#1
Hey guys, I am wondering how you all learn't to improvise playing down the neck, instead of just your average staying in one position imrpov. I wish to play down the neck to get a different and more exciting experience from guitar, if anyone could help me out with some examples of knowledge, it would be very much appreciated.

Thank you!
#2
Learn all of your pentatonic positions to start with. Minor and major.

http://www.jguitar.com/scale?root=C&scale=Minor+Pentatonic&fret=0&labels=none&notes=sharps

Learn it inside and out, this is the best place to start. Also get hold of some backing tracks so you can jam along.

www.riffoftheweek.com under the ''jamtrack jukebox'' there are different styles of backing tracks you can play along too.
#3
I know all my minor and major positions, it's just moving down the neck, like starting at C and developing a sort of solo, progressing down the neck.
#4
Then surely it's a matter of linking the shapes you know together ? As an example say starting at C on the B string, 13th fret and moving all the way down to the C on the 3rd fret A string ?

Maybe look into how players like Eric Johnson put together these long pentatonic based licks that scale the fretboard, and by me saying that I don't just mean go listen to Eric Johnson. Study his technique and use of melody and phrasing
Last edited by Zanon at Oct 12, 2009,
#5
Learn to find intervals quickly on the neck - especially octaves and 5ths - so you can use them to move around easily.

Learn the notes of the neck and the notes of the scale too - means you can easily move to a different part of the neck as you can see all the notes you can use without having to think in terms of shapes.

Don't just practice scales in each position - practice them single string, and come up with single string licks to get you around - same for 3 and 4 notes per string. Make up some stock licks to link positions too, so you have something to fall back on.

Learn other peoples solos and see how they link different parts of the neck too - then see if you can adapt that method to use in your own playing.

Don't worry - it gets easier
#6
Don't think about shapes, that's not what improvising is about.

Improvising is about making music, so think about what sound it is you want to create first. Understanding music theory will help you drill down on possibilities because you'll know what scales fit with what you're playing over and more importantly how different notes will function. Knowing the shapes of those scales will make it easy to find those notes on the fretboard.

Patterns are just a means to an end, they aren't the be-all and end-all of guitar playing, nor are they the first place you go when looking for inspiration or ideas.
Actually called Mark!

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#7
Quote by steven seagull
Don't think about shapes, that's not what improvising is about.

Improvising is about making music, so think about what sound it is you want to create first. Understanding music theory will help you drill down on possibilities because you'll know what scales fit with what you're playing over and more importantly how different notes will function. Knowing the shapes of those scales will make it easy to find those notes on the fretboard.

Patterns are just a means to an end, they aren't the be-all and end-all of guitar playing, nor are they the first place you go when looking for inspiration or ideas.


This.

For starters, have a go at composing your own entire solo going all across the neck, preferably in different keys and using different scales, but if you can't get it to sound good like that, do one key first and pentatonic.
#8
Quote by steven seagull
Don't think about shapes, that's not what improvising is about.

Improvising is about making music, so think about what sound it is you want to create first. Understanding music theory will help you drill down on possibilities because you'll know what scales fit with what you're playing over and more importantly how different notes will function. Knowing the shapes of those scales will make it easy to find those notes on the fretboard.

Patterns are just a means to an end, they aren't the be-all and end-all of guitar playing, nor are they the first place you go when looking for inspiration or ideas.


You're right, improvising isn't about shapes.... but it isn't about note names or understanding music theory either. Just because it isn't specifically "about" any of those things, doesn't make them any less useful when it comes to improvising.

TS, if you want to learn to play in more than 1 position (as stated in the OP), then the answer is simple ...... you need to learn to play in other positions. One thing that will help you is learning the various patterns of the scale across the neck. Understanding how to apply the scale can be learned by studying theory & or through experience. It takes time.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Oct 12, 2009,
#9
I did it differently then some people but I looked at scales and learned legatos for them and after I got them down filled the notes inbetween.... I know the intervals and so on but I felt it helped me learned fast because I love me some legatos.
#10
A simple way for me was to learn the 5 pentatonic patterns that fits together like a jig saw
puzzel. Then fill in the 2 missing notes if i wanna go diatonic..
The entire fretboard is like a big arss box to me after a while.lol
One pattern per day. You can memorize that in a week or a couple of weeks.

Navigate anyway I want.

I tap multy strings also.

I learned everything in the key of C major/ daitonic. Then it's just a matter of
sliding the entire pattern of the neck up or down to play in different keys (pitch of scale)

Cycle up the 5th for the sharp side
Circle down to the 4th to the flat side....
Whatever floats your boat or is easiest for you to remember the circle of 5th or keys.

Then i just do a simple exersice of h/p to get familar with the locations of the 1/2 step notes.

I get familar with the arpeggios of chords..identifying the Root, 3rd/b3, 5th and octive.
(extensions when appliable)
Then it's just a matter of playing around the arpeggios.
It's actaully simple counting.....2 frets up from the root is 7b.

Then wrap it accordingly if I want to play different scales.
The harmonic minor is just a diatonic/ionian with a 5#.
It's just the G# note when playing in Cmaj

I keep it relatively simple. No piont racking my brain.
Last edited by 12notes at Oct 13, 2009,
#11
Quote by GuitarMunky
You're right, improvising isn't about shapes.... but it isn't about note names or understanding music theory either. Just because it isn't specifically "about" any of those things, doesn't make them any less useful when it comes to improvising.

TS, if you want to learn to play in more than 1 position (as stated in the OP), then the answer is simple ...... you need to learn to play in other positions. One thing that will help you is learning the various patterns of the scale across the neck. Understanding how to apply the scale can be learned by studying theory & or through experience. It takes time.

I never said it was...I just pointed out how those things fit into the bigger picture so the TS can better understand how to make the best use of any knowledge they have, shapes included.
Actually called Mark!

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...it's a seagull

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#12
Thank you for all the really helpful comments, means alot! I have to ask, when soloing do you guys hear the direction in your head of what you want the solo to sound like. Because sometimes I just solo not really listening to my head. I mean like solo's like Sweet Child O mine, apparently Slash improvised, god knows fooking how, but thats another story.

Thanks guys!
#13
Quote by Stratopower
Thank you for all the really helpful comments, means alot! I have to ask, when soloing do you guys hear the direction in your head of what you want the solo to sound like. Because sometimes I just solo not really listening to my head. I mean like solo's like Sweet Child O mine, apparently Slash improvised, god knows fooking how, but thats another story.

Thanks guys!
Yes - when I don't follow whats going on in my head I just end up rambling and playing random licks, which might be fun for me but its pretty boring for anyone listening lol.

If I'm struggling for inspiration I make up lyrics - however bad - about random stuff, so I have something to follow, so I at least have something resembling phrasing going on. Even if its just a sort of bad monologue, it works better than random rambling licks
#14
Quote by Stratopower
Thank you for all the really helpful comments, means alot! I have to ask, when soloing do you guys hear the direction in your head of what you want the solo to sound like. Because sometimes I just solo not really listening to my head. I mean like solo's like Sweet Child O mine, apparently Slash improvised, god knows fooking how, but thats another story.

Thanks guys!


Well this is touching on playing what you hear, there are players that do this quite alot. Some of them are totally extreme at it like Guthrie Govan he is always thinking what the next note is in his head, it's a matter of how fast he does it which makes it incredible.

It's all down to practice and knowing how each note sounds all over the neck.
#15
Guthrie taught my friend to play guitar lol, random I know, but yeah.

This sounds silly but when soloing I try to sing/hum what I want to hear. I make my guitar into a singer, like how i'd want a singer to sound in a song, if they are doing low notes or highs and how they build up to that.
#16
Quote by Stratopower
Thank you for all the really helpful comments, means alot! I have to ask, when soloing do you guys hear the direction in your head of what you want the solo to sound like. Because sometimes I just solo not really listening to my head. I mean like solo's like Sweet Child O mine, apparently Slash improvised, god knows fooking how, but thats another story.

Thanks guys!


When I'm improvising slowly I hear the next note in my head before I play it. Going faster, I get a bit pattern-y - I'm not good enough at improvising fast stuff to be really creative at it yet.

As far as learning to improvise all over the neck goes - it was a mixture of a bunch of different things. Learning the notes all over the neck, taking licks I knew and learning them in different positions, learning which notes are what intervals of whatever scale/key I'm in, learning the patterns. Really early on, I learned all the modes of C major, and that really helped. I still learn everything relative to C major/A minor. Like if someone was to say "improvise in Bm" (something I don't do very often), I'd say to myself, "right, your F's are sharp, your C's are sharp, D is your 3rd, and F# is your 5th", and from that I can kind of muddle my way through it, though it might take a couple of minutes of roaming around to get going. But the point is, I can do that because I've got C major down pat as a reference point.