#1
When I sit down to practice, and I'm improvising, all of my solos, riffs, etc. sound the same. Now, I know we all have our own sound, but mine sound exactly the same. The phrasing and such. I havent't jammed in a few months with anybody, and usually if I have drums or another guitar, I can come up with more unique stuff. But on my own the phrasing sounds the same!

Any tips for breaking out of my rut? I think I should get down some more scales better than just automatically using the minor pentatonic box positions every time. Branch out more to the modes and exotic scales more then just the small dabbles I made
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#3
If you're playing with a backing track, try intentionally throwing wrong notes in... Well, in places where it won't harm your scale knowledge. Then, try finding a note that fits in with the scale of the track.
#4
I had the same problem, i think i still have it. but still, something that can help (what i did) was incorporating some sweep picking and that kind of stuff, new pentatonic blues licks, try having a lot of those licks, not just going up and down that scale, some tapping can help, even if it is on the same pentatonic scale, lots of bends. new scales like harmonic minor, and melodic minor, jazz scales and that kind of stuff, you can find all of this in google and stuff. good luck
#5
It's got nothing to do with learning more scales and piss all to do with modes.

You need to start playing the guitar and stop letting the guitar play you. Right now what's happening is your picking up your guitar, looking at the fretboard for a shape then aimlessly letting your fingers wander through it in familiar sequences...that's not playing the guitar.
Stop. Listen. Think. Before you play anything, before you even pick up the guitar listen to your backing and see what ideas come to you, try to imagine what sound will work over what you're hearing. Think about what you WANT to play, doesn't matter if it ends up being a pentatonic melody, certainly chances are you'll end up dreaming something up in the major or minor scale anyway because that's what's ingrained in your consciousness. Once you have an idea in your head, then is the time to pick up the guitar and figure out how to play it. That's where your scale knowledge starts to come into play, if you "know" a scale then the first thing you should have learned is how that scale sounds and the characteristics of the intervals it contains - scale knowledge gives you a massive head start in terms of getting sounds out of your head through your guitar because you have a set of familiar sounds to string together. Even if you sound you want isn't within that scale it's a lot easier to modify what you already know rather than attempt to pluck something out of thin air.

You learn more scales in order to understand how different sequences of notes sound together, not to give yourself more patterns to look at. Patterns are an aid to help you use a scale, they're neither the first or the most important part of the puzzle. If you learn a scale properly, understand how it works and know your fretboard well enough you can happily use it without ever looking at a diagram - the patterns simply make that process a little easier for a lot of people but they aren't a replacement for knowing the notes and theory, they're an appendix.
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#6
What Mr Seagull said is a good thing to try. And i do that, and it does come up with some nice vocal-like melodies, i usually use that method for writing a memorable lead part for an instrumental song.

For my shredding solo's though, if you can get a diagram that shows every note of that scale (guitar pro can do this), and then look for some interesting patterns, i've figured out lots of long finger stretching licks and string skipping and sweeping licks this way.

Maybe even write stuff down in guitar pro before you even try playing it on the guitar.

Try mixing up some scales, i like mixing blues, Minor, Harmonic Minor, Diminished and the different modes for interesting phrasing.

Hope some of this helps you... if you don't have guitar pro.. probably none of it did.

Toodles!
- Ibanez S470 (2004)
- late 70's vintage Fender Stratocaster (USA)
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#7
I should also add....

You must also figure out when it's appropriate to use certain scales and techniques.
- 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
#8
Quote by julzius
What Mr Seagull said is a good thing to try. And i do that, and it does come up with some nice vocal-like melodies, i usually use that method for writing a memorable lead part for an instrumental song.

For my shredding solo's though, if you can get a diagram that shows every note of that scale (guitar pro can do this), and then look for some interesting patterns, i've figured out lots of long finger stretching licks and string skipping and sweeping licks this way.

Maybe even write stuff down in guitar pro before you even try playing it on the guitar.

Try mixing up some scales, i like mixing blues, Minor, Harmonic Minor, Diminished and the different modes for interesting phrasing.

Hope some of this helps you... if you don't have guitar pro.. probably none of it did.

Toodles!


I use tuxguitar, its like guitar-pro but its free. Google it. I write out much of my music on it and then teach myself how to play what i've written. Its great for really internalizing the music in your head and also helps you to improve your skills by having to learn something you already dreamed up. It might not be "feel" so much but ehh, my thought out stuff sounds better most of the time, although I do improvise my solos, thats just how I think they should be done. However if I find something that worked well improvised I'll probably keep playing the solo like that, lol.
#9
you should start listening music different to what you are used to hear or play...

that step will increase your musical ideas...and will expand your imagination when you're playing solos or creating a riff...that worked with me...

try to forget Yngwie, Steve Vai, Satriani, Petrucci...they are not bad...i like a lot all of their work and i can say that they are a big part in my inspiration...but...have you heard Ed Wine, Greg Howe, Marty Friedman, Joe Pass, Pat Metheny, Frank Gambale (with Chik Corea's electric band), Joe Walsh, walter giardino, not so far David Gilmour, Paco de Lucia, Al diMeola, Armik, Los tres reyes...????????

i used to hear/play just heavy metal...when i tried to play blues that sounds like a killer solo over a blues progression...i know you´re right, it chums...

so i started to hear and play progressive rock, blues, jazz, flamenco and some fussion...now i love my guitar style...i can resolve any musical situation with a good improvisation...

keep up the good work...


cheers...