Guitar - General/Guitar skills

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Question
Hi,
 I have been playing guitar now for a little over a year. I actually took lessons when I was young (14-15 years old) but have forgotten 99% of it as I am now 50. My question is how to improve my skills? My fret hand syncing w/ my pick hand is awful. I do know some pentatonic scales and my major and minor chords but my soloing is terrible. I practice everyday anywhere from 15 min to 2 hours but feel I am in a rug. Any advice?

         Thanks,
         GLENN

Answer
Hi Glenn!

 Sorry to hear that you're feeling stuck in a rut*! Haha only kidding. As far as syncing your left hand with your right, I suggest using a metronome and picking along with it. Start with whole notes, say on the low E string. Pick one for four counts, then start picking half notes. Alternate picking will help you get back into syncing. Try to pick 16th notes as fast as you can, but take your time and TAKE BREAKS if your hands start to hurt. Another way to start syncing up your hands is to do chromatic exercises. Here is one from John Petrucci's "Rock Discipline", a VERY helpful video/book I used when I was learning:

E------------------------------------------------------------------------9-10-11-12-13-12-11-10
B-------------------------------------------------------------9-10-11-12-----------------------
G:-----------------------------7-8-9-10-11-10-9-8-9-10-11-12-----------------------------------
D--------------------7-8-9-10------------------------------------------------------------------
A-----------7-8-9-10---------------------------------------------------------------------------
E--7-8-9-10------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     1  2 3   4  1  2  3   4  1 2  3  4    1  2  3  4     4    3  2 1  1   2    3     4  1  2   3      4 1  2   3   4     4    3    2    1   
E--13-12-11-10-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
B--------------13-12-11-10-----------------------------------------------------------------
G--------------------------13-12-11-10-9-10-11-12-11-10-9-8-------------------------------
D-------------------------------------------------------------11-10-9-8--------------------:
A-----------------------------------------------------------------------11-10-9-8-----------
E---------------------------------------------------------------------------------11-10-9-8

    4    3  2      1   4  3    2     1   4     3    2   1    1  2    3    4  4   3      2   1   4 3    2   1  4  3   2  1  4   3  2  1


As far as soloing goes, I would consider buying the backing tracks CDs that come in local guitar retailers and soloing over those. Practice, practice, practice! There is also a website that provides guitar backing tracks on the Internet that provides songs without a guitar part.

If anything else, personal lessons are always available which I highly recommend for anyone. I'm the kind of person who learns by doing and direct instruction, so it has always helped me. Good luck!

Guitar - General

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Frank A Dornay Jr

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I can answer questions about basic theory (i.e. key signatures, harmonies, intervals) and better ways to improve playing. PLEASE do not ask questions about values of your instruments. I cannot and will not answer them. Thank you.

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