hey so i'm a pretty good guitar player but i'm trying to get to the next level. i learned a bunch of songs when i started playing then i just sort of started jamming and making up my own stuff using the notes in the songs that i learned. 90% of the time i'm just running through something based around a D scale or maybe a C scale and play with the capo a lot

so to get to the point, i've been listening to a lot of john mayer lately and i really like his style and the way he connects the fretboard if you know what i mean. how can i break out of my box and connect notes like he does
Learn scales, chords, and arpeggios all over the fretboard. Practice scales from the lowest scale note to the highest on your guitar.

Really just making a point of using the whole fretboard is how you get the job done. Even and especially when it's difficult and uncomfortable. Find a little island of familiarity above the 12th fret and expand your comfort zone outward until it connects with what you already know.
Quote by Myshadow46_2
Knowing where all the notes are on the fretboard will help immensely. I'd start there.

+1. Good advice. How did you do it? TS could benefit from your experience.
Quote by AlanHB
It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.
OK. Improvising fluidly all over the fretboard consists of a number of skills that you learn independently and gradually learn to put together. Very roughly they are:

• Knowing the fretboard;
• Being able to play stock scale patterns;
• Being able to play stock triad and seventh-chords;
• Being able to play stock arpeggio patterns of triads and seventh-chords;
• Knowing the construction of the major and minor scales;
• Knowing the construction triads and seventh chords;
• Being able to play a given scale without using a stock scale pattern;
• Being able to play triads and seventh chords without using stock patterns;
• Being able to play arpeggios of triads and seventh chords without using stock patterns;

• Being able to play 'with feeling' or 'expression';
• Being able to construct a melody;
• Being able to construct a solo;

The technical / musical distinction is a bit of an artificial one, but in general 'technical' skills relate to those elements of music that you could learn and still not be able to write anything of interest. You could, for example, program a computer to do all that stuff. 'Musical' skills, OTOH have to do with that nebulous quality of 'musical feel'. The only way I can think to explain that is by analogy. Imagine Patrick Stewart reading a piece of Shakespeare. Now imagine a bored teenager who's just learning about Shakespeare doing the same thing. The former is someone who has a feel for the words, the latter is someone who doesn't. When you have musical skills you can take 4 notes and make them sound like a symphony. When you have no musical feel you can play the most technically amazing solo and bore the arse off your listeners for literally hours on end.


If you're running through stuff based around a D or C scale and using a capo my first piece of advice is: Stop doing that and do something else because you're wearing yourself into a rut.
How you choose to do that depends largely on you, but my advice would be:

Set yourself some practice time each day. Somewhere between 1/2 an hour to an hour should be fine.
Divide your time up into segments (because you're going to learn several different skills all at once and then start to put them together later on).

In one segment learn how the major scale is constructed - this really shouldn't take long (a week at most to get the basic idea);
In another segment start learning the fretboard* - this is going to take some time to do, and - I'll be honest with you - it's quite boring to do. But if you work on it consistently it will pay dividends later on. So don't skimp on it.
In another segment start learning additional stock scale patterns.
In another segment just keep playing through stuff, improvising like you do ordinarily.

Whatever book HotspurJr recommended above will probably be fine for stock scale patterns, arpeggios and triad/seventh-chords.

* Go to google. Type in 'guitar fretboard'. Switch to images. Pick one that has all the names of the notes on it. Print it off. Pick 3 notes (e.g. C, D, G). For 5 minutes a day practice finding those 3 notes - refer to your printed sheet. Continue to do this for a week. After a week switch to another 3 notes. Continue to do that until you've got round all the notes there are. Continue round the loop until you no longer need the chart in order to find notes on the fretboard. After that, switch to finding the notes in a triad, then 7th chords, 9th chords, 11th chords, 13 chords. When you've done all that come back and ask for further advice. If you're doing it properly I reckon it'll take you the best part of 2-3 years.
Quote by Hail
oh shut up with that /mu/ bullshit. fidget house shouldn't even be a genre, why in the world would it deserve its own subgenres you twat
Quote by 91RG350
+1. Good advice. How did you do it? TS could benefit from your experience.

I'm not there yet i.e. it still takes a few to many seconds to get all of them, but basically whenever I pick up my guitar to practice I play E F G everywhere I can and I say the note out loud as I play it.

I then do it for B C D and then I just do A.

The sharps\flats sort of fill in themselves then.
I would listen to the chords and think in them rather than scales. You want to emphasize chord tones. Think in consonance and dissonance. Also try to play the melodies you hear in your head (it might be a bit difficult at first but if you just keep doing it, you get better at it).
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.


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Try seeing the fretboard using small one octave patterns, rather than big 2 octave shapes, then move them around to all the other roots across the neck!
Learn all 12 scales and sing the note names while you practice.

Practice scales from the lowest note in the scale to the highest on the fretboard. If you practicing C, then, start the scale on the open low E and go up to the high D on the 22nd fret (E is the lowest C major note on the guitar, and D is the highest).

Learn how to build chords and build them up and down the neck.

Also, DO NOT just look up scale and chord patterns. Once you know the interval pattern for the major scale, sit down and write out the notes for every scale. THis will help immensely when it comes to memorizing them.
^ That sounds like a heap o'horseshit to me.
Quote by Hail
oh shut up with that /mu/ bullshit. fidget house shouldn't even be a genre, why in the world would it deserve its own subgenres you twat