#1
So I have recently read over this lesson and i seem to have gotten my head over all of the concepts described there (hord formation, scales, modes....). But even with all this new knowledge i cant seem to make even a short solo, and even simple chord progresions give me trouble. I was mostly improvising in pentatonic minor for a year now, before learning this, and i got quite good at it, even wrote a couple of solos and songs. But now when using for example the major scale or a natural minor, i cant put together anything that sounds like music. So any tips on building solos?
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#2
Quote by gorkyporky
So I have recently read over this lesson and i seem to have gotten my head over all of the concepts described there (hord formation, scales, modes....). But even with all this new knowledge i cant seem to make even a short solo, and even simple chord progresions give me trouble. I was mostly improvising in pentatonic minor for a year now, before learning this, and i got quite good at it, even wrote a couple of solos and songs. But now when using for example the major scale or a natural minor, i cant put together anything that sounds like music. So any tips on building solos?
Hey Gorky J. Porky
Easiest thing I can suggest is that you watch melodic control here Than read my repost.

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I think you should take it back a step. If I said you were playing major/minor scales (instead of pentatonics) would I be right? Well take a step back and start playing the simple pentatonic scales.

Once you've learnt a few shapes (2 or 3 is fine) of the pentatonic scale, you probably should try to focus on what you feel is the right next note and play REALLY slow. Try to listen to some of those slow expressive blues solo's to get what I mean. Whilst doing this, try to become proficient at moving around the fretboard and between shapes. Aim to be able to slide between 3 or 4 notes on the same string.
Copying a singers phrasing and rhthym is generally a good idea to when learning how to improvise. And I dont mean metal singers/screamers, who sing really fast. Copy something slow. This is how people started writing those slow blues solo's.

Doing this will get your phrasing (by copying those singers) and your technique (by moving between shapes) ready for doing some real solo's (as in, stuff that sounds good).

Than after you've got all that down and when you're good enough to say that you personally enjoy what you're playing (it took me a couple of years to enjoy my pentatonic wankery), you'll be ready to move on. Than study the major scale, the intervals behind it, the way these intervals create harmonic/melodic consonance and dissonance and watch melodic control by marty friedman. Pretty much look for and study as much theory as you can eat. And analyse solo's, ask yourself, why do they sound good?
At this stage you should start realising that the same note can sound better or worse over different chords and some notes sound better or worse when followed (or preceeded) by some notes. Exploiting this will enable you to control what you're solo's are going to feel like, instead of blindly looking for the right note.
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#3
Don't write solos, improvise them.
Emo is to music as etch-a-sketch is to art.

Quote by TMVolta19
Music can't really be judged, since it's all on the same level. Unless it's screamo. then it sucks.
#4
when i solo i dont think about if its in the key or not. For me, i'll improvise a solo and i'll then go to write all i remember down, if a note happens to not sound to good, ill change it to something in the key. That always works for me.
#5
Quote by omarrodrigez
Don't write solos, improvise them.


in a way he's right,most of the best solos were improvised twice or so and then the best bits threw together
However if it's gonna be a tricky neo-classical solo etc you would probably need to arrange what you're gonna do
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#6
How can you write a solo in pentatonic minor and not the natural minor? I mean, there's a couple more notes, but it shouldn't be impossible.

Focus more on the pentatonic notes and throw in the other intervals where you think will sound good.
#7
Personally, I view solo's as a song within a song, so I improvise at first and see what feels natural to the solo, then I build on it from there. If I end up playing the same licks from other solo's, I try to change them a bit, or just make it slightly more interesting. Don't forget, there should be some sort of start, middle and end to a solo, no matter how rough. A massive blast of notes isn't a solo, but a warm-up exercise.

Hope this helps.
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thanks for the compliment man!
#8
Also, don't solo in pentatonic. It sounds so cheesy.
Emo is to music as etch-a-sketch is to art.

Quote by TMVolta19
Music can't really be judged, since it's all on the same level. Unless it's screamo. then it sucks.
#9
Quote by M.B.MetalTabber
Personally, I view solo's as a song within a song, so I improvise at first and see what feels natural to the solo, then I build on it from there. If I end up playing the same licks from other solo's, I try to change them a bit, or just make it slightly more interesting. Don't forget, there should be some sort of start, middle and end to a solo, no matter how rough. A massive blast of notes isn't a solo, but a warm-up exercise.

Hope this helps.
Hmm, I guess that sort of comes under phrasing? I'd say phrasing is the most important aspect, than note choice and than the harmonic content (the chords underneath).

I dont really like the sound of non-improvised solos. I guess alot of guys do, as your more likely to hear one of those in a rock song.

And dont forget to se some repetition in your solos. If you improvising and you find a sweet phrase, repeat it for gods sake, and change it a little bit.
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[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
[U]      //| \      |       |      [/U]
[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
      *-|-*    (_)     `-’
        |
        L.
#10
I'm currently learning how to improvise too, I can only solo in the Major Pentatonics and the Major Diatonics lol.. but I'm gettin there, I'm trying to learn how to make other scales using the circle of fifths.

oh here's a question, if you have a C Major Diatonic, then using the circle of fifths to get a sharp, would the G Major scale be in the same key as C? thnks for any help
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#11
Quote by omarrodrigez
Also, don't solo in pentatonic. It sounds so cheesy.


-1

Arguably some of the most memorable guitar solos have been based on the pentatonics. I do believe that the penatonic scale shouldn't be the only one you use, but it shouln't be overlooked or mis-labled either. Just my $0.02
#12
Listen to solos from a bunch of different musicians and try to learn them. Even if you can't learn them, learn from some of the things they do.

For example, I can play on a wicked slap solo on bass, because I learned from various musicians (Flea and Claypool to name two) how to use the awesome technique known as slap and pop.
Also, on guitar, I've learned to use the half-steps in scales as prominently as the whole-steps. What I mean by that is, for example, in G minor, instead of doing what I used to do (play G, A, C, D, F, G up and down and around), I hang more around the 2nd and 3rd (A and Bb) and the 5th and 6th (D and Eb). In G major it would be the 7th and 8th (F# and G) and the 3rd and 4th (B and C).
#13
You could try thinking outside of scales all together. A scale is simply a collection of intervals, so try breaking it down to its fundamentals. When writing a solo, think of what your trying to express, then find the interval or the melodic collection of intervals that would best express that. Want something that won't cause too much dissonance? Go from the note your key would start on then head to one of the thirds, major or minor, then to the perfect fifth. Want some dissonance then resolve it, go from from the "root" to the minor sixth to the fifth.

Another idea I can give you is if you chord progression is written in a key, then you could just play the notes in the chord (called an arpeggio) and it will always fit.

Good luck.
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