#1
Ok, so I've been trying to improv for a long time now. I've been playing seriously since December '08. And I'm good at quite a lot of techniques. EXCEPT Improvising! It all sounds the same, and it's boring. I've learned lot's of scales, I've learned how to play in a certain key. But I still can't make them sound impressive. Any tips? Anything that helped you get outta your rut? Also, I can't seem to play legato very fast or anything. Any help with that either?
#2
Improv is just about feeling things out, you kind of just have to be able to hear it in your head.
I'm a musician/composer before I'm a guitar player.

foREVer


R.I.P Jimmy "The Reverend Tholomew Plague" Sullivan.
#4
try learning other peoples improvisations and melodies by ear and working them through every thinkable position and key. Then realize its not about sounding impressive, its about creating music. Practice alot of melodic patterns and others solos and then close your eyes and try to make music.
#5
Quote by KG6_Steven
The one word you don't want to hear:

Practice.


I've been practing for almost 2 years... Hasn't improved at all.
#6
Quote by skylerjames13
I've been practing for almost 2 years... Hasn't improved at all.


You can't really ask a question and shoot down relevant advice. If you know keys and scales, look at some of your favourite guitarists and see how they approach soloing in relation to the key and chord changes within a song.

And then practice doing the same.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#7
Quote by skylerjames13
I've been practing for almost 2 years... Hasn't improved at all.


How many hours a week do you put in and do you have a routine in which you practice?

Honestly to me that's the best advice anyone can give (and who says it's a dirty word? Practice can be fun).
I'm a musician/composer before I'm a guitar player.

foREVer


R.I.P Jimmy "The Reverend Tholomew Plague" Sullivan.
#8
Quote by skylerjames13
Ok, so I've been trying to improv for a long time now. I've been playing seriously since December '08. And I'm good at quite a lot of techniques. EXCEPT Improvising! It all sounds the same, and it's boring. I've learned lot's of scales, I've learned how to play in a certain key. But I still can't make them sound impressive. Any tips? Anything that helped you get outta your rut? Also, I can't seem to play legato very fast or anything. Any help with that either?

ok i think its all about learnin licks from other guitarist and incorporate them in your playing....so you learn a lick and add your style to it. its the best way
#9
Quote by skylerjames13
I've been practing for almost 2 years... Hasn't improved at all.



Improvisation can't be learned over night. It takes years of hard work and practice to get down. But the best way to do i find is through experience. Practicing over backing tracks and playing live and the like will give you a sense for what sounds right to you. Also don't be afraid to go outside the box and do some crazy stuff, sometimes it actually works ahaha.
"Forget the rules. If it sounds good, it is good."
-Eddie Van Halen
#10
It's hard to assess your strengths and weaknesses without hearing you. Could you go into more detail about what you don't like about your improv? What is boring about it? Does it sound primarily like going up and down scales, or does it sound like the same licks over and over, or a combination?
#13
I second what Blind In 1 Ear just said. This is especially useful if you listen to a broad range of music.
XBOX LIVE Gamertag: Jazz Funeral
Currently killing with The Nunts crew in Max Payne 3

Quote by Weaponized
ON LIGHTNING.
#14
Improvisation is really all about stringing together musical ideas that you already know. This means that you have to know/compose some musical ideas (i.e. licks) that you can come back to when needed.
#15
Id suggest not to really focus on learning musical material as 'licks' but rather as something to study. find out what it is the soloist or composer is doing that you like, not just how to play their lick. When composers use licks its called plagarism, and while the occasional lick is unavoidable for an improviser, you really shouldn't rely on using licks and already thought of patterns (these will come out in your playing subconiously anyway), but instead on trying to create a solo and sound that is yours.
#16
Quote by skylerjames13
Ok, so I've been trying to improv for a long time now. I've been playing seriously since December '08. And I'm good at quite a lot of techniques. EXCEPT Improvising! It all sounds the same, and it's boring. I've learned lot's of scales, I've learned how to play in a certain key. But I still can't make them sound impressive.

the definition of insanity is doing something over and over the same way expecting different results

if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten.

its good that you'v learned the scales now learn what makes them musical
#17
Quote by evolucian
If it all sounds the same... then go here: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1312934 theres mixed advice and ideas there to help you not let it sound the same
This. In fact, I was just about to mention the word phrasing, and point out that I'm in the same position.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#18
Listen to Jimmy Herring...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kug1eixZgU0...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ztQiwE8q5M

He is a phrasing genius and a master of all things guitar. The second song is F#m, go crazy, it's a monster to jam to and has lots of open room to do what you will. It's real easy to.

Learn the "home" notes of the songs you are playing and what key and scales they are using and just try to create interesting phrases while coming back to the "home" notes to keep the melody and tone of the song coherent.

Good improvisation keeps the melody going while taking the song to different spaces.
Do not concentrate on the finger for you will miss all the heavenly glory.
Last edited by RobertEarlKeen at May 18, 2010,
#20
You don't have to hear it, you can feel it. You can also technical it.(using technical as a verb deal). By knowing what is correct and playing it you can play but it sounds lacking usually.
Combining all three to some degree works best I think.

Things you should do are:
Listen to great lead guitar players in the style you want to play
Learn how to sequence
Learn and make up some licks
Learn and make up some runs
Practice to backing tracks, but get different styles. Everything from funk to blues and metal to shred. This helps get you comfortable playing in a different setting and will give you new ideas.
Read and learn new idea and article on playing.
Learn new techniques(pinch harmonics and such)
Learn a different style
Learn about repeating licks and don't be afraid of repeating yourself
Remember that speed is relative to whats around it, just like notes against tha backing chord


From there if you're still in a rut or not happy learn a new scale, something exotic and try applying it to your playing.
Often times only you really hear what you play as the same because we're overly critical about ourselves. Not saying there isn't truth to it but its not as bad as we think usually.
Last edited by C0FF1NCAS3 at May 18, 2010,