I know all the basic scales and some other scales, and I can play them fast, and I know how to read the fretboard well, but I really dont know what to do with all these scales. Ive been playing for 1.5 years, and I mostly play metal. Ive been checking out youtube, but all the improv lessons on there are really hard to understand. One thing Ive asked on yahoo and on youtube is, how do I use/find a root note, and theyve all told me entirely different crap(the first note you play, the kind of tone in an improv, and alot more jiberish), so can someone help me out with that too. As an example can someone tell me the root note of the tornado of souls or Lucretia(marty) solos.

Also what scales should use to make my improvs to have a marty friedman feel to them and not sound like Im shredding by the book.
It's all just practice, use the scales and try and link a few together.
There really isn't a set way to improvise, that's where your natural style comes in.
Decide on a key, get someone to play a few chords then just jam along. You'll know what'll work and what won't.

Another tip is to try not to just listen to one genre of music, remember that most solo's contain bluesy elements, so try not to just play metal all the time.

Thats just my advice, I'm sure someone else can give you some better advice.
Don't get too caught up on your scales dude. Learn them all, and get them solid however scales are just a means for an end. Scales are the musicians creative palette, and within them are all the colors necessary to improvise. Scales will contain some of the notes you want to use but quit worrying about them so much, and in all honesty, let your EARS be the guide. This can take a lot of practice but the more you do it and the longer you play, your ears and fingers will start to do some of the work for you, as long as you allow them too. Your ear is defiantly one of the most important thing when it comes to improv. Basically when it comes down to it, it helps sometimes to forget about scales, modes, tonics, and just let your ear guide you. This isn't an overnight process by any means so just keep practicing! You'll get it
I'll repeat what I posted in another thread

Don't play without thinking.
Do think about what it is that YOU want to hear over your backing.

Don't play without listening.
Listen closely, follow the chord tones and listen for the way the notes you're playing interact with and affect the chords you play over. If you don't like what you're hearing just do something else.

Don't approach it mechanically, don't think "I haven't done a bend for a while, better throw one in" and don't approach it by thinking about what techiques you're going to use. Think about the sound you want to hear, after all that's all techniques are - different ways of moving between notes that give you a different sound.

Don't be afraid to stop playing - space is good and often less is more.

Don't be afraid of repeating something if it sounds good. If people were afraid of repeating themselves Freebird would never have been written....or it would at least have had a much shorter solo.

Make sure you're playing the guitar, try not to let the guitar play you. Mindlessly moving your hands through patterns praying something good falls out isn't really improvising - you need to have a goal in mind.

A scale isn't a routeplanner, it's an atlas. So it's not going to help much in terms of helping you decide what to play or how to play, it's simply showing you some notes that are available to you and letting you know how they function together.
Actually called Mark!

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Exactly what Steven said.

Use the scales as a guide, and play what you want to hear.
May the Force be with You.
Carmel is hawt
How do you know the scales without knowing the notes? That's impossible unless you memorize shapes.

Honestly just sit in your room or something and study each note for like 8 hours. I spent 20 hours last week making sure I knew where every note was. I just locked myself in my room with some mac and cheese and studied my ass off. Now I can literally find any sequence of notes that I need.
Once you know that, then you've got the hard part down. Knowing notes is essential, and knowing theory is even better.

You need to put the time in. 16+ hours sounds like enough to memorize it all. Spend 8 hours writing it out, spend 8 hours playing to notes.
After that, then learn how to construct scales.

Remember, if you don't put the time in... you won't get good at guitar.
The best advice i can give to questions like this is to ear-train.

There is theory/fretboard knowledge (and not knowing what to do with it).

And then there is musical ideas inside your head (that you're not sure how to recreate on command).

The bridge between that gap is ear training...
where your brain learns to internalize the sound of any/all intervals, and recognize them automatically without concious effort.

I still work hard at it, but I can say that dedicated ear training has really changed guitar playing (and music in general) for me... More than anything else.
I spend way more time playing exactly what I want to play... and less time playing notes & scales just because they won't sound bad.

Ear training is not particularly fun, nor does it give any instant gratification... but it's still the first thing I do every time i practice - and I look forward to it because of how much it has paid off over time.
Im going to paste a response I made to a similar thread yesterday. The guys problem was similar to yours although he was more of a blues player and your biggest problem seems to be theory. Check out the Crusades articles on this site for a good introduction to theory and the lessons on this site http://www.musictheory.net/. Much of what I said is still relevant here I believe, but you defiantly need to learn some more theory.

Its all in the phrasing.

Well dont feel that just because you are going to stick to a scale that you need to go up and down it step by step. Jump around a bit, play different intervals and it might even sound good. Explore different positions of the neck than the box shape that you are most comfortable in. Note choice is important and you could think of it more carefully than just 'E minor pentatonic/blues scale for 48 bars', looking into what chords are playing and trying to target chord tones.

Mess around with the rhythms your playing, just keeping it to eighth notes will become boring. Use rests, triplets, 16th notes and loooong notes - its all about how you phrase stuff and thats largely to do with rhythm. Try having a bit of musical call and response with yourself - play a two bar phrase and then try to come up with a similar phrase that compliments it, ie with the same rhythm but slightly different notes. This is where being able to hear a melody in your head and translate it to the guitar is important, and its a good way to practice it (especially fun if you call and response with another guitarist)

Dont be afraid to repeat yourself. If youve said something cool and you wanna reiterate it then use repetition to your hearts content. Some of the most memorable guitar solos use a simple three or four note lick repeated for several bars.

However you gotta keep it engaging and thats where dynamics is important - how loud or soft you pick a note. Try playing a 12 bar solo starting a as softly as you can but gradually becoming as loud as you can.

As you mentioned (and I pointed out in my crit of your solo in another thread), theres nothing worse than someone who cant bend in tune, so you should really work on that. Vibrato is also paramount - being able to shake the sting in an appropriate way will make you sound professional. Be aware that there are different intensities of vibrato (fast/slow, wide/shallow bends) which may be appropriate at different points in a solo.

Combine all of those aspects to create the building and release of tension during a solo.

Edit Edit: While were discussing phrasing, check out these awesome videos -

Scott Henderson on Phrasing - http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMjUyNTY3NzEy.html

and Marty Friedman - http://video.google.com/videoplay?d...62536751428345#

Good luck
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
Last edited by Hydra150 at May 16, 2011,