#1
So up till now I've just been looking up tabs online and learning songs that way. I only know like 5 chords and I know some terminology. I'm realizing that this is a poor way to get better at playing, and I should start practicing techniques and learning theory, but I'm really interested in learning how to improvise. I know it's going to take a long time to get good at it, but it's something I want to practice.

So I was just curious how solo improvisation works. I know its mostly based off of scales and then adding in things like bends and vibrato to spice it up a bit. But do people just memorize scales or do you need to learn how to "make" them? I looked up some lessons on that and it was pretty confusing. I'm thinking I could just memorize the scales now and maybe go back and learn more later when I have a pretty good handle on it. Would that be a mistake? I'm just kind of stuck and I'm realizing that learning tabs for songs isn't going to help me become a better guitarist. I want to be able to sit down and start playing something as I think of it.

WHERE IS MY PICK?
Last edited by DemonicTurtle66 at May 22, 2010,
#2
I found that the best way is to start with one scale shape, say a minor scale then begin jamming with it for a few days, every few days then just add another shape in the same scale before eventually you can play that particular scale all over the neck

here are only like 5 shapes so it isnt too much and by creating riffs/sequences you can just memorize any scale you want

ultimately unless you are steve vai then probably just start with the minor pentatonics and go from there
#3
Quote by DemonicTurtle66
So up till now I've just been looking up tabs online and learning songs that way. I only know like 5 chords and I know some terminology. I'm realizing that this is a poor way to get better at playing, and I should start practicing techniques and learning theory, but I'm really interested in learning how to improvise. I know it's going to take a long time to get good at it, but it's something I want to practice.

So I was just curious how solo improvisation works. I know its mostly based off of scales and then adding in things like bends and vibrato to spice it up a bit. But do people just memorize scales or do you need to learn how to "make" them? I looked up some lessons on that and it was pretty confusing. I'm thinking I could just memorize the scales now and maybe go back and learn more later when I have a pretty good handle on it. Would that be a mistake? I'm just kind of stuck and I'm realizing that learning tabs for songs isn't going to help me become a better guitarist. I want to be able to sit down and start playing something as I think of it.

The simple answer is think of a sound you want in your head, then try to reproduce it on your guitar. Scales are just a heads-up, a set of sounds you know will sound good together. Techniques like bending, sliding, hammer ons etc, they're just different sound options, different ways of moving from one note to the next. You choose them based on the sound you want, if you want things to be urgent and staccato then pick notes and use quick bends, if you want things to sound smoother and more laid back then you probably want to be using some slides or slow bends.

Obviosuly all that takes time to develop so start slow, just focus on using a few notes, maybe as little as 2 or 3, and try and create a melody with them. Restricting yourself that way forces you to think about what you're doing. You can be surprisingly creative with just a couple of notes, building upon a simple idea is a common theme in music, and repetition is a frequently used device in many solos.
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