#3
Learning from the technique of others is a great way to add style and technique to your own playing. You're learning through mimicry - you play what they play, like it and end up borrowing the same technique in your own playing. Just make sure you don't spend all your time copying others, though. Make sure that you also spend time working on your own style. After all, you want to be yourself and be unique. Find some backing tracks that you can work with. This will allow you to find your own unique sound and implement the tricks used by others.
#4
Quote by supersac
the best way to improve at improvising is to improvise

i dont see that efficient because i keep repeating the same boring licks, i think by learning solos i can get ideas
#5
learn other people's songs to learn new techniques and when improvising, just keep in mind what was done to acheive some of your favorite sounds and try to copy it. but don't try to copy it 100%. add your own style to it. i'm getting better at improvising myself, and it's a lot of fun once you figure it out. if you find that you can't quite improvise yet, put improvisation on a back burner and learn more from others for the moment.
#6
Quote by mangoman13
i dont see that efficient because i keep repeating the same boring licks, i think by learning solos i can get ideas



I agree. This is a fairly common problem. For some, playing lead and finding cool licks comes easy. For others, it's darned hard. Time to put on the teacher hat again - I teach guitar on the weekends.

Try this: Try playing a song on your MP3 player, or computer. Don't pick up your guitar. Just sit there and listen to the song or backing track. In your mind only, play the solo to the song. Make it as creative and imaginitive as you'd like. Now, take your guitar and play the song again. Take what you just "played" in your mind and attempt to repeat it on the guitar. If you have to, stop playing the guitar and listen to the guitar in your head as the track plays. Stop the track and find those notes and that lick on the guitar.

Playing lead is all about copying that guitar we "hear" in our head. Over time, your lead will improve as you learn to "hear" in your head and transfer it to your fingers.
#7
Quote by mangoman13
i dont see that efficient because i keep repeating the same boring licks, i think by learning solos i can get ideas

That's because you're making no effort to avoid those licks. Improvising isn't about having a million licks in your book. It's about playing the music in your head. It's about having infinite creativity.

If you can't just come up with your own "licks," then you need to practice that. Slowly.
Oh yeah.

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

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#8
Quote by KG6_Steven
I agree. This is a fairly common problem. For some, playing lead and finding cool licks comes easy. For others, it's darned hard. Time to put on the teacher hat again - I teach guitar on the weekends.

Try this: Try playing a song on your MP3 player, or computer. Don't pick up your guitar. Just sit there and listen to the song or backing track. In your mind only, play the solo to the song. Make it as creative and imaginitive as you'd like. Now, take your guitar and play the song again. Take what you just "played" in your mind and attempt to repeat it on the guitar. If you have to, stop playing the guitar and listen to the guitar in your head as the track plays. Stop the track and find those notes and that lick on the guitar.

Playing lead is all about copying that guitar we "hear" in our head. Over time, your lead will improve as you learn to "hear" in your head and transfer it to your fingers.

Great Advise!

The tricky part about improvising is that you have to be a couple steps ahead of yourself the entire time. While learning other peoples solos is good, and will help you learn some tricks and techniques, to be a really good improviser, you need to learn to know what you're playing before you're playing it.
Quote by leg end

"Roses are red,
Violets are bitchin'
Goddammit woman,
get back in the kitchen"
#9
it will definitely improve your solos, but i don't think it will improve your improvisation. a lot of guitarists perceive improvisation as just recycling licks while throwing in some random notes. this is neither improvisation nor composition -- it's just regurgitation. throwing in a lick or two is fine, but knowing 10,000 licks won't necessarily make you great at improvisation.

improvisation is about what you hear. generally speaking, people who have a good ear and a good foundation on their instrument (and in that regard, people with a good knowledge of theory, though this is not always the case) are good improvisers. nothing is more important than being able to play what you hear -- that is the essence of excellent improvisation.

i second everything hockeyplayer and nick said.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#10
Quote by mangoman13
is this a good way to learn to make good improvisations?


yep, it's a good way to get experience.


Quote by AeolianWolf
people who have a good ear and a good foundation on their instrument (and in that regard, people with a good knowledge of theory, though this is not always the case) are good improvisers.


Exactly, and playing solos (improvised or not) can be a great part of developing a good foundation/good ear for improvising. IMO it's indispensable.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 11, 2010,
#11
Quote by GuitarMunky
Exactly, and playing solos (improvised or not) can be a great part of developing a good foundation/good ear for improvising. IMO it's indispensable.


i'd argue that it depends on how well the player actively listens to what he's doing, as opposed to churning out a series of notes he/she learned from a sheet of tabulature. if the player actively listens and understands, then yes, it is absolutely indispensable.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#12
Quote by AeolianWolf
i'd argue that it depends on how well the player actively listens to what he's doing, as opposed to churning out a series of notes he/she learned from a sheet of tabulature.

if the player actively listens and understands, then yes, it is absolutely indispensable.


You always have to actively listen.

My point was that playing solos gives you contextual experience with solos. It's important to experience context.... which is why I consider the practice to be indispensable.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 11, 2010,
#13
Quote by GuitarMunky
You always have to actively listen.

My point was that playing solos gives you contextual experience with solos. It's important to experience context.... which is why I consider the practice to be indispensable.


IMO, Being able to think ahead of yourself is the most important part, although listening, and learning others solos are both very important. The problem with only using these though, is if you only learn solos, you'll have great technique, but you won't be as original, and if you only listen, but can't think about whatever you're playing, you'll get lost...

Over all it would be far better to learn all three.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds right to me.
Quote by leg end

"Roses are red,
Violets are bitchin'
Goddammit woman,
get back in the kitchen"
#14
Quote by GuitarMunky
You always have to actively listen.

My point was that playing solos gives you contextual experience with solos. It's important to experience context.... which is why I consider the practice to be indispensable.


of course, naturally. but the reality is that people DON'T always actively listen. every time you argue with steven seagull about this, i DO think that he underestimates the number of people who listen, but i also think you overestimate it.

i don't disagree with your advice, munky -- i seldom do. but people don't always actively listen -- sometimes because they don't feel it will make a difference, and sometimes because they genuinely forget to.

either way, yes, it's good to play solos simply for the experience of playing solos. as with virtually everything in music, context is important to understand.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#15
I have to agree with Munky.

Imo the best way to learn to improvise is to make vamps of 1 or 2 chords and practice different scales.

Modes work great here to.

If you for example make a Lydian 2 chord vamp, and play lydian over it, then you learn intervals in those context (#4 in this case) over those chords.

The next step would be to improvise over tonal vamps (regular Major/minor key progression) to hear it in those contextual settings.

Actively listening while practising this makes so much difference, cause the audience will always "Judge" a musical improvisation in a live setting or even recording based on what he or she hears, and not with a piece of sheet music in his hand.

By actively listening, you listen to your music as how an audience or listener would listen to it, and thus imo gives the best/truest reflection of your own playing and musical creativity.

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