#1
I've gotten to a point where I can shred pentatonics, harmonic minor is easy as 123 and I'm learning a billion different diatonic positions, I already have 4 down pat and can race around them but, I want to add some dynamic to them. Usually when they get boring I just switch postitions/modes but I find myself at a loss of how to spice it up. I use hammer ons and pull off's and that makes it interesting, but after a while those become drab too, I've tried bending notes but bent notes don't sound too great when I'm jamming in major and I don't know why.

TL;DR: How can I spice up my diatonic major improv besides learning new positions/modes?
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#2
Quote by gagadude
I've gotten to a point where I can shred pentatonics, harmonic minor is easy as 123 and I'm learning a billion different diatonic positions, I already have 4 down pat and can race around them but, I want to add some dynamic to them. Usually when they get boring I just switch postitions/modes but I find myself at a loss of how to spice it up. I use hammer ons and pull off's and that makes it interesting, but after a while those become drab too, I've tried bending notes but bent notes don't sound too great when I'm jamming in major and I don't know why.

TL;DR: How can I spice up my diatonic major improv besides learning new positions/modes?


Why do you want to stick to strictly diatonic notes? Use accidentals.
#3
don't think in scales/patterns think in chords if that makes sense. Use your leads to outline the harmony of the accompaniment. Larry Carlton or John Schofield would be good guitarists to check out when it comes to thinking outside of patterns and licks
#4
Quote by gagadude
I've gotten to a point where I can shred pentatonics, harmonic minor is easy as 123 and I'm learning a billion different diatonic positions, I already have 4 down pat and can race around them but, I want to add some dynamic to them. Usually when they get boring I just switch postitions/modes but I find myself at a loss of how to spice it up. I use hammer ons and pull off's and that makes it interesting, but after a while those become drab too, I've tried bending notes but bent notes don't sound too great when I'm jamming in major and I don't know why.

TL;DR: How can I spice up my diatonic major improv besides learning new positions/modes?


Try focusing on melody & phrasing. If what you're doing is getting "boring".... it's not the scales...... it's what you're doing with them. Spend more time listening and focus on the music, rather than just the raw materials.
shred is gaudy music
#5
Slide guitar and diatonic scales sound great. But other than that, make use of the notes that arent in the pentatonic scale, accentuate the chord tones, and dind melodies in your solos.
#6
You'll have to think more about the chords that are playing underneath the solo rather than the attitude of "a song is playing, lets play around in a scale and hope for the best".

Look at some of your favourite solos and see what relation they have to the chord underneath that's playing. If you can identify the links, then you'll be able to apply it to your own playing.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#7
Learning different positions won't change a thing. All the notes will be the same, it will just make certain phrases easier to finger, and add one note at the top or bottom, while removing one from the other side.
#8
Try juxtaposing the notes over things that you might not have tried. A popular example is chord superimposition. An example would be outlining an E minor chord over a C major harmony. Even just using notes that cause tension. A good approach may be to try playing less notes. Really concentrate on how the note is interacting with whats going on around it. This may also cause you to concentrate on things other than pitch, such as rythm and timbre.
#9
Quote by gagadude
I've tried bending notes but bent notes don't sound too great when I'm jamming in major and I don't know why.
Look at what notes/scale degrees you're bending from/to, and what notes are playing in the backing you're playing them over - there's plenty of bent notes that sound great in major keys, but they won't necessarily be the same ones you'd bend in minor keys. Some notes will always sound dissonant over some chords too, and if you are bending to them it won't necessarily sound great.

Listen to Munky - listen to the backing track, listen to whats going on in your head and listen to what you're playing
#10
Quote by GuitarMunky
Try focusing on melody & phrasing. If what you're doing is getting "boring".... it's not the scales...... it's what you're doing with them. Spend more time listening and focus on the music, rather than just the raw materials.

+1

you shouldn't be thinking "what shape or pattern shall i use now?" , or "whar technique shall i throw in to spice things up?". It should always be "What am I playing over? Right then, what's going to sound good, what can I create over that, how wil the notes i pick interact with what's already there?". Obviously you're going to use your fretboard knowledge to figure out where to play it but that's not where you should be starting - always think about the sound itself first, then you can worry about the mechanics of creating that sound.

Bottom line is - your problem is nothing to do with needing to "spice things up", in fact it's the complete opposite....your issue is you need to get better at understanding the basic nuts and bolts of melody and harmony.

Watch these....all 4 parts, melody, harmony, bass and rhythm.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnbOWi6f_IM

You'll never look at music in the same way again.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Nov 13, 2009,