#1
I am still not sure how to improvise over chord progressions.
Is it necessary to concentrate on each chord change and use chord tones as your boss notes. Or can you just solo using the proper scale and not worry about what chord is being played?
#3
its going to sound confusing, but both at the same time. Keep in mind what chord is coming up next, and aim for your improvised line to either land on a chord tone or encompass some vital chord tones.
#4
Quote by statocat
I am still not sure how to improvise over chord progressions.
Is it necessary to concentrate on each chord change and use chord tones as your boss notes. Or can you just solo using the proper scale and not worry about what chord is being played?
A beginner shouldnt "play the changes." It's a very complicated improvising technique, so dont do it unless you've perfected your phrasing (which takes years, mine still sucks). Or else your phrasing will sound really bad, because your focusing all your attention on which notes to hit and not your phrases.

But if you really must attempt playing the changes, than use simple pentatonics over a simple and slow progression.
#5
Quote by demonofthenight
A beginner shouldnt "play the changes." It's a very complicated improvising technique, so dont do it unless you've perfected your phrasing (which takes years, mine still sucks). Or else your phrasing will sound really bad, because your focusing all your attention on which notes to hit and not your phrases.

But if you really must attempt playing the changes, than use simple pentatonics over a simple and slow progression.


This is exactly my problem right now. I find it almost impossible trying to focus on what chord is being played, what chord is coming up next, and hitting those chord tones while trying to create a melody.
So what do you suggest. Should I just use the proper scale that fits the progression and NOT worry about what chord is being played? If this is the case then all notes from the proper scale can be used at any time?
#6
Quote by demonofthenight
A beginner shouldnt "play the changes." It's a very complicated improvising technique, so dont do it unless you've perfected your phrasing (which takes years, mine still sucks). Or else your phrasing will sound really bad, because your focusing all your attention on which notes to hit and not your phrases.

But if you really must attempt playing the changes, than use simple pentatonics over a simple and slow progression.

So they should just play random notes within the scale then? You can still follow the chord changes within a single scale , that's a relatively simple skill to learn and also good ear training. Playing individual scales over chords is hard admittedly, but simply using root notes of the chords as your guide is a basic, fundamental component of soloing.

The ability to pick the right note over a particular chord is just about the most valuable skill a guitariast can develop. If you know the chords then it's easy to map out instances of the root notes - from there you can use the individual notes as your waypoints, use the full chord shape and base your playing around that or any combination of those things.

You just start with very simple melodies and work from there, try it with a simple I IV V blues progression and and construct a very simple solo make a point basing your phrases around the root notes of the individual chords. As you get more familair with things then make it a bit more complex and takethe time to hear the effect different scale degrees have over the chords.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
Last edited by steven seagull at Aug 11, 2008,
#7
Quote by steven seagull
So they should just play random notes within the scale then? You can still follow the chord changes within a single scale , that's a relatively simple skill to learn and also good ear training. Playing individual scales over chords is hard admittedly, but simply using root notes of the chords as your guide is a basic, fundamental component of soloing.

The ability to pick the right note over a particular chord is just about the most valuable skill a guitariast can develop. If you know the chords then it's easy to map out instances of the root notes - from there you can use the individual notes as your waypoints, use the full chord shape and base your playing around that or any combination of those things.

You just start with very simple melodies and work from there, try it with a simple I IV V blues progression and and construct a very simple solo make a point basing your phrases around the root notes of the individual chords. As you get more familair with things then make it a bit more complex and takethe time to hear the effect different scale degrees have over the chords.


So you are saying to follow the chords and base your note choices around the current chord being played. Is it common to switch scales on the fly to complement the chord being played?

I always though the greats like Clapton, B.B and SRV just played the scale based on the key and didn't follow the chord changes. Do they always base there solos around the current chord going on?
#8
Quote by demonofthenight
A beginner shouldnt "play the changes." It's a very complicated improvising technique, so dont do it unless you've perfected your phrasing (which takes years, mine still sucks). Or else your phrasing will sound really bad, because your focusing all your attention on which notes to hit and not your phrases.

But if you really must attempt playing the changes, than use simple pentatonics over a simple and slow progression.


Oh dear.
#9
Quote by statocat
So you are saying to follow the chords and base your note choices around the current chord being played. Is it common to switch scales on the fly to complement the chord being played?

I always though the greats like Clapton, B.B and SRV just played the scale based on the key and didn't follow the chord changes. Do they always base there solos around the current chord going on?


You don't need to slavishly follow the chords, just be aware of them and, more importantly the effect your notes have on them. And yes, any great player does that, arguably it's one of the abilities that sets a great player apart.

Listen to the Hotel California solo and notice how many times a phrase resolves on the "wrong" note - you can only do that if you're paying attention to the chords in the first place.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#10
first off steven seagull I love you. So helpful and never condescending.

alright I've struggled with this ever since I saw marty friedmans melodic control... he talks about doing this but never says anything about the technicalities of it.

Basically when I sit down to write a solo what notes should I consider?:

A. All the notes in the scale the progression is in.
B. all the notes in the scales of each chord in the progression
C. All the notes in the key of the progression as well as its relative minor
D. all of the above
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#11
Quote by tubetime86

alright I've struggled with this ever since I saw marty friedmans melodic control... he talks about doing this but never says anything about the technicalities of it.



If you want technicalites try "Connecting Chords with Linear Harmony" by
Burt Ligon. Melodic Control is somewhat of a dumbed-down introduction.
#12
Melodic control is a joke, I hate that if anyone askes about soloing they get that link... Have you people watched it? He says "try to play to what chords are being played" and then goes into a 4 minute metal solo all over the fretboard with insane sweeps... he never actually explains anything, and every demonstration is at full speed and all over the frets... completely useless
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#13
Quote by tubetime86
Melodic control is a joke, I hate that if anyone askes about soloing they get that link... Have you people watched it? He says "try to play to what chords are being played" and then goes into a 4 minute metal solo all over the fretboard with insane sweeps... he never actually explains anything, and every demonstration is at full speed and all over the frets... completely useless


I agree he tells you what to play but not how.
To find the chord tones you can use the CAGED template. The CAGED template consists of 1's, 3's and 5's of the scale. As the cord changes so does the template to match the new chord. So if it's a A chord just see the A CAGED template. If you look at the CAGED template as 1,3,5's you can figure out any chord or scale notes from it.

I can find the chord tones no problem when I know what chord is being played. My problem is hearing the chord change and identifying what chord it is by ear. That is why I posted this. I though it might be easier to just play lead based on the Key and randomly use the scale. Now that I think of this more and have read the posts it makes more sense to follow the chords.
#14
Quote by tubetime86
Melodic control is a joke, I hate that if anyone askes about soloing they get that link... Have you people watched it?


I've watched it. It's not that bad for someone who's never thought about it. But,
it does have some questionable stuff in there too. If you get a sense after watching
it that knowing your arpeggios is really really important, then it's done it's job.

Better minds than Friedman have been thinking about this kind of stuff a lot longer.
What he's really talking about ("melodic control" is a farily meaningless title) is
Harmonic Specificity which are melody lines that give a strong suggestion of the
underlying chords. It's an important skill, but by no means is it the only way you
have to play. Harmonically general and/or triadic generalization are other ways
and, in the final analysis, you can completely ignore the harmony at times if your
lines are strong enough.

Anyway, Bert Ligon's book is about the best I've seen on the subject. His "Jazz
Theory Resources" also covers this quite well.
#15
Well, there are two paths you can go on this one and on all solo's that follow your current track. When one is learning how to solo, and they're using a pentatonic scale for instance, it can work over all your chord changes without straying from position. With that said, pick your pentatonic that you wish to use, then blindfold yourself.

Once blindfolded you can count your way to your position (hopefully you pushed "play" on your backing track) and now you let your ear guide you. Loop it for about 3 or 4 times till you have a handle on the said track. Once done, remove blindfold and play it again. Consequently you'll have trained your ear for the current song, found some bum notes here and there, found some really good notes and found one or two awesome notes along the way too (these notes i'm mentioning within a five tone scale that are good, happen to be different upon each chord** hopefully fending off flames**).

How would it have played out? On the first playback you would have been nervous and just concentrated on hitting good notes. On the first repeat you would have shredded your butt off thinking its easy and realised it wasn't. On the last two repeats your ear becomes accustomed to what it is listening to and phrasing kicks in. No matter how new you are to guitar and its complexities, phrasing can be learned from the start.

If you want to broaden your horisons and play a full scale (possibly a major scale spanning either the first position or the entire neck) then once again use a blindfold. Its fun, you can't see anyone so theres no fear of having someone watching you (except maybe the village peeping tom), and you have the joy of one on one ear training. Woohoo!

**Cautionary note: Do not get too animated with this technique, especially if you have a wireless uhf thingamajiggy, for you may find you jumped too far in a blind attempt of Van Halens stage jumping and everything comes crashing down... or you might end on a highway for instance... stranger things have happened..

Anyway, enjoy, hope it works for you
#16
Quote by tubetime86
first off steven seagull I love you. So helpful and never condescending.

alright I've struggled with this ever since I saw marty friedmans melodic control... he talks about doing this but never says anything about the technicalities of it.

Basically when I sit down to write a solo what notes should I consider?:

A. All the notes in the scale the progression is in.
B. all the notes in the scales of each chord in the progression
C. All the notes in the key of the progression as well as its relative minor
D. all of the above

...must be some other seagull

In practice you don't need to worry about knowing the name every note you play, ultimately what matters is how it sounds. However, learning how things sounds takes time, and that's where the theory comes in. Studying the chord progression helps you to identify the key you're in, and knowing what key you're in helps you know what scales will fit.

If you listen to a lot of music then you probably instinctively know the scales used in that music. For example, if you listen to a blues progression and try to think up a simple solo in your head using typical bluesy licks I guarantee that when you transfer it to the guitar it'll fit into the minor pentatonic or blues scale. That doesn't mean every note will be exactly within the scale, but any that aren't will simply be classed as accidentals rather than using a different scale. Trust me, pretty much anyone who listens to and appreciates music knows what sounds good and how things are "supposed" to sound. If you've ever sung along to a guitar solo then the key musical concepts are pretty much internalised, the tricky bit is figuring out where they are on the guitar.

The worst thing you can do when learning to improvise in my opinion is go straight to the paper, or the guitar, or Guitar Pro or whatever. Try to get some sort of idea in your head first by listening to your chord progression, then you can start writing things down and playing with it on the guitar to see if it works in practice and also where it fits in terms of scales.

You *can* just pick up the guitar and say "right, my chord progression is in E minor so I'll use the E minor scale", but that may get you a bit bogged down in the physical aspects of playing, boxes and patterns, early on. It always helps to have at least an idea of what you want to achieve, if not a fully composed solo. However, the more you work with things in this way the better you get at it and the time between thinking of an idea and transferring it to the guitar gets shorter and shorter until the process is near instantaneous.

When it comes to finding your way around the fretboard you can look at the chords you're following and use them as your reference points. If all the chords fit into a key then every note in every chord will appear in the parent scale, so simply knowing the chords gives you a big chunk of notes that you know will be safe to use. Also, following the chords that way means it's easy to locate a note to resolve to at any time - at any given time the two notes you need to be most aware of are the key you're in and the root note of the particular chord...if you know where they are then you've always got something to go back to if things get out of hand. To a certain degree as long as you have enough safe notes and resolve at the right times you can put pretty much anything in between.

That's where your knowledge of the fretboard, scale degrees and chord progressions all comes together. For example, if you're in the key of Em and you have a simple I IV V chord progression of Em Am and Bm - you know your chords and where they fall, and you can work out where A B and E will be anywhere on the fretboard in relation to each other. That gives you a musically "strong", visually recognisable framework to base yourself around. Even if you just played with those notes it'd sound okay, but you want to muck around with the notes that fall outside to destabilise things occasionally and make it sound really interesting. Don't be afraid to experiment, between the chords Em and Am play anything you feel like over the En just to see how it sounds but make sure you get back to an A note for that chord change and see how it brings it all back together, even if what you played was pretty much random bollocks. Just experiment with the "wrong" notes as much as the right ones but make a note of where they are in relation to your overall root and also the current chords. That will help you develop an understanding of how different intervals affect different chords.

If you listen to a lot of music then you'll instinctively know the scales used in that music. For example, if you listen to a blues progression and try to think up a simple solo in your head using typical bluesy licks I guarantee that when you transfer it to the guitar it'll fit into the minor pentatonic or blues scale. That doesn't mean every note will be exactly within the scale, but any that aren't will simply be classed as accidentals rather than using a different scale. Trust me, pretty much anyone who listens to and appreciates music knows what sounds good and how things are "supposed" to sound. If you've ever sung along to a guitar solo then chances are that the key musical concepts are pretty much internalised, the tricky bit is figuring out where they are on the guitar.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
Last edited by steven seagull at Aug 11, 2008,