#1
hey,

ummm i dont really know how to really say this but i really think that when i solo its not really like fluid or structured, just kinda like i play the right notes but it just doesnt sound good enough, maybe im just being too hard on myself but i really want to make my solos more fluid, so if you have any suggestions that would be great.

thanks
#2
Quote by polloboyman
hey,

ummm i dont really know how to really say this but i really think that when i solo its not really like fluid or structured, just kinda like i play the right notes but it just doesnt sound good enough, maybe im just being too hard on myself but i really want to make my solos more fluid, so if you have any suggestions that would be great.

thanks


Really try to hear it before you play it. Like, listen to the backing a few times through without playing a note to figure out what you want to do. Structuring a solo is often the hardest part to learn. Start with a 2-4 bar melodic line and try to repeat it with variations. Example: play important parts of the phrase on more tense intervals the second time through, add a few chromatic/passing notes in between longer notes, add a few trills or approach the next note from a different direction.

It's real important to think of solos as melody and song development rather than an assortment of lead techniques or full-on wankerey.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
#3

It's real important to think of solos as melody and song development rather than an assortment of lead techniques or full-on wankerey.

this.
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#4
i +1 to soviet ska's statement

a couple rules to improv / lead playing i learned along the way

1. listen more than you play, this even applies while playing. if you have to stop a second to think of another line before you play it, then thats how long you stop. do this enough and eventually you get to the point of thinking about the next part while you're still playing the first part and your playing begins to become seamless.

2. think about what you're playing as you play it. this kinda applies to what soviet ska said. dont just wank and nail notes, say something with your musical phrase. theres an excellent article on ug that relates playing lead to speaking verbally to someone. would you talk to someone superfast for 3 paragraphs straight? probably not, you'd pause, have different voice inflections and some statements would be longer/shorter than others. you might get a burst of excitement and speed through a couple sentences or you might stop for a second to think about something.

3. learn how notes sound against each other. you don't necessarily have to learn theory but all the good lead guitarists i can think of have an excellent aural sense of pitch relationship.
#6
Quote by polloboyman
hey,

ummm i dont really know how to really say this but i really think that when i solo its not really like fluid or structured, just kinda like i play the right notes but it just doesnt sound good enough, maybe im just being too hard on myself but i really want to make my solos more fluid, so if you have any suggestions that would be great.

thanks


I find that when people complain of this issue that in almost all cases they lack experience playing solos. (as in solos written by other people)

playing music on your instrument is where you develop your skills, where you learn to hear. Get experience with that + study before you get into improvising solo or writing your own music.

As you are probably finding out .....mechanically piecing together theoretical concepts that you learned randomly online doesn't cut it for experience.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jun 16, 2011,
#7
create tension and resolve it, thats how musical piece keeps the listener interested, of course its harder when you're improvising but there are few general rules 9found on the internet ofc.)

pitch: upward motion creates tension, downward motion resolves it

interval: dissonance (out of scale accidentals etc.) creates tension, consonance resolves tension

tempo: acceleration creates tension, slowing resolves it

intonation: bending away from the nominal pitch increases tension, returning resolves it

syncopation: playing off the beat creates tension, on the beat resolves it

dynamics:
louder creates tension, softer releases tension (this is debatable–you could make a decent case that moving away from the center increases tension, while moving toward decreases. Either way, change in dynamics can create and resolve tension)

articulation: shorter (stacatto) creates tension, longer (legato) releases

repetition: repetition builds tension, variation resolves it

ornamentation:
ornaments(complex wankery) increase tension, simplicity(ala simple bluesy lead) resolves it

good luck
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#9
Quote by hr113
create tension and resolve it, thats how musical piece keeps the listener interested, of course its harder when you're improvising but there are few general rules 9found on the internet ofc.)

pitch: upward motion creates tension, downward motion resolves it

interval: dissonance (out of scale accidentals etc.) creates tension, consonance resolves tension

[...]


There's some good stuff in this list, but I would dispute some of it: some of these ideas may be contextual and subjective, but I definitely disagree with the pitch idea. The higher you go relative to other instruments/sounds, the less you seem to be able to pick up on dissonances and everything "fits" a little better. Also, what about the leading tone -> tonic resolution?
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#10
you need to solo and improvise more. do some structured scale exercises to build fluid playing and accuracy, but also make sure to spend a good amount of time applying these things to actual music. theres no way you can have an exercise for everything. the best practice is just playing really. the best teacher is experience. i practice soloing every day. i like to do an hour of exercises to warm up, and then at least another hour "just playing". sometimes i play longer though, but i like to at least have an hour. being fluid comes from being accurate. and being accurate comes from practice.
#11
Quote by hr113
create tension and resolve it, thats how musical piece keeps the listener interested, of course its harder when you're improvising but there are few general rules 9found on the internet ofc.)

pitch: upward motion creates tension, downward motion resolves it

interval: dissonance (out of scale accidentals etc.) creates tension, consonance resolves tension

tempo: acceleration creates tension, slowing resolves it

intonation: bending away from the nominal pitch increases tension, returning resolves it

syncopation: playing off the beat creates tension, on the beat resolves it

dynamics:
louder creates tension, softer releases tension (this is debatable–you could make a decent case that moving away from the center increases tension, while moving toward decreases. Either way, change in dynamics can create and resolve tension)

articulation: shorter (stacatto) creates tension, longer (legato) releases

repetition: repetition builds tension, variation resolves it

ornamentation:
ornaments(complex wankery) increase tension, simplicity(ala simple bluesy lead) resolves it

good luck


i would disagree with this. you're categorizing everything independently. as soviet pointed out, i completely disagree with your classifications of pitch. same deal with tempo. slowing down can, when combined with other factors, create tension. the kind of tension you suggest with the intonation can only be picked up by people with perfect pitch, unless you mean string bending, which: 1) is not really related to intonation, and 2) doesn't necessarily create tension. i could argue with all of these except for your "articulation" category, more or less that's pretty on the ball.

this categorization is overly simplistic, which isn't a bad thing per se, but you fail to take into account that the best way to create or resolve tension is to combine factors. there's no one way to resolve tension for each one -- it changes depending on how it interacts with the other factors.

use your ears instead. you'll get better results.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#12
Quote by hr113
create tension and resolve it, thats how musical piece keeps the listener interested, of course its harder when you're improvising but there are few general rules 9found on the internet ofc.)

pitch: upward motion creates tension, downward motion resolves it

interval: dissonance (out of scale accidentals etc.) creates tension, consonance resolves tension

tempo: acceleration creates tension, slowing resolves it

intonation: bending away from the nominal pitch increases tension, returning resolves it

syncopation: playing off the beat creates tension, on the beat resolves it

dynamics:
louder creates tension, softer releases tension (this is debatable–you could make a decent case that moving away from the center increases tension, while moving toward decreases. Either way, change in dynamics can create and resolve tension)

articulation: shorter (stacatto) creates tension, longer (legato) releases

repetition: repetition builds tension, variation resolves it

ornamentation:
ornaments(complex wankery) increase tension, simplicity(ala simple bluesy lead) resolves it

good luck



i would agree with this. you're categorizing everything independently, which is the way it should be done. unlike soviet pointed out, i completely agree with your classifications of pitch. same deal with tempo. slowing down may, when combined with other factors, create tension. the kind of tension you suggest with the intonation can only be picked up by people with ears, unless you mean string bending, which: 1) is really related to intonation in some ways, and 2) does create tension. i couldn't argue with any of these.

this categorization not is overly simplistic, which isn't a bad thing per se, but i like how you take into account that the best way to create or resolve tension is to combine factors. there's always one way to resolve tension for each one -- it changes depending on how it interacts with the other factors.

use this AND your ears instead. you'll get better results.
#13
@soviet_ska


These abstract observations arent set in stone rules, under certain circumstances any of these might work the opposite way. It's just my observations (and people on the internet seem to have noticed it too).

Quote by soviet_ska
The higher you go relative to other instruments/sounds, the less you seem to be able to pick up on dissonances and everything "fits" a little better.


When talking about picth i meant not about relatively to other instruments, but as simple as going up a scale. Am i the only one feeling incompletion when ascending? Like you're about to sneeze but can't
When descending at any intervals i hit a root note everything feels finished, done.

@AeolianWolf

by no means was i suggesting to use only one of those aspects when soloing and as i mentioned before, those aren't set in stone rules, just general observations.

Of course you dont have to "counter" each one with that specific aspect

If you were going up the scale (creating tension as i assume), the only way to to resolve - go down the scale=false.

You could be doing fast repetetive runs and then just resolve it with a nicely timed bend.

None of those are mutually exclusive.

Hope were on the same page now, as it seemed like were talking about same things, but from diffirent angles.

@AtomicBirdy

glad you agree, i pointed them out independently, but they should be used together to achieve best results.

It would be silly to forget about your ears when creating music, but knowing few things that our brain could conciously use to aid us in creating pleasant sounds is useful
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and pay taxes.


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#14
Quote by hr113
These abstract observations arent set in stone rules, under certain circumstances any of these might work the opposite way. It's just my observations (and people on the internet seem to have noticed it too).


I just didn't want to have the TS go around thinking that everything about tension/resolution fit into a nice, neat little box. Like everything in life, how you go about creating feeling/interest in music is almost purely situational. Any one of these principles could counteract itself/others. If you played purely stacatto off-beat for a whole song, transitioning to legato, on-beat lines could cause some tension.

Anyway, I didn't intend any disrespect, I think what you have there is a good starting point, but I feel that the sooner everyone moves past looking at art too objectively, the better off we'll all be. It's great you're actually listening, many people don't!

Quote by hr113
When talking about picth i meant not about relatively to other instruments, but as simple as going up a scale. Am i the only one feeling incompletion when ascending? Like you're about to sneeze but can't
When descending at any intervals i hit a root note everything feels finished, done.


Ahhhh, that makes more sense. Stopping on the 3rd and 5th feels complete to me, although not perfect like the tonic. But, you're right, try stopping on the 4th or the 7th and your brain cries out in anguish.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
#15
Quote by AtomicBirdy
i would agree with this. you're categorizing everything independently, which is the way it should be done. unlike soviet pointed out, i completely agree with your classifications of pitch. same deal with tempo. slowing down may, when combined with other factors, create tension. the kind of tension you suggest with the intonation can only be picked up by people with ears, unless you mean string bending, which: 1) is really related to intonation in some ways, and 2) does create tension. i couldn't argue with any of these.

this categorization not is overly simplistic, which isn't a bad thing per se, but i like how you take into account that the best way to create or resolve tension is to combine factors. there's always one way to resolve tension for each one -- it changes depending on how it interacts with the other factors.

use this AND your ears instead. you'll get better results.


ooh, a challenge. maybe you should fix your grammar in a few places, though.

remember, kids - the opposite of effective is ineffective.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#16
Quote by AeolianWolf
ooh, a challenge. maybe you should fix your grammar in a few places, though.


Haha, yeah I saw that...couldn't tell if he was actually serious or not.

Quote by AeolianWolf
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#17
Not sure what your skill level is, but I just started practicing hammer-ons and pull-offs, along with playing the Blues Scale, and also learning the different shapes of the Pentatonic Scale, and how to slide between them. My solos are improving pretty fast with those few additions.
#18
Quote by soviet_ska
Haha, yeah I saw that...couldn't tell if he was actually serious or not.


Don't worry it wasn't serious.
When I first read the post and it was all in lower case I had to do my Batmobile move because my Joker senses were tingling.
#19
Quote by AtomicBirdy
Don't worry it wasn't serious.
When I first read the post and it was all in lower case I had to do my Batmobile move because my Joker senses were tingling.


oh, okay. i was totally shocked when i saw it, though. usually you know what you're talking about, and i'm like "is this fool serious?"

usually i can't determine jokes over the interwebz, though, so you got me with that one.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#20
So... it's entertaining to put up a false post and have this many people try to help? That's rich. I think I'll go play my guitar. And go ahead and tear me up, I won't be back to read it.
#21
sing or whistle the notes before you play man, just listen to whatever you're soloing over and try to sing a melody off the top of your head, then try to replicate that melody on your guitar!
another good method would be following the chords to make your soloing and melodies make sense, watch marty friedman's melodic control man, ****ing great stuff
#22
write a lot of solos? and then learn them?
or practice soloing, and fretboard knowledge more (if you have to think about what to play AND how to play it, your going to lose fluidity).
all the best.
(insert self-aggrandizing quote here)
#23
My suggestion would be to stop thinking. Your ears will guide you to your next note... if your fingers mess it up, its ok. Just continue... afterwards listen to it. You'll find the general direction you want to take... then... stop thinking and do it again.

You say you are hitting all the right notes and stuff but it just doesn't sound great. This means you are playing the right notes, but you are losing the fire. There is no excitement in it... and the general observation comes down to... "I must hit this note then that note, outline this and that..." etc etc. Stop thinking, because as of this moment you are outside your piece. To move into your piece, thought processes take a halt and you begin to feel it and live it. Time slows down and you live every fleeting second of your song.

A few of my students do the same as you. I see the disappointment that falls on their face after they hear it back. They give the same reasons as you too... they know they are hitting all the right notes but the flame has gone. It's just mediocre now. I give them the same advice I've given you now. If you can make sense of it and it helps you, then I'm glad. If it doesn't help, then my apologies for making this post and disturbing the norm
#24
hey man I read every single post and then i went to go play guitar, so yea sorry that I didn't reply back if i hurt your feelings...