#1
All of the theory I can find about improvising solos talks about playing over chord progressions.
Most of the stuff my band plays is riffs.
If I want to solo over them I can figure something out that fits but often have difficulty improvising because often the riffs do not fit into a scale.

I suppose if all of the notes from the riff were in the Em scale, I could improvise in Em (or some alternatives).

However, often the riff is vaguely in E i.e with a chug on the E but the other notes are not in the scale.

I tend to just play away in Em or E harmonic minor anyway, but is there a better way of doing this?
Main Gear:
Ibanez RG550EX
Ibanez S470
Epiphone SG CS Ltd Ed 1966 Reissue
Cort M200/WS
Richwood RS17CCE acoustic
Hayden Mofo
Harley Benton 2x12 Celestion V30

My Band - Haemasmtha
#2
Play in key...?
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#3
I improvise based on what sounds good, rather than worry about the theory behind it

My ears won't lie...my logic will
#4
Yeah yeah, all very much help.

There is no such thing as "in key", that's the problem.

And I can play what sounds good but when you're trying to improvise with speed you need some scales to base the improvisation on.
Main Gear:
Ibanez RG550EX
Ibanez S470
Epiphone SG CS Ltd Ed 1966 Reissue
Cort M200/WS
Richwood RS17CCE acoustic
Hayden Mofo
Harley Benton 2x12 Celestion V30

My Band - Haemasmtha
#6
Why must it?

I suppose if you analyse any riff you can find it belongs to some bizarre scale.
But, for example, one riff contains the notes E, Eb, B, D, C#, B.
I don't know of any scale they belong to, unless you say it's Bminor with the Eb as a chromatic passing note (which is probably what I would do for soloing).
Main Gear:
Ibanez RG550EX
Ibanez S470
Epiphone SG CS Ltd Ed 1966 Reissue
Cort M200/WS
Richwood RS17CCE acoustic
Hayden Mofo
Harley Benton 2x12 Celestion V30

My Band - Haemasmtha