How can I improvise without just repetitively running up and down scales and throwing in some bends and h/o p/o? I've heard that you're supposed to end improv phrases on root notes... any more tips? Links, vids, lessons, & book suggestions would help.
No Fat Chicks
pick a few notes in a scale.. like 3 or 4 and just mess around with them tossing in tricks like bends and slides vibrato.. just whatever sounds good. then think of a cool sounding lick in your head and try to recreate it. i dunno just mess around, i don't know how to teach improv
no they're not supposed to end in root notes, it's just makes you sound like "that's all i have to say" in the end. a lot of songs end in root notes, but there are just as many which don't.
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cobalt blue made some good points, but another thing to take into consideration is what your improvising over (if youre jamming over a track or someone else playing). think about the chords that you are playing over and aim for notes in that chord, it will sound great. root, 3rd, 5th, hit those notes in a chord and its awesome. if theres a 7th chord you can hit all those notes but it sounds even cooler to hit the 7th especially if its technically outside the scale you are playing in.
Try to make melodies, sing along in your head. A lot of people tend to follow pentatonic scales up and down like this:

Look familiar? It's supposed to sound bluesy but it just sounds chinise. Thats cos you aint plaing a melody, just concentrating on playing the right notes in the right scale. Don't do this, you gotta sing the melody in your head as you play it. This way you'll end up with a much better guitar solo.
Ok I'll try to incorporate licks and melody in my improv. Thanks
No Fat Chicks
You should always have a bag of licks you can throw in anywhere. And there are way more ways to end phrases then root notes. Root notes = boring. If you're playing lydian, and on b5. If you're playing minor pents, try maj 3rds, etc.
Try and learn to hum the notes your playing or sing them ala hendrix. i find its made me more melodic in my guitar playing
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