I can improv really well on acoustic, but I'm having a problem. I want to write a song for my girlfriend, and I want the guitar part to be gentle and emotional. I can't think of anything though. It must be slow, and it has to set the mood. I guess you could call it "pretty". Does anybody have any ideas that could help me come up with something like this? I could do it in any key, since I have a capo, and I downtune sometimes as well. (D standard is m standard)
I find it weird that you in the headline of this post say that you need help with your improvisation when you in the first senctance state that you can do it "really well". I think what you want to progress in is composition. My best advice would be to compose a lot since you get better at it if you do it. Learning music theory could help as well. And if you want something that sounds "pretty" in most people's ears, just use clichés. "Borrow" a nice chord progression you know and add some cheesy melody line to it.
Hey Rotoball,
Let's assume you meant writing instead of improv, yell back otherwise. I use different methods depending of the approach I want to give to the song/music piece, but here's one that comes to my mind when I read your post:

-Grab a bunch of the chords you feel most comfortable with and make a cheat list
-Play them in pairs, one after the other, (nevermind which one the root chord is, no theory restrictions, don't let anything tie you up), no arpeggios, just make the notes ring together, once per each chord and change to the next. The idea is to see how the 2 get along.
-If you did not like that change for the idea you want to build, change one of them or invert the order (put 2nd in 1st place)
-Once you liked that, you can involve a 3rd one to the blend or just keep it simple, which I would recommend you. You now have a "progression", keep it on a notepad or whatever
-Now you may want to quit the single strumming and do some rythm or arpeggiate those notes.
-Even if you like odd stuff, try to make short and symmetrical "sections" first that can be repeated (4 or 8 bars). Amazing songs have been written with only 2 or 3 simple sections!
-Once you have this, it may be time to think about a good melody over that stuff or the words.

Good luck! Hope it helped. Take care,
Last edited by zyryab at Feb 24, 2012,
Yeah...I guess I kind of confused myself, plus I was rushing at the time, because I only had 4 minutes to write this. I do improv to try to get the music I want, and when I said I do it really well, I didn't make it clear enough that I meant I do it well in everything except this style of music...hope that clears up my mistakes.
1) Choose a chord progression that you like. Raiding your favourite songs for inspiration is a good place to start.

2) Choose a fingerpicking, arpeggio or strumming pattern.

3) Do your fingerpicking/arpeggio/strum pattern with your selected chord progression

4) Select a few poetic phrases about your gal. "your eyes glitter like the scales of a fish", "your collossal buttocks shift like plate tectonics", "your red lips part like a festering wound" -- you know your gal best, so you'll have to compose your own lovin' lyrics =^)

5) Add your love poetry to your chord progression & strum pattern, and you are good to go ... If you know your chord progression/arpeggio/strum pattern well, you'll be better able to make up appropriate lyrics as the Muse directs ...