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#1
I'm always amazed at how professional guitarists improve their solos when playing live. How do they make all those cool licks and everything up on the spot and play it live?

The guitarist that inspired me most is Jimmy Page and this particular video brought my attention. How does he do it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Q7Vr3yQYWQ (skip to 6:38)

The solo is improvised and totally different from the studio solo. And he does this for every time he plays this song. The solo is always different.

Now I know many people don't like Jimmy Page or Led Zeppelin or think their overrated and there's better stuff out there, please don't say it here. Thanks.

Whenever I try to improvise I fail miserably, not only because I don't know what sounds good with what together, but also I don't even have any ideas on what I actually want my solo to sound like! What do I do? Thanks.

EDIT - and also how did the entire band improvise during that solo together? How did they know how long to go for, and when to change the timing etc...? Was it pre-planned?
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Last edited by Jostry at Aug 28, 2011,
#2
Quote by Jostry
Whenever I try to improvise I fail miserably, not only because I don't know what sounds good with what together, but also I don't even have any ideas on what I actually want my solo to sound like! What do I do? Thanks.


you want an honest, practical answer? that's what you do. everything you just said you don't know. learn what sounds good. learn to hear your solo before you even play the first note.

you want to make the most out of it? it's going to involve a study of theory and a lot of ear training. do you have to study theory? no -- but if you place a name to something, it'll help you retain the sound. if you're training your ear, you should ideally learn some theory to maximize your results. the main goal is training your ear, though. once you have the basics down, you'll only really have to think about theory if you have some crazy jazz chord progression (or even some more difficult blues) and such things like that.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#3
PhrygianPanther speaks the truth
by the time you read this you will be wasting your time because it doesnt say anything
#4
Quote by Jostry

EDIT - and also how did the entire band improvise during that solo together? How did they know how long to go for, and when to change the timing etc...? Was it pre-planned?


Psychic powers, of course. The real thing going on during all that is mind control, the solo was just to cover it up.
#6
all it takes is a basic know how of how music theory works and a creative mind. just by jamming out you'll get an feel for improvising and coming up with licks on the spot.
#7
Quote by hammettrocks
PhrygianPanther speaks the truth


gg, ulrichstones.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#8
About the whole how they knew when to end it...if you listen, once jimmy goes into the repeating riff near the end of the solo, it takes bonham a couple of beats to change his beat. That riff is an easy way to signal the end of the main part.
#9
It's something that takes practice. I'm working on it right now by analyzing Yngwie's solos. How he knows exactly what lick to play at any given time to make it work. He's just insane. Played hours upon hours. I will get to that point. I know I have the ability. That's the thought process it takes. You just have to know. He's the fastest musical improviser in the world. I don't think that's an overstatement.

And how he improvises, but makes it sound like he's practiced it a billion times. It's that type of knowledge of the fretboard that it takes.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
Last edited by fretmaster13 at Aug 29, 2011,
#10
He plays 20 nps contantly while making some strong and fast melodies. I'm not saying speed is all music is. It isn't, but he's the fastest improviser of music in the world. I don't think anyone could play as fast as him, know where to go on the fretboard, and still be making up a new solo at every live performance.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
#11
Pretty much all blues and especially Jazz musicians always improv their solos. Rock musicians don't because their audience wants to hear what they're used to. Outside of the rock bubble, improving is the norm.
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#12
Yes, exactly. Most jazz is improvised, but the fun comes when a guitarist can improvise and still sound recording quality like Yngwie can. You may not like Yngwie or think he just plays without feeling, but the guy has some serious skills with improv (and I think he plays with emotion, albeit a very angry one).

Oh and Randy Rhoads's live version of Paranoid may not be totally improvised, but he does sometimes stray from the basic shape of the original in other live recordings, and that is one of the greatest solos of all time imo. Just give it a hardcore listen. It fits amazingly well.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
Last edited by fretmaster13 at Aug 29, 2011,
#13
Quote by fretmaster13
He plays 20 nps contantly while making some strong and fast melodies. I'm not saying speed is all music is. It isn't, but he's the fastest improviser of music in the world. I don't think anyone could play as fast as him, know where to go on the fretboard, and still be making up a new solo at every live performance.

I would like to see him do that over some Coltrane changes.

Go listen to some Al Di Meola or something.
#14
Quote by Jesse Clarkson
I would like to see him do that over some Coltrane changes.

Go listen to some Al Di Meola or something.

I've listened to Al Di Meola, and I just didn't hear anything that stood out to me because I heard Yngwie first. The classical sound just has me in a bind I guess.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
#15
When you see a jazz/blues group finish off a show with each player- Bass, two guitarists, a trombone, a trumpet, a sax, keyboard and drums- do a 3-6 minute solo, Malmsteen becomes rather boring.
What do you guys listen to when playing video games?
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Quote by T3hdude

Men fapping.


Sorry, didn't realize I was that loud.

I'll be leaving your closet now.
#16
I mean, you have to admit that Randy demolished Tony Iommi's original. In a good way.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
#17
Quote by iancmtaylor
When you see a jazz/blues group finish off a show with each player- Bass, two guitarists, a trombone, a trumpet, a sax, keyboard and drums- do a 3-6 minute solo, Malmsteen becomes rather boring.

I guess classical's just me then. I get bored of jazz after a few minutes. I could listen to Yngwie, Rhoads, and Blackmore all day.
"To this day I don't have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites." - Randy Rhoads
Last edited by fretmaster13 at Aug 29, 2011,
#18
Threadstarter -

There's a lot of different skills going into good improvisation. A good thing to start with is to imagine the solo you want to play, and then start trying to figure out how to play it. Obviously, working on your technique and improving your understanding of theory (which notes go with what) helps a lot - but you also need to work on your imagination.

He plays 20 nps contantly while making some strong and fast melodies. I'm not saying speed is all music is. It isn't, but he's the fastest improviser of music in the world.


He doesn't and he isn't. Yngwie pretty much never goes above 14nps or so, and

You might want to check these guys out for some seriously fast improv that isn't as lick-based as Yngwie - www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcMMFXdUHd8

And the quickest improviser I can think of - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmyh_BTMHUA

As much as I love the Swede of Sweepage! >.>
#19
I do believe that those who improvise their solos have huge lick library at their disposal and use them in a given key to fit the song.


@Fretmaster13

i might get warning for this, but...

Is spouting bullshit is a part of your daily routine?


@Freepower




Even tho im not that much into jazz/fusion, wonder if there are tabs for that Shawns impro, sounds groovy


EDIT: Bluesjamtracks THE PRIME CUTS video....
Daniele Gottardo

Suddenly jizz....

jizz everywhere
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Last edited by hr113 at Aug 29, 2011,
#20
Quote by fretmaster13
He plays 20 nps contantly while making some strong and fast melodies. I'm not saying speed is all music is. It isn't, but he's the fastest improviser of music in the world. I don't think anyone could play as fast as him, know where to go on the fretboard, and still be making up a new solo at every live performance.


He can do that because he's immersed himself in guitar playing since he was 5, knows theory and has a great ear. In an interview I remember him saying it's hard for him to play a 'bad note' because he has perfect pitch.

Quote by Freepower
Threadstarter -


You might want to check these guys out for some seriously fast improv that isn't as lick-based as Yngwie - www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcMMFXdUHd8



Well, all guitarists have licks or patterns they base fast phrases on, even Guthrie and Alex.
Last edited by griffRG7321 at Aug 29, 2011,
#21
Doah, I posted the reply to the wrong thread :P Don't mind my fubar...
What do you guys listen to when playing video games?
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Quote by T3hdude

Men fapping.


Sorry, didn't realize I was that loud.

I'll be leaving your closet now.
Last edited by iancmtaylor at Aug 29, 2011,
#23
It depends what you consider to be improvising. In my opinion the amount of improvisation in a solo can be measured. If you had a set solo you had memorized and then suddenly get off because someone missed a beat or chord change and then you make up licks for the remainder of the solo, is that still improvising? I think so, however not as much as perhaps listening to a song for the first time or playing something that you have never played or practiced.
What helped my improvisation when I was playing jazz, was not to improvise. Instead I sat down and tried to play what I heard in my head and then memorized it. It would have more direction and meaning then just throwing shit against the wall and seeing what stuck.
The solos would change from gig to gig, however they started to sound more interesting as opposed to random noodling. After a while certain licks become engraved and you are able to anticipate what will work over certain chords, styles, rhythm etc. This of course is not as special as when you "truly" improvise on the spot in front of a live audience and compose something you have never played before, but that takes time. After listening to several jazz solos, there is evidence that suggest that great improvisers have used this same approach due to the use of similar licks in different songs. I'm not saying that it is not good to practice "truly" improvising, however, I don't think many players are "truly" improvising, or at least, they started out just like us...

Also it has been said before that the part of your brain that analyzes does not work at the same time as the part of your brain that controls your creativity. IOW as mdc posted above,...you can't be thinking while you are "truly" improvising.
MARTY FRIEDMAN--"It’s a lot easier to be technical than it is stylized; it really is... But I think it’s a lot more rare to have someone who’s really got their own sound because that’s something you can’t practice."
#24
Its called modes.

/jk
Understand nothing, in order to learn everything.

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#25
Quote by WesM.Vaughan

Also it has been said before that the part of your brain that analyzes does not work at the same time as the part of your brain that controls your creativity. IOW as mdc posted above,...you can't be thinking while you are "truly" improvising.


This I don't agree with, to me creativity IS analyzing. If I'm drawing a portrait, I'm deciding what shadows/ highlights I need to emphasize. If I'm writing a play for English class, I'm thinking about how what I'm writing will be perceived by the audience. If I'm improvising I'm thinking about what I want to play next, and where it is.

You can't be creative without thinking, it just doesn't work. The drawing is misshapen and has terrible value, the play will be nonsensical and no one will like it, the music will be boring, or even out of key/ rhythm.
What do you guys listen to when playing video games?
Quote by DemonicSamurai

Quote by T3hdude

Men fapping.


Sorry, didn't realize I was that loud.

I'll be leaving your closet now.
#26
I like to watch a lot of Joe pass stuff on improv. After a while the "GREATS" just seem to form a collective bank of lines and it seems improv forms off of memory.
#27
Here's another way to think about this:

Have you ever been to a foreign country and listened to people have a conversation? They can just keep talking to each other for hours, saying new things, changing ideas smoothly, riffing off of each other. And yet when you try to have a conversation, it's halting, uncomfortable, you have to stop to think about what to say, and you find yourself falling back on a bunch of stock phrases?

Isn't that exactly what's going on here?

Jimmy is speaking the language of music. It's not challenging for him to go off on long, improvised sections because he knows the language, he's thinking in IDEAS. Less experienced musicians are thinking in terms of notes, or riffs - like the AMerican in France who has to think in English, then translate it painstakingly a word at a time. It doesn't work.

Develop your ear, and develop your ability to think in musical ideas.

Jimmy Page is hardly the only person who can do this. Most good jazz musicians can, as well. It takes training and practice and a deep understanding of music.

But you didn't learn how to have a deep, interesting, improvised conversation overnight or even in the course of one year or even two - so don't expect that to happen to your ability to speak in music.
#28
Quote by HotspurJr
Here's another way to think about this:
But you didn't learn how to have a deep, interesting, improvised conversation overnight or even in the course of one year or even two - so don't expect that to happen to your ability to speak in music.


What do you guys listen to when playing video games?
Quote by DemonicSamurai

Quote by T3hdude

Men fapping.


Sorry, didn't realize I was that loud.

I'll be leaving your closet now.
#29
Quote by HotspurJr
Here's another way to think about this:

Have you ever been to a foreign country and listened to people have a conversation? They can just keep talking to each other for hours, saying new things, changing ideas smoothly, riffing off of each other. And yet when you try to have a conversation, it's halting, uncomfortable, you have to stop to think about what to say, and you find yourself falling back on a bunch of stock phrases?

Isn't that exactly what's going on here?

Jimmy is speaking the language of music. It's not challenging for him to go off on long, improvised sections because he knows the language, he's thinking in IDEAS. Less experienced musicians are thinking in terms of notes, or riffs - like the AMerican in France who has to think in English, then translate it painstakingly a word at a time. It doesn't work.

Develop your ear, and develop your ability to think in musical ideas.

Jimmy Page is hardly the only person who can do this. Most good jazz musicians can, as well. It takes training and practice and a deep understanding of music.

But you didn't learn how to have a deep, interesting, improvised conversation overnight or even in the course of one year or even two - so don't expect that to happen to your ability to speak in music.




Study the language of music - theory
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#31
Quote by iancmtaylor
You can't be creative without thinking, it just doesn't work. The drawing is misshapen and has terrible value, the play will be nonsensical and no one will like it, the music will be boring, or even out of key/ rhythm.


You absolutely can, once you've internalised the basics.


Quote by griffRG7321
Well, all guitarists have licks or patterns they base fast phrases on, even Guthrie and Alex.


True dat.

Even tho im not that much into jazz/fusion, wonder if there are tabs for that Shawns impro, sounds groovy


http://www.leviclay.com/shawn-lane.html

That and the booklet to his REH vid.
#32
Quote by Zanon
Guthrie, Shawn Lane and Alex Hutchinson kinda cruise over Yngwie


Subjective.
#33
Quote by Freepower


http://www.leviclay.com/shawn-lane.html

That and the booklet to his REH vid.



many thanks!


Quote by griffRG7321
Subjective.


Not sure about Guthrie and Alex, but in terms of raw speed Shawn slays him.
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the point of life is to die.
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Blasphemy as severe as this is fucking unforgivable and by bullshito code you must commit sudoku for disgracing famirys honoru.
Last edited by hr113 at Aug 30, 2011,
#34
Quote by hr113
many thanks!


Not sure about Guthrie and Alex, but in terms of raw speed Shawn slays him.


What does speed have to do with 'cruising over' someone?
#35
Quote by griffRG7321
What does speed have to do with 'cruising over' someone?



Since playstyle/phrasing/"emotion" are all subjective, the only aspect of playing we can rely on when comparing guitarists is their technical ability
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Blasphemy as severe as this is fucking unforgivable and by bullshito code you must commit sudoku for disgracing famirys honoru.
#36
Quote by WesM.Vaughan
Also it has been said before that the part of your brain that analyzes does not work at the same time as the part of your brain that controls your creativity. IOW as mdc posted above,...you can't be thinking while you are "truly" improvising.


Your brain does not work this way.

EDIT:
Quote by hrr113
Since playstyle/phrasing/"emotion" are all subjective, the only aspect of playing we can rely on when comparing guitarists is their technical ability


No offense, buddy, but this is just stupid. There is no objective way to determine which musicians are better, get over it. Nietzche has said "all of life is a dispute over taste and tasting."

I'll tell you that Alex Lifeson is the greatest guitarist of all time. He is technically talented, yes, but there are many who play more precisely and cleaner than him. The fact that he inspires and evokes unfathomable emotion in me is all the proof I need.
Nothing that is worthwhile in life will ever come easy.
Last edited by soviet_ska at Aug 30, 2011,
#37
Quote by hr113
Since playstyle/phrasing/"emotion" are all subjective, the only aspect of playing we can rely on when comparing guitarists is their technical ability


Well in that case

Rusty Cooley > Jeff Beck

MAB > SRV

Never mind dynamics or composition skills...
#38
Quote by griffRG7321
Well in that case

Rusty Cooley > Jeff Beck

MAB > SRV

Never mind dynamics or composition skills...



Speaking as objectively as possible - yes.

However i dont understand one thing. Where do people get that mentality that they HAVE to like THE "best"?
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#39
Since playstyle/phrasing/"emotion" are all subjective, the only aspect of playing we can rely on when comparing guitarists is their technical ability

And that's not subjective?

Well in that case

Rusty Cooley > Jeff Beck

MAB > SRV


It's funny that you should assume there's some obvious reason that that isn't the way it actually is.

Personally I like SRV and Jeff more than Cooley and MAB but it's just taste. You can't tell me SRV has sweet 7 string riffage going on like Cooley.
#40
Quote by soviet_ska


No offense, buddy, but this is just stupid. There is no objective way to determine which musicians are better, get over it. Nietzche has said "all of life is a dispute over taste and tasting."

I'll tell you that Alex Lifeson is the greatest guitarist of all time. He is technically talented, yes, but there are many who play more precisely and cleaner than him. The fact that he inspires and evokes unfathomable emotion in me is all the proof I need.


None taken, i agree that there is no way to objectively determine who is "best'. but when it comes to technique we at least have numbers

Personally i dislike nearly all blues, i can tolerate some Clapton, but most of it annoys me. On the other hand, neo-classical guitarists, just like previously mentioned Yngwie or Becker or MacAlpine, whom some people may consider "soulless shredders" evoke emotions in me.


Quote by Freepower
And that's not subjective?



i have a strange dejavu

i believe we already talked about this
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