#1
I've been improvising a year or so, and I know my pentatonics/modes all over the neck. I'm good enough to the point where i can record or play live and stuff. I'm mostly playing blues based stuff, only in harder music, kinda like what slash/angus young do. But i still play a lot of the same stuff, over again and again. What can i do to force creativity? If i just keep jamming and improvising over new stuff will i get better? or is there anything else too?
and could somebody just explain what slash is doing when he does those odd-rhythm runs that seem to skip around all over the place? Like at 3:42 and 3:49 of nightrain, or 2:53 of Slither. I can't seem to figure that out. Thanks!
#2
Please use the resources in my sig as a start. I need to make sure you understand music theory before I explain the nuances of Slash's playing and that Friedman video is good for guitarists of any genre.
#4
First things first, I haven't really heard Angus Young solo on anything that was really all THAT complicated before.. If there's an example, please show me.

Don't force stuff man. If it sounds forced, people won't dig it as much. I used to love extended solos and all of that, but eventually, you run out of things to say. Listen to a song. Identify what you feel while you're listening to it. Think about what you're going to say. When playing a guitar solo, what do you want to say to whoever is listening to you? If you're taking a solo just for the sake of playing a guitar solo, and not because you feel that you can use this voice to enhance whatever is going on in the song, then why do it?

That said, think about what notes are in the chords that you are playing over. Don't rely as much on shapes of a scale as you would on the notes in a chord and which ones you think would sound good over it. When someone first said that to me when I first started improvising, I was like, "What?" It takes time, getting used to thinking about following the changes a little bit more, when you're used to just playing pentatonic shapes. But once you get it, it makes your playing so much more tasteful. You're more in control of what you're playing. It eliminates some of the guessing that you may otherwise do.

Think about when you're playing a solo; how often do you hear something in your head and have trouble expressing that on the guitar? Know which notes are in your chords, and how different notes relate to each other will help with this. Basically, just developing your ear. Knowing what a 9 would sound like, or a 4, or a flat seven, etc. Knowing which tones are strong tones to land on and which ones you might want to play, but use them as passing tones to get to the next note. One lick that sounds cool is walking down from the 5 to the flat 5 to the 4. But you're not spending a bunch of time on that flat fifth, because it isn't a very strong tone.

This is all explained much better in the Marty Friedman video "Melodic Control" that a lot of people on this website have linked in their sigs. You can find (presumably) the full video on Google Videos, which is about one hour (this will save you a lot of time having to clik "Part 1," "Part 2," etc. on YouTube). Very helpful video, and I really do advise that you check it out if you really want to get better at improvising.
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#5
haha i've seen the video, i know theory too, atleast some. i can build chords, i know what scales and arpeggios to use. i was just curious if there was anything i could be doing to speed up my progress with my improv, and then i had the slash question.
#6
Limit yourself. Force yourself to play different. When you start playing the same old licks, force your self to stop and play something entirely new. As far as different rhythms...focus on improvising only rhythms that you haven't improvised before. The only way to break out of old habits is to throw walls around yourself that force you to expand. An example would be to limit yourself to only playing on one string. Or only playing in one position. Or only playing 4 notes over and over again and seeing what you can come up with. Limit yourself to using only 2 fingers.Limit yourself to skipping a string each time you change strings. I am sure you can come up with your own possibilitys. Just make sure as soon as you are thinking 'I am sick of playing this same old way...why can't I play like guitarist X', start thinking more along the lines of 'I want to do that sort of thing in my playing....how can I incorporate this', or 'I am sick of playing these same licks over and over, from this moment on I am going to ensure I never play them again'.
Now, it doesn't need to be as dramatic as totally stopping playing what you are at the moment. But you see what I mean. For instance, there were a few sort of cliche rock/blues licks I ALWAYS played when I was younger, and it got to the stage where I hated them so much that I never play them nowadays and actually cringe when I hear other players play them.Anyway I hope this is of some use to you.
Andy
#8
Quote by SaulnierE
If i just keep jamming and improvising over new stuff will i get better? or is there anything else too?


Practicing improvising by improvising is good and has its place, but I don't think its
the best way to incorporate new material -- mostly you're just working with what you
already know in different ways.

Basically it comes down to: force yourself to do something different. The something can
be new songs, licks or scale practice. I favor doing scale studies. I've encountered
things I wouldn't have randomly hit on in a million years just improvising. After enough
practice these things just show up in my improvisation and I've always got lots of new
stuff "in the pipeline".
#9
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Make sure you can play all over the neck. I'll fly through 15 frets without even thinking about it and it's really fun.

lol, that means your better then me. I'll fly through 15 frets and it sounds like crap