#1
Hi there,

I have been playing guitar since I was about 14 (I am now 32) and by my admissions I am still pretty poor.

I did have a few years of lessons but I feel that for the last decade, I just really have not improved that much.

My main problem at the moment is improving my improvisation skills.

I know all the pentatonic shapes (which I learnt using the CAGED system) and am always trying to solo over a basic backing track.

The problem is that I alway find myself playing in one pentatonic position for a bit, then another.

I just cannot seem to break through this and play fluidly all over the neck.

I know that this is a really common problem for guitarists and I would be really grateful for any tips for how to get passsed this - as I said, this has lasted for many years!

I have tried experimenting with learning scales on a single string to force me to go horitzontally up the neck but then I still have trouble tying this up with the box shapes.

Thanks very much.
#2
The answer is a simple.

Stop playing with your fingers.

Start playing with your brain and your ears.


the problem isn't a technical one, its purely creative - the issue is that you're not really "playing the guitar". All you're doing is just letting your fingers wander through familiar patterns, you're not actually thinking about the music.

The first question you should be asking yourself, before you move your fingers or pick a string is "What do i want this to SOUND like?", then you figure out what it is you need to do technically to create that sound. Then you need to listen, to see if it came out the way you intended. And if it didn't you not only have to ask yourself "why?", you also need to figure out what you can do differently to make it sound closer to what you wanted.

Remember, when it comes down to it, it's nothing to do with scales, shapes, patterns, frets or even notes. All it really boils down to is you as a guitarist making a conscious decision about the sounds you want to come out of your instrument, as opposed to just moving your fingers and hoping something good comes out.

Make sure that you're playing the guitar, don't let the guitar play you.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#3
^ Take notes because thats how i broke free as well. Been playing for 11years and have had a total of 2 lessons and i learned one scale (penatonic). I learned how to "wonder" around the neck by watching my idols play. I would just watch there familiar patterns and took notes. And yes play what you want to hear not what your fingers are used to. That will get you nowhere fast if you just play with your digits.

Just listen to your backing track and just listen. And play in your head what you want to hear and translate that to your fretboard until you get it right. Walk away from the scales and just play.
The Rig of Joy:
Stiff Amplification Dirthead 20w
Bugera 2x12 Cab
Fender Partscaster Korean Made
Epiphone Prophecy
Washburn Southern Cross 34 of 100
Ibanez TS9,AD9,GCB95, Multi Chorus and TU2
#4
I am also currently working on this and have made some gradual improvement over the years. I worked on playing patterns outside the typical box shapes that used multiple positions, and I studied the notes/intervals on the fretboard, along with looking at how some of my favorite guitarists construct their solos.
It might help to just focus on combining two positions first, and then adding more as you go, or visualizing what sound you want and what area that should be played at beforehand. Really for me, a lot of it was trial and error, meaning I had a note or riff in my head that I wanted to hear and I had to stop and find it. It is time consuming but it should help.
#5
Quote by spdonalds311
I am also currently working on this and have made some gradual improvement over the years. I worked on playing patterns outside the typical box shapes that used multiple positions, and I studied the notes/intervals on the fretboard, along with looking at how some of my favorite guitarists construct their solos.
It might help to just focus on combining two positions first, and then adding more as you go, or visualizing what sound you want and what area that should be played at beforehand. Really for me, a lot of it was trial and error, meaning I had a note or riff in my head that I wanted to hear and I had to stop and find it. It is time consuming but it should help.

It is very time consuming but well worth the extra effort. While your trying to find this said riff you can find alot of neat riffs along the way. Some of my best songs ive written were like that. It just takes patience and practice.

Unfortunatley nothing is instant gratification while learning the guitar or any skill rather. But have fun man!
The Rig of Joy:
Stiff Amplification Dirthead 20w
Bugera 2x12 Cab
Fender Partscaster Korean Made
Epiphone Prophecy
Washburn Southern Cross 34 of 100
Ibanez TS9,AD9,GCB95, Multi Chorus and TU2