#1
Hey UG
First off, I'm not too sure if this is the right place or not, so I'm sorry if its wrong. Anyhow, I'm learning to improvise. Well, I want to. I'm starting off learning the notes on the fretboard with 'Fretboard Warrior' (I'm self taught and I didn't learn theory), and then I'm gonna learn some scale patterns and chord progressions, but my question is, is this the best way to do it? Learn the scale pattern and construct it myself? Or are there easier, faster methods?
I'm going to be doing this for the next few weeks, so any advice is helpful.
Thanks all
Tom
Gear:
Epiphone SG-400 (w/Hot Slags)/Chapman Guitars ML1 > Digitech Bad Monkey > Blackstar HT-5 > Danelectro Fish and Chips EQ > ETI Chorus Flanger
Snark Headstock tuner!
#2
The easiest way is to learn the scale shapes. You can find them online easily.
Just memorise them. Eventually as you get more and more familiar with the fretboard you'll be more aware of what notes to use rather tham just playing shapes.
#4
improvising is simply making something up on the spot, I fail to see how learning any scale helps you with that.

You're attempint to learn how to solo over a progression, and yes.. learn the key of the song, example if it's in eminor, learn the e minor scale and those notes will sound good.
#5
Quote by Peaceful Rocker
learn the key of the song, example if it's in eminor, learn the e minor scale and those notes will sound good.


Learn THE MINOR SHAPES and then move them to fit your key. Do you know pentatonic? Start off on pentatonic to get to grips with things.
Gear:
- Ibanez RGR465M
- Ibanez S770FM
- PRS SE Custom
- Blackstar HT-5 Mini Stack
#7
^ i think he's agreeing with you

i agree with you too. best way to start off improvising is simply playing the pentatonic version of whatever scale is necessary.
#8
I actually only knew the penatonic scale for atleast a year before I moved onto full major/minor scales. I think sticking to those 5 notes really helped my phrasing and i'm glad I didn't try and learn too much too quickly
#9
^ this is totally off topic, but what kinda guitar are you using in those youtube vids? it looks quite similar to my takamine
#11
A great way to both learn the notes on the fretboard and work on simple improvisation is to practice single string work. First, learn scale construction (major for starters, eventually you want to move on to harmonic minor and jazz melodic minor) and learn to play your scales in all 12 keys, slowly without changing strings (as in, playing an entire scale--or as much of one as you can-- just going up and down the single strings). You can also practice finger independence by doing this and only using one finger at a time (as in, playing your C major scale on the second string only using your pinky for example). Once you've learned all 36 major and minor (both forms) scales, start recording drone notes and practice improvising over them (maybe all 3 tonalities in one key and its relative minor) staying on a single string and completely diatonic. When you've gotten that through all 12 keys, do the same thing, but record the second note of each scale (so youd be playing C major over a D pedal, or D dorian), and then the third etc. When you've done all that, try doing the same thing with triads and then seventh chords, all with single string improvisation. You'll learn all the chord scales you'll ever need and then some, and have a strong aural and theoretical knowledge of your fretboard.
#12
Quote by richyt93
Hey UG
First off, I'm not too sure if this is the right place or not, so I'm sorry if its wrong. Anyhow, I'm learning to improvise. Well, I want to. I'm starting off learning the notes on the fretboard with 'Fretboard Warrior' (I'm self taught and I didn't learn theory), and then I'm gonna learn some scale patterns and chord progressions, but my question is, is this the best way to do it? Learn the scale pattern and construct it myself? Or are there easier, faster methods?
I'm going to be doing this for the next few weeks, so any advice is helpful.
Thanks all
Tom


Is that the best way to do it? Because of what I know, I can honestly tell you, no it's not the best way to do it.

However it may the best way thats available to you. What you might want to do is a self-teaching based thing, in which case, the answer would be, what ever works for you, whatever makes you feel as if you are understanding everything and motivated to keep learning.

Best,

Sean
#13
Quote by tehREALcaptain

Once you've learned all 36 major and minor (both forms) scales, start recording drone notes and practice improvising over them (maybe all 3 tonalities in one key and its relative minor) staying on a single string and completely diatonic. When you've gotten that through all 12 keys, do the same thing, but record the second note of each scale (so youd be playing C major over a D pedal, or D dorian), and then the third etc. When you've done all that, try doing the same thing with triads and then seventh chords, all with single string improvisation. You'll learn all the chord scales you'll ever need and then some, and have a strong aural and theoretical knowledge of your fretboard.


I like what you said here but i don't quite follow you. But it sounds like something i need to do. Are you suggesting that if one wants to learn scales and the fret board better to play C major scale for example and to drone a C note and then practice improving over the droning C note with the C major scale on a particular string and then to drone a D note and then improve over that with a the C major scale on a single string? Basically to drone all the notes of the scale while improving over it with the scale?

Quote by tehREALcaptain

(maybe all 3 tonalities in one key and its relative minor) staying on a single string and completely diatonic.


Could you rephrase this and pretend you are talking to a child? Im guessing you mean the droning the I III V of the scale.
#14
The best way in my opinion is to learn movable chord shapes in a key and the pentatonic minor & major. Then after you master those see how the pentatonic minor fits into each scale shape. After that learn the modes and see how those also fit into those same chord shapes. That'll allow you to visualize your fretboard and follow chords in whatever progression you make up easily
#15
Quote by richyt93
[...] Anyhow, I'm learning to improvise. Well, I want to. [...]
I'm going to be doing this for the next few weeks, so any advice is helpful.
Thanks all
Tom


I'm assuming you're completely self-taught -- in which case, thumbs up to you.

I would suggest starting off learning the notes on just the lower E and A strings, up to the 12th fret. This automatically teaches you the note on the higher E, which is a bonus.

Knowing the notes for these strings is going to be very helpful all round as you continue to play the guitar.

Next, study two scales: the major and minor pentatonic scales. There are a tonne of other scales and modes out there and initially you won't need these -- they are just going to overwhelm you making it more likely for you to quit. Stick to these two scales; they are more powerful than many people think. Perhaps learn about the blues note while you're at it.

Then work on building a whole arsenal of licks and chops. Listen to solos, look at tabs of solos, pick the licks/chops that you like and learn them. Knowing the above mentioned scales will help you narrow down the available notes from 12 to 5, greatly simplifying things.

For a more detailed plan, read http://www.theloneguitaristblog.com/mastery/the-essence-of-improvisation-your-inner-jukebox/

and

http://www.theloneguitaristblog.com/beginner/solo-scale-choice-confusion/
#16
what you said here but i don't quite follow you. But it sounds like something i need to do. Are you suggesting that if one wants to learn scales and the fret board better to play C major scale for example and to drone a C note and then practice improving over the droning C note with the C major scale on a particular string and then to drone a D note and then improve over that with a the C major scale on a single string? Basically to drone all the notes of the scale while improving over it with the scale?

sure thing:
A your exactly right. Basically playing C major over C (C Ionian) C major over D (d dorian) etc using all of the notes in the scale. And what I meant by three tonalities is one derived from the major scale, and then the other two derived from the relative melodic and harmonic minor. The relative minor is a 6th up from the root of a major scale (E in G Major, A in C Major, D in F major, etc). What I do every day (it takes about fifteen minutes) is assign each day of the week a mode, and change keys each day by whole step. So, if I'm just beginning and its monday, I'll play the first mode of each scale (playing over a tonic drone) In C, A harmonic minor and A melodic minor. On tuesday, I'll change keys to D and practice over E dorian and the second mode of B melodic and harmonic minor.
also, when doing this I'd highly suggest you sing everything you play.