#1
I am very novice when it comes to playing a solo over a backing track so i decided to record myself with a use of a smart phone.

Would you sexy people of Ultimate Guitar give me a few tips on where I am lacking, if I am doing something right or wrong?

This was a bit of an improv so I guess I could use that as an excuse for not really having a structure but I leave that on the good judgement of you fine people.

https://soundcloud.com/ace1311/blues-improv

Much love
@((0_o))@
Last edited by Bleatch at Aug 10, 2015,
#2
A few things stand out very much to me while listening to this.

1. Technique aspect. I don't mean playing something flashy or anything, but you seem to just be picking very loose and/or sloppy. Even if you are playing with dynamics and articulation, a good attack on the strings is needed.

2. Lack of direction. The improv doesn't build upon itself, it seems like you are going from playing one thing then going into something completely unrelated. Kind of asking a question like "Guess what i had for lunch today?" and then saying "You know, i just got this new car yesterday", you need to develop ideas when soloing, or atleast transition between them in a nice fashion.

3. Phrasing. Your phrasing is somewhat poor, and you don't give phrases enough time to breath before going into the next phrase. This is related to point 2 aswell, the ideas are not connected so it sounds weird from time to time.

4. Playing the changes. You are not spelling out the changes when playing, of course this is a stylistic choice how to spell them out, but if you don't spell them out at all you are going to sound like you are lost.

5. Bends and vibrato. You need to be careful with your bends, they go out of tune very easily. And your vibrato tends to be uneven/excessive at places.

6. Noodling. Same as with point 2-3, it seems like you don't have ideas half of the time and then resort to noodle around the pentatonic scale. If you struggle to find fitting ideas i'd suggest three things.

6.a: Transcribe players that can solo over the progressions you are tackling and see how they played over it. Use that inspiration to develop your improv skill.

6.b: Set the instrument aside and sing a solo. If you don't have a instrument in your hands, you can't noodle. Then you have to listen and try to sing out something that fits (also, subconsciously spelling out the changes). Then learn to play that on guitar.

6.c: Ear training. You need to be better at following your ear. Scales and arpeggios are great to have under your belt, but if you can't hear yourself through a progression you are going to have a lot of trouble improvising over it.

I don't mean anything of this in a bad way, it is simply the main areas i hear you need to focus on.

Cheers.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

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#3
I thought it was pretty good.
Need to work on your vibrato and also when you added more gain I could hear some unwanted string noise.
add some chromatic notes it will spice it up. Also target notes in the chords and maybe use arpeggios.
Btw how long have you been playing guitar?
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Last edited by Guitar137335 at Aug 10, 2015,
#4
there are a lot of times where it's very clear you're just playing off the scale shape

i'd recommend learning to play blues on an acoustic, btw. eric clapton ain't blues and neither are those wide rock n roll bends
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#5
I thought you had some good ideas toward the beginning, and I think you have potential.. The thing is that I'd have to agree with sickz your phrasing is very poor. You don't really let your bends breathe. It's not bad to mute as soon, as you hit a bend, but you keep repeating the same bend over, and over again. A lot of blues players have diversity in the way they bend. They can bend one note over, and over again in different ways. Oh, and also towards the ending it did seem like you were running out of ideas; so I guess that's why you were randomly noodling around..


Here's a quick tip learn to leave space if you don't know what to play then let the backing track breathe. In real world band situations over playing sounds bad. You have to learn how to communicate with your other band members, and if you're over playing then how can you communicate? Think before you play, and leave space if you're running out of ideas. Try landing on, and off beat with the licks you're repeating so your guitar playing doesn't get mundane. Play the same lick wait a bar, and then proceed to land with the same lick off beat. The best advice I can give you is to really work better on expressing yourself with bends that's crucial in the blues, and don't forget leave some space!

Last edited by Black_devils at Aug 10, 2015,
#7
Quote by Sickz
A few things stand out very much to me while listening to this.

1. Technique aspect. I don't mean playing something flashy or anything, but you seem to just be picking very loose and/or sloppy. Even if you are playing with dynamics and articulation, a good attack on the strings is needed.

2. Lack of direction. The improv doesn't build upon itself, it seems like you are going from playing one thing then going into something completely unrelated. Kind of asking a question like "Guess what i had for lunch today?" and then saying "You know, i just got this new car yesterday", you need to develop ideas when soloing, or atleast transition between them in a nice fashion.

3. Phrasing. Your phrasing is somewhat poor, and you don't give phrases enough time to breath before going into the next phrase. This is related to point 2 aswell, the ideas are not connected so it sounds weird from time to time.

4. Playing the changes. You are not spelling out the changes when playing, of course this is a stylistic choice how to spell them out, but if you don't spell them out at all you are going to sound like you are lost.

5. Bends and vibrato. You need to be careful with your bends, they go out of tune very easily. And your vibrato tends to be uneven/excessive at places.

6. Noodling. Same as with point 2-3, it seems like you don't have ideas half of the time and then resort to noodle around the pentatonic scale. If you struggle to find fitting ideas i'd suggest three things.

6.a: Transcribe players that can solo over the progressions you are tackling and see how they played over it. Use that inspiration to develop your improv skill.

6.b: Set the instrument aside and sing a solo. If you don't have a instrument in your hands, you can't noodle. Then you have to listen and try to sing out something that fits (also, subconsciously spelling out the changes). Then learn to play that on guitar.

6.c: Ear training. You need to be better at following your ear. Scales and arpeggios are great to have under your belt, but if you can't hear yourself through a progression you are going to have a lot of trouble improvising over it.

I don't mean anything of this in a bad way, it is simply the main areas i hear you need to focus on.

Cheers.


excellent post. allow me to take it one step further to make it very accessible and streamlined.

points 1 and 5 go hand in hand, so isolate those for later.

point 6.c is the most important thing on this list, because it will make you better at point 6.b, which will improve everything else that has been mentioned. that includes point 5, because you will develop a taste for where and how to use what kind of bends.

to your credit, it's no small task to improvise over a progression for 4 minutes and keep it interesting, so i'll you a little slack. but only a little, because the fact remains that it can be done.

keep it up. knowing what to practice is extremely important, and now you've got a pretty good idea of where to start.
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