool song's, he couldn't have been more then 16 years old. None of what he was playing was perfect but it was pretty good, he nailed most of the changes and a had a good grasp for the overall feel of the song's. Obviously I was impressed. A song like Stinkfist took me some time to get down perfectly, yet I can play Natural Science in my sleep (Rush tune).

    Try and look forward to song's that are difficult for you to play, once you get them to your satisfaction you will have one more tool in your tool box that you otherwise would never have. If we only learned stuff that came easily we would all sound like CC Deville.

    For the life of me I can not play that stupid opening melody run from Ventura Highway (America). Im not much of an acoustic player, I have a Martin D-15 that only get's the cowboy chord treatment. It's a little embarassing really, I don't include myself in to many acoustic jamms though I have been playing guitar for 18 years.

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    Eruption guitar08man's Avatar
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    Funny you mention that sweet child o mine is giving you trouble, seems like everytime i walk into guitar center somebody else is struggling with it as well...

    seriously though, just slow it down, and when you think youve slown it down enough, slow it down some more. Only click the metronome up when you can play it three times in a row flawlessly.

  10. #10
    Banned! againstthewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willy4pres
    As you play you will discover song's that will be difficult for you no matter how long your at it. That riff your working on incorporates techniques that were common in the late 80's. Stuff that's played today are completely different, you may relate more to stuff that's on the radio today.

    Im a huge fan of Tool, to me their stuff sounds complex and a little foreign to my ear. I remember a few years ago me and a buddy where checking out a Guitar Center in San Diego. There was a kid in there playing through a bunch of Tool song's, he couldn't have been more then 16 years old. None of what he was playing was perfect but it was pretty good, he nailed most of the changes and a had a good grasp for the overall feel of the song's. Obviously I was impressed. A song like Stinkfist took me some time to get down perfectly, yet I can play Natural Science in my sleep (Rush tune).

    Try and look forward to song's that are difficult for you to play, once you get them to your satisfaction you will have one more tool in your tool box that you otherwise would never have. If we only learned stuff that came easily we would all sound like CC Deville.

    For the life of me I can not play that stupid opening melody run from Ventura Highway (America). Im not much of an acoustic player, I have a Martin D-15 that only get's the cowboy chord treatment. It's a little embarassing really, I don't include myself in to many acoustic jamms though I have been playing guitar for 18 years.

    So what do you think is a resonable amount of time, to ge this partic riff down pat in??

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    Quote Originally Posted by againstthewind
    So what do you think is a resonable amount of time, to ge this partic riff down pat in??
    I wouldn't even look at it that way. If your worried about how long something like this should take your letting your ego take over your thought process, never a good thing. It takes as long as it takes, it's not like you have a gig tommorrow and your band is opening with "Sweet Child O' Mine".

    Just fooling with stuff like this is fun, it's not Football, there is no time limit. I have a buddy that I used to play with (he moved away), his chord vocabulary is much more vast then mine will ever be. He excells at clean stuff which is his kind of music. He also loves Metal as well so he has been trying to learn No More Tears (Ozzy), it's not a hard riff at all but he can't seem to get it. He plays all the right notes but the feel is completely wrong, it's just not his thing. I thought I would help out so I learned the song from beginning to end and showed him one day when we were jamming around some stuff. What actually ended up happening was he got pissed (not at me but at himself), his ego got the better of him. I bet to this day he still can not learn that song, he's still upset with himself because to him a lesser guitar player can do it and he can't. The guy can play every single song from Clapton Unplugged perfectly and it bothers him that he can't play No More Tears correctly? It's silly.
    Last edited by willy4pres; 09.19.06 at 08:32 PM.

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk ziggysmalls's Avatar
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    Its funny because I have songs that I struggle on (Little Wing for one) but never had a problem with Sweet Child. In fact I was able to play that when it came out in 87 and I only started playing guitar in 86. However there are plenty of songs I butcher which other people can handle quite easily.

    Last night I was trying to learn Little Wing and could only get about the first two measures. I tried the intro to Spirit of the Radio and can't pull off that fast. I am a good picker but can't do pull offs for crap. Lets see I have problems with the solo section of Running with the Devil even though that is probably one of the easiest Van Halen solo's

    I can butcher the begining of Aint Talking Bout Love. However I can play the majority of I'm the One.

    So you see, you are not the only one. Unless you are a very good player with great technique, sometimes you will hit some hurdles.

    Just slow it down. BTW I only use three fingers on that and kinda bar the notes on the 14th fret. I have fat fingers though so maybe that helps. Could hurt too.

  13. #13
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    I have trouble nailing Mozart's 7th symphony. That SOB gets me every time!

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    little wing was a pain for me too it can be a total bast£$d! if im correct even the late great mr hendrix never played it the same way twice so i guess that says something for us all!.
    as for learning stuff i always slow it right down to "man with one finger"speeds and then build it up until its at the right tempo and then when im comfortable with it play it in the mirror so i can learn to play the song without looking at the neck.
    the song i had most trouble with was "play with me" by extreme that solo took me frickin ages to nail and i managed to learn steve vais "for the love of god" in less than a week so i guess its just one of those songs we all have our nemisis!
    anyway good luck with the tune you'll nail it just dont rush it
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    Banned! againstthewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willy4pres
    I wouldn't even look at it that way. If your worried about how long something like this should take your letting your ego take over your thought process, never a good thing. It takes as long as it takes, it's not like you have a gig tommorrow and your band is opening with "Sweet Child O' Mine".

    Just fooling with stuff like this is fun, it's not Football, there is no time limit. I have a buddy that I used to play with (he moved away), his chord vocabulary is much more vast then mine will ever be. He excells at clean stuff which is his kind of music. He also loves Metal as well so he has been trying to learn No More Tears (Ozzy), it's not a hard riff at all but he can't seem to get it. He plays all the right notes but the feel is completely wrong, it's just not his thing. I thought I would help out so I learned the song from beginning to end and showed him one day when we were jamming around some stuff. What actually ended up happening was he got pissed (not at me but at himself), his ego got the better of him. I bet to this day he still can not learn that song, he's still upset with himself because to him a lesser guitar player can do it and he can't. The guy can play every single song from Clapton Unplugged perfectly and it bothers him that he can't play No More Tears correctly? It's silly.

    Good points Willy, and to all the others, thank you also. You all reminded me of some very basic crap, slow the F down. And Willy you are right, it was ego buggin' me. I felt the riff was easy, and it pissed me off that I couldn't get it quick. Thanks to all of you, I spent some time last night really slowing it down, and after I came home from work today, progress was certainly noticed.....it aint there yet, but that's okay, and if I have to slow it down again, so be it....I'll get it eventually. I think I am going to look into getting a teach. I understand even the most advanced guitarists have them, to remind you of the things all of you just taught me in the last 24. So again, thank you to all of you. Isn't playing music just too much fun to be legal??

 

 

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