#1
So basically I've been playing for two years and still suck at improvising soloes etc, how can I improve? The only scale I know is the minor pentatonic, I feel like no matter how hard I try it just sounds terrible and boring like I'm just going up and down the scale even though I'm not. Should I learn more scales, more guitar theory? (I know next to no guitar theory) What should I be working on? Thanks.
#2
I learned how to hear what degree of scale things are, when played in relevance to each other. That and learning how to get a good feel for each genre. And what each degree sounds like when playing in a scale.
#3
Learn all the scales then Learn how to analyse the song by chords or rythm and see what scale in what note sounds better.

I have lessons so it's not a big problem for me.

When you have it done it's just feeling
Love the Guitar
Gear:
- Ibanez SZR520
- Peavey Vypyr 30w
- Alhambra 2C Classical Guitar
- Tortex .88mm/Jazz III 1.38mm
- Elixir Nanoweb Strings (.009)
#4
first off you gotta learn more scales, if not all your solos are going to sound the same....

I do have another thing to point out, you should try to record yourself.... I honestly hate the way my solos sound when I'm playing them, but when I listen back, and listen to it as if it were someone else playing, it sounds way better to me.... I dunno I might be the only person who ever feels that way, but while I'm playing I always feel like what I'm playing is stale and very repetative then when listening it back it sounds almost professional... just a suggestion....
#6
I agree with those who say you need to work on your ear. Learning more scales at this point is useless, you'll just be playing poor solos that are similar to what you are doing now (going up and down the scale), but using different notes. Spend time playing chord tones over the chords and listening to how they sound. Try to get the ear/guitar connection going by singing the note before you play it and see how far off you are. Sing or hum solo lines and then figure out how to play them on the guitar. If most of what you practice is scales up and down, that's what you'll play when improvising. Practice breaking it up into smaller phrases and less scalar. Analyze how your favorite guitarists do it. Pay attention to the relationship between the notes they play and the chords they are playing over. Just a few suggestions to get you started in the right direction.
#7
If you know the minor pentatonic scale, then you basically know the major pentatonic as well.
The difference is simply in a minor third.... Let's say that you have a song in C major. You're going to use the same form as you would the A minor pentatonic. Why? Your pinky is on the C (on the E string), which is a minor third above the A.
The form of F# minor is physically the same thing as A major.
The form of E minor is physically the same thing as G major.

Etc etc...
Gotta finish my work, then play some grooves, so I can turn my room into a house of blues...
#8
I think knowing intervals cold is actually the first thing to do. Know exactly what sound you get from each interval.

Then learn scales of course and learn them cold, but I find now I kind of solo chromatically which is really freeing. Knowing intervals are crucial.
#10
It's not a question of scales - it's simply a matter of approaching things the right way.

At the moment you're not really playing the guitar - what you're doing is looking at your fretboard and thinking "Right, here is my scale shape, I will play this and see what comes out". That's missing a huge part of the process, before you even touch the guitar you need to think - think about what sound it is you want to come out of the thing. You need a goal when you play, if you're simply aimlessly moving your fingers through some shapes you've learned and hoping for the best you never get any better.

Think about what it is you actually want to play - if you're working with a particular scale then you need to familiarise yourself with the sounds contained within that scale, that is far, far more important than learning how to run up and down a scale. If you know the sounds you're working with then you can start deciding how to best use them. Without the sounds in your head as well it's little more than a bunch of random dots on a fretboard.

Figure out how to get the sounds you want out of your guitar - that's where your theory knowledge comes into play. Theory knowledge is NOT how many scale patterns you know or how fast you can play them - that's nothing to do with theory. Theory knowledge is your understanding of how music functions, how sounds work together. If you know scale patterns but don't really understand what they represent or how they can be used then you don't really know any theory and that's a gap in your knowledge you need to start filling.

Finally, above all else LISTEN - if you don't like what you're hearing then you need to be able to identify what it is you don't like and figure out what you need to change to make it right. Learning from tabs is fine, but to get the full benefit from them you need to be actively using your ears all the time. All those songs and licks you've learned - make sure you're making the extra effort to associate what you're doing on the guitar with what you're hearing rather than simply going through the motions.
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