#1
Ok, I expect that this sort of problem applies to lots of people, so i don't feel guilty in posting it here.

I can now play pentatonic scales quite well (by that I know the 5 different positions and can join them together), and I can essentially come up with my own solos. My problem is that I cannot generate the energy or excitement that I get when I watch other players play.

I was once told by Hamilton Loomis (an awesome blues guitarist- youtube him) that learn what your idols play and try to incorporate that into your playing.

I am a big fan of John Mayer (don't hate me), Clapton and Stevie Ray, but when I learn their live solos I find that is sounds fine if I am playing it exactly as they play it, but when I break it up into my own solos (steal their licks basically) it loses a lot of its impact.

I also have a problem with coming up with licks- they tend to be a burst of 3 or4 notes that follow each other in the scale.

What I need is advise on how you can overcome this problem and and possibly exercises that you know that will help me improve.
Cheers, Will.
Last edited by Will883 at Jun 21, 2008,
#3
Learn vocal melodies.

You should "know" the fretboard well enough to play the melodies in your head. You know what you like, so once you become good enough w/ the fretboard, should be fairly simple?

That's what I did at least.
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#5
u want a solo to learn i think? here it is: LEARN THE SOLOS TO the Disturbed's Inside The Fire and Stricken. Stricken's my personal fave
#6
To be able to improv, which is what I think you mean, you need to be able to point at a fret and know what note it is almost immediately and be able to sound it out in your head. That way you know what frets to play that would sound good together.
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#7
If you can play Mayer, Clapton, & SRV solos note for note, then you have solid chops you just need to find your own voice... Practice over backing tracks and phrasing lines like vocal melodies as mentioned above is great advice. let your lines 'breathe' with pauses. All three of those players have stock licks they use a lot, keep learning their solos & embellish them, learn the licks in different places on the neck, change them rhythmically and so on.
#8
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#10
+1 to everything said, wish I could have said it before they did...

Did anyone mention to use pentatonics instead of major/minor scales? It's better for someone just starting to improvise. I know someone suggested copying a singers phrasing, which is good too.

Also, try to play with more confidence and try not to worry whether or not your hitting the wrong notes (although an undeliberate dead note is a wrong note, you still need good technique). There is no right or wrong notes in music and there is no good and bad in music because its completely subjective.
#11
Repetition.

Watch Scott Henderson's Melodic Phrasing video.
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#12
Thanks for all of the advise- incidentally,
@ :-D I know both the scales and the patterns,

And I also have a good enough knowledge of the fretboard to play a note and know what it will be and sound like.
Stash Jam summed it up in a line, I need to find my voice- and unfortunately I can come up with some good sounding licks in my head when, I am in the shower, or on the bus- but I forget them as soon as I pick up the guitar. Any suggestions to remembering them?
I am going to have a go at embellishing, so I am going to spend the whole day playing practising what you have said.

Thanks everybody
#13
You just have to sit down, and keep on improvising over a track. Just keep playing, mess around with different styles, different scales. You can still use the pentatonics if you don't wanna go into other scales just yet. Try and make your own lick, your own pattern. Try playing a solo just going as fast as you can possibly go, then try slowing it down and really emphasizing on different notes to make each one stand out. Then try incorporating both styles. Have some fast runs that move into a slower kind of thing, and don't be afraid to hold that bend for a bar or two. Vibrato really helps, it can do wonders to change that simple A note into the reason you're being called a genius.

The key is to just sit and keep playing and watching other people play until you develop your own style.
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#14
Quote by Will883
Thanks for all of the advise- incidentally,
@ :-D I know both the scales and the patterns,

And I also have a good enough knowledge of the fretboard to play a note and know what it will be and sound like.
Stash Jam summed it up in a line, I need to find my voice- and unfortunately I can come up with some good sounding licks in my head when, I am in the shower, or on the bus- but I forget them as soon as I pick up the guitar. Any suggestions to remembering them?
I am going to have a go at embellishing, so I am going to spend the whole day playing practising what you have said.

Thanks everybody

Carry a recording device with you and hum anything you come up with - obviously make sure its waterproof if you're in the shower.
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#15
Well, if you know all the five pentatonic shapes, try joining the adjacent shapes together. So 1 & 2, 2 & 3 etc. All the way back to 1 again (so 5 & 1). When you do this, you have suddenly created a 3 note per string pattern.

I've forgot to quote your post but what I'm getting at is your comment on exercises to improve.

For these 3 note per string pattens; Legato them, alternate pick, economy pick, string skip these patterns (so like, the 3 notes on the E string, then the 3 notes on the D string, then on B string). Do the same on the remaining 3 strings.

All this'll keep you going for another couple of months at least....

Its a good strength builder and for developing speed, especially with legato.
#16
+1 on repetition. How many times does David Gilmour play this style of lick in the second Comfortably Numb solo?


--------5 
------5
-7(9)

I can't remember how many times he does it, but it's enough for me to remember he DOES do it :P If you can get hold of a decent melody, and play around with the phrasing and notes (maybe play the whole thing up a few degrees?) it will make it easier for the listener to remember your solo.
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