#1
So I have this really annoying problem that I can't troubleshoot, and I don't know how to identify or correct. It's really hard to explain, but i'll attempt to describe it. So my drummer tells me that I have problem with phrasing and rhythm (not timing). Like when I create my own riifs, usually ones are single note progressions , I don't fit the scheme or right amount of notes. The funny thing is that when i play verse riffs, it's totally fine. But when i do solos, it's hard for me to fit the notes into phrases that repeat a pattern. The way I sorta see my problem is that when I try making these progressions, I see everything in a linear huge bar. I know there are splits for bars and phrases, but when I improvise a solo, there isn't really a plan I follow, except the tempo the drums are set at. Often times, we have to work together to crop down the amount of notes in the phrase I make. So it's like if you think of a riff in phrases that have certain amounts of notes, I can't distinguish the right patterns to make it sound complete, i guess. I'm wondering if you guys have had this problem before (that is if you can even understand what i just described).

thanks
#3
Ok this is a little difficult to answer without hearing you play but first off what is your backing drums only? If you have a bass or rythem guitar you should be listening to them. I dont listen to drums i feel the beat but my focus is on the chords im playing over. I try to "land" on certain sweet notes. Like ill play a little lick and bend up to a note right on the chord change or do a climbing run that ends on a sweet note on a chord change and vibrato it or whathave you. So without hearing backing its difficult to make phrases. If you only have drummer you have to listen to the progression even if its not their.

Ill give an example. I was doing improv solo over niel young cortez the killer. Its 3 chords Em7 D Am7. So the progression is like 2 bars of Em7 on bar D one bar of Am7. Now if you have no backing you can play the rythem progression. Then when its time to improv your solo you play leads whislt thinking that you will be playing over the chords even if they arent their. You have to keep counting or hear the rythem you are playing over while you make phrases. And get into the feeling of it too by having fun.

Also you can listen to the vocals (or picture them in your mind if its a song you know) and mimic them with the guitar. The vocals follow the chords. Basically your problem to me sounds like you are not thinking aobut the implied progression and counting. If you dont know what chord the band is on or would be on if they were there you would sound like what you describe. So its a counting issue if you have no rythem (bass or guitar) and its a listening issue if you do have rythem accompanyment.

If you specify a little more aobut what types of songs your palying and with what other people i might be able to give better tips. This is the main focus of my playing right now learning to improv over various sounds tastefully and smoothly so im always working on it and slowly improving all the time from lots of practice.
#4
My suggestion is study some jazz. Jazz improvisers often hold a note for quite awhile while they think about what they're going to play next (which chord is coming up and which notes the should accent, that sort of thing). If you are ever soloing and you don't know where to go, hold the chord tone for as long as possible to give yourself some time to breath and think about what is coming up.

edit : spelling as always.
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Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


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theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.