#1
Hey guys, I was wondering what advice you might have about improvisation. I have been playing seriously for about 4 months now. The only scale I really know and can play fluently is the blues scale. My technique is good, but could be better. I've noticed that all my improvisation sounds extremely bluesy, whether it is a rythym or a lead part. I wanted to know if there are any ways in which I could improve, or at least diversify my improvising. Thanks in advance,
Tom
#2
Learn more scales.
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#4
Learn more scales, and experiment with things like hammer ons, pull-offs, vibratos, and slides. Also, try playing the patterns you have learned in different places of the neck and dividing them into phrases.

Additionally, learn your scales in multiple octaves. The blue scale you know now is probably in only one octave across the fretboard. Learn the scale in two octaves, then in three octaves.

And finally, practice all of that with a backing track when your comfortable.
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Last edited by Vypor at Aug 18, 2011,
#5
learn covers of your favourite musicians. itll help you with different scales, chords, progressions, style, and even give you a collection of little licks for you to incorporate into your playing.
#6
Thanks a lot for the great replies! I realize I need to learn more scales, but the very thought of practicing them relentlessly makes me shudder. As primarily a rythym player, I sometimes forget that scales are necessary, but it could never hurt to be able to play a little lead right? As far as learning covers, I am on somewhat of a Rolling Stones binge, so that's mostly what I'm geared towards right now.
#7
Transcribing is probably the best way. Transcribing solos of your favorite artists (or people who you aren't so familiar with) is a great way to connect your ear and mind to the guitar. But the best person to transcribe is yourself. Hear what you want to play, then figure it out. That's what the goal of improvisation should be anyways: to let your body create the music you hear in your head.
#8
Quote by aerobluesrocker
Thanks a lot for the great replies! I realize I need to learn more scales, but the very thought of practicing them relentlessly makes me shudder. As primarily a rythym player, I sometimes forget that scales are necessary, but it could never hurt to be able to play a little lead right? As far as learning covers, I am on somewhat of a Rolling Stones binge, so that's mostly what I'm geared towards right now.


I believe being well rounded is where its at. Don't let the people u play with tell u that u don't need to learn more. They just don't want u to get better so they can use u as a human backing track lol.
Blues, classical, metal. Who says you cant love all 3?
#9
Sorry for the ignorance, but do you mean transcribing as in learning by ear? And lol at the "human backing track"
#10
Yeah, transcribing means just that.

If you're using a backing track, have you tried starting on a different note? It's common to start on the root note, but it can give it an interesting twist if you start elsewhere, like the 3rd or 5th for example.
#11
You don't really need to transcribe. It involves the slow middleman of writing everything down. Just listen closely to diverse and excellent solos. Your ear will do all the transcribing. Learn to imagine the sounds you want, and learn to play those sounds.
#12
Try different phrasing, try having greater/different distance between one note and the next, use dynamics/speed, try experimenting with using unusual double stops, just a few ideas?
STRIKING MINORS
#13
Quote by Jehannum
You don't really need to transcribe. It involves the slow middleman of writing everything down. Just listen closely to diverse and excellent solos. Your ear will do all the transcribing. Learn to imagine the sounds you want, and learn to play those sounds.


Transcription =/= writing it out.

I almost never write down my transcriptions. If you learn it by ear and memorize it without ever seeing it written down, the sounds become very internalized.
#15
Quote by aerobluesrocker
Hey guys, I was wondering what advice you might have about improvisation. I have been playing seriously for about 4 months now. The only scale I really know and can play fluently is the blues scale. My technique is good, but could be better. I've noticed that all my improvisation sounds extremely bluesy, whether it is a rythym or a lead part. I wanted to know if there are any ways in which I could improve, or at least diversify my improvising. Thanks in advance,
Tom


Blues scales are rad. If you're using F blues over a progression in F then it is going to sound very much the same. The secret to improv is not to learn lots and lots and lots of scales, but to use few scales in interesting ways. So if you do have a progression in F and we take an F7 chord, for example: F A C Eb, you can use the blues scale over this chord using each degree of the chord as a tonic...in other words; F blues, A blues, C blues and Eb blues all work nicely over this chord. You will get different sounds depending on which one you choose. F and A blues (the root and the 3rd) sound great whereas the other degrees start to add more tensions and conflicting notes which can make for some intriguing listening if you use them well.

Other than the blues, basic scales to know are:
Major
Harmonic Minor
Natural Minor
Pentatonic