#1
Hey guys,

I've been playing guitar obsessively for about five years now. I started playing acoustic, got very good with fingerpicking and have now been playing electric steadily for about two years. I've been getting fast, and have very good technique.

When I practice, I primarily improvise along to tracks on my itunes, as well as do plenty of finger exercises. My problem is that I'm having difficulty incorporating speed into my improvisation. So far, I've come to the conclusion that fast solos are something that are best when written beforehand instead of improvised, but I'm not entirely sure if this is true.

If you think they're supposed to be written beforehand, do you have any tips on writing fast, smooth solos? I'm sort of at a loss as to how to make fast transitions between different positions on the neck (besides octave jumps and the two-string horizontal "walks").

Alternately, if you think solos can be both fast and improvised, how does one combine the two elements successfully? Does it involve preparing certain licks beforehand or a better visualization of the modal boxes on the guitar neck(than I currently have)?
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#2
It might not be a very good way to write solos, but I come up with all kinds of cool phrases all the time. I memorize them, and see which ones sound cool and are worth working with and which ones are not. Then I sort of start experimenting which ones could be used together. Main thing is, if you've learned something well, then you can play it fast off the top of your head. I rarely improvise by making completely new stuff, and instead my improvisation is often based on the bits I've come up with before and making variations on them.

All fast, great solos don't have to be written beforehand, though - Marty Friedman played the guitar solo on Tornado of Souls as a one-take, off the top of his head, or at least that's what I've heard.
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#3
Yeh it's more about knowing what you're doing.

Also, if you think of it as "fast playing" it'll never be a natural speed for you to play (because it will always feel fast).

Just play to the music, dude, the speed is only a secondary thing!
#4
Quote by chainsawguitar
Also, if you think of it as "fast playing" it'll never be a natural speed for you to play (because it will always feel fast).

Just play to the music, dude, the speed is only a secondary thing!


You've got a good point. It's unfortunate that in the world of competitive guitaristry we tend to value speed above most other aspects of playing.

Quote by The^Unforgiven
It might not be a very good way to write solos, but I come up with all kinds of cool phrases all the time. I memorize them, and see which ones sound cool and are worth working with and which ones are not. Then I sort of start experimenting which ones could be used together. Main thing is, if you've learned something well, then you can play it fast off the top of your head. I rarely improvise by making completely new stuff, and instead my improvisation is often based on the bits I've come up with before and making variations on them.


That's mostly what I've been doing, and I think it works pretty well. Still, there's this part of me that wants to completely break away from my usual style and create something different. That's why I'm sort of interested in writing solos beforehand - if I improvise all the time, I'll probably end up sounding the same for every solo. CoughJerryGarciaCoughCough
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#5
Quote by ProjectileQuiet
You've got a good point. It's unfortunate that in the world of competitive guitaristry we tend to value speed above most other aspects of playing.


No, that's what YOU do. Playing the guitar isn't a competition unless you make it one.

If you think it's a daft idea then stop doing it
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#6
Quote by steven seagull
No, that's what YOU do. Playing the guitar isn't a competition unless you make it one.

If you think it's a daft idea then stop doing it


Ha, yes. I suppose I was generalizing, but it's certainly not just me who gets competitive sometimes - I'm sure you hear all of the wankers showing off in every GuitarCenter you walk into. Anyway, I'm damn tired, and am going to SLEEP!
Don your antithesis spectacle, your backwards monocle, and traipse forward to victory.
#7
why dont you write down the licks that you like to use always and give more emphasis on the dynamics of the sound cause (this came from a paul gilbert video) even if you are cant do an extremely fast phrase why not play with the loudness or softness of each note it would even sound way cooler and choose which notes to give emphasis on
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