#1
I first pawed at it around the year mark. Then it was mostly see-saw pentatonic's, the sort of stuff you hear on every generic blues backing track. Now after about 18 mo. I'm trying to really branch out and see what all the fuss is over.

Can't say anything I churn out sounds that good, and the stuff that does is probably something I subconsciously stole from another band. But hey, least I'm trying. It's a little intimidating because I think I'm more of a rhythm style player, but I don't wanna end up a one trick pony.

So ... did I wait too long to start trying to improv? How long did you guys wait before you wrestled the bear.
Last edited by Deaddog at Apr 19, 2011,
#2
i started noodling basically when I started playing---I didn't start organizing it, practicing it or worrying about it sounding good untill 2 or 3 years in though.
all the best.
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#4
Even a rythm player should be able to dash out a solo or something every once in a while. Just play around, try to play like your idols, and such.
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#5
Quote by Deaddog
I first pawed at it around the year mark. Then it was mostly see-saw pentatonic's, the sort of stuff you hear on every generic blues backing track. Now after about 18 mo. I'm trying to really branch out and see what all the fuss is over.

Can't say anything I churn out sounds that good, and the stuff that does is probably something I subconsciously stole from another band. But hey, least I'm trying. It's a little intimidating because I think I'm more of a rhythm style player, but I don't wanna end up a one trick pony.

So ... did I wait too long to start trying to improv? How long did you guys wait before you wrestled the bear.


I started improvising after learning lots of songs and solos. That gave me alot to work with in terms of technique and aural ability. I just started doing it naturally based on the things I was playing.

I wouldn't worry about if you "waited too long" or anything like that. If you want to improvise, you need experience with the thing your going improvise with.

So in short....Learn what it feels like to play a solo, before you try to improvise one.

also, Alot of people call it "improvising" when they randomly noodle scale shapes and/or fancy theoretical terms over backing tracks. I think this act is actually musically detrimental in most cases. Especially if a person hasn't spent any time learning actual music (via solos/songs/melodies....)
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Apr 19, 2011,
#6
It was years before I felt remotely capable of improvising...mainly because despite all the things I could play, I didn't really understand any of it!
Actually called Mark!

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#8
Quote by steven seagull
It was years before I felt remotely capable of improvising...mainly because despite all the things I could play, I didn't really understand any of it!


I never found the "understanding" thing to be a problem. When I did study theory it was like "oh that thing I played is called xxx". Not knowing what it was called didn't prevent me from playing it or hearing it in the 1st place. Also I feel like I developed an aural understanding simply through the experience of playing music and listening. Those concepts are in the music, so you can take them in that way. (and I would argue that you should even if you "understand" it theoretically)
shred is gaudy music
#9
I'm never entirely comfortable with the unknown

I knew that all these "things" had to work together somehow, and that there had to be some kind of mechanic or system behind it to explain why some things sounded great, but others sounded like random noise! I never really improvised much simply because I didn't know why things worked, and that frustrated me because without really knowing what I was doing I couldn't produce the results I wanted on a consistent basis.

Bit of a sciency way to approach things admittedly, but that's just how my brain works
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#10
All improvising is about is creating on the spot. There's no rules or bad notes or prereqs you gotta have before you can start doing this.

To start getting better at this just focus on improvising in lots of songs you're already playing. Take the progressions and figure out what would sound good.

At the core, it's really simple. But it can get really complicated. Just keep it simple and fun is my best advice.
#11
You can't really "wait too long" to try anything. I started about the same as you, after a year. I was tired of copying other people's parts and wanted to learn how to make my own. At this point I had already learnt quite a few songs and had a good grasp on my chords.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#12
Started at about a year and a half when I found the Blues Lead Guitar series on justinguitar.com, but I had done some small sniblets of melodies before. Now improvising takes up most of my playing time and I think I've actually become quite good at it
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#13
Would you guys recommend starting with fuller major/minor scale or the simpler pentatonic? I feel like at this point, the simpler the better, but at the same time I don't want to get too comfortable working with a limited palette.

thx. for the feedback btw.
Last edited by Deaddog at Apr 20, 2011,
#14
Quote by Deaddog
Would you guys recommend starting with fuller major/minor scale or the simpler pentatonic? I feel like at this point, the simpler the better, but at the same time I don't want to get too comfortable working with a limited palette.
Do whatever feels right. That's the beauty of improvisation, it's totally up to you and what you hear in your head.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#15
Quote by food1010
Do whatever feels right. That's the beauty of improvisation, it's totally up to you and what you hear in your head.


I'll have to agree with this. I started with the simple "G shape" minor pentatonic box. Upon realising this wasn't good for all my needs, I continued on to the major scale. Learning by necessity is definately the way to go as you have an actual reason to learn, rather than merely being told to learn for some reason you don't understand.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#16
the major scale. keep in mind that the fourth wants to pull to the third, and (unless your dealing with IMaj7 chords) the seventh wants to pull to the root. those tendancies are the basis of
"playing changes", and also making the major scale sound good (the only reason to start with the pentatonic is a lack of "wrong notes", but it sounds much better to manage the "wrong notes" effectively).
all the best.
(insert self-aggrandizing quote here)
#17
I've taken students through an example like this:

Play .. "When the Saints Go Marching In" .. easy melody.

Now, add a note, remove a note. Hear the strong melody notes (on a downbeat) and hit those. Add and change bits on the offbeats. Woo! You are improvising!

Fyi ... http://www.makingmusicfun.net/pdf/sheet_music/when-the-saints-go-marching-in-piano-solo.pdf

Try it!
#18
day 1 I think. Just playing around and trying to make sounds I like. It wasn't brilliant stuff but why wait till you're brilliant before having fun. I don't know if I'll ever be at the level I'd like to be but I can still enjoy just "playing" with my instrument.
Si
#20
i learned a blues scale shape within my first couple months and instantly tried out some improv. of course the theory behind it was all off because i had no idea how to create chord progressions, but i could improv some melody over a very simple bassline. i was in this crappy band playing drums, when the other members suggested i learn guitar i tried learning it along with keyboards and bass at the same time, so we started a side-project where i played lead guitar, keyboards, and sang, and i improvised everything i did throughout the first jam session. during the very short life of that band i learned how to use the major scale for chord progressions and improv, all over the neck. to this day i've still not memorized a single major scale "shape," i just figured it out over the fretboard and that was it, i still know that old blues scale box shape tho and use it once in a while just to mess around by myself, it brings back memories
#21
I learned the basic pentatonic about eight months in. Then I sat in my room and jammed along to backing tracks for an entire summer.
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