#1
I've just started playing guitar. I want to learn everything about it, meaning all notes on the fretboard, all scales, and of course the ability to improvise over chord changes!

I just need a place to start learning. If someone could point me in the right direction that would be wonderful.

I guess my main concern right now is learning the standard 12 bar blues in E (I, IV, V progression). I have some experience with the saxophone, and what I'd do is solo in the scale of the current progression chord (E, A, or B for example), using any notes of the scale for my improv.

Is the guitar the same way? I tried soloing but it sounds horrible. Perhaps it's my tuning.

Anyway I'm looking for for some general advice and direction on how to solo over chord changes with guitar. Thanks!

-Gardon
#2
I also have about 5 hours a night to practice, so throw anything at me that you have.
#3
guitar is the same way
use the pent scale for blues and every note will sound like it "fits"
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#4
Quote by gardon
..... I have some experience with the saxophone, and what I'd do is solo in the scale of the current progression chord (E, A, or B for example), using any notes of the scale for my improv.

Is the guitar the same way? I tried soloing but it sounds horrible. .....

-Gardon


That's telling!

I've long said that horns are far easier to play, or at least it's easier to make them sound good, and saxophone in particular!

Welcome to the guitar! (why do you think so many guitarists hid behind a row of effects?)
#5
I've heard from my guitar teacher many times that horn players are typically great vertical guitarists if they move to the guitar.

Yes, it's basically the same horizontal approach on the guitar. You're still basing your solo out of one key. But it's different. The sax and the guitar are two entirely different voices. Go listen to the Metallica version of Turn the Page, and then Bob Seger's version. That sax sounds much better than the guitar on that intro lick.

Learn the different positions of the pentatonic scale. That'd be a good starting point. Then learn the major scale (or more specifically, just common shapes to play it with...). I really wouldn't move to Jazz until I was really satisfied with my blues playing. A lot of the ideas you develop playing the blues will carry over to jazz.
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#6
If you're new to the guitar and also new to music then you need to slow way down, you're not going to be able to go straight into playing the stuff you want. Learn the basics first, core techniques, open chords, basic theory etc before you'll be able to start developing a specific style. Forget improv for the time being, there's no point trying if you don't yet have the technical ability to express yourself. You'd be better off watiting until you've learned some solos, and again that's a fair way off in the future.

If you've already got a background in music then you'll have a head start in theory but technically you're going to have to learn to walk before you can run and that means starting right at the beginning. Best place to start is open chords, chords are your most basic musical building block, both in terms of rhythm and also lead playing so you want to be getting familiar with them. They're also the easiest thing to use to get playing songs as you use the same chord over a whole bar, they also help you build finger strength and get you used to the feel of the guitar.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Oct 16, 2008,
#7
^True but the E7 A7 and B7 chords used for 12 bar blues are even easier and still good to learn. I would agree with seagull here and advise you to spend some time practicing C A G E D chords in the open position. Change them and be able to change from any one to another while keeping time. Thats a good first goal.
#8
Quote by gardon
I
I guess my main concern right now is learning the standard 12 bar blues in E (I, IV, V progression). I have some experience with the saxophone, and what I'd do is solo in the scale of the current progression chord (E, A, or B for example), using any notes of the scale for my improv.


In my opinion, you're taking a good 1st step. I'd always suggest anyone starting out
with improv to start with the blues. There's a number of good reasons for that (which
I won't explain here).

There's no reason whatsoever why you can't play around with improvising. Over a
12 bar blues in E you can start out with E pentatonic minor. And, no, those notes
will NOT always sound like a "fit" over those chords. But, that's a process of discovery
that knowledge, skill and practice will reveal.

Play around with the pent scale. Learn some blues licks and idioms (there's certain
things almost every blues player uses a lot).
#9
I have a book about music theory and how it relates to the guitar. In one of the first lessons in it where it actualy tells you to play something it tells you to learn E 12 bar blues and the E minor pentatonic. It tells you to strum 1/4 notes and play the 12 bar rythem and then with a friend or tape recorder to play the scale up and down over progression. Then once you have this down to try to improvise and spend time improvising everyday.
I didnt mean for him not to play blues improv to start i just wanted to add that he could do the C A G E D chords since he mentioned he has so much time available.

A good song thats also easy and uses these open chords and also the pentatonic scale which your already familiarising yourself with would be knocking on heavens door. Its key of G with the chords G D C . You could play it simply by doing 2 beats of G 2 Beats of D 4 beats of C then repeat. You could play half notes quarter notes or make up a varied strumming pattern of your own. THen you could use the E minor pentatonic over that to improvise. Or you could try your hand at the guns and roses version. Slashs first solo in that song is fairly slow. Not that it matters because you practice it at what ever speed is comfortable for you so long as you count or keep time with a metronome.

That last thing Edg said is really good advise. Once you learn licks from solos and little tricks then you can pull them out in differnt keys and different tempos once you learn to play in key.
#10
Thanks for everyone's input

What's the best way for learning to play a song? I've done songs before (some metallica, megadeth, etc., back 5 or so years ago when I used to play) where I'd just practice the tabs until everything was memorized and I could play it flawlessly. But that was tabs and just repeating through memorization. I had no idea what music was, only what I could mimic.

Now if I want to be able to play a song I need to learn the notes (like I did on the sax) so I can express myself freely, and (like mentioned above) play what I want to play because I have a solid foundation.

I'm progression quite fast, I've learned all the open chords, I've learned all the bar chords (easy, just shifting the position up/down the neck), and am starting on the pentatonic scale.

Are there any books anyone recommends? I've recently purchased "Fretboard Mastery" by Troy Stetina and am awaiting for it to arrive. Does anyone have any experience with this book at all? It's supposed to have everything from building memorization of the fretboard to advanced theory and improv.

- Gardon
#11
Get the "Guitar Principles" books at www.guitarprinciples.com. They're about the
only books you'll find that teach you HOW to practice, which might be the most
important skill you can learn. All other books are mostly just content.

I think they now offer blues and rock books. If you're going to start with blues, a GP
book on that topic would likely be well worth it.

Stetina's stuff is pretty good. He at least pays some attention to practice howto's, but
not nearly the detail as GP.