#1
How to IMPROVE my soloing......

Im gonna be honest, i ABSOLUTELY suck at soloing. Sure i can do scales and stuff, but when it comes to making something of a solo id rather hear a cat dieing over my own solos.

Can anyone recommend anything for me to improve?
#2
Learn a buncha songs and get your influence from them =o
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#3
What Ken Said, Mix it up a little, Hell, In mine i switch to slide guitar halfway through!

just don't think about what you play, play from what you feel

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#4
Honestly, learn the notes on the fretboard and learn theory.
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#5
hammer ons and pull offs help a bunch, as do slides. also vibrato and bends add tons of soul to a solo
#6
Quote by TheFly_1990

just don't think about what you play, play from what you feel

not this..... please not this..... the inherent problem with "playing what you feel" is that most people don't know how to really play what they feel. do you really feel like the minor pentatonic scale in every song? because unfortunately a lot of people who "play what they feel" end up feeling the pentatonic scale in every single song ever (or they "feel" like hitting random notes and having it sound like a cat being hit by a dumptruck)

as for the person who suggested scales and theory i'd say thats a real good start. once you get some basics like this stuff down THEN you are MORE APT to play what you feel. i'm not saying don't "play what you feel" i'm saying "learn HOW TO PLAY WHAT YOU FEEL"
#7
Quote by z4twenny
not this..... please not this..... the inherent problem with "playing what you feel" is that most people don't know how to really play what they feel. do you really feel like the minor pentatonic scale in every song? because unfortunately a lot of people who "play what they feel" end up feeling the pentatonic scale in every single song ever (or they "feel" like hitting random notes and having it sound like a cat being hit by a dumptruck)

as for the person who suggested scales and theory i'd say thats a real good start. once you get some basics like this stuff down THEN you are MORE APT to play what you feel. i'm not saying don't "play what you feel" i'm saying "learn HOW TO PLAY WHAT YOU FEEL"

and then play what you feel
#8
Quote by z4twenny
not this..... please not this..... the inherent problem with "playing what you feel" is that most people don't know how to really play what they feel. do you really feel like the minor pentatonic scale in every song? because unfortunately a lot of people who "play what they feel" end up feeling the pentatonic scale in every single song ever (or they "feel" like hitting random notes and having it sound like a cat being hit by a dumptruck)

as for the person who suggested scales and theory i'd say thats a real good start. once you get some basics like this stuff down THEN you are MORE APT to play what you feel. i'm not saying don't "play what you feel" i'm saying "learn HOW TO PLAY WHAT YOU FEEL"


+1, great post dude.
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#9
Along with what Z4tweeny said, learning to play what you feel. Once you got a decent amount of scales and theory get some backing tracks. Even if it is just turning the guitar part down on a GuitarPro fill or actually getting a backing track mp3.

Play over this using your new found scales, hitting certain key points, actually helping the song along. Don't worry about fast. A great solo can be slow if it hits the right points and really helps the song out. You don't have to "shred" to solo.

Main point I'm hitting here is after learning to play what you feel, apply that knowledge over some backing tracks. It really helps out, that's how I go about improving my improv and soloing.

Good luck man,
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#10
just keep practicing with the penta tonic scale and and bends to it
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#11
I don't know how good you are (your sig doesn't give much of an indication) but I'd check out Marty Friedman's melodic control (in addition to z4twenny's and kOoL AiD2420's advice).

EDIT: The guy above me is wrong.
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Big deal, I bought a hamster once and they put that in a box...doesn't make it a scale.
#12
Quote by gpowsang
How to IMPROVE my soloing......

Im gonna be honest, i ABSOLUTELY suck at soloing. Sure i can do scales and stuff, but when it comes to making something of a solo id rather hear a cat dieing over my own solos.

Can anyone recommend anything for me to improve?
No you can't. That no makey sense

But, practice phrasing. Phrasing is the greatest thing you'll ever learn. There are articles about it on this site.


Another thing, if you don't know what scales go over what chords, you should learn that. I have a generic copy&paste thing I could post and go through it with you. Just say the word.
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#13
Ears - use your ears.

Most people suck because they don't pay enough attention to what it is they're actually playing - they just move their fingers and hope for the best. Start actually listening to what you're doing and if it sounds like crap then don't do it!

Obviously it's a little more complex than that, but you have to start listening. Learning some theory (note, memorising a scale pattern is NOT learning theory) will help you get a better understanding of how notes and chords work together...the Crusade articles by Josh Urban in the columns section are a good place to start.

Also, like anything else it takes time to learn this stuff. Just as you could only understand simple stories about Spot the Dog and his red ball when you started learning to read and write you'll only be able to understand or create simple melodic ideas when you start trying to imprivovise, learn theory and train your ears. So, keep things simple at first and examine simple, familiar tunes - stuff like Happy Birthday and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star actually have a hell of a lot to teach you...study the chords, study the melody line and see how it all fits together. They're good examples because they have straightforward chord progressions and a single, clear melody line.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Oct 9, 2008,
#14
feel the music you are playing....
listen to some songs...
feel the emotion or the flow from one note to another note...
and then imply that in your playing....

its not that youre gonna have to LEARN what to feel, it's natural, it comes by itself...
#16
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Read link 1 in my sig, perhaps check out the theory vids as well.

i just read some of it , its a great article, one il be reading in full soon, and improving my techniques
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#17
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its not that youre gonna have to LEARN what to feel, it's natural, it comes by itself...


You don't learn what you feel, but you do have to learn how to produce the sounds you want to.
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#18
Quote by steven seagull
Ears - use your ears.

Most people suck because they don't pay enough attention to what it is they're actually playing - they just move their fingers and hope for the best. Start actually listening to what you're doing and if it sounds like crap then don't do it!


Well said......on top of the theory already mentioned, LISTEN to songs where there is a solo you really like, and try to hum it in your head--or at least certain licks in it that really stick out for you. Most good solos sound like little stories in a way--they have beginnings, middles, and ends, and it all flows as one. Decide on what as a player you really like about leads, the ones that you really like to listen to, even if you can't figure out why. And then try to figure out some of those licks.

Also, listen to what is UNDER the solo. I take it you are at least competent on playing rhythm--so learn the chords under a solo you take on, and note how the chord progression forms a foundation. You've probably noticed that guitar solos only really happen when someone is not singing, but the guitar takes over--because it's kind of doing what a vocalist would, in a sense--putting something on top of a chord progression to do something pleasant for your ears. Take that in consideration when you play lead.

One last thing--learn when NOT to play lead. This may not make sense now, but it means sometimes less is more. Everyone says to play what you feel--do you really always "feel" that playing 64 bars of ultra fast tapped and hammered-on notes will express a song, or would it do to just have 8 well put-together bars that cant be "unheard", or even.....nothing at all? A solo is the icing on the cake of a great song, not an Olympic running competition.
Last edited by BHowell at Oct 10, 2008,
#19
drill your chops if they're holding you back ... but

read some good literature, look at some good art, leave the house, live a little, get wasted and do something stupid, make a friend or an enemy, and get yourself something to say. Then say it.
#20
Try transcribing music for another instrument, maybe a piano or trumpet solo or something. It will give you a different perspective and help you to break out of old shapes!
#21
Okay, this is just my 2 cents.

Playing what you feel is probably the worst answer and the best answer. Although you shouldnt be running scales up and down, you shouldnt be playing random notes either. You should start playing slow (singer speed) and try to guess what the next best note will be. I see alot of guys expecting to shred out some malmsteen or wank like slash in their first improv, not happening (not sure about you, but I learnt to crawl before I could walk). Dont worry if what your playing isnt exactly what you envisioned, you'll get there.

Relying completely on your ear is another no-no. It's improvising so its spontaneous. You dont have time to check every note to see if its consonant or not with your ear. Usually you can stick to a pentatonic scale and every note you play will be consonant. No ear necessary. Theory and phrasing should have more of an emphasis on your improvising than ear.

Playing only amalgamated licks from other solos and calling it your own isnt just cheap and unoriginal, its not improvising. Improvising doesnt mean playing a bunch of licks in random order. Sure even charlie parker had some quirks to his improv, but that doesnt mean he couldnt create something completely new on the spot.

So what should you do? Focus on the beat and the phrasing. I got hammered today by my jazz co-ordinator for having shitty rhthym in my improv.
On stressed beats (the first and third beats in 4/4 timing) you should play a chord tone, although you can do just about anything on the weak beats (as long as it sounds sort of in time).
You should also phrase somewhat like a singer. Notice there's gaps between phrases when singers sing (so the singer can breath), for some reason copying this on a guitar produces nice solos. Think as if you're singing out of your guitar. Dont worry if you dont sound like hammett like this, give it a few weeks (and possibly buy a better rig) and I swear you'll sound a million times better than him.
You should also learn a few pentatonic shapes. For a beginner, there is no better scale to improvise in than pentatonics. Learn 2 or 3 shapes and become good at switching between them. Aim to be able to slide between 4 or 5 notes in the scale. This will improve your phrasing heaps.