#1
besides knowing the scales and they key of the song...is there any theory to make it sound good?
#2
There's a ton. It helps to know the chord changes, first and foremost. I'd recommend Mark Levine's The Jazz Theory Book. Even though it's for jazz, it deals largely with improvising over chord changes, and will most likely be of some help to you, provided you can read music.
#3
You could play with the changes. This means that you would play the notes in the current chord, and only those notes, until the chord changes. For example, if the current chord in the song was A minor, then you would only play the notes A, C, and E (and maybe G).
#4
In my band at least yes. Just because I improvise my solo's doesn't mean I'm not thinking. I know what notes are being played behind me and adjust my improvising to those notes.
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#5
ok besides the chord changes....theory helps in any other way? i want to know if its worth learning for improvisation
Last edited by mangoman13 at May 21, 2010,
#6
Quote by mangoman13
ok besides the chord changes....theory helps in any other way? i want to know if its worth learning for improvisation

It's absolutely worth learning for improvisation. Why is that even a question?
#8
Quote by mangoman13
besides knowing the scales and they key of the song...is there any theory to make it sound good?

Well, there is no theory that can "make you sound good" (or compose music well)

but.......

By studying theory, you will gain a tool to help you understand music that you think sounds good. (and music in general). You'll probably find it handy.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at May 21, 2010,
#9
Quote by mangoman13
ok besides the chord changes....theory helps in any other way? i want to know if its worth learning for improvisation


Hahaha. I'd go so far to say it's the most important thing to make your solos sound more like music and less like scales.

That and studying how other guitarists approach the chord changes. Looking at Mark Knopfler's stuff really helped me along the way.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#10
Yeah, and maybe more important is a good ear.
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#11
thanks a lot...can you recomend any sites with theory on scales or how should i look it up on google, books?
#13
Quote by mangoman13
besides knowing the scales and they key of the song...is there any theory to make it sound good?


When you improvise, you can draw upon many elements to use, that could be stock licks you've learned, theory you may know or just using your ear with a pattern that you have messed with. The idea is take what you know.

Many times there is an underlying theory element as to why something sounds good or works, but doesn't mean that the user is conscious of it.

Best,

Sean
#14
Quote by mangoman13
besides knowing the scales and they key of the song...is there any theory to make it sound good?

i would say yes and no. theory only describes music. im sure you could break down a solo and see why it works and sounds good. but i wouldnt say there is anything set in stone. everyone has different ideas on how to improvise. some people mentioned following chords and such. thats a good idea to learn. you should be aware of whats playing under your solo and use it to your advantage. certain chords and changes may give you more/different options than another chord or progression. good improvisers know these things.

also, what kind of improv? because theres different genres of music and not all improv ideas really apply. for example, rock improv doesnt really apply to jazz. every style has their own ideas. so you should be aware of what style you are trying to play.

its also a good idea to have many stock phrasind ideas to go to and build from. good improv is really just using stuff you already know and putting it all together in a new way. id say most of improv, like at least 90% of it is stuff you have practiced. sure you can make something up on the spot that you've never played before but usually what comes before and after that is a variation on a stock phrasing idea. all improvers do it and its one way you can tell someone apart just from listening. they all have certain phrasing ideas.

honestly the best way to become good at improv is to just practice improv. listen to great improvisers and maybe steal some of their phrasing ideas. listen to how they play and it will rub off on you. i listen to a lot of hendrix, SRV, clapton, and eric johnson. ive listened to them so much that i can, if i want to, go into their style and play like them more or less. but if i play like me, it sounds like a combo of them plus some other stuff. and each of them you can break down into a combo of other people.

that all being said, learning theory can only help. the more you understand music, the better you can put music together.