#1
Ok so first off I've been playing since March 08 i think. Started playing more seriously I guess a bit after Jan 09 (yes Ive been slacking off for quite some time). I mainly play Metal. I just like those heavy bone crushing riffs Thrash metal, Melodic Death Metal, those kinda stuff. I mainly play Trivium and CoB stuff right now (CoB mainly since I'm trying to improve from just thrash stuff to melodic leads n all). I'm also quite interested in neo-classical but I hav no idea how to start.

Right now I guess I could say I've built up a fairly decent amount of techniques (my friend says I've already gone tooo far for someone playing at my current amount of time). I kinda want to start on improvising solos right now and lead stuff. I'm a self-taught guitarist and I know nothing about theory, scales, etc... Basically I've been reading tabs and messing around a bit (but not to a level where I could actually improvise anything) with the things I've learnt. I know about everyone saying to learn scales and all but I need more specific stuff cuz all I hear is "go learn the pentatonic scale"... then wat? how do I use then?

PS: I've tried the search bar and nothing helps me much at all. Also I'm currently in Drop C on my guitar (its a FR so no im not gonna go back to E, I also have my friends guitar in D... idk why tho) so I wanna know what I whould do about that? just play everything 2 frets lower or wat?
#2
Well you know ur pentatonic scale, that's the very first step to improv. Next is to find out wat key the song is in (harder for jazz, but u said ur playing metal), you can find this out by looking at the music and learning some theory OR use your ears (this is how i like to do it). Go on the low E, have ur song/band playing and play each note on the low E until one note sounds good. When you find one, play ur pentatonic scale through, if the whole scale sounds good you've found it, if it sounds iffy continue up the fretboard. If you've reached the 12th fret go from square one again.

So step by step form.
- Play music
- Finger Low E
- progress chromatically until a nice note is hit
- Try the pentatonic scale
- If all 5 notes of the pentatonic scale sound good, ur done. If not keep going.


Once you got that down pat, learn the blues scale (one extra note in pentatonic), minor scale, major scale, Harmonic Minor (for neo-classical).

Or you can go the Slayer approach and go crazy with harmonics and whammy bar.

Hope this helped you out, this is how i did it anyway.

And after that i learnt Em up the whole fretboard and found all the good open (stretched) positions that are oh so good for shred so i wasn't boxed in to that little box that alot of rock players never go out of.

Toodles!
- Ibanez S470 (2004)
- late 70's vintage Fender Stratocaster (USA)
- VOX VT100 Amp
- Digitech Whammy Pedal
- Weeping Demon Wah Pedal
- Visual Sound Volume Pedal
- MXR Micro Amp
#3
That reminds me I've gotta work on transcribing stuff by ear. I've never got the change to go to the piano n work though intervals n all. Any tips for that?

Btw I actually forgot about the pentatonic scale. I've read some stuff about scales when I first started out but i kinda forgot it all (it was during my long slacking time)

Thanks anyways dude!
#4
most peeps when they improv call upon a bank of riffs they have stored in their head then transpose them into the key of the tune, basically start coming up with simple riffs between 3-6 notes (accomodates for triplets) and nail them and then transpose them into different keys. and also learn how to garnish your phrasing using vibrato etc the most important part of phrasing is knowing when not to play.