#1
Intro

So, you've got a band! You've got an instrument! You've got the skills needed to play a gig, which you just happen to be having tonight! You're ready because you've practiced your brains out and you're well on your way to gaining fame and cash! But what is the point of performing live? To outperform yourself and other artists. Why would you cover a song, besides to learn skills from it? To perform it better than the original artist!

Concept

Many artists perform songs differently on stage that on an album. A good example is "Supermassive Black Hole" by Muse. They add extra mini-licks to all the interludes, intro, and outro, and even completely change the solo to something much better. They also improvise on many songs, and the entire band just flows with it.

Pre-show

Before the show, the entire band should have a discussion over viewing the set list, and light shows, effects, what to do if something goes wrong, or anything that may occur. The lead guitarist should bring up the thought of improvisation, and say "During the Bridge, I'm gonna throw in some stuff. Drums, keep going with the loop, Rhythm guitar, keep doing your typical bridge notes, Bass, same thing." The whole band may want to get in on the improvisation, but it's important no more than 2/4 improvisational members are improvising at the same time. That means only Lead and Rhythm, or Lead and Bass, or Lead and Keyboards should be improving at the same time.

During Show

If Drums starts improving in a section other than a part everyone knows by heart, the entire band's rhythm could be thrown off and you could lose a few cheers. If Bass, Rhythm, Keyboard, and Lead are all improvising, everything could sound messy and unmusical. But then again, it could work out fine. The guitarist could break out into a tapping solo, while Rhythm strikes chords to complement it. Bass could also go into a Bass solo, but you may have to turn up your amp up unnecessarily loud for it. Volume pedals are often needed for improvisation, but if you use things like Delay, and a Flanger, and Tremolo all at once, some people may think you had rehearsed it, and then that blows the concept of improvising.

Conclusion

The final thing I want to say to you on the subject is to have fun. Don't go overboard, keep it musical, but have fun. Gigs are not just for showing your work and getting paid. You may have the worst gig in the world and actually lose money. Then ask yourself "What went wrong?" and you can improve it for your next gig. Good luck with improvising, and let the donkey or rock gods be with you.
#2
I'd cite the mars volta as a better example of how to improvise live tbh
Pacman of the UG Hero's and Villians club
#4
A really good thought on improv, and playing in general:

"Master your instrument. Master the music. And then forget all that bull**** and just play." --Charlie Parker

And I'll see your Mars Volta, Dead and Phish (all good choices, btw), and raise you with The Who doing the 14 minute jam off of "My Generation" on Live at Leeds.

And that's all he wrote.
#5
Quote by LustFourLife
A really good thought on improv, and playing in general:

"Master your instrument. Master the music. And then forget all that bull**** and just play." --Charlie Parker

And I'll see your Mars Volta, Dead and Phish (all good choices, btw), and raise you with The Who doing the 14 minute jam off of "My Generation" on Live at Leeds.

And that's all he wrote.


i see your mars volta, dead, phish, and the who and raise you with Widespread Panic their whole show is improving damn near it
#6
Quote by WyvernOmega

During Show

Volume pedals are often needed for improvisation, but if you use things like Delay, and a Flanger, and Tremolo all at once, some people may think you had rehearsed it, and then that blows the concept of improvising.



so, you improvise so people know you can make up stuff from the top of your head? i thought you improvised so it would sound good and you had fun.
i really dont understand, what wrong with using lots of effects during a improv, if it sounds good?
no way
#7
Quote by dmiwshicldply
i see your mars volta, dead, phish, and the who and raise you with Widespread Panic their whole show is improving damn near it


I see your Widespread Panic et al and raise you Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains whose sets were pure improv.
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
What the hell is a G&L.



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Gay & Lesbian I think, the box smelled funny
Greg what did you send me??
#8
Quote by Lams
so, you improvise so people know you can make up stuff from the top of your head? i thought you improvised so it would sound good and you had fun.
i really dont understand, what wrong with using lots of effects during a improv, if it sounds good?


If it sounds really good, no problems at all with using effects. Having fun is one of the main things about guitar. If you could play the best solo ever live, but you absolutely hated it and would commit suicide if you had to do it every day for the rest of your life, then obviously you would stop.
#9
The Iron Maiden boys ALWAYS improvise their solos. (except I wish they wouldn't do Hallowed Be Thy Name, they just can't pull off anything better than on the album with it). I just thought I'd throw that out there.

Anyway, yeah. It's cool to throw a few things onto songs that get repetative (Rock You Like A Hurrice - Scorpions being one of the main offenders) but you don't want to turn it into a Zakk Wylde Crazy Train... that's where it crosses the line.
#10
Quote by Raijouta
I see your Widespread Panic et al and raise you Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains whose sets were pure improv.



i fold