#1
ok... so I can honestly say I learned my basic scales
but it seems that when it comes to improvising, I end up either just moving through back and forth the scale, or playing random notes in the scale...

how do I not play random notes... in other words, what are the rules or guidelines for choosing the notes that sound good??? or is it just trial and error??

cause on youtube and stuff I see people improvising on spot and I dont see them with a paper and a pencil figuring out right notes and wrong notes...

also, is the only way of getting out of the box learning all the notes on the fretboard and learning different shapes for the scale??

thanks people...
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#2
part of it's developing your ear. once you get your ear and fingers in sync (takes a while for most people) it gets a lot easier.

try to think in phrases. when you're practicing, think of a musical phrase and try to play it back. try doing that over a backing track so you can get used to hitting chord notes when necessary.

also remember that a lot of times less is more. you dont have to always be playing. let rests be just as powerful and mean just as much as the notes you play. hold notes out for longer, dont always start on the down beat, incorporate slower bends. there's all kinds of things to try out and to learn how to use properly.
#3
they just understand where to go in a scale or what scales work together well. also they might play a chord but instead of playing all the strings they play them individually. It really isnt improvising at all because it is what the player already knows they just put them in different orders or play variations of riffs forwards or backwards.

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#4
If you study and learn the scale enough, you will know where each scale degree is. Then you can emphasize chord tones in your improv and it'll sound better.

Also, just learn how to play your favorite guitarists' soloes. You'll pick up some things. And if you consistently practice playing around with the scale tones, you'll come up with some good licks that you'll be able to utilize when improvising.
#5
Quote by thelax
ok... so I can honestly say I learned my basic scales
but it seems that when it comes to improvising, I end up either just moving through back and forth the scale, or playing random notes in the scale...

how do I not play random notes... in other words, what are the rules or guidelines for choosing the notes that sound good??? or is it just trial and error??

cause on youtube and stuff I see people improvising on spot and I dont see them with a paper and a pencil figuring out right notes and wrong notes...

also, is the only way of getting out of the box learning all the notes on the fretboard and learning different shapes for the scale??

thanks people...


It's not trial and error..... its choice. You need a certain amount of experience to be able to make those choices.

Rather than aimlessly noodling through the scales.......get experience playing music that utilizes the scales.

Find some solos to learn. Play them, study them...enjoy them. Make sure you LISTEN. Build up a repertoire.

you could also look into studying theory, but be careful not to forget that without musical context, words like interval, scale, chord...ect are nothing more than words. Learning them out of context will not change your current issue. MUSIC is the thing your missing.

It takes time to acquire the knowledge and skills. be patient.... have fun with it.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 6, 2010,
#6
It's about familiarizing yourself enough with intervals, scales, and the notes they contain, as well as building your ear so that you can say (subconsciously) "I should play ___ here, because I know what it will sound like or would like to experiment with it so I can find out how it sounds."
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#7
Quote by thelax
ok... so I can honestly say I learned my basic scales
but it seems that when it comes to improvising, I end up either just moving through back and forth the scale, or playing random notes in the scale...

how do I not play random notes... in other words, what are the rules or guidelines for choosing the notes that sound good??? or is it just trial and error??

cause on youtube and stuff I see people improvising on spot and I dont see them with a paper and a pencil figuring out right notes and wrong notes...

also, is the only way of getting out of the box learning all the notes on the fretboard and learning different shapes for the scale??

thanks people...


the only way of getting out of the box IS learning all the notes. learning different shapes keeps you in the box. you're better off learning the notes. eventually, you'll come to associate them with patterns.

the rest of it comes down to training your ear.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#8
Quote by AeolianWolf
the only way of getting out of the box IS learning all the notes. learning different shapes keeps you in the box. you're better off learning the notes. eventually, you'll come to associate them with patterns.

the rest of it comes down to training your ear.


actually, it all comes down to training your ear. "The box" is a result of not listening. knowing the notes is a step in the right direction but on its own it doesn't solve the issue anymore than learning the patterns does. it's the context that's missing...... the music .
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 6, 2010,
#9
You all are saying a lot about playing notes that emphasize the chord, but what does that mean in terms of music? Playing the root of the chord? The dominant?
#10
Quote by The Hunger
You all are saying a lot about playing notes that emphasize the chord, but what does that mean in terms of music? Playing the root of the chord? The dominant?

It means playing chord tones. Tones in the chord. Scale degrees 1, 3 and 5 (mostly 1 and 3) for a major triad, etc.
#11
You have to listen to your ears/brain. If you are not extremely familiar with the scale you are using, you have to slow way down and simplify everything. Play one note and then say, "which note do I want to play next?" HEAR that next note IN YOUR HEAD, then find it on the guitar. Soon, you'll be able to find the next two notes, then three and so on, until you are just playing music from your head.

It doesn't come automatically, your ears must be trained in cooperation with your hands/guitar in order to find those notes fluently.
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#12
Quote by thelax
ok... so I can honestly say I learned my basic scales
but it seems that when it comes to improvising, I end up either just moving through back and forth the scale, or playing random notes in the scale...

how do I not play random notes... in other words, what are the rules or guidelines for choosing the notes that sound good??? or is it just trial and error??

cause on youtube and stuff I see people improvising on spot and I dont see them with a paper and a pencil figuring out right notes and wrong notes...

also, is the only way of getting out of the box learning all the notes on the fretboard and learning different shapes for the scale??

thanks people...


Listen.

Playing notes requires an interation with the ear. Listen to what you are doing, if you are doing the same old things and its not inspiring you, then stop. Look at ways you arent playing and try those.

Education helps too. Sometimes we know enough to improvise, but at some point we run that course and we start being more interested in how notes interact.

"Should I go for a ninth sound here? What is a ninth and how did it change my melody, what did it want to do? "

Learning and applying NEW ideas can really go a long way. Not learning or finding new ways to hear, test and approve what we do is a sure sign of a rut and stagnacy.

Best,

Sean
#13
Quote by thelax
ok... so I can honestly say I learned my basic scales
but it seems that when it comes to improvising, I end up either just moving through back and forth the scale, or playing random notes in the scale...

how do I not play random notes... in other words, what are the rules or guidelines for choosing the notes that sound good??? or is it just trial and error??

cause on youtube and stuff I see people improvising on spot and I dont see them with a paper and a pencil figuring out right notes and wrong notes...

also, is the only way of getting out of the box learning all the notes on the fretboard and learning different shapes for the scale??

thanks people...

trial and error is what most people do. learning other peoples licks and solos can help too. just keep playing and it will come. eventually you will know how to play what you hear in your head and know what works well over what.