#1
Getting more conscious about soloing/phrasing, so I started improv-ing over backing tracks using the blues scale. I'm having trouble improving. I can only make a session sound nice if I'm using a REALLY REALLY slow backing track. andiIf I up the tempo even a little bit, phrasing goes straight out the window and degenerates into me using the same licks over and over.it doesn't sound good. Anyone have any tips about gradually upping your soloing speed whilst keeping phrasing intac? Any tips at all for using the blues scale over backing tracks esp for beginners would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Last edited by lizardc at Jul 27, 2010,
#2
Well, make sure you know exactly what chords you are playing over so you can hit the right notes
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#3
I'd say find a few more backing tracks which you can comfortably improv over before you start using the same licks over and over. Then, learn more licks but keep using the same backing tracks.

The only way you'll get faster is to practice the licks and scales with a metronome. So if you have a favourite backing track, find out its tempo and then aim to get comfortable at that speed. Then you can start the process again wth some new, faster backing tracks.

Also, I'm not saying speed is everything. Its just you said your phrasing went if you tried to speed up, so I assume it is a lack of muscle memory/strentgh and that can be gained through practicing with a metronome by gradually building up your speed.
#4
^ i agree with gdog.

Also try soloing without backing tracks. Think of lines you would play and develop your shot, repetitive licks into longer ones.

Also if your running out of material just chill out. Take the licks you know and divide them up and gradually work your way through them instead of shredding it outright.

Lastly, learn more licks. Transcribe to get inspired. Then just sit down and without a backing track make things up and get the creative juices flowing to enlarge your improvisational pallet.
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#5
Quote by lizardc
Getting more conscious about soloing/phrasing, so I started improv-ing over backing tracks using the blues scale. I'm having trouble improving. I can only make a session sound nice if I'm using a REALLY REALLY slow backing track. andiIf I up the tempo even a little bit, phrasing goes straight out the window and degenerates into me using the same licks over and over.it doesn't sound good. Anyone have any tips about gradually upping your soloing speed whilst keeping phrasing intac? Any tips at all for using the blues scale over backing tracks esp for beginners would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks


Why speed exactly? It seems that its better to focus on note choices. For example targeting chord tones, using simple chromatic transitions, etc. Once you do that, then you can go as fast as you want, because you have more note power.

For example:

Lets say I was playing in F# to G#m at A#m and then going to a B

Over F# I might play In F# Major and then end on the F# or the A#...

As I get to the G#m change I might go over to the G# note, OR I could also stay on F# and imply a b7, or I could stay on the A# popped forward an octave and imply a G#m add 9.

This is a simple example of targeted note ideas, of course it does help to have music theory, and chord tones down - but this is what I'd suggest before going for speed.
#6
i also have been working through this.
At first i was just playing scales over the backing track w/out knowing what chords were being played. Although it sounded nice i wasn't playing the "right notes" for the chords (it would be nice to go back and see what i was playing tho.)
Next, i proceeded to make my own progressions so i knew for sure what the chords were and when they changed. I started with playing the triads of the chords and was focused on phrasing, then after recording a few layers of the triads i played "loose" inversions of those triads (ie-instead of playing R note over a chord i played its 3rd (or 5th, ect)instead of "loose" inversion perhaps harmonizing is a better word(sry not sure)).
Once i felt comfortable i started adding other notes from scales and its helped me a lot.
i am going to try to think of a lot of tips for you (some may be lame but im coming up with these on the spot )
-watch the melodic control videos on goggle videos or youtube.
-you have to know what chords you are playing over to phrase properly, like 18th angel said
-if you are stuck or upset- like ^ said "chill out"... i would recommend starting the backing track over and play no more than 2 notes a measure so you know exactly where you wish the melody to go, then go back and add runs, etc.
- make good use of being silent or not playing lol... i mean it... play a nice lick/run then just stop for like 3-5 secs ... the anticipation build up to hear the guitar again may open up new note options, but def. will open up more phasing options
- find/make a lot of different genre tracks... my personal fav. is a indie in A minor (on youtube) ... and i have a reggae one which requires a little more creativeness (at least for me)
- listen to the backing without playing a couple of times, focus on the backing and try to think of notes you feel should be played. then restart it and try adding/finding those notes (possibly write them down so you can find what chord/scale they belong to)
-when i play over blues backings.. (not knowing the chords,except for the tonic(root)) i first play the major or minor scale (depending on the tonic, mostly) then move to some pentatonic licks and add in the blues scale every now and then...
-if speed is a bad problem be sure to add the metronome and practice different times (ie quarter notes - 16th notes)
also if using a metronome for the first time make sure you know how to count notes to the tempo (ie. one-e and a 2 e....etc)
-another way to receive help on this would be to take a recording of you're playing over the backing, let us listen and go from there

thats all i got right now ... hopefully you get help from at least 2 of them..
Last edited by elihu4321 at Jul 27, 2010,
#7
thanks for the replies, all very helpful.

elihu4321 - awesome stuff.

sean0913 - its not the speed i'm concerned with so much as i can only play really slow and can't solo while sounding good at marginal speeds let alone at a "faster" clip. i'm not concerned with firing off notes at all, but i would like to be able to solo at a nice normal speed and not have to play slower than a sloth in order to sound ok.
#10
hey elihu,

weird seeing this updated. i clicked on this topic and started reading, then realized that i started it.

so progress? i would say yes. but not with backing tracks. i tried them for hours. i just could not get inspired, I ended up doing the same phrases over and over, regardless of everyone's advice and whatever else i could find. the more i kept at it, the worse i seemed to get. it was weird. so, i turned my attention to just playing along to music i liked and making solos to my own song creations. as well as playing by ear. it has helped me a lot more than the backing tracks. i wouldn't say i have made leaps and bounds, but i have made skips and hops, here and there. i'm not where i'd like to be, but i think i'm improving.

i still have trouble with my phrasing. but in learning solos, i have come to recognize well known phrases, and that has helped hearing them played in all different contexts.


its a long road. from what i have experienced thus far, you gotta put the mileage in. a lot of mileage to get anywhere worth it.

thanks for checking up
#11
If you want better phrasing listen to lead lines from instruments that people haven't turned into sport. Saxophone is a favourite of mine, a lot of simple melodies. Too much time spent on impressive licks will make you forget you're playing an instrument.
#12
good to hear you didn't give up all together. backing tracks are difficult if you can't tell what the chords are or if their progression just doesn't match your interest. so your making song creations and playing some lead to them?? thats the best thing i've done, other than learn new chords
#13
I would say you could benefit a lot by making your own backing tracks.
#14
if your into jazz- download the irealbook on ur iphone/ ipod touch...it not comes with a feature that plays through the changes for you
2010 Gibson SG Honeyburst
I'm a musician, a composer, and a theory nut. Pleased to meet you! Check out my websites and drop me a line.

"The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude. " ~ Freidrich Nietzche


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#15
You will more visit on famous sites like Google,Face book and you tube these sites your backing tracks available and clear your site.
#16
use your ears, not your hands. actively listen to what you're playing. ideally, you should know what you're going to play before you even strike the note.

if you keep using the same licks over and over, then stop. hell, stop using licks until you've brought your phrasing up to par.

as far as the speed issue goes, practice. make your own backing tracks and adjust the tempo little by little.
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