#1
Ok, I've been improvising for a while and I keep a metronome ticking for rhythm and I do well w/ it. I have the minor, major and pentatonic scales down but I have one issue.
I don't really know how to add chords into my improv, I hear people doing it and I hear chords used in solos here and there and they're usually really good decisions by the guitarist (or writer).

I don't want to add in power chords, 1st, 5th and 7th. I can do barre chords and inversions and stuff but I don't know how to really make them fit into the improvisation. I think chords are important b/c they add presence and just sound good in general when in solos, riffs, licks and stuff, even by the lead guitarist.

Did anybody have the same issue? How did you resolve it?
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#2
You need a better understanding of harmony and more experience playing the guitar.

I would suggest..

- learn to read music ..... then start studying theory when your ready

- Learn and memorize alot of music/songs on your guitar.

This kind of experience is generally gained through years of study & practice. Be patient and enjoy the experience.
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#3
its a very difficult concept. rty looking into jazz chords, they will help immensely. also, learn a bit of theory to help make those concepts concrete.

for example, a jazz chord used often by someone like, jimi hendrix?: X7679X which is called a sharp nine chord.
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#4
I've learned basic musicianship from a college class I was lucky to get (I'm in high school) and I can read sheet music and play it on piano.

Maybe I should learn some classical and jazz? From what I hear Jazz is really hard w/ their shapes and rhythms and stuff. I may have to wait 'till I take a more advanced music theory course in college.
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#5
Don't use fully voiced chords. Use only 2-4 notes. If your familiar with "Drop-2" voicings which are common in jazz, use those, or even simpler versions, that use just two or three strings. In order to use a chord well, you need to be very aware of the underlying harmony. The chord you play should fit very well with the chord currently being played by the rhythm player (You can add extensions, but they aren't usually good to rest on). At the same time, you have to be aware of how that chord works with your melody. You want the upper voice to be your melody note, which would work with your melody, even if you weren't playing a chord in that place (This is the note can easily be an extension; the others it will be much more difficult with.)
#6
Quote by isaac_bandits
Don't use fully voiced chords. Use only 2-4 notes. At the same time, you have to be aware of how that chord works with your melody. You want the upper voice to be your melody note, which would work with your melody, even if you weren't playing a chord in that place (This is the note can easily be an extension; the others it will be much more difficult with.)



Ah, I see. Well, I got as far as seventh chords but I didn't really learn how to make the chords apply to the melody and stuff. Very good explanation, thank you.
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#7
Quote by Misticalz
I've learned basic musicianship from a college class I was lucky to get (I'm in high school) and I can read sheet music and play it on piano.

Maybe I should learn some classical and jazz? From what I hear Jazz is really hard w/ their shapes and rhythms and stuff. I may have to wait 'till I take a more advanced music theory course in college.


that's good, that will potentially help alot. The experience of playing the guitar is a big factor as well. 1 year is a very short time. I would continue the studying, but also build yourself up a repertoire. It takes time to fill up the tool box.

So what's your question..... are you saying you want to incorporate chordal playing in your solos?
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 21, 2009,
#8
Quote by GuitarMunky
that's good, that will potentially help alot.

So what's your question..... are you saying you want to incorporate chordal playing in your solos?


Yep. I mean, I can put together chord progressions and stuff, but I can't improvise a lick with chords in it.
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#9
Quote by GuitarMunky
that's good, that will potentially help alot. The experience of playing the guitar is a big factor as well. 1 year is a very short time. I would continue the studying, but also build yourself up a repertoire. It takes time to fill up the tool box.



So I'm assuming you mean techniques? I wanted to know the word to describe that concept, ya' know, like... having say alternate picking at first so it has to be alternate picking licks and then learning how to legato so now you have more options of how your licks can sound? If that's what you mean by repertoire then that's the word I was looking for, lol.
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#10
Quote by Misticalz
Yep. I mean, I can put together chord progressions and stuff, but I can't improvise a lick with chords in it.


Well the principles are the same, your just adding harmony to the melody note. The harmony coincides with the chord progression. It would be hard for me to give a detailed lesson through the forum (and very time consuming). I'm sure someone will give it a shot though, they usually do.

I would suggest continuing to study harmony & to start building a repertoire. Those 2 things will come together and will ultimately answer your question. Also finding a teacher and studying this concept with them week by week would be very helpful.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 21, 2009,
#11
Quote by Misticalz
So I'm assuming you mean techniques? I wanted to know the word to describe that concept, ya' know, like... having say alternate picking at first so it has to be alternate picking licks and then learning how to legato so now you have more options of how your licks can sound? If that's what you mean by repertoire then that's the word I was looking for, lol.


Repetoire is the group of pieces you are capable of playing. Nothing to do with techniques.
#12
Quote by isaac_bandits
Repetoire is the group of pieces you are capable of playing. Nothing to do with techniques.


Right

by building a repertoire, you develop your ear, your technique, and your ability to understand music concepts by experiencing them in context. It's also inspiring.
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#13
Oh, I see. Nvm then, I looked it up and got this.

repertory: the entire range of skills or aptitudes or devices used in a particular field or occupation

That's the word I wanted to know.
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#14
use chords that just have the 3rd, 7th, and sometimes 9 or 13th. sometimes a #4 works really well too instead of a 3rd, gives it a really hip sound. try not to play many root notes coz they may clash with the bassist. other then that, just try and listen. there is alot oftheory to it, but at the end of the day its what you hear that matters most (jazzer here)
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#15
It's really easy - chords and scales are the same thing, just arranged differently. Listen to your backing and rather than playing single notes all the time when following the chords and look to build some of those notes into chord fragments where appropriate.

Take a blank sheet of paper.
Pick a scale
Draw the 7 chords derived from that scale as 6 string barre chords, all the way up to the 15th fret.
Compare that with the full fretboard pattern of that scale.
Look up other fingerings for those chords, inversions and alternate voicings and draw them on too - you'll find there's no new notes, you're just constantly going over what's already there because EVERYTHING fits into that one pattern....scale, chords, arpeggios, powerchords, doublestops etc. It's all the same thing, the only difference is how many notes you're playing at the same time.
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#16
steve is right. its easier then it looks/sounds. just patience and practise!
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#17
Quote by Misticalz
Oh, I see. Nvm then, I looked it up and got this.

repertory: the entire range of skills or aptitudes or devices used in a particular field or occupation

That's the word I wanted to know.


that's not what I was talking about when I said build up a repertoire


I'm talking about "a collection of music pieces played by an individual musician or group"
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Aug 22, 2009,
#18
I generally like to add in chords on the 3 or 4 high strings, basic triads and such like

7
8
9

or

5
5
6
7


and different variations
#19
Try writing solos that have the use of chords. Once you practice putting the chords in the solos ahead of time you can probably start doing it in improv.
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#20
Quote by GuitarMunky
that's not what I was talking about when I said build up a repertoire


I'm talking about "a collection of music pieces played by an individual musician or group"


He found the word he was looking for, repertory, which is different from the word you used, repertoire.
#21
3rds and 7ths of each chord as a double stop (i think thats what its called - playing an the two notes of an interval at the same time?)
#22
Quote by rockinrider55
3rds and 7ths of each chord as a double stop (i think thats what its called - playing an the two notes of an interval at the same time?)


The term double stop comes from the bowed stringed instruments, where it referred to when two notes were stopped ("fretted" on a fretless instrument). This name has come to guitarists two, and means when two notes are played simultaneously.
#23
Quote by isaac_bandits
The term double stop comes from the bowed stringed instruments, where it referred to when two notes were stopped ("fretted" on a fretless instrument). This name has come to guitarists two, and means when two notes are played simultaneously.
Alright thanks, thought that's what it was called.

But anyway the 3rd/7th tones really define the chord you're soloing over an example would be in a ii V I in Bb for example (C-7 - F7 - Bbmaj7):

I would play (all using the D/G strings):
Over C-7: Bb and Eb
Over F7: A and Eb
Over Bbmaj7: A and D