#1
Hey everyone... Ive been playing for a year now and I would say that I am getting better at a steady rate but all of my improv riffs sound identical. Whether i do a solo in Am pentatonic, or drop D, and make some heavy riffs... I always go back to box patterns and i always end up doing the same pattern/riff... is there any tips that any of you could give that would help my diversify (i dunno if thats a word haha) my playing?
#2
Play in different tunings, use different scales, play in different keys. Especially in different keys.
#3
listen to different genre's of music, i remember about a year or two ago, i posted the same exact post, learn different scales and listen to music you thought you'd never listen too. Also try not to use the box pattern for a while, get used to using other scales as well.
#4
As already said, learn new scales--it'll work wonders.
You can even combine scales.
For example, something I do is take the standard pentatonic, but weave the Byzantine scale into it, which is a very exotic sounding scale.
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#5
arpeggiate chords

i think thats the word im looking for, where you take a chord and play the notes individually.

of course then you have to know how to make chords. if you dont know how its a pretty useful thing to learn.
#6
learn scales, yes, but more importantly, learn intervals, and how to find the same note in both directions of any other note. doing this will open you up to new improv ideas and new patterns within scales you already know. Clapton STILL only uses the minor pentatonic scale; he's just wicked at making it sound like anything he wants.
#7
Quote by forty6and2
Hey everyone... Ive been playing for a year now and I would say that I am getting better at a steady rate but all of my improv riffs sound identical. Whether i do a solo in Am pentatonic, or drop D, and make some heavy riffs... I always go back to box patterns and i always end up doing the same pattern/riff... is there any tips that any of you could give that would help my diversify (i dunno if thats a word haha) my playing?

It's simple - stop thinking of solos as patterns and instead start listening to what you're actually playing and thinking about the sounds you want.
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#8
Learning different scales is something that is extremely important for all your solos to sound different from your other playing, but if you want them to sound completely unique, use an exercise that I learned from Tommy Merry. Every day take five minutes and play random notes, completely random non-scalar notes. If anything sounds cool, remember it, if it doesn't just keep playing, the most important thing is that you don't play anything you've played before so that you can break the habit.
#9
Quote by mlogans91
Learning different scales is something that is extremely important for all your solos to sound different from your other playing, but if you want them to sound completely unique, use an exercise that I learned from Tommy Merry. Every day take five minutes and play random notes, completely random non-scalar notes. If anything sounds cool, remember it, if it doesn't just keep playing, the most important thing is that you don't play anything you've played before so that you can break the habit.


I would say that learning new scales is very nearly irrelevant in this regard. If all your playing sounds the same, scales are the last thing you need to be worrying about. Playing random notes is absurd as well, since the underlying harmonic context will determine how those notes sound. This exercise accomplishes nothing in the long term.
If you want to improve your improvisation, the most important steps are the following...

- Develop your aural skills. You should be able to hear a melody in your head and play it perfectly on your instrument.

- Learn the location of the notes all over the fretboard, or at least become aware of every fret's relationship to the tonic (in any key). If you're in <insert key here> and I tell you to play <insert scale degree here> you should be able to play it for me. Instantly.

- Know the diatonic scale all over the neck, in every key.

- Be familiar with chord construction and how the notes you're playing relate to the underlying harmony. That harmony will determine how the notes you're playing sound.

You do not need a million different scales. You do not even need to know the modes. And you certainly shouldn't be worrying about them until you're familiar with the theory behind the mjor scale, and comfortable applying it.
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#10
Thanks for the replies everyone!

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