#1
So..when I write a song I usually listen record a rhythm then improvise a solo over that until I get something that sounds right. Then I usually just write the general notes of the solo. But anyway, I hear a lot of people say they just improvise the solo every time. What do you guys think? Improvise or Compose solos?
Tonight, we stagger out from the basement...


I'm sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.

...Or fall to our deaths from above
#4
You'll probably make a better solo by composing, because you can essentially improvise then make it better.

However, some peopla are very good at improvising and might be hit by some new inspiration when performing. I suggest already having a solo though, because then you can use it if you're mind goes blank but you don't have to play it.
#6
Ur view on it is wrong. If you improvise a solo and it sounds good then why change it? If u improvise something and u "Recompose" it to make it sound better then it's good too.

Don't get confused, improvising doesn't mean 1 take wonder. Alot of people say 'I just improvised and I came up with a lead'. This doesn't mean they rephrased it a little bit afterward or play it more cleaner etc. It just means they wrote a song based on playing with the track, instead of going by thinking about the track.

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#7
compose a solo over a certain scale and get familiar where it is over the guitar and than improvise every time.

thats what i do/
#9
Quote by Bamitchell
So..when I write a song I usually listen record a rhythm then improvise a solo over that until I get something that sounds right. Then I usually just write the general notes of the solo. But anyway, I hear a lot of people say they just improvise the solo every time. What do you guys think? Improvise or Compose solos?


I don't think there's such a defined line between the two... although you can improvise a solo, it will always fall within certain parameters... i.e if you don't know every single note you'll be playing, but already know your solo will probably be in D pentatonic, use a certain tone, and be for 16 bars and that you intend to start off low & slow, then build up to faster & higher... then there's not much true 'improvisation' to be done... wiggling ones fingers around a few well-trodden pentatonic shapes is 'improvisation' of the lowest order, really

I think there's something to be said for approaching a solo all ways... if a specific solo is intended to underscore a melodic theme in the song, and is crucial to the composition, then planning the exact notes beforehand can be good...

on the other hand, to be present when a musician is literally creating something new on the spot can be thrilling... assuming they're really trying to surprise themselves with new melodic ideas, and not just pulling out stuff from their 'bag of licks'
out of here
#10
All that really matters is which one you like better. Usually you can tell the difference
between a composition and an improvisation. There's some quality that makes them
different. Which one do you like better? One's not better or worse than the other.

Personally, I like improvisation. But that's just me.
#12
Quote by Bamitchell
So..when I write a song I usually listen record a rhythm then improvise a solo over that until I get something that sounds right. Then I usually just write the general notes of the solo. But anyway, I hear a lot of people say they just improvise the solo every time. What do you guys think? Improvise or Compose solos?


Whatever you want, its your music.
shred is gaudy music
#14
When I compose solos I am basicly improvising or sorts.

Well, I don't have an electric guitar so the only way to compose solos/"improvise" solos is via tabs, or better yet guitar pro or powertab so I can hear the solo play (unfortunately my acoustic has only 18 frets, while I mostly make solos from 20 upwards).

When I come up with solos I just write the notes I want to play, and keep them that way, and maybe spend 30 seconds or less between each bar so as to transpose the melodies in my head to the tab.
I usually never rewrite/change things in the solos I write in guitar pro, only ocassionaly if the part sounds too bad...

I could compose an acoustic solo, but, well, the ones I write that way suck and I can't concentrate enough to remember them or make them good
#15
I've tried composing, but after a while i find it doesn't fit right, or i'm not happy with it, so i never stick to the composition, i improvise every time now, it works better that way
#16
I prefer composing solos if I have a solo at all, it's easier to keep a leash on my ego and only play something that serves the song
My name is Andy
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Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
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#17
Quote by Ænimus Prime
I prefer composing solos if I have a solo at all, it's easier to keep a leash on my ego and only play something that serves the song


^This.
I dislike improvisation in general. My style is to meticulously obsess over each and every note.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#18
I just find some general guidelines, and keep some mental notes on what I play. I'll have an outline melody, and then play around with it. I like to have a balance between improv and composition.
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Quote by kevinm4435 to some guy
hey d00d i herd u dont like shred u r a genius 4 thinkin dat. all shred is fukin lame wit no soul u no wat im sayin??
#19
I improv, but I typically find things that work really well with the song when I improv, so it usually develops into a composed solo, without actually composing.
Feed your mind.
#20
Quote by Ænimus Prime
I prefer composing solos if I have a solo at all, it's easier to keep a leash on my ego and only play something that serves the song


But ego is not always a bad thing. It can add character, and the ego is just a part of ur personality.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
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#21
Quote by xxdarrenxx
But ego is not always a bad thing. It can add character, and the ego is just a part of ur personality.


That's not really what he meant by ego.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#22
Quote by Archeo Avis
^This.
I dislike improvisation in general. My style is to meticulously obsess over each and every note.
So your live gigs sound the same every time?

Improvising brings the "now" emotions to the stage instead of the stale "what I was feeling when I wrote this" emotions. God I hate that word (emotion).

But yeah, improvised solos over riffs sound horrible imo (bach could improvise two melodies at once though and do it well). Improvisation sounds pretty awesome over chord progressions though.
#23
Improvising brings the "now" emotions to the stage instead of the stale "what I was feeling when I wrote this" emotions.
Well why not scrap composition all together since playing something you've made before is stale?
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
#24
I second the opinion to learn to do both, I have tried improvising (i do this 90% of the time) solo's/lead and taking a slower more methodical approach to lead writing. I was surprised at how different my lead was when I decided to write it in guitar pro without my guitar in my hand, working purely on what I liked the sound of looking at individual notes, in fact i'm going home tonight to do this.