#1
Okay, been learning electric guitar for around 5 months now (mostly slow-ish Blues)...

I'm fine when learning and playing short, individual licks... they sound varied and different.

But when i have a go at improvising and putting short licks together into longer solos, everything just starts sounding the same... the same rhythm every time, repetitive patterns and phrasings, and pretty unexciting… it all sounds pretty monotone at times.

Any advice/help appreciated to get over the sameness! Thanks.
#2
give it time, it will evolve into something good soon enough.
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#3
uve only played for 5 months, your not gonna suddenly be a guitar god....give it time and you will branch out
#4
learn different note patterns
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#5
I found that when playing bluesy stuff. A tip is to learn different scales and get different backing tracks, not just the "blues in Am" or "Shuffle in Em". Try the phrygian mode to start off with
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#6
listen to more music of what your trying to play. then take little licks from your favorite players, make up your own and find your own way of playing. listening is the most of it, if you don't know what your favorite performers did, then you won't be able to play in the style of them
#7
Quote by geetarmanic
Okay, been learning electric guitar for around 5 months now (mostly slow-ish Blues)...

I'm fine when learning and playing short, individual licks... they sound varied and different.

But when i have a go at improvising and putting short licks together into longer solos, everything just starts sounding the same... the same rhythm every time, repetitive patterns and phrasings, and pretty unexciting… it all sounds pretty monotone at times.

Any advice/help appreciated to get over the sameness! Thanks.


You're expecting too much, you're not going to be able to construct anything meaningful after just 5 months - think about the kind of stories you used to write when you'd only been writing for 5 months, it's the same difference.

Best thing to do for the time being is just concentrate on learning to play the guitar and expanding your musical horizons, you've still got a hell of a lot of learning to do. The more knowledge and experience you have to draw on the better chance you'll have of creating music. There's no shortcut to that though, they both take time, and of course you always need the technical ability to allow you to express those ideas.
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#10
When I get stuck in a rut, I try learning music that's different to what I'm struggling with. By the time I go back to the first thing, I usually pick up a few tricks/ideas that I can apply to it. So, don't just limit yourself to blues. Try learning some classical music or possibly some weird scales. Maybe you'll come across something that sounds cool that you can use in your improvising.
#11
Quote by steven seagull
...think about the kind of stories you used to write when you'd only been writing for 5 months, it's the same difference.


That's a fair point... it also brought to mind the concept of phrases and "sentences" which i remember reading about somewhere: the idea that phrases are to guitar playing as sentences are to writing and speaking (or something to that effect).

One of the exercises I'm spending some time on right now is to take just one small area of the Pentatonic Blues scale (say four notes over two strings) and see all the different ideas i can come up with in just that small region... am i on the right lines?
#12
Yes, by experimenting you could come up with mind-blowing riff. Make sure you're using scales other then blues scales. You can make blues out of any scale you want.
#13
Quote by geetarmanic
That's a fair point... it also brought to mind the concept of phrases and "sentences" which i remember reading about somewhere: the idea that phrases are to guitar playing as sentences are to writing and speaking (or something to that effect).

One of the exercises I'm spending some time on right now is to take just one small area of the Pentatonic Blues scale (say four notes over two strings) and see all the different ideas i can come up with in just that small region... am i on the right lines?

That's actually an awesome exercise to do - by limiting yourself so much it really forces you to be creative and squeeze as much as you can out of those 4 notes. It's surprising just how much you can do within that space.

Even rigidly sticking to those notes you can make something pretty interesting, but once you include all the other things that are possible within that space such as slides, bends, harmonics, doublestops, chromatic movement, hammer ons, pull offs, staccato, muting etc etc the possibilities are near endless.
Actually called Mark!

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#14
If I was to occasionaly skip between different scales during the same solo - say between the A Pentatonic Blues Scale and another one - are there any that you'd recommend? The Phrygian scale was mentioned earlier. Any others? Thanks.
#15
Learn new scales. Try and learn more genres and incorporate them into ure improvs.
#16
^ Yes, thanks for the advice... i was asking about specific scales in my previous question just posted.
#17
At least you are aware that everything you play sounds repetitive. Many people don't notice or just don't care, even after years of playing. i.e: Kenny Wayne Shepard.
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#18
Quote by geetarmanic
^ Yes, thanks for the advice... i was asking about specific scales in my previous question just posted.


What type of music do you like?

I can safely say almost all rock/classic rock was in a minor pentatonic. A lot of metal is in phrygian, harmonic minor, natural minor and a fair amount of metal solos your pentatonics.

A lot of other genres are written in major scales. If you've heard the song "Cliffs of Dover" it's written in G major...I think.

But remember everything is based off the major scale so you should learn that first, then learn how everything is related.
#19
Sorry didn't notice that you played blues.

Learn all the positions of the blues scale. It will give you the most bluesy sound. Sorry I can't give you any other tips, I'm not into jazz and blues so I don't know much about them.
#20
The natural minor is also used in some blues, especially gospel influenced blues. "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground" comes to mind.
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#22
^ Thanks. Another thing that's helping is switching to playing in another key... i've mostly played/practiced in 'A' but tried shifting the Blues scale to 'B' and was pleased with the new sound and the slight variety it has brought to my playing.
#23
Youve only been playing for a few months..so you will need to
give your self alot more time before you start composing symphonies.

You play the blues...I love the blues with all my heart...but Blues
guitar has a lot of cliches. In blues guitar it is also acceptable
to play the exact same riffs. It is usually very structured and
you can telegraph the songs...so you dont get challenged very
much to sound different.

Listen to more kinds of music...Learn from everything..

I say that music is a language. The collection of left and right
hand techniques..along with scales/modes and chords you
know are your vocabulary. When you are not strong in therory
and techniques you have a very small vocabulary..so you cant
say very much. Learn as much theory as you can..because
everything you learn musically ..no matter where it comes from
builds on your *musical vocabulary*. The greatest guitar players
were strong in theory and tekniks...and that is why they were
able to express themselves with such success. You sound like
you have the music inside of you from your frustration. You
just need more musical knowledge to translate it through your
instrument....
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#24
Quote by slogankid1
I found that when playing bluesy stuff. A tip is to learn different scales... Try the phrygian mode to start off with


I've been trying the Phrygian scale in 'A' (this one) and it sounds kinda flamenco-ish... can't seem to give it a bluesy feel.
#25
Phrygian is hard to get the sound you're looking for. It's probably not going to be as easy to play blues as other scales is what i'm trying to say.

I write a lot of my songs in A phrygian, so I'm pretty experienced with it.