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I'm struggling trying to play a song fully. I can't do it, even thought I know the song. My question is what techniques should I practice to not make a mistake picking the wrong string and fret/note. I was playing the Nightwish's solo, Walking In The Air. I play it slowly, but sometimes I play it perfect, but slowly, sometime not. I wanna play the song fully but without struggling. I think that there should be some techniques to practice, to accomplish this.

I've been practicing electric guitar for over 3 to 4 weeks and I know I should struggle. So some techniques, a to-do list to practice? I wanna play all day, but I need some guidance. I know there are tones of resources out there, but I want your guidance first, to know what to go for and what not. I don't wanna find a mentor because I can't afford it.

I play 1 and a half hours a day, sometimes I play 3 hours.

And thanks for all.

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What is practice? That's a topic that's too big in itself to have a dedicated question/answer. Even though the title of this site is 'Music: Practice and Theory'... Some irony there!

Firstly - 'pracising' for three hours isn't twice as effective as practising for an hour and a half. A new student asked 'how long do Ipractise each day/week? An impossible one to answer clearly. As long as it takes to get it right/be comfortable with it/never to be able to make a mistake/say your two times table at the same time/play it blindfolded/play it twice as fast as it should be/the list grows!

Secondly - find out how you learn. There are many different ways, and one will work better than another for you. I've said it before (and no doubt again) that when you are aware of what is most effective, use that method more. For me it's repetition; for others that induces boredom - which is counter-productive.

Vary what you play. When you find what key your piece is in, play other stuff in that same key. Play up and down the scales and arpeggios in that same key. Make up your own stuff in that same key. Swap notes from that piece around, to make other phrases.

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If you can play the song well most of a time at a certain slow speed, find the metronome marking you are at. If you don't have a metronome, you can get a free app on your phone. Next time you play the song, notch the metronome up and see if you can still play through comfortably. Don't be in a hurry to get it fast. Go up a notch or two only each day.

Also, isolate the bars (measures) that you find are tripping you up, and practise them individually over and over nice and slow until you are confident with them. Then put them back into the context of the song. Hope it helps.

  • When starting out, practice so slow it's almost painful. Concentrate only on playing the correct note. The speed will come on it's own, don't push it, or you start playing notes you don't want to play and your brain will be learning to play notes that you don't want. Time well spent learning the right techniques pays off many times over as you become more advanced. – skinny peacock Feb 22 '18 at 16:00

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