#1
Hi, I have two questions for anyone that can help me out.

Firstly, I have noticed that all my solos in the pentatonic are somewhat dull, I know about phrasing and articulation but I am still playing up and down the scale to some degree and its pretty boring to me now. It seems that all the other players seem to know lots of licks and riffs with it and they just chain them together when they play, is there any thing on the internet with suggestions of such licks I could use, or could anybody give me some?(I know there's a few on UG lessons)

Secondly, I know every player has different requirements but what should a guitarist realy be practicing when they pick up the instrument? I tend to improvise over backing tracks and attempt to transcribe songs, with some technique building exercises.

Oh, I have being playing for almost three years now, you can hear sort of where I'm at on my profile. But the recordings are not great quality, and I'm playing a pretty easy song.

Thanks to anyone who replies
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Last edited by turtlewax at Jul 15, 2009,
#2
You're going about it wrong. From your description you're approaching it too much as a science and not enough as an artform. It won't hurt to sit and noodle around until you find something you think sounds interesting, that's how everyone else found their licks, that's the difference between writing a solo and running scales, and they're not the same thing. Where you would take your theory as rules, try letting yourself think of them as guidelines for a bit.

Also, experiment with timing. If you're just playing in eighth notes throughout, it will most certainy get dull.

Basically, I'm telling you to try being creative. Make music, not homework. And yes, I know my theory, I'm just giving you my advice.
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Last edited by Pretty. Odd. at Jul 15, 2009,
#3
My guitar teacher says that concerning the timing of a solo it is usually ok to just play straight through the backing, as long as it fits the feel.
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#4
If you follow the recommendations of theory and write your solos on paper then you won´t have scales. It seems like you´re stuck in a very basic theory where you know the scales but nothing about how they interact with chords and melodic tensions and all the fun stuff that adds colour.
#5
what about for improvisations? Thats more what I'm on about.
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#6
You can learn how to do it on a whim too - it just takes a lot lot lot lot lot of practise and serious attention.
#7
The way I got around the improvisation problem is really slow myself down.
Allow your ears to figure out which notes sound best.

Play over one or two chords of your choice and start on different notes. Instead of starting on C over a Cm chord, start on an Eb or a G, or a Bb. Starting on different notes pushes you in different directions. Try to make phrases that aren't a straight line of 8ths or 16ths, don't even think about what timings your doing, just feel them.

It's all about translating truly what you hear into your head. Not playing what you think is theoretically right.
#8
So its literally just a question of pure creativity?
GENERATION 10: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum and add 1 to the generation. Social experiment.
#9
And do lots of interval training so that your fingers know which note to go to when you mind hears the note it wants to come out next.
#10
Bingo.

And yes, creativity can be developed. This time last year I was absolutely terrible at improve. I just played scales.

Now I feel I actually play phrases, and looking back it seemed such an easy thing I wish I had've done it when I first started!
#11
So how did you develop this nacnudnai?
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#12
Play or listen to a chord progression and hum a melody over it. Your goal is to be able to play the melody that you mind can create so effortlessly.
#13
Hmm...looking back it was also a long process aha.

All I did was record something like a C#m chord for about 2 minutes, and just concentrate on how I started a phrase. Think of it like a story. Think of your playing more like a sentence.

So over a C#m chord, I would start a phrase on it's root. Then for my next phrase I'd start on a different note, maybe the 5th or 7th. Try every single note in that key.
After a few weeks or months you should start to remember what sounds good and what doesn't.

Just take it as slow and you'll see improvements. If you PM me I can try and talk you through it in more detail at another point.
#15
Sureley this is the hardest part to the guitar.,.
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#16
Only if you think it is.
I used to panic whenever I had to improvise. But learning phrasing is just like learning to talk.

Your fluent with the English language, so all your doing is learning to be fluent with the musical language.
#17
The hardest part of music in general is to be able to think a melody a beat ahead of your playing, with your playing following exactly what the melody in your head is.
#18
so its bad that I let my fingers do the work and not the mind?
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#19
It´s not a concious thinking. You work out the conscious stuff when you practice - the scales chords and changes you need. When you´re playing though most of what you need to play something good is automatically worked out by your mind - it will write you melody for you. You just have to get good enough at following that melody that you don´t have to think about it and your fingers can hit all the intervals as needed.
#20
as one of the other posters has already said, it does seem like you're going after it as a science rather than an art. don't get me wrong, i believe it can easily be viewed both ways, but the boredom you're experiencing in your playing is probably a result of your viewing it so scientifically.

this is going to sound very vague and non-conclusive, but you should be practicing making the sounds that make you happy. nothing more and nothing less. that having been said, learning scales/modes, arpeggios and what you feel you might need to know about music theory in order to achieve the sounds you find most pleasing is more than likely what you should be practicing/studying. (i told you it was going to be vague and non-conclusive)

when i was learning to play i was most concerned with developing speed and accuracy which led to my having excellent technique, but my licks were very bland and now i find myself having to slow down and learn to play things with my own individual flavor on them rather than just ripping through them at warp speed (although i find that blinding speed certainly has a time and a place still).

try listening to genres of music you don't normally listen to--bands you don't normally listen to. while you may not enjoy their songs as a whole, i find that there is something i can pull from just about anything even if it's something that's not significant enough for me to enjoy an entire song or make me want to buy the album.

sometimes the way a musician (not necessarily on your instrument of choice) phrases something can trigger new ideas and open up new worlds for you. then you come up with new licks that will undoubtedly become boring to you as well at which point it's time to come up with some new ones AGAIN.

just my 2 cents.
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