Lately I have been hitting theory pretty hard.....between beating my teacher(paino) over the head with questions and studying the mass amounts of articles and lessons on UG, i have learnd a lot...BUT, the only reason im tryin to learn theory is so i can start writing my own material and just be able to sit down and improvise to a backing track of a simple chord progression. and what'd ya know thats the one thing i have failed to learn...I'm not askin for someone to sit hear on this thread and explain the whole thing to me, but i was hoping that you guys could tell what you did to learn to "solo" and improvise(know what chords go with what scale), and maybe give links or even articles on the UG site or other sites that could be help me out!

THanks for the help
There is a certain chord connected to every step of the scale, ie. when you play in an A-minor scale the chord derived from the first step of the scale is - surprise! - A-minor. These chords only use the notes that belong to the scale, so A-major chord doesn't fit in the A-minor scale.

To improvise you just have to take the chords from the song, and determine on which scale they were built. Sounds complicated, but it's easier than you think. I'm searching for some cool article that helped me understand that, wait a second

EDIT Building chords based on scales Analyzing chord progression
Last edited by zombiak at Mar 19, 2008,
how did i learn? simplistically difficult is how i learned.

i turned on the radio, picked a station, maybe classical, maybe rap, maybe pop, maybe rock, maybe reggae. just WHATEVER was playing on a station. then i went. you have a very limited time to ear out the key of the song, the most likely progression used and also play along with it. not easy in the beginning (especially if your ear sucks) but after LOTS of practice i think its worth it.

now i challenge myself by jamming with a friend of mine who ALWAYS WITHOUT FAIL plays in screwed up time sigs like 11/8
well i used serjYankovic's modal chord progression chart here
to produce chord progression's

and this website
to get the scales that apply over the top

its a very basic solution but it worked for me, afterward i went and filled in the theory behind what makes these work

btw getting a looper pedal helped llloooaaads
Probably how a lot of other people started: I played to songs I liked and tried to
use the pentatonic scale without really knowing what I was doing. I learned some
licks and stuff, but never really quite "got it". There was some advantage to doing
it this way I suppose as my fingers got used to doing certain things. I got to
where I could probably crank out a decent solo at times, but playing over some
stuff I was lost and never quite lost the feeling I was just guessing.

Then, I decided to try and figure out what I was doing more. So I just took a
standard I-IV-V blues progression and played and played over it and taught myself
to follow the chord changes with arpeggios and scales. That made a huge
difference. The blues can teach you quite a bit in that single progression. I highly
recommend a lot of practicing with it.
Improvise Improvise Improvise !... that's what made me play the extreme solos i do today !... you have to make ur mind and fingers get used to different scales and variations... once you have played enough of most... you start to improvise and try and create your own peices, and you realize you know lots of scales and techniques that would go here an there ... so my advice from experience is keep playing ...the more things you play... the more creative you get !
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Solos Up !

Barouyr Sarkissian