#1
Hello

I am having problems improvising my own music and creating my solos. I keep playing the same riffs over and over and cant really seem to keep making up more new and cool sounding solos. It seems that if I had a sound in my head I couldent play it really on my guitar, what can I do to start improving my improv and soloing? I tried learning new scales, I would learn the box shapes but it would sound like for the most part me just going up and down scales, nothing good, I am really into classic rock and bands like black sabbath, that's the sound I am looking for, I just want to become a better guitar player, any tips would be greatly appreciated, thanks
#2
listen to the classic solos you like (or get the tabs to them) and try to figure out what they're doing. they're probably just using scales etc. but they're using them in a musical way. getting some stock blues/rock licks under your fingers wouldn't hurt either (check youtube for some tutorials on that).
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#3
Quote by Frenetixx
Hello

I am having problems improvising my own music and creating my solos. I keep playing the same riffs over and over and cant really seem to keep making up more new and cool sounding solos. It seems that if I had a sound in my head I couldent play it really on my guitar, what can I do to start improving my improv and soloing? I tried learning new scales, I would learn the box shapes but it would sound like for the most part me just going up and down scales, nothing good, I am really into classic rock and bands like black sabbath, that's the sound I am looking for, I just want to become a better guitar player, any tips would be greatly appreciated, thanks


You might try becoming more familiar with arpeggios and scales (and the relationship between the two) and how they react to different progressions/chords. A lot of the the leg-work in translating a sound from your head to the instrument can be done by identifying the 'flavor' of the sound your hearing.

Another big thing is ear training. I recommend 'The Functional Ear Trainer' from miles.be

Last thing is a little exercise I picked up from justinguitar.com (probably the most effective out of the bunch here, but the others are important too!). Do this every day. Choose a melody. It can be anything, but it has to be something you know very very well (nursery rhymes and national anthems are pretty good starting places). Then pick a starting note (any note on the board) and figure out the melody. No bends and you have to stay in a 5-fret box as much as possible. So basically you're not allowed to slide up and down the string or bend to pitches. It's to teach you how to find melodies across strings and become familiar with the intervals between the strings.

The first couple days (or weeks), you're going to make mistakes, but eventually you'll get a grip on playing a melody without having to go find it.

Oh yeah, and expanding on your 'memory bank' of riffs can help too. You can play the same riff 100s of ways (different tempos/rhythms/backing chords), so don't worry about using the riffs you've already learned in new and unique ways. Also, learning to copy vocal melodies is a great way to expand your knowledge of palatable runs.
Last edited by mjones1992 at Jan 24, 2015,
#4
Then just don't play those riffs/solo ideas anymore. Play literally anything else, no matter how bad or uninteresting it sounds. And do this a lot. Eventually you'll hit on something that sounds cool and different. It's the monkeys at typewriters kind of thing. A lot of people I know will write like 5 riffs a day and record/tab/score them out, no matter how shit they are. It also helps to listen to music you wouldn't normally listen to. If all you listen to is classic rock, try something completely different, like EDM or Jpop or black metal, and really pay attention to what's going on musically. Try transcribing some of the melodies by ear. And then incorporate some of those ideas into your classic rock solos. If you can mix ultra-happy Jpop, black metal, and the typical bluesy rawk stuff into a single solo, people will think you're hot shit.
#5
You are clearly playing with your "autopilot mode" on all the time. You are just playing things your fingers remember. More scales isn't really going to do anything. You'll end up doing the same with any scale. You don't need new scales for new sounds. There are so many songs that use the same scales. Major and minor are the most useful scales, and most scales can be seen as variations of them.

But yeah, you need to train your ears. Start learning songs by ear and forget about tabs. To learn to play your own solos, learn to play other people's solos. That's what all the great guitarists did - they played their favorite songs and solos by ear (because that was the only way to learn them back when there was no internet and tab books) and that's how they found their own style.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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