#1
Okay, Im really frustrated and just want to clarify this.
If I'm improvising over the chords Am-G, would i use the notes from those chords to improv over?
thanks a lot,
ricky.
''Technological advancements are like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.'' - Albert Einstein
#2
depends what scale ur using! sometimes it just wont work
#3
Ignore the above. Yes. If ou play chord tones then you resolve nicely. It certainly shouldn't be all you play, but a good solo will outline the chord changes and to do that you must play those notes.
#4
Like Troy said, if you play the notes from the chords themselves then you should be fine. However that isn't a whole lot of notes to pull from so it's also a good idea to look into some scales that work over the chords.
#5
MY best suggestion would be to play your minor pentatonic scale licks in Am. (i HOPE you know minor pent. home position at least??) it should sound reallly good even tho its simple. if you dont already know ur minor pent. scale its time you get to learnin it!!! and im sure that its the same notes in those scales that are in the chord i THINK. im no theory genious but i try to learn as i go ya know
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#6
Quote by slash_rocks2005
MY best suggestion would be to play your minor pentatonic scale licks in Am. (i HOPE you know minor pent. home position at least??) it should sound reallly good even tho its simple. if you dont already know ur minor pent. scale its time you get to learnin it!!! and im sure that its the same notes in those scales that are in the chord i THINK. im no theory genious but i try to learn as i go ya know

If you don't know what you are saying, don't give people bad advice. Pentatonics are a great way to never improve your plaing significantly.

If you are talking G Ionian, then your best bet is to be playing mostly in A aeolian and then hit the F# on the chord change as that is the note that sets the scales apart, and will give you a nice little dissonant ring since you are hitting an M7 over the G. It's best to do that if you are only passing over the note, and then maybe resolve on the 5th... whatever, do your thing, that's just my approach for when I feel like sounding like I know what I'm doing.
#7
Quote by troyponce
If you don't know what you are saying, don't give people bad advice. Pentatonics are a great way to never improve your plaing significantly.

If you are talking G Ionian, then your best bet is to be playing mostly in A aeolian and then hit the F# on the chord change as that is the note that sets the scales apart, and will give you a nice little dissonant ring since you are hitting an M7 over the G. It's best to do that if you are only passing over the note, and then maybe resolve on the 5th... whatever, do your thing, that's just my approach for when I feel like sounding like I know what I'm doing.



Lol I really liked your earlier advice..but modes just confuse the hell out of me
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#8
can you tab out the notes in G ionian and A aeolian i can never get modes. and are you saying you cant be a good player and improve using pentatonics?
#9
Quote by rickyy
Lol I really liked your earlier advice..but modes just confuse the hell out of me

If you want to be good at improvising, you need to learn your modes. It's not reccomended, it's completely essential. On top of that, you should do a whole lot of ear training with intervals so you know what each one will sound like, and can "visualize" the sounds you are going to create by playing something over a certian chord. Don't half ass it, take the time to learn your stuff. I took a year long AP music theory in class which got me a really solid foundation, but even after that you need to look up a lot of stuff on your own and figure things out. I still have a long ways to go though, music is kinda like going for a walk on a treadmill. There's never a point to stop at, just keep on movin' and learning.
#10
Quote by mray
can you tab out the notes in G ionian and A aeolian i can never get modes. and are you saying you cant be a good player and improve using pentatonics?

No, there are some really sick guitarists who focus on using pentatonics in their playing, but they usually aren't doing all they could be. If you want to learn to improvise, then you really have to break out of those little penatonic boxes that a lot of younger players (including me at times) get into. The problem is that pentatonics cut out all the dissonance and make everything sound appealing, but it's pretty cheap musically. It's like the difference between being Kenny G and Coltrane. Forgive me for using the two of them in the same sentence, it's a disgrace to an absolute legend. My point is that when you stick with major and minor pentatonics, you really don't grow as a player and it lets a kid stay mediocre instead of becoming the stuff of guitar legends. Even after that though, you have to make sure you don't get stuck in a modal rut, and learn to branch out. I think it was Vai who said that it's easier to break the rules once you know them, but I may be misquoting. Anyways, on to the point:

There are a lot of different ways to play these, but I'll just give you a few ideas.


first position of A minor extended. All notes: A B C D E F G A... so on and so forth
|------------------------------5-7-|
|--------------------------6-8-----|
|--------------------5-7-9---------|
|--------------5-7-9---------------|
|--------5-7-8---------------------|
|--5-7-8---------------------------|

Another way to do it, same notes
|-------------------------------------15-17---|
|----------------------------15-17-18---------|
|-------------------12-14-16------------------|
|----------12-14-15---------------------------|
|-12-14-15------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------|

G Ionian. Notes: G A B C D E F# G... so on...
|-----------------------------3-5-7----|
|-----------------------3-5-7----------|
|-----------------2-4-5----------------|
|-----------2-4-5----------------------|
|-----2-3-5----------------------------|
|-3-5----------------------------------|
#11
you could use A aeolian and G ionian, but be aware that it's not the sound that you might expect, because if your chord progression is just those two chords you would likely expect that majority of the playing to be in the same key, or same diatonic scale. Thus I would think you're more likely to thing of a sound like A dorian to G ionian, or A aeolian to G mixolydian, because those pairs of scales share the same notes. However, what troyponce suggested is of course a valid way to play over these changes, just pay attention to the sound you get because it's not the most likely way somebody would play over these changes.
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#12
Quote by sirpsycho85
you could use A aeolian and G ionian, but be aware that it's not the sound that you might expect, because if your chord progression is just those two chords you would likely expect that majority of the playing to be in the same key, or same diatonic scale. Thus I would think you're more likely to thing of a sound like A dorian to G ionian, or A aeolian to G mixolydian, because those pairs of scales share the same notes. However, what troyponce suggested is of course a valid way to play over these changes, just pay attention to the sound you get because it's not the most likely way somebody would play over these changes.

I was coming at this from more of a jazz perspective where the song will rapidly change key and you really need to outline it. If the song is all in one key then you barely have to do anything as far as outlining the change in your solo because there really is no big difference. All you need to do is hit the root or 5th so that it sounds nice over the new chord. Rock/jam band improv is often incredibly lame for that reason, as well as my rant about pentatonics earlier.
#13
as for being safe there is a fairly safe way to play over this progression and start playing over it quickly and in my eyes makes more sense that overloading yourself in the beginning with tons of scales.I would say start off with the A pentatonic scale.almost every a pentatonic 5th fret position lick will sound good over your progression.After that introduce the G major three note per string scale which only adds a few notes that you were not using in the A pentatonic scale.use this method and create some licks and melodic passages that you enjoy then move on to some of the other modes and scales,but when you are burnt out or stuck in a rut with the new scales you will have your A pent and G major to fall back on so you can still make music without becoming to frustrated to even play.
#14
Quote by rickyy
Okay, Im really frustrated and just want to clarify this.
If I'm improvising over the chords Am-G, would i use the notes from those chords to improv over?
thanks a lot,
ricky.


Well, sort of. But using nothing but the chord tones (which would be basically
the arpeggios of those chords), would make for a fairly boring solo. What you want
to think of is "targeting" the chord tones, not using them necessarily exclusively.
So, what do you use "in between" the notes you target? The simplistic answer
is any note you want, but you have to have a pretty good undertsanding of
things to make that work. Generally you'll want to start with a scale that has a
harmonious relationship with those chords.

For any progression, you'd want to first establish the key. That's a fairly weak
progression, I'd probably consider it key of G. Or, you could look at it as
key of Am.

For starters, keep it simple. Am pentatonic is a good place to start since you'd
find that in both keys. Play around with that scale over the progression. Then
try targeting chord tones when using that scale at the same time. When you
get the hang of that you can branch out to other ideas over those chords.
#15
By targeting, do you mean if the Am chord comes up, hit an A note and then hit other notes ( which sound good ) after
''Technological advancements are like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.'' - Albert Einstein
#16
Sort of. Target the chord tones. So Am would be A or C or E. Generally those
will be the notes you can resolve to or "sit on". The reasoning is if the note
is in the chord, it will be a "safe" note to play in the solo.

And don't take this as an absolute law or anything. It's just how you'd go about
playing "melodiously" with the chords. You don't necessarily always want to or
have to do that, but you should be ABLE to. That's really what's meant be you have
to know the rules in order to break them. As I said before, you can use any note
you want.
#17
If you're just starting to learn how to improvise, try to avoid getting too technical or scientific. There's no need to learn modes or anything of the sort just yet, though you should start looking into it for when you want to get a little more serious about your playing.

For the time being, you can't go wrong with the pentatonic scale. Use it as a home base when you play. Start out with it, and go back to it whenever anything else you play gets a little too scary or doesn't sound right to you.

As for actual techniques... well, that's totally up to you. Play to your strengths. Personally, I like to use a lot of bends, string skips and wide, fat vibratos to give my improvisation a smooth, bluesy sound. For playing over simple chord progressions (like Am/G), I like to use a lot of hammer-ons and pull-offs and slides.

Try something like this for the Am/G progression (it's what I played when I read this thread):

v v
e|--------3h5--5/7--5-----------------------------------------------------------------5-------------|
b|--3/5------------------8p5--8-10-8~~~--6p5--5----5---5----------------------5------------|
g|------------------------------------------------------7b--7b--7b/rp5---------------5-------------|
d|--------------------------------------------------------------------------7-5--5h7-----------------|
a|------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
e|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
#18
any major chord, will ahve the first, third and fith note of its scale in it thus


D= -------/-------/-1--/-----/-----/------------
A= ---3--/------/-----/---5/-----/--------------
E= ------/---1-/-----/-----/-----/--------------

number refers to which note from its scale

these are the 3 notes you want to be concentration's on, beginning from the root note of the particular chord overlay, and of course there octaves.

(pulled from the major scale)
#19
IMO, the best way to get started with improvisation is to hum a short, easy lick (that's easy) over the chords, then finding the tune you've just hummed on the fretboard. Remember that you can move any of these kind of patterns up and down the fretboard to fit with different keys.
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#20
Quote by Raziel2p
IMO, the best way to get started with improvisation is to hum a short, easy lick (that's easy) over the chords, then finding the tune you've just hummed on the fretboard. Remember that you can move any of these kind of patterns up and down the fretboard to fit with different keys.


That is in no way improvisational. When you are in the middle of the song that all you know is the chords that are being played, the band isn't gunna stop playing so you can hum out a nice tune, write it down, then start back up and play it. Improv is playing on the fly, your technique could work when writing songs however.
#21
Ok, is it just me or do UG guitarists not know how to play anything other than pentatonics, and also have an inherent distaste for learning any sort of music theory? OMG, SCALEZ ARE BAD! edg seems like the only guy I've come across on this site that has a clue.
#22
Funny, the only Guitarists I've ran into so far are the ones who think it's impossible to be a good player without learning and practicing highly advanced theory, and insist that anybody who disagrees with them can't play for ****.

Nobody's putting down scales, and nobody's given you a reason to believe that they're not interested in learning music theory, so get off your high horse and stop acting like giving a novice player simple advice is above you because you've cracked a book and he hasn't.
#23
Pay attention of rhythm. Don't do just sixteenth notes.
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