Hi guys,

I've been playing for a few years now and consider myself a intermediate player, but as of recently I've found myself stuck in a rut.. My concerns mainly focus around theory, and recently i've studied my own playing and found that I tend to generally do the same thing while solo-ing always. I'll solo in A for example and only use a pentatonic scale or maybe an extended version (slide up to nine on the g and use the blues box there)

But that's all. No matter what key, i'll always be using those shapes, and it obviously limits my playing. But then I see videos like this:

And I wonder, how does he know where to play on the neck? Apart from down in G (third fret) Surely it's not just experimentation..How can I learn to know where to go in a solo when i want to mix things up?

Thanks
everything you talked about is everything you need to fix.

Learn the name of the notes on the neck.
Move that pentatonic shape to different neck positions.
Learn the actually major scale and stop wasting your time with pentatonic BS
There's only 5 patterns on the pentatonic scale that fits into the entire neck.lol

Im pretty sure you can add 2 notes here and there to make it a 7 note scale.lol
Depending where you add those 2 notes (that are 1/2 step) and lean against them.
Sometimes it's happy. Sometime it's sad. Other times it's down right scary. LoL

Beyound learning the Root. You need to also know where the 5th and 4th are at.
This way you'll know where to lean those 2 note on.

Just add the 2 and 6 into the minor pentatonic. it'll give an Aeolian.
Raise the 7th toward the root. It's a hell of a thing to do...but it is what it is.

From Aeolian maybe just lean the 2 towards the root. That would make it a flat 2.
After that....mabe try leaning the flat3 toward the 4th...That would make it a natural 3.

What you have is. 1, -2......-3,4......5,-6 ( you can move the 7 around if you want).
Last edited by smc818 at Jan 5, 2014,
HOLY SHIT BRO USE YOUR EARS! Learning all the scales in the world aren't going to make you sound more musical. I've seen people who don't know how to play by ear just run up, and down scales really fast. They might add a bend here or there, but it sounds like they're playing scales.

Just transcribe lots of records, and play a long to them it teaches you how to phrase. Not to mention it shows you how they play certain licks. A great example from many blues records I've transcribed they use the same exact licks in different places, but guess what? It still sounds different... What you have to realize is that music is highly recycled everyone uses the same chords, and licks. But the funny thing about it is they use it in different ways.. It's called being creative bro.

Maybe you should take a break with the theory and start working on your ears. You'll notice the difference in your playing immediately.

It's funny because people always come on here posting about how they're stuck in this rut playing the same exact thing over, and over again. The solution to that is to start transcribing records you'll learn a whole bunch of different techniques, and how you can apply it to your playing. Trust me on this you will not regret it!
Last edited by Black_devils at Jan 5, 2014,
I agree with Black_devils. To me it sounds like you are just playing scales and not thinking about the sound. Improvising is not guessing. And playing notes in a scale is guessing, unless you know the sound.

Also, remember that it's not all about the notes you play. Some people can play just four notes and it sounds awesome when other people play the same four notes and it sounds like crap. It's also about the phrasing, rhythm, dynamics, technique... There are so many things other than the note choice that make you sound like you. I mean, everybody uses the same notes.

Oh, and remember using rests too. They make what you play sound more "important". I mean, if it's just notes after notes without any rests, it easily sounds like there's no idea behind what you are playing (though sometimes playing without any rests sounds awesome - but many times people just don't notice that there are no rests in their playing). Maybe think rest as the 13th note. Wind instrument players have to "play" rests because they need to breathe. But guitarists don't and that's why it's easy to just forget about the rests. But as I said, think rest as the 13th note.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jan 5, 2014,
Any tips for how to practice phrasing, rythym, rests, etc? I feel like I play the same licks and phrases a lot. When practicing drums I read from books which show many variations of a phrase, but I haven't seen similar material for guitar
^ I have heard some people say that you could practice using rests by breathing out when you play and when you run out of air, stop playing and breathe in. I think rests also give you time to think what to play next.

I'm not a master at any of the things I mentioned in my post. But I know what I like in a good solo.

One thing I forgot to mention - use repetition in your solo. You want the solo to have an idea. It's not just a bunch of ideas thrown together. I think a good solo is built over an idea, just like good songs are. Repeating a good sounding phrase may sometimes be very effective. You don't want your solos to sound like noodling.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear