Ok, I'm in somewhat of a dilemma. I'm having trouble figuring out how I'm supposed to solo using solely intervals and notes. I can see how you could do this if you were to sit down and write a solo but not If you were improvising on the fly. Example: You were playing a song in the key of A minor. You want to improvise a solo. You think in your head:"I know the notes in A minor are A B C D E F G, the interval for the minor pentatonic scale is 1,b3,4,5,b7." How can you improvise with just this knowledge? Yes it helps you know how things work theory wise but it doesn't seem like you can rely on just this during an improv. To me, it seems that you need the boxes for structure, a way to visualize how the notes and intervals are laid out across the neck.
I don't see how you could improv just going by notes i.e." Ok, I have a C note here, there's an A note over here etc" It seems impossible be able to recall this stuff on the fly with any moderate speed. How do you guys do it? People say the boxes are fine but the notes and intervals are more important. I just don't see how. I know the interval for the major scale is 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. The interval for the minor pentatonic is 1,b3,4,5,b7. I know how to find what notes fit in what key/scale. I just don't see it as a realistic approach to soloing. Im sure you could use this knowledge in a solo that you sit down and compose but not something you just come up with in a jam. I realize this is hella long and I'm sorry. I'm just really confused about this. How do you guys do it?
I have yet to move on into improv, but maybe if you know what chords you're going to solo over

EX : if you're gonna play a chord progression of C Maj - F Major - G Major

While your playing the riff, if you know you're going to be soloing over those 3 chords, just think this "what is the 1st, 3rd, and 5th interval for each of those chords"?

then just use them, not sure if this would work, but seems liek it's worth a try.
a cappella or course i sing a solo instead of using the guitar or instead of doing that i just smash my guitar and eat the strings
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It's really about memorizing. Memorize different scales and modes that are minor, even major, and then you know the basics, and you can play around with them see which sound good over what stuff. Just memorize and learn you notes and scales first, then when you go to improvise, it won't be so plain.
well, it takes practice. I put on my 12 bar blues in a minor and i use the pentatonic minor to solo over it. You are over complicating things- Just play what feels good!

If you're improving, practice getting the feel of the piece.
well, im not much of an improviser, but the way i do so, is I memorize a few patterns and then change the key of it, if that makes sense. I like doing slow sweeping in random improvisions, so I memorized a few scale Patterns (Ex: D Minor, A Major.) By using those 2 patterns, I can develope major and minor sweeps that fit the key of the structure. Knowing information of theory actually does help alot, it just takes a little bit of effort to remember the theory and notes on the guitar on spot. Try improvising with slow solo's first, till it comes to you. hope i helped
By ear. It's easy when you know where all of your keys are. That way, I hardly ever just play random licks and am able to forge out melodic lines as well.
i think scales have a lot to do with that and if you memorize scales improving solos and writing solos come so much easier
Ok, I'm gonna try to give you some help here, but soloing is such a personal thing, that I can't just tell you what I do, and then you expect it to help you.

My thought on guitar solos are that they are the climax and orgasm of the song. They put the part in the song that the vocals can't accomplish. Every orgasm is different right? So that is why I no longer write out my solos. I used to, and they felt very stiff, and organized. Just another part of the song.

Now, come time for a solo on the record, I just play over the pentatonics, and add in a major run to mix it up. It might sound mundane, but every solo, to me has so much more of a different sound. If I play the song live, I just do another solo, because the solo to me, is how the song as an individual is being played at that very time. I like to pull a Slash in the studio, what ever comes out on the first recording is what goes on the album. Unless it sucks, it goes on there. I have only copied and pasted stuff when I had a great solo on one of my songs called "You Are the One" but I accidentally added a blue note in there when it shouldn't have been there.
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Bluesy styled pentatonic scales XD
dude, man just feel the way the music moves... hendrix soloed all over the place because he didn;t care for the proper textbook in-key soloing... try different stuff, experimentation over education...
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dude, man just feel the way the music moves... hendrix soloed all over the place because he didn;t care for the proper textbook in-key soloing... try different stuff, experimentation over education...

Hendrix generally played in key. He also knew a fair bit of music theory and intended to study it further before his death. Education is tremendously important for any musician.
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dude, man just feel the way the music moves... hendrix soloed all over the place because he didn;t care for the proper textbook in-key soloing... try different stuff, experimentation over education...
This kind of thinking should be ignored because the people who make comments such as this don't know what the hell they're talking about.
do experiment, you will find what sounds good and what doesn't
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This kind of thinking should be ignored because the people who make comments such as this don't know what the hell they're talking about.

The lead guitarist of my band is completely self taught, he has no formal knowledge of music theory and his solos blow me the hell away. I dont think his solos are the same every time, and I asked him how he does it, cause I've tried to get a lot of theory down, which helps me as I've been playing for a far shorter duration than he has, but he told me he does it completely by ear. He knows whats where on the fretboard and he just rips through it.

He doesnt know what note is called what, or what the name of some chord is, he just plays it and he can find you the same note anywhere on the fretboard, play the same riff in a dozen places and in a dozen ways. I dont think that this kind of thinking should be ignored.

I get that he's been playing for a long time and what he learned from experience, I could learn in a shorter time using theory, but just because one way works, doesnt mean another way wont.
Listen to what you're playing. It's key to improvising and playing the guitar in general to LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN to what you're playing.

If you stick to the key you're in, using just three or four notes, if you actually listen to your playing you'll sound infinitely better.
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BGC Im surprised you didn't again suggest your soloing video. I watched it last night. It starts to be somewhat near helpful at first, then just becomes a music video. He does not discuss WHY he plays any of the notes, or with what technique. If someone had a complete knowledge of scales and modes, and knew them all on the fretboard, yet could not improvise well with this, that would be helpful. However for people like me who have a limited knowledge of a few scales, and a very crude idea of how theory works, that video is just frustrating. Perhaps when making an instructional video you should not play every example like a ****ing Van Halen solo. I'm gonna jump that guy if I ever see him.
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