Been learning for 9 months or so... this is the first time i've tried recording over a backing track... it's a short improvised slow Blues piece in the style of Larry Carlton (i know it sounds a little "stiff" in places i think but hopefully that'll improve).

... comments and tips welcome.

Check it out in my profile: 'Slow Blues Improv Solo with Backing Track'


Last edited by geetarmanic at Aug 31, 2008,
A bit wet for my tastes on the reverb. And it's really twangy. Sounds like you were going for a BB King type tone, but missed the mojo.

Backing track needs to be louder. I couldn't really follow what was going on due to that. It' also a bit off beat and stiff, like you said.

Try a warmer tone and work on staying in time.

Feel free to look at some of my blues stuff on my profile
Seems very BB King or Peter Green-ish. Listen to how those guys play slower solos, it's all about subtlety. Also, it desperately needs some vibrato on those longer notes.
I see you made the backing track louder!

It was good man, for nine months of playing. You lacked some fluidity but over all I think you had some nice licks in there that with practice will sound real great.

As said above, it really really really needs vibrato and some more slower and subtle playing. I think you should try and play something longer but not go for as many notes.

If you haven't already, check out Peter Green. Listen to this for an incredible example of sustain and vibrato with subtle licks.

But well done fella!

Last edited by ze monsta at Aug 31, 2008,
Thanks guys for taking the time to listen to the track, much appreciated, and i'll post some replies to all your constructive comments in a moment... in the meantime, i've uploaded a couple of variations, one with a louder backing track (following imgooley's observation) and another shorter (better?) version. Thanks.
- The solo doesn't seem to follow the tempo of the backing track.

- Vibrato (especially varying it up) makes solos sound 'human'. Try watching this flutist talking about vibrato, and applying similar concepts to the guitar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ms9tsWmhyU

- In a few places, you seem to be ascending and descending the scale without too much variation. In order to break this feel up, try practising ascending and descending your pentatonics by missing a note, then two.

Think the Simpsons theme tune. Even though it's not a pentatonic, it has a very angular, distinctive 'leaping' melody because it skips the obvious notes. If you try to skip notes in a similar way, it produces more interest.

- Legato. Where you do use hammer-ons and pull-offs, they only seem to hammer on to one note, and then it's back to picking. Try hammering on or pulling off two or three notes in a sequence.

- Double stops can really vary up your playing. They're a great place to really attack the strings and add some drama.

- Dynamics. Definitely try varying the volume your notes produce. At the same time, avoid cutting off a phrase before it's sung. Your notes will die off quite suddenly at times, in a way that isn't so pleasing on the ear.

- Passing notes. Boxes and patterns are only a start. Try sliding into the notes in the pentatonic from the fret below. That slurred feeling is highly effective.

- Rhythm. That backing track's drum pattern is screaming out for triplets. Practise following the drums, even with a sequence of two or three notes over and over again, to get you into the groove. Then slip that into your playing some.
Last edited by Serotonin at Sep 1, 2008,
^ Wow! Great feedback, Serotonin, that looks very helpful... i'll work through it. Thanks.

For anyone that's interested, here are the tabs for the first four licks in the shorter audio track:


E -----------------------------------
B --------10---12b14---10--10--------
G ---11------------------------------
D ------------------------------------
A ------------------------------------
E ------------------------------------


E ----12b15---12---10-----------------------------------
B ------------------------13---10------10---12b14---10--
G ---------------------------------11------------------
D -------------------------------------------------------
A -------------------------------------------------------
E -------------------------------------------------------


E -------------------------------12/14-------12-
B -----------8--10b13---8h10--8---------14------
G ---7/10---------------------------------------
D -----------------------------------------------
A ------------------------------------------------
E ------------------------------------------------


E --------------------------5--8--5----------------8---10/12--10-
B ---------------7------5-------------8--5--8/10-----------------
G --------5--7-----7b9-------------------------------------------
D -5/7------------------------------------------------------------
A ----------------------------------------------------------------
E ----------------------------------------------------------------
I agree with everything above stated. Go easy on the reverb and turn your treble and tone down and use the neck pickup for a warmer tone. My settings on those three for a Warm tone (Keep in mind my amp goes to 12.)

Treble: 4
Reverb: 3

On my guitar I'm using the neck pickup and have my tone at 3-2ish. Of course, we have different equipment so what sounds good on mine probably won't sound good on your. So just play around till you find something you like.
Feed your mind.
^ Thanks... i'm playing with a cheap, pretty broken guitar right now; the pickup selector switch doesn't work(!) and the tone/volume controls are a bit temperamental so i can't always get the sound i'm after (so looking to upgrade soon). The amp is a new Roland Micro Cube, i had it on the 'Black Panel' setting with, if i recall, Gain at about 20%, Tone at 50% and Reverb somewhere around 30%.