Hey UG! I've been playing for like almost 2 years now.. getting pretty ok... generally when I improvise it's with a backing track or with a rhythm guitarist and I pretty much just come up with stuff in the pentatonic (occasionally the full major/minor scale too) of whatever key we're playing in. Many people suggest following the chord tones though, but I've been having maaaajor difficulties doing this....

Do you generally just visualize the fretboard and kinda gear yourself to A's C's and E's for example if you're playing over an Am? Or do you follow arpeggio shapes you've memorized?

Also should I kinda hold off on this chord tone thing until my ear gets a little better? I always get lost and can never hear the chord changes and keep in time. Sooner or later I revert back to playing in the pentatonic because I just can't make anything happen using chord tones...

if you're trying to follow the chord changes it's extremely helpful to know the chord progression before playing, so talk to the r. guitarist.

I visualize the key of the song on the entire neck, so if the Key is Eminor ALL i see is Eminor on the fretboard and chromatics tones are used at my discretion.

Also, chord tones are ok to use but i find them somewhat bland. I decided a long time ago to just improvise everything and not worry to much about chord tones or using arpeggios, even though i end up using them during my improvisations.

But if you wanna use chord tones then you have to know where all the notes are.
*reported*... twice in one reply!

OH NOES!!! Theowy is scawY!!!