I love playing guitar, and have been doing it for quite a while. At this stage in my guitar related life the one thing I am focused on is improving my ability to improvise. I figure, if I can do that well, pretty much every other aspect of my playing will improve also.

But the problem is, I don't really know HOW to improve. I feel like I'm getting better at it, very very slowly, but at the same time that I am lacking understanding on what I'm really doing, or that I'm missing out on some big secret. It's hard to explain, but I'm sure most intermediate guitarists have felt this way.

Anyways, so what I'm asking of you guys, is...what shall I practice?

What I have been doing is this:
-Learning new scale patterns and shapes and whatnot
-Practice playing the scale patterns I know in different ways, such as playing in 3rds or other intervals. Or playing certain degrees of the scale (2,4,6,7,1) etc
-Learning songs and trying to pick them apart to improve my ear, finger dexterity, and understanding

Is this basically it? I haven't been truly practicing for long, and most of the time I just fool around on the guitar..I'm certainly seeing improvements.

If you guys would like to leave any tips, practice ideas, or incredibly specific and detailed guides it would be wonderful!

Also, my biggest problem with soloing is that my solos seem to lack direction. I can play little parts that sound cool, but I can't really link them up in a way that flows or leads to anything spectacular or resolving. Also also, I know a LOT about music theory, so feel free to speak to me in that language.
Last edited by hockeydrunky at Jul 20, 2010,
Honestly man the best way to get better at phrasing and improving is to listen to people soling. Start off with some of your favorite guitar players, get in a habit of listening to artists every in between practicing. It naturally inspires.
You know about theory? Put it to use, its no good in the abstract. Connect scale shapes arpeggios change rythms, make it snd good by playing over underlying chord tones. Explore modes. Knowing theory is a huge advantage in improvising, use it!
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