Hello all,
I've been practicing guitar for about 2 years now, and I believe I have a problem with my playing. I know major/minor scales, and positions. I know major/minor chords, and chord progressions. However, my problem seems to be that I can not seem to come up with anything that I like to play.
For example, I can't make any melodies or riffs that I think are good. To me they just seem like bland series of notes in the same scale. When I listen to a band and hear some cool riff I like in a song, I try to come up with something simmilar, but it just sounds like a lame knock-off. I just sit there playing random notes, that sound quite horrid together, and wonder why I can't create anything like they can.
Is there anyway to improve my riff making "ability"?
I was in the same position as you about 6 months ago.
I was at the 2 years mark, and I couldn't make things for ****.
Learn more scales, or arpeggios, also work on phrasing, and mix up your scales.
Shawn George Noel
it's always good to know scales and music theory, but honestly, i think it's more important for soloing. when you make a riff, just try to come up with something that feels good or fun, don't just use scales. Also, a lot of it is just luck. 99% of the time that i come up with something good, i wasn't even trying to and i just randomly played something tat sounded cool
I've been playing for seven years and I didn't come up with any good riffs until about my 4th year. What I did was I would focus on riffs I liked and what musical devices they invoked (ex. dropped-D, harmonic minor, circle of fifths, if you know what that stuff is), then, since most of my favorite songs were in dropped-D, I startedorking with that alot. Worked for me.
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work on your technique, ie trills,pinch harmonics and ****.
Then use these to add more flavour to your riffs.
i think you should play more by ear and feeling. u already know the scales so they already have a impact on your playing. u might hear the music in your head but that doesnt mean that ur acutally playing it the way u hear it in your head. learn simple easy theme songs and such by ear will give you a much better sound but it does take a little time.
I'm in the same boat as yourself, I'm finding out that working on songs really helps your ear.
Try to start seeing the notes on the fretboard instead of just seeing a bunch of scales. Look at scales in different ways, when your playing something from a major scale, see what other scales are also in that major scale, I.E. pentatonic, and blues scales. Then start playing licks from there. Play along to jam tracks, it will really help with all of this.

Also - look at making licks based around triads, there's a video on youtube explaining it but it's better to look at all the movable triad shapes and start from there.

E: Start learning songs from your favorite bands and try to imitate things that they do.
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