#1
I have a problem.

I can improvise on the minor pentatonic scale pretty well. I know all of it's placings and how to move up and down the board with it during a song.

But, I can't play "sad" solos.

You know, those tear-jerking solos with lots of feeling in them? (ex. Yellow Ledbetter, Knocking On Heaven's Door, etc.)

Whenever I improvise on the minor pentatonic I always end up playing a happy, upbeat, blues-rock-ish solo.

Any advice on playing more "sad" solos?
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Quote by CodySG
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#2
Minor scale. Start there.

But this is MT, I'm sure people will be willing to give you more in-depth info.
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#3
Harmonic minor will be better than just the minor, it makes for really soulful and sad solos.
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#4
bends and vibrato + harmonic minor = sad
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#5
Keep it slow, lots of bends, hammer ons pull offs to a minimum, think of the last bitch that ripped your heart out as you're playing, you know the usual.

seriously though, just keep practicing, you should no exactaly what it's going to sound like before you paly it, that will help a lot, and that is just practice
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#7
listen to Comfortably Numb, the technique of the solos...really slow bends and vibratos, so much feeling in the notes.
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#8
On a general perspective, try marking a slow tempo, or at least slow rhythm, an upbeat rhythm just doesn't give a "sad" feeling most of the time...

The slow rhythm would also be marked with phrasing, and if done correctly, can give a sorrowful feeling..
You can use minor scales, maybe even harmonic minor too, but like you said, depending on how you use them you can get a "sad" feeling or not...
#10
Quote by guitarkid2113
Oh god, listen to John Frusciante's solo in Hey by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.


So emotional.


I know! I want to be able to do that!

I still can't seem to figure it out though. The minor and harmonic minor aren't doing it. They have a sad sound, but not the one I'm looking for really.

Yellow Ledbetter is in minor pentatonic, right? How do I solo like that in minor pentatonic? I can't seem to do it. Is it just a style I have to acquire with time or what?
Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.


-Jimi Hendrix-

Quote by CodySG
You know you're in the drug thread when you see pictures of squash and "tuna nigga!" when you click the page.
#11
I guess a good tip that i was told is to play as little as possible, imagine the solo to be a conversation... say your little part then let the silence speak for the rest.

Although i know not all ''sad'' solos are slow, that's a given but it sure helps with interesting phrasing and adds space in the music.
#12
Quote by dudetheman
I know! I want to be able to do that!

I still can't seem to figure it out though. The minor and harmonic minor aren't doing it. They have a sad sound, but not the one I'm looking for really.

Yellow Ledbetter is in minor pentatonic, right? How do I solo like that in minor pentatonic? I can't seem to do it. Is it just a style I have to acquire with time or what?



What I'm trying to do right now, is to make my solos less flashy. Do a call and reply kinda thing. Solo a lick... then reply to it... but keep it emotional. Just basically think about something really sad or something that bothers you and the sing the notes that you're going to play like "**** that bitch who broke my heart!" and pour your heart into it.

It's got a lot to do with phrasing.
#13
It could have something to do with the chords you're playing over. There's a massive difference between playing A minor pent over A7 D7 E7 and playing A minor pent over Am D C. The first will sound bluesy, the second may be what you're looking for.
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#14
Quote by guitarkid2113
What I'm trying to do right now, is to make my solos less flashy. Do a call and reply kinda thing. Solo a lick... then reply to it... but keep it emotional. Just basically think about something really sad or something that bothers you and the sing the notes that you're going to play like "**** that bitch who broke my heart!" and pour your heart into it.

It's got a lot to do with phrasing.


Yeah, that's what I was thinking.

Changing up my phrasing is gonna be kinda hard though. I guess I'll just practice a lot.
Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.


-Jimi Hendrix-

Quote by CodySG
You know you're in the drug thread when you see pictures of squash and "tuna nigga!" when you click the page.
#16
A great way to improve your own ability to improvise "emotionally" is to learn other artist's solos. Don't just learn the notes, match the nuances: articulation in vibrato, sliding, hammer-offs/pull-offs, bending. Dynamics are very important as well, i.e. pick attack. With good dynamic control you have a way to vary your phrases, and make them more vocal-like.

For solos to learn, I'd recommend...

'Cause We've Ended as Lovers- Jeff Beck
Little Wing- Jimi Hendrix
Anne- John Frusciante (if you can decipher one from the layering)
Wet Sand- Red Hot Chili Peppers
Landslide- Smashing Pumpkins version

...and yes, I'm implying you should learn these by ear. If you want to be able to make a strong connection between your emotions and your guitar, a good ear is a must.
haha
#17
Quote by Amart
A great way to improve your own ability to improvise "emotionally" is to learn other artist's solos. Don't just learn the notes, match the nuances: articulation in vibrato, sliding, hammer-offs/pull-offs, bending. Dynamics are very important as well, i.e. pick attack. With good dynamic control you have a way to vary your phrases, and make them more vocal-like.

For solos to learn, I'd recommend...

'Cause We've Ended as Lovers- Jeff Beck
Little Wing- Jimi Hendrix
Anne- John Frusciante (if you can decipher one from the layering)
Wet Sand- Red Hot Chili Peppers
Landslide- Smashing Pumpkins version

...and yes, I'm implying you should learn these by ear. If you want to be able to make a strong connection between your emotions and your guitar, a good ear is a must.

Little wing by ear?!?!?!?!
#18
Quote by bangoodcharlote
It's completely dependent on the chord progression behind it. What kind of progression are you trying to play over?

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
#19
Facepalm to the guys suggesting minor scales and putting in random bends

It's all about phrasing. Maybe if you phrase slower and outline the minor parts of the minor pentatonic you might sound sadder (try to avoid resolving phrases on the minor third of the pentatonic scale)? You can have some quick licks, but generally it's best to phrase slow.

If you must bend, make sure its a musical bend. Nothing sounds more nooby and out of place than random bends. Try to bend to and from out of scale notes (make sure you're hitting the right note when you bend). These days my favourite bend is bending from a major sixth accidental (to the minor pentatonic scale) to a minor seventh and back.

And don't use classically based minor scales (harmonic/melodic/natural minor etc). It actually doesn't sound sad, to me, if major scales are relaxing than minor scales are wild and dark. Using jazz based minor scales (like a combination between dorian, aeolian and the "blues" scale) can sound very relaxing yet mellow.

A great way to improve your own ability to improvise "emotionally" is to learn other artist's solos.
I've never seen why my solos need to be dependent other "artists" solos. Sure, I'll analyze a lick (not a whole solo) to figure out what he/she is thinking (consciencly, subconsciencly, unconsciencly, whatever) but I only started doing that after learning alot of theory. I might copy some phrasing, but generally I like to keep that aspect of mine original.
But hey, if you think it will help, why not.
#20
I'm going to break my answer into several points.

1) Minor scales
2) Phrasing.
3) Don't get stuck into patterns. Say you want to use a minor scale. Play in and around the "box", but don't limit yourself to using only those notes. Incorporate the notes that aren't in the scale as passing notes to make your solo sound different than every other guitarist. Anyone can learn a scale and run through it and bend at random spots. It's the outside notes you choose, the places you put thought into your phrasing and choose to bend or sustain, that will make your solo uniquely "you".
4) Think about something sad before playing the solo. Try to speak, or even better, sing through the guitar.
5) Have fun. You'll only write something good if you enjoy doing it, so don't force it out. If you just can't think of any ideas, go for a walk, watch a sad movie or something and come back and try again.
#21
Quote by demonofthenight
I've never seen why my solos need to be dependent other "artists" solos. Sure, I'll analyze a lick (not a whole solo) to figure out what he/she is thinking (consciencly, subconsciencly, unconsciencly, whatever) but I only started doing that after learning alot of theory. I might copy some phrasing, but generally I like to keep that aspect of mine original.
But hey, if you think it will help, why not.

Of course being original is important, and I encourage everyone to spend time just jamming and creating licks, but their are many things a musician can learn by transcribing another artist's music.

For starters, whatever style or originality one thinks they have, they must accept that majority of it (or a significant amount) was derived from another musician. Influence is inescapable.

In that respect, getting inside the artist's head by learning music of theirs allows one to better understand the perspective of that particular musician; therefore, they have better ground to expand upon it.

And if you're just picking out licks, you're missing an important aspect of a solo: development. Yea, it's great to have a huge arsenal of licks, and theoretically understand them, but if you don't know where to place them, and how to transition between them, your solo will sound robotic and unconvincing.

Also when you're learning an entire solo, you spend time learning the artist's methods of vibrato, bending, and other embellishments that are vital to a good guitar tone, and style.
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