Hello everyone,

I am looking for some help improvising. I know all my major/minor/blues/pentatonic scales and all the modes of these and have also been working on training my ear but have been having a lot of trouble truly improvising over anything. I have tried to improvise over premade backing tracks and also over songs heard on the radio and such but I can't pick out the key and have trouble getting into a groove with the track, and always feel like I am falling behind the track.

If someone could give me some advice into how to start improvising and to improve? Anyone know a good site for backing tracks? Do most of you work on lead patterns and then incorporate them into your improvisation? And how do you follow what your ear tells you is good if you can't hear it until after you play it?

Thanks for any help
Quote by vandz
"Feeling" the music works for me

also how can you not know what sounds good when your playing it
Yes, I believe a lot of people have some licks memorized and they apply them as needed. As for getting the key of a song, I believe there are guides online, I have a book called "Scale and Chord Relationships" and it has some information on that. Here's a site with some info:


So if you click "Chords in the Key of C" it will tell you which chords are in that key. It will also tell you which scales fit with that key. With this information, you can look up the chords to a song you want to play and figure out what key it's in, and know which scale to use.

Another option is a loop pedal, I have a Boss RC-2 that I use for practicing improvisation all the time. I record a simple chord progression such as C-G-Em-D (key of G) or C-G-Am-F (key of G), then I loop it back and just play with the scales over it. It's a lot of fun, and works pretty well.
Epiphone Les Paul
Fender American Special Strat
Assorted Boss and Hardwire pedals
Vox AC15C1
Thanks for a little of the insight... I definitely want to build/buy a loop pedal but my funds don't cover that at the moment. As for feeling the music, I am not so good at that. My mind is a little too analytical, but I kep trying that. And when I say I don't know if it sounds good when I play, I meant before I play the note, I can't tell you if it will sound good over what else is playing, so it is hard for me to predict the feeling and sound that I will be producing over the track.
Well, as long as you're playing the right scale, all of the notes should "fit". But yeah, you kind of just figure out some patterns that sound decent and remember them for future use.

It's really not too bad once you figure out what scale you need to play to be in key. Definitely gets easier with time.
Epiphone Les Paul
Fender American Special Strat
Assorted Boss and Hardwire pedals
Vox AC15C1
For backing tracks and jam tracks:


As for tips on improvising, start it slowly. Get a simple lick, for example a bend. Just a bend. Then do variations on it. Bend more quickly, bend more slowly, do a prebend and release it, play some notes building up to the bend, etc., etc. As you learn songs, you'll learn certain licks and variations that you'll like and you can incorporate those into your playing.