#1
So lately ive made some experienced while jamming with my dad. That when its my turn to solo, i come up with something good for maybe 2 or 3 seconds and after that i cant get back to it. Like i find a pretty line but the rest is just gibberish more or less, im playing in the pocket, but i just cant "Hear" what i should play next or where i should go. It sounds like i dont know where to go, because my ear doesnt want to tell me.
So then i get frustrated and just play chords or leave the guitar. Its like im not in touch with my earlier or normal self. I used to just listen to the harmony and at least imagine or humm some nice lines that i liked. But now it feels like it just happens way too seldom.
Any thoughts?
#2
What style of music are your trying to solo in?

Are you learning the melodic lines of other soloists in that style by ear? Once you do, you can absorb and internalize those fragments of those lines over time as chunks and phrases and learn to piece them together. Notice how they come up with an initial idea and repeat and develop it. If you can hum a melodic line over a chord progression, then the next part is finding that on the guitar. If you can easily play a common tune you've internalized like Happy Birthday, then it's the same with the style. The more you practice doing this in your style, the more lucid it should sound in your head, and you will be able to play longer lines.
#3
Quote by Ignore
So lately ive made some experienced while jamming with my dad. That when its my turn to solo, i come up with something good for maybe 2 or 3 seconds and after that i cant get back to it. Like i find a pretty line but the rest is just gibberish more or less, im playing in the pocket, but i just cant "Hear" what i should play next or where i should go. It sounds like i dont know where to go, because my ear doesnt want to tell me.
So then i get frustrated and just play chords or leave the guitar. Its like im not in touch with my earlier or normal self. I used to just listen to the harmony and at least imagine or humm some nice lines that i liked. But now it feels like it just happens way too seldom.
Any thoughts?


When you improvise try not to over-think and/or be overly critical. Instead listen and react, using what you know.

If you've put in your time learning solos by ear, and playing them by memory, then you'll have plenty to work with, if not, I recommend doing that for awhile before coming back to improvisation.
#4
Take a step back. If you're playing jazz, focus on the guide tones of the chords you're playing over, the 3rds and 7ths. If its a more rock/pop/country think in triads. You can do an awful lot with just three notes. Another great trick is to play with rhythm. Pick one note and use it the entire solo, let your your rhythmic ideas shape the solo. After that use two notes etc etc
#5
I would maybe try repeating that cool sounding thing. Also it sounds like you are playing too many notes or not having any breaks. Play longer notes, have breaks, repeat the cool idea and maybe start building your solo over that idea. That also gives the solo a bit more idea - it's not just random melodies played one after another. Use enough repetition. It's a really good thing to do when you are jamming and the other guys you are jamming with also have time to react to that idea if you repeat it.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Sep 27, 2013,
#7
Here's what works for me. It may or may not work for you, TS. I start off with a slow melody line (sometimes I make it "bluesy", sometimes not). Then, I use the basic idea of that melody line to build on the rest of the solo. For instance, let's assume my melody line is in A minor (and that the key of my song/backing track is A minor), all of what I do now relates back to A minor, even though I have the freedom to use whatever notes sound good to me.

But break it up a bit, like Maggara says, I know a lot of us guitar players love playing fast phrases or licks. And that's great. But if you try to play fast all the time, then you're losing part of the potential dynamics. Alternating between fast and slow phrases creates an interesting dynamic that sounds great. Example:
http://youtu.be/NiTXGswyAls

Notice how, in the above song, Steve Vai uses a slow melody line and then later speeds up to create tension. But he always returns to that same melody line, using that as a basis for the whole song.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Sep 28, 2013,