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#1
So just recently I've realized that I pretty much improvise all of my soloing. Sometimes I'll make it up on the spot right there, other times, if its a famous solos I'll start off with the first lick the guitarist plays, examples of this being the solos to Sunshine of Your Love and Hey Joe.

The only time I find myself doing a solo note for note is if its a very specific solo where change screws it up, ie: Smells Like Teen Spirit.

What are your thoughts on this and soloing in general?
#2
improv all the time, but keep the same emotion the artist was trying to show when he did the solo
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#3
it depends on what you're going for. i personally improv all my solos, if its for a cover and i know any of the solo i'll throw those bits and pieces in there but i don't know any bands solos in their entirety. i see nothing wrong with it as long as it sounds good, some purists may disagree though.
#4
I stick with the original for the most part. I have no idea why though.. might as well make the song mine a little bit by doing some improv.
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#5
Not only do I not improvise, I generally sit in front of a notation program and carefully select each note individually. Most of the time I won't even touch my instrument until the entire solo (or song, for that matter) has been created and notated.
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#6
I mostly improv, except for when my band covers santeria or what I got by Sublime. I do those solos note for note because they're so well known. As for my original solos, I normally keep the same idea, but it's a bit different every time.
#7
I improvise but just alittle bit. I try to keep it pretty close to the original. I think its good to add your own style to it though.
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#8
When I learn other people's songs, I learn them note for note. I'll decide I want to learn something because the song fires me up, but also because I know that learning it really accurately will improve my chops. So if the original solo has 13 notes squeezed into 2 beats, or some other difficult note grouping, I'll go for it even if I have to spend hours working on one small section. It's well worth it, because all of those ideas and techniques become available for me for improvising if I learn them well enough.
#9
If I feel like it, I'll do the closest thing to what I remember the solo to a song sounding like I can. Sometimes I do improvise and just mess around. Both methods promote a good ear IMO. Very rarely do I actually learn a solo, though this isn't out of an aversion of learning solos or some delusion of learning it note for note belittles its "feeling," but because it doesn't often interest me. Besides, I find myself more and more a jazz player these days.
#10
Quote by swgb24
So just recently I've realized that I pretty much improvise all of my soloing. Sometimes I'll make it up on the spot right there, other times, if its a famous solos I'll start off with the first lick the guitarist plays, examples of this being the solos to Sunshine of Your Love and Hey Joe.

The only time I find myself doing a solo note for note is if its a very specific solo where change screws it up, ie: Smells Like Teen Spirit.

What are your thoughts on this and soloing in general?


if its a cover I learn it as exact as possible and perform it that way. I always learn alot doing that, plus its just fun and inspiring to do when its a cool solo.

For originals I'll either improvise or compose a solo.
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#11
Quote by Archeo Avis
Not only do I not improvise, I generally sit in front of a notation program and carefully select each note individually. Most of the time I won't even touch my instrument until the entire solo (or song, for that matter) has been created and notated.


in my opinion, that's terrible. Unless my sarcasm detector is broken, you don't even interact at all musically with your compositions. are you not a guitarist? i guess I'm the polar opposite of that, i don't think i've ever written out a solo in my life. I'd call a written out solo a lead or melody. if you're joking, let me know, if not let's discuss i s'pose.
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#12
Quote by aetherspear
in my opinion, that's terrible. Unless my sarcasm detector is broken, you don't even interact at all musically with your compositions. are you not a guitarist? i guess I'm the polar opposite of that, i don't think i've ever written out a solo in my life. I'd call a written out solo a lead or melody. if you're joking, let me know, if not let's discuss i s'pose.


I'm not joking. I compose music in my head, and then write it down. What's so shocking about this?
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#13
Quote by aetherspear
in my opinion, that's terrible. Unless my sarcasm detector is broken, you don't even interact at all musically with your compositions. are you not a guitarist? i guess I'm the polar opposite of that, i don't think i've ever written out a solo in my life. I'd call a written out solo a lead or melody. if you're joking, let me know, if not let's discuss i s'pose.

I'm like you. I improvise exclusively.
#14
I'm not good enough to make better solos than most of the artists I would consider covering. I also learn a lot from analyzing other people's solos. I haven't come up with many of my own songs but, so far, I've written better solos than I've improvised.

Quote by aetherspear
you don't even interact at all musically with your compositions.


I guess writing the compositions and playing them don't count as interacting?
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Last edited by Free to Guitar at Sep 16, 2008,
#15
If you're learning a cover it's always beneficial to learn the solo note for note and see for yourself how it works. Once you know the original then you can start tweaking and putting your own spin on things...far too often "I just improvise the solo" translates as "I found a bit in the original solo that I couldn't play so I gave up".

And I don't see anything wrong with composing a solo beforehand. I'd much rather listen to somebody who put "too much" thought into their choice of notes than not enough....indeed not thinking enough about what they're playing is the single most common mistake that guitarists make when they improvise. All too often they're just mechanically following familiar patterns as opposed to actually thinking about what they're doing and listening to the results.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Sep 16, 2008,
#16
I start with a few rough ideas, then I improvise a few pieces, reincorporate and alter the ideas, but I'll eventually end up with a written solo.
#17
Quote by Archeo Avis
Not only do I not improvise, I generally sit in front of a notation program and carefully select each note individually. Most of the time I won't even touch my instrument until the entire solo (or song, for that matter) has been created and notated.



that's not improvising...that's writing a solo which is a very diferent thing...
#18
Quote by zigzag_wanderer
that's not improvising...that's writing a solo which is a very diferent thing...

No it's not - when you're improvising you're still composing a solo, you're just doing it very quickly.
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#19
Quote by BrianApocalypse
I start with a few rough ideas, then I improvise a few pieces, reincorporate and alter the ideas, but I'll eventually end up with a written solo.


Same....I usually play the root of every note when the backing chord (or in my case the backing note of the bass) changes, but I'll improvise on my guitar a bit, then try and remember, write it down, and I come up with a written solo
#20
Quote by swgb24
So just recently I've realized that I pretty much improvise all of my soloing. Sometimes I'll make it up on the spot right there, other times, if its a famous solos I'll start off with the first lick the guitarist plays, examples of this being the solos to Sunshine of Your Love and Hey Joe.

The only time I find myself doing a solo note for note is if its a very specific solo where change screws it up, ie: Smells Like Teen Spirit.

What are your thoughts on this and soloing in general?



If it's somethingsimple and is the hallmark of the songs I'll play it, but mostly I improvise unless the solo is theoretically difficult, then I'll just play the original.
#21
I have gone in phases. When I first started playing, and for years after, I pretty much learned every song note for note, at least as best I could (some stuff was pretty hard). I would improvise a little here and there over jam tracks and stuff, but typically I wanted to be able to play what the guitarists in those bands were playing. Then as my playing improved, I started working on my own stuff and improvising when the solos came up. And once I started doing that, I no longer wanted to spend hours learning a solo note for note when I could just play my own.

At this point, though, I fall somewhere in between. I still don't like spending hours learning a very difficult solo if I need to (say for a cover band situation), so I'll just pick out the key phrases and licks that everyone knows and improv the rest. But I'm slowly drifting back towards having everything written out or learned, note for note, because lately I don't find improv to be very appealing.

I think most people tend to go in phases depending on what level they are at and what they are learning.
#22
Quote by zigzag_wanderer
that's not improvising..


...yes. We all know it's not improvisation.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#23
Quote by Archeo Avis
I'm not joking. I compose music in my head, and then write it down. What's so shocking about this?

well there is nothing wrong with that of course. I know you have a ton of theoretical knowledge, so you might not need to necessarily play the guitar to find notes and stuff, but there's still a part of feel that is involved when playing. I guess I'm just from the blues/jazz side of things where a solo means improvisation on the spot. Again, I would say that a pre-written down 'solo' would really be a lead line or a melody.

Quote by Free to Guitar
I guess writing the compositions and playing them don't count as interacting?

Well yes, if you write it down play it and say 'oh I didn't like that part, let me go back and change it' which I'm sure plenty of people do. Archeo made it seem like he composes completely in his head with no alterations after he's written it.
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#24
If it's an electric guitar solo, I'll jam over a BT til I have the rhythm and phrasing that suits me. If it's a classical guitar composition, I do the same thing Archeo does half the time. Theres a lot of things you can do without an instrument in your hand, sometimes ideas spawn which may not occer to you when you're playing.
#25
Even if he doesn't change anything, he is still composing music, which requires a lot of involvement.
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#26
I do what i want when i feel like it. Sometimes ill improvise. Sometimes ill learn the solo. Depends what im feeling like at the time really.
#27
If I'm writing a song then it compose the solo. When I'm jamming with my friend's, it's almost always either Jazz or very progressive stuff so I improvise.
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theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#28
Quote by aetherspear
Archeo made it seem like he composes completely in his head with no alterations after he's written it.

i'd fathom that any changes he makes are minimal. for the record i'm kinda against his way of doing it, to me it takes all the joy and spontaneity out of it. but he's all about the end product, not the fun part of making it
#29
Whether it's chords or solo, I like to learn whatever I'm playing well enough to
completely improvise it. I've always liked the raw freshness of what can be
done on the spot by someone with the skills and inspiration to do it. Nothing
wrong with composed stuff, but it just doesn't have any lasting appeal to me
personally (especially when its over-produced and airbrushed like a playboy
centerfold).

I will learn some solos, but only for practice. If I only knew the music well enough
to where I could just repeat memorized material, I'd never play it for anyone until
I could play it completely extemporaniously as well.
#30
Archeo made it seem like he composes completely in his head with no alterations after he's written it.


In the rare case that I make an alteration after picking up the instrument, it will generally be to change a part that is physically impossible to play. I really fail to see what is so strange about the idea of hearing something in your head an writing it down.

Again, I would say that a pre-written down 'solo' would really be a lead line or a melody.


Solos are melodies. Apparently the only "real" way to play a solo is to hit random notes. Granted, you could here the melody in your head as you're playing, but there has to be some sort of temporal limitation on that. If you hear it in your head and play it a second later, it's a real solo, but if you play it five minutes later, it's "just a melody". Where is the line, exactly? Or is it only a solo when the instrument is in your hand, or within five feet of you? Is there a geographical limit?

Your distinction is completely arbitrary.

but he's all about the end product, not the fun part of making it


That^

I'm more content to sit in front of a notation program than I am in front of an instrument. I don't derive any real enjoyment from playing. I do, however, derive immense pleasure from hearing the completed work. I'd be just as happy to hear someone else perform my work as I would to play it myself, if it weren't for the fact that I don't trust anyone else to articulate the notes correctly (mainly an issue on the guitar).
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
Last edited by Archeo Avis at Sep 16, 2008,
#31
Well like I said, coming from the jazz idiom, a solo is melodic, but wouldn't be referred to as a melody, whereas the solo violinist in a concerto wouldn't be playing a 'solo' as much as a melody. I guess its understandable that you prefer little or no interaction with the guitar, as you seem to think of yourself as a composer first, guitarist second. It's not strange to hear it in your head first, all musicians should be able to do that to a certain extent. I guess the terms solo and melody get thrown around improperly alot.
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#32
I've talked to a couple of signed musicians, not exactly BIG time (metallica and so on) but big enough to do international tours. The majority of them improvise at gigs and practises untill they've figured out what sounds best as the solo in that song.
#33
I have found that it depends on the song. I am a "Guitar Player" not a "Musician" in that I do not write songs at the present moment, but hope to one day. But If I play a Rush song, the solo is note for note, because that is what they do. If I play Black Crowes or Allman Bros, it is Improved quite a bit. If it's Pink floyd, It has some of the original solo with some "tweaking" so, for me it depends.
#36
About half my solos are improvised. I used to improvise almost everything, but for some reason I find improvisation less appealing every day.
#37
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Arch, are you actually any good at playing the guitar, technique wise?


By what standard? I consider myself quite competent, technically. Certainly enough to translate what I hear in my head to the instrument. A few years back I could manage quite a few Vai and and Malmsteen tunes well enough that I'd feel comfortable playing them on stage. I've severely neglected my playing recently, as I've been focusing almost exclusively on songwriting, so my technique is very likely less than it was.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#38
well i pre write msome solos because i find it difficult to imporoveise something really shreddy and if thats what fits the song but if its slower i mostly improvise
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#39
I'm gifted. Not really.
I have musical hallucinations - but not in the normal sense...only while playing.
In my old band when writing songs, or jsut jamming, I'd literally hear instruments that weren't there - usually a guitar with a wah or something, but once or twice I heard orchestras while playing blues/doom metal songs (think John 5, at 40bpm).
I just played what I heard. Literally. However as I'm not currently in a band, it hasn't happened in a while.
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