#1
I've realized that I'm reached somewhat of a musical plateau lately.

Besides the basic stuff, I've had quite a lot of practice in improvising (major and minor pentatonics, chromatic scales, blues scale, dorian mode). I can tremolo pretty fast, and I've pretty much over-used this to hide the fact that I'm actually a pretty slow player. I can do trills, sure. I can hammer-on and pull-off moderately fast, but only on two notes.

As in, when I improvise, the trills that I do without thinking tend to be only those involving two notes on the same string. And I find it hard to do these trills, then move on to a different single note on a different string (hope this makes sense).

So, yes. I practice stuff like hammering and pulling off on two/three notes etc on one string, but I can't seem to move further than that while soloing. For example, it doesn't come naturally to me to do a trill on the low e string, then move up to a trill on the b string. In these cases, I tend to do the trill, then start tremolo-ing.

And as for improvising, my ideas seem to have run a bit dry. They sound too much like I'm running through the scale, even with vibrato/legato/bends etc.

So, yes. I could do with the following:

1. Some ideas for soloing. (I probably already know them, but it won't hurt).
2. Some examples of how to expand beyond the standard riffs and licks in A minor pentatonic (keep it in this key, I can transpose it anyway). (For some reason, I sound too bluesy when I'm using this scale.)
3. Exercises etc that can help me improve generally in terms of speed and creative solo ideas.

Thanks.
#2
Thie first thing you should do is stop bending, vibrato, *insert any technique you use too much here* when you improvise. This may be difficult but when you start to use these techniques again (after improving technique and whatnot) you'll find that you use them much more appropriately.)

I'd recommend buying Marty Friedman's 99 Lead Guitar secrets. It's nearly 40 bucks, but if you have the money to spare or have a birthday coming up, it's 99 lead licks, most of which are very cool.
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If Hendrix, Clapton and Page were to jam, the most impressive guitarist playing would be Paul Gilbert.


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#3
Play some songs by artists who use that scale in a creative way. Maybe play some Dave Gilmour solos he makes the pent scale sing. Neil Young has many great solos that sound like he just recorded them while improving. Cortez the Killer is a great song by Young with excellent phrazing in its long solo.
Try some new songs different from your typical genre and also check out Marty Friedmans lessons on you tube or various other lessons on melodic playing.
#4
First, go back and work on the things that you THINK you know. You most likely don't know them as well as you think you do. Work on bending in tune; do this by fretting a note and bending up to it from several different frets below it, and do it all over the neck so that you and your hand know instinctively how much effort to put into each bend. One fret below (half-step), 2 frets below (whole-step), and 3 frets (1 and a half steps). If you have a tuner, work on your vibrato with it. Wide vibrato might work in some situations, but it's inappropriate to use more often than not. Try to keep the pitch right around the note that you're fretting. Also, work on classical vibrato. Look it up if you don't know what it is.

For legato, take a look at this tutorial. It's the best:
http://www.justinguitar.com/en/MA-042-MartinGoulding1.php

Second, learn about chords NOW. Learn their structure and how to follow the changes. This can't be stressed enough. If you learn about real melody, then you'll never run out of ideas. If you send me a PM with your email address, I can send you a file that will teach you all about this and change the way that you play. Seriously!
known as Jeff when it really matters
#5
I'd learn some Theory and how to apply it. Read these lessons and articles by Steve Vai at vai.com. Go to the Little Black Dots section.
#6
Quote by titopuente

For legato, take a look at this tutorial. It's the best:
http://www.justinguitar.com/en/MA-042-MartinGoulding1.php


No ****in way! I took a week's lessons with this chap about 2 years ago, and he's probably the reason my legato is any good today. He's a much better teacher in person than he is in those lessons or the ones in GT magazine - and he's the second best tapper (for shred!) in England, far as i know.

If you want to see the end results of Martin's legato tuition, there's a vid linked to the first smiley in my sig. It's the only part of my technique i feel is reasonably good and i owe him for it.

Quote by Time Seller

1. Some ideas for soloing. (I probably already know them, but it won't hurt).
2. Some examples of how to expand beyond the standard riffs and licks in A minor pentatonic (keep it in this key, I can transpose it anyway). (For some reason, I sound too bluesy when I'm using this scale.)
3. Exercises etc that can help me improve generally in terms of speed and creative solo ideas.

Thanks.


Sorry for not answering you properly, here you go - https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=220004

That'll give you ideas for more than just soloing.
#8
No ****in way! I took a week's lessons with this chap about 2 years ago, and he's probably the reason my legato is any good today. He's a much better teacher in person than he is in those lessons or the ones in GT magazine - and he's the second best tapper (for shred!) in England, far as i know.

I have all his GT lessons, that mag owns hard.
Sorry to hijack this thread, but should my arm be feeling pretty bad after trying these for a few minutes?

http://www.justinguitar.com/images/MA_images/Martin_Goulding/MG-legato-1-1.gif

It's mostly the wrist, I'm not used to these wide stretches.
Call me Batman.
#9
^ well, just be careful and practice with good posture - it should feel exhausted, but sharp or burning pains are a no-no. There's a balance, you have to push yourself, but don't injure yourself. If it's the stretch, move it up the neck some and gradually come down.
#10
Yes, I've found if I do Petrucci's Rock Discipline warm-ups, and BE VERY CAREFUL, I can manage it.
Call me Batman.