View Full Version : Improvising

12-17-2002, 07:01 PM
Well i know how to read scales and i know what key a song is in. i also know what scales go good over what chords. I just wanna know how to make them into solos.Thanks you guys.

12-17-2002, 08:26 PM
just dick around, and feel the music. there is no real set way to improve. just remember that sometimes there is no worng note. everything is up to you. just play what you want.

12-19-2002, 12:44 PM
Originally posted by warpig2021
Well i know how to read scales and i know what key a song is in. i also know what scales go good over what chords. I just wanna know how to make them into solos.Thanks you guys.

well, how to "make them into solos" is a continuous learning process bro. like uhhhhh said, you really have to dick around with them to get comfy with them and start to learn what sounds good and what doesn't.

even though you know "this scale goes with this chord" and such, you still need to learn good phrasing. good phrasing includes many many things, but to get started you should pay attention to several things.

basic improv ...

1.) chord tones ...

it's always great to play and emphasize chord tones over specific chords, for example if you're playing over a Minor chord, you can easliy make a good phrase by playing any of the basic chord tones (i.e. 1-b3-5-b7 ) of that specific chord. that works for any chord (of course you have to use that specific chords chord tones).

2.) the scale

with scales, the best thing to do with scales in the begining is use them to add flavor to the chord tones of the chords you're using. get used to the chord tones within a scale, then flavor up a specific phrase with the other notes of the scale. like say over that minor chord you might play b3,1,b3,b7,6,5,b3 (see how most of those were chord tones, only one that wasn't a specific chord tone was the 6, in this case the 6 would be just a little bit of a flavor note so to speak leading from one chord tone to the next :) )..... but of course that doesnt HAVE to be the case, once you learn a scale inside and out and have improvised with them alot, you learn how to make almost any note sound good, but that has to do with phrasing .... which brings me to the next point

3.) rhythmic lines

when you're playing anything over a chord or progression .... try and make it rhythmically interesting. don't just play straight 1/8th notes or plain old 16th notes or just a bunch of triplets the whole time you're soloing, mix it up ... vamp on one note for 2 measures if you like, but make it rhythmically interesting to the ear. best way to bust out of a rhythm slump IS to just take one note and play that over a chord progression for an hour, just loop the chord progression on a 4 track or your comp or whatever, and for a whole hour, play nothing but one note over the entire progression .... within 5 minutes you'll run out of rhytmic ideas and will be forced to play one note in rhythms you never thought of. then try the same thing with 2 notes, then 3 notes then 4 and so on....the ideas you'll get from this are invaluable.

4.) motiffs

a motiff is a musical idea or phrase that you repeat ... whether 2 times or 20 times, but it's always a sure way of giving the listener stability and something to cling onto. the reason most beginner improvisers sound like sh<e>it when they start, is because they do they opposite of motiffs.... they just dick around playing a bunch of random notes and it winds up sounding like a computer is just tossing out any note. which only goes to show how LITTLE people actually listen to other peoples solos. pick some solos you love, and go listen to them, and listen for repeating ideas that the soloist does, trust me, all good/great solos/soloists do this.

now theres rhythmic motiffs, where you take a basic rhythm and repeat it. it can be any series of notes really (of course if you're all over the place with the random notes thing again, it's gonna sound like shit for the most part... unless you're playing free or avant garde sh<e>it :p:) so for example take 3 notes play them like this "1-&uh quarter note rest".. then repeat that on the next 3 notes of the scale, then the next 3 notes etc ... you can use any combo of notes, whether using basic triads, every 3 notes, 3 notes then skip a 3rd and then the next 3 etc.. etc... the combos are endless

theres also melodic motiffs .... which is basically repeating the same pitches over different chords. for example ... over a
|: D-7 |G7 |Cmaj7 :| progression, over that you could play a triad over each one. for the D minor you could play D-F-A , over the G7 you could play G-B-D, and over the C maj7 you could play C-E-G. now all those notes you played over each chord have the same relationship with the given chord that they were played over. they're all the basic triad of that chord (i.e. the respective 1st 3rd and 5th notes of each chords respective scale ) .... now of course you can do this with any scale tones really, if you just keep the scale tones constant for each chord.

now, combine rhythmic ideas with melodic ideas and you got the makings for a great solo, of course... it needs to be practiced though :)

final note, you hear many people rattle on ... "dude just do whatever sounds good... theres no rules .." well those are the people that have no idea what they're doing themselves and are to lazy or stubborn to learn. BUT .... they're right in a sense. lemee explain .... you need to learn the rules before you can break them. it's an old adage "learn the changes then forget them" basically you can substitute the word "rules" for the word "changes" in there ....

simply put the end, there are no RULES , but theres a million and one guidelines, and until you learn those guidlines firmly, your chances of becoming a even halfway improviser are a million to one. all the greats who have pushed the boundaries and done what others havent or what others have said was wrong ..... trust me, all those people knew all the "right" ways to do it before they broke those rules ..... then those broken rules become accepted and lumped in with the "rules". can't break the rules if you don't know what they are..... and to learn all the stuff to the point of internalization, so you don't have to think about it is the key to it all. thats when you can break the rules and go outside the bounds of "theory".


12-20-2002, 12:55 AM
here's some more guidelines to learn then break later after you get good at them:

People talk in sentences and phrases, and your leads should be the same way. You don't want to just run up and down a scale endlessly for 12 measures. Play in phrases.

Some points to making a good phrase:
Try starting or ending your phrase on the root note of your scale.
During chord changes, incorporate the root note of the chord into your phrase.
When you aren't playing directly over a chord change, use the dominant notes of the underlying chords to strengthen your phrase. I think cas already said this, but I am repeating it anyways.
Use all of your techniques, vibrato, hammerons/pulloffs, tapping, harmonics, etc. If you don't know a technique, then learn it.
Look for other scales to use. If the rhythm is three power chords, then your options are practically limitless as to what scale you can choose, provided that it is in key with the three chords.
Be melodic and make all of your notes count.
Follow cas's advice.
Practice. the more you play, the better you will get.
:cheers: :cheers: :cheers:

12-22-2002, 05:18 PM
ooops.... this is how i meant to say it....


(matt sees pigs flying outside)

ok i guess that explains it...

12-22-2002, 11:58 PM
Originally posted by redwing_suck
ooops.... this is how i meant to say it....


(matt sees pigs flying outside)

ok i guess that explains it...

has cas been posting in chinese again?

12-23-2002, 01:15 AM
Originally posted by dmal
has cas been posting in chinese again?

not on this thread. thank god.