#1
Guys,
Need a bit of direction here from advanced guitarists.
I am self taught and learning for 1 year or so.

The stuff I wish to do is to learn song melody improvisation (I think that's a right word).
e.g. this video where he takes just a main theme line of the song and develops into a solo. He is not playing the entire song tab.


This is what I would like to learn. What are the the stepping stones to this?

My guess is: (I have learnt regular chords & strumming so far and learning lead licks and scales at the moment)
1. Learn scales and melodic/intervalic/arpegio sequencing of scales major & minor (and yeh, yeh .. pentatonic/blues scales too)
2. Learn lead licks from these scales with legato techniques
3. Learn to connect scale positions together (caged or whatever) and around the root note
4. Take a song line, find the scale, use things learnt above to see what fits well

Does that sound sensible or is there something that I am overlooking
Is the sequence right?

Do you know if there is any online course out there? that focuses on this.
I see lots of soloing courses for blues and rock that is essentially scale improvisations. Will those help?

Thanks for the guidance you may offer.
Can't afford guitar tuition.

Thanks
Sam
#2
Main thing that will help you is really being familiar with chord tones (i.e. the 1, (b)3, (b)5, (b)7) of the main chord types (maj, maj7, min, min7, dom7, m7b5).

You need to nail these chord shapes. Nail which interval mentioned above is present where in each shape. Do you know interval shapes? That will massively help you.

If you can make a backing track, try something simple like E, Amaj7, B7 for a chord progression, and initially just play the (b)3 or (b)7 for each chord as it goes by. In this case ideally you want to visualise all 3 chords in the same area of the neck if you can ... the reason is that it is much more viusally obvious where the nearest chord tones are as the chords change.

This approach is very tried and tested for building melodies. The other aspect is phrasing, which is so badly overlooked by many players.

Does this make sense? If not, feel free to send me a private message.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Dec 15, 2016,
#3
Yes to everything above, but start learning solos by ear - pick something slow and obvious. It should be a primary focus.

Every great improviser has done it.
Last edited by reverb66 at Dec 15, 2016,
#4
I think the most important in improvising is to know the proper keys and scales to play, so that it fits into the song without parts seeming like they're out of place
Gear:
- ESP LTD MH-50
- Strandberg OS 7
- A cheap fender strat knock-off not worth naming
- Garageband
- Boss GT-1
- Potato
#5
Can you play a simple melody like Happy Birthday or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by ear?
Actually called Mark!

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#7
I can't play anything by ear. I imagined that ear will develop as I go along.
So ear training should be part of the plan as a conscious effort/learning, I understand from your comments.
Thanks. I will add that in learning plan and practice on simpler songs.
#8
That should definitely be your starting point, along with developing your "inner voice", after all you're not really going to be able to play a melody if you can't first come up with one in your head. Unless you consciously train your ear whilst it will develop its going to be at an extremely slow pace, I'm guessing you've already realised that your technical skills far outpace your aural skills, although to be honest that's often the case. You definitely want to be doing some work to bring them closer together though. Never forget that a guitar is just a tool, it doesn't make music, the player does - but for that to happen it needs direction, which means you need to know what sound you WANT it to make!

Listen to some backing tracks without your guitar and simply sing or hum a melody, listen closely and think of what you think will sound good over it. Ideally record it, then go back and figure out how to play it on your guitar.

One problem you have with the issue you're trying to tackle is the guitar itself - it's very easy to fall into the habit of just letting your fingers wander through well-drilled patterns instead of actively seeking out a specific sound. Taking the guitar out of the equation from time to time forces you to be a little more creative.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
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...it's a seagull

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i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


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#9
Quote by steven seagull
I'm guessing you've already realised that your technical skills far outpace your aural skills, although to be honest that's often the case.

One problem you have with the issue you're trying to tackle is the guitar itself - it's very easy to fall into the habit of just letting your fingers wander through well-drilled patterns instead of actively seeking out a specific sound.


Thanks Mark. That sums up quite well. Although I am nowhere blazing fast on the guitar; but it's true that I don't know what to do with the skills I have gained. I am more keen in song melody playing, so at the moment I search for piano sheet music for the popular songs I like and then play those. One challenge with this is that for guitar 99% of the time all that is available is TAB for chords, not for melody. So I go with Piano sheet music; but it does not necessarily use specific guitar skills like bends, vibrato, slide. So I have to add those things to make that melody sound more for guitar. Which is good learning as it is proving from composing/ear-training; but very exhaustive. e.g. I am working on a song "Alive by Sia". The treble clef of sheet music for Piano available online is so bland. I am changing it to add bends, vibrato and slides to bring it to life. Very hard for me at my level. So I totally buy into what you guys are saying to bring my aural skills up to mark and then this process of transcribing music for guitar will become less hectic.

Thanks guys. I am starting ear training right away.

Wish you a very happy Christmas
Sam
#10
I'm terms of bends and slides it helps to approach them as simply ways to move from one note to the next, rather than "something you do to a note".

For the Sia song you've already got a really strong, clear vocal melody to work with so use that as a base. Sia is also one of those singers who pretty much uses her voice as an instrument anyway so analyse the way she moves from note to note...a lot of the time she's moving smoothly up between two notes rather that separating them which you can mimic with bends or slides.
Actually called Mark!

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