#1
i've got the minor pentatonics in all 5 patterns all over the board down, and i practice them every day. however i play them in triplets or in their normal straight ascending and descending pattern. i'm trying to figure out how to improv over songs, but it's so hard to get things to sound right. it always sounds terrible. i don't know when to bend, or go for legato, or slide into the next pattern, or if i can just jump two or three patterns ahead.... i just don't know. i've been playing about 4.5 months now and i'm trying to hit this stuff on the head. anyway if anyone can offer me some advice i'd appreciate it. thanks.
#2
You've been playing for 5 months. It takes years to get really good at improv. However, there are a few things you can do.

1. Practice each pattern as an island. Force yourself to get comfortable in each pattern alone. After that, you can connect adjacent patterns until you view the fretboard as one pattern.

2. Train your ear. You want to be able to play whatever you hear.

3. Learn theory. My sig and the MT FAQ are good resources.

4. Spend many hours practicing improv over all kinds of progressions. Loop chord progressions in PT or GP, or buy a loop station.

5. Jam with people.

6. Watch the "Melodic Control" video in my sig.
#3
The easy way is to Jam with people and with songs. Mess around till you find the right scales and just start playing them. Focus on songs with a really strong beat, it'll make it easier to follow at first.
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#4
The biggest thing about improvising is to just play. If you know your scales, find a song you can use them on and just go crazy with one specific pattern. Any notes on the pattern will fit, no matter what order or rhythm you play them in. If you start doing that, you'll develop an ear for it, and you'll be able to tell what you want it to sound like, and you'll know what to do to make it sound like that. It just takes time and experience, so get practicing!
#5
The way that I got decent at improvising was I would play the scale and it would just sort of come to me. Add bends vibratos hammerons and pull offs to add feeling to your sound. I would listen to soungs that i knew the keys of and just sit there with my electric guitar hoocked up as I would make my own imrov to the music. If you are working with the minor pentatonic scales you might want to get into the boxes because you can improv a lot out of them. I would also try to connect the scales in some way when I am improving so you don't hear the same old sound in the same old positions this also gives you a good feel for the guitar. It helps to know your theory cause you could come up with some really great Ideas and feel like you really rock
#6
Learning theory will help a lot. You can practice those 5 patterns all you want and it's a handy reference, but understanding the notes and intervals of scales will help you much, much more.
#7
i suggest checking into joe satriani's "crystal planet" album, i've gone through a few songs just learning the main parts by ear, and it helped my phrasing immensely
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#8
Quote by bangoodcharlote
You've been playing for 5 months. It takes years to get really good at improv. However, there are a few things you can do.

1. Practice each pattern as an island. Force yourself to get comfortable in each pattern alone. After that, you can connect adjacent patterns until you view the fretboard as one pattern.

2. Train your ear. You want to be able to play whatever you hear.

3. Learn theory. My sig and the MT FAQ are good resources.

4. Spend many hours practicing improv over all kinds of progressions. Loop chord progressions in PT or GP, or buy a loop station.

5. Jam with people.

6. Watch the "Melodic Control" video in my sig.


Yep yep

Also it may help to learn a bunch of licks and find out what position they are in and try and use them in your jams. Also, don't just go up and down scales, practice different scale patterns and such.
#9
Quote by ouchies
Also it may help to learn a bunch of licks
Ahh yes, the lick-tionary.

It's okay to steal, er, borrow licks from your favorite as long as you don't rip off their entire style.
#10
It's improvising. It's meant to be hard, otherwise everyone would be able to do it. Also learning theory is important and all but remember your ear is the greatest tool. If you 'feel' or 'hear' a note needs to be resolved, use your ear and find the note you need to resolve to etc.
#11
Quote by BOBThaBuilda
i've been playing about 4.5 months now and i'm trying to hit this stuff on the head. anyway if anyone can offer me some advice i'd appreciate it. thanks.


It seems hard right now because you still have to think a lot about the notes you're
using, what your fingers are doing, and what to do with the scale at the same time
you're trying to create music on the spot.

I'd suggest just starting out with Blues and learn the ins & outs of playing over the
same I - IV - V progression.

Learn some common blues licks (101 Must Know Blues Licks by Wolf Marshall is
pretty good). Licks are generally just a few bars, so memorize a few, try and see
how they fit into the pentatonic scale you know and play around with them over
a backing track. Add your own stuff to experiment.

That'll at least get you started.
#12
Quote by BOBThaBuilda
i've got the minor pentatonics in all 5 patterns all over the board down, and i practice them every day. however i play them in triplets or in their normal straight ascending and descending pattern. i'm trying to figure out how to improv over songs, but it's so hard to get things to sound right. it always sounds terrible. i don't know when to bend, or go for legato, or slide into the next pattern, or if i can just jump two or three patterns ahead.... i just don't know. i've been playing about 4.5 months now and i'm trying to hit this stuff on the head. anyway if anyone can offer me some advice i'd appreciate it. thanks.

no one is going to be very good at improv at 4.5 months. i didnt really know how to solo until 6 months actually. at least you started practicing scales earlier than me. but id have to say if you have only been playing 4.5 months, you dont have scale down yet. having it down would imply that you could play all around the neck with ease and without thinking about it. just knowing the shape and knowing some sequence paterns doesnt really mean you have it down.

the only thing that really helps improv is....well improvising. do it every day. just pop in some CD's and jam along. i started doing that as soon as i knew any form of scales. also, try learning licks from your favorite artists. look up tabs or maybe try by ear. it cant hurt to try and learn by ear. it will help in the future. try picking up licks by ear first and then find the tabs later. i always do that. if i really cant figure something out, like a chord usually, ill look it up.

but just keep improvising and it will come. unfortuantly it takes time.
#13
I suggest you seek out a good teacher to help you in your quest. You will be surprised at how much you can learn in a very short amount of time when there is a competent coach helping you with new techniques and ideas.