#1
I have been playing guitar for about two years and have progressed pretty fast with it because I already knew a lot of theory from playing piano. I can sight read score (not tab) open to the 5th fret on all strings. I know all about modes and progressions and ii V I and jazz stuff and can play along with a lot of jazz songs with changing key sigs and stuff.

But I solo completely from positions. I know the set scale patterns for the modes and can connect them but I have to think of where another pattern would be in relation to the one I'm playing to be able to move around the neck.

Like if I'm playing in C, I know I can play G Mixo or E phrygian and it will fit. If a song goes from the key of D to the key of G, I have to physically move from the D Major scale pattern to the G major scale pattern or think of what D is in the scale of G and change the D Major pattern to a D Mixolydian pattern.

However, it's not like I can just look at a fret and know what note it is and play free of the set patterns. And I definitely can't target chord tones like I can on piano because I'm thinking of patterns and not what the notes are.

If I'm learning a solo by John Petrucci or listening and watching some blues guy, they are doing something different. They aren't just playing positions and playing notes that fit the chords in the song. They have complete control over all the notes all over the fret board and most importantly phrasing. I guess what I'm trying to get at is, how does one go from just playing notes that don't clash with the chords behind it to playing a creative and unique solo? Does it come from just listening to other guys and replicating it?

I have not put that much time into the technical side of guitar but even something like the solo to Repentance from Dream Theater, is something not very technical yet it is unique, creative and moving. I find that I sometimes am habitually playing the same little licks and would like to learn how to play in different styles with different approaches.

I may know all the pentatonic positions but how do I apply that to playing in the style of BB King? I may know harmonic minor and phrygian and melodic minor but how do I apply that to playing in the style of Trivium or Metallica or Arch Enemy? I may know a bunch of chords but how do I arpeggiate them like James Taylor (Beginning of Fire and Rain a great example)? How does Eric Clapton choose notes and pick rhythms for his solos that just work?

How does someone go from being able to solo to chord progressions and just knowing what notes fit, to adding a style, personality and uniqueness? Hopefully someone will understand where I'm getting at because I don't know if I'm being vague.
Last edited by hockeyiz at Nov 8, 2008,
#2
Quote by hockeyiz
...However, it's not like I can just look at a fret and know what note it is and play free of the set patterns. And I definitely can't target chord tones like I can on piano because I'm thinking of patterns and not what the notes are...
Looks like you've found a place to start.
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#4
Thanks for the responses. I am going to learn all of the notes on the fretboard. But I'm not sure how one develops phrasing. Also, I'm not sure that just knowing the notes and working on phrasing are sufficient answers to my question. Any other takers?
#5
They may not be the complete answers to your problems but they certainly are a start.

Also, it sound like you haven't completely memorized the notes on the frets, so that would help as well.

As far as you playing the same licks over and over, you can work on your phrasing by sitting down, thinking of something in your head, and trying to play it. A lot of players fall into the trap of playing with their fingers and not their brain.

You obviously have the patience and understanding to write a wall of text without making your sentences fall apart (which seems to be a problem around here, no one can write English haha), so I have confidence that you will be able to sit down and apply these sort of concepts successfully if you are aware of them.
#6
Thank you yeah that's a good idea. Thinking up a lick and then figuring it out on the guitar would definitely break the habits.
#8
A good way that i found for learning all the notes is to set yourself a note, say F and then stick your metronome to 60 and play an F all over the neck on each of the beats.

If you find it easy then up the tempo, set yourself a note every day or if your a bit better at it try 2 notes.
#9
Quote by hockeyiz


...Like if I'm playing in C, I know I can play G Mixo or E phrygian and it will fit. If a song goes from the key of D to the key of G, I have to physically move from the D Major scale pattern to the G major scale pattern or think of what D is in the scale of G and change the D Major pattern to a D Mixolydian pattern. ...


No, you can't - I'm afraid you've got that part completely wrong. Basicaly, if your song is in the key of C major then those notes will always be C major. Have a look at the patterns for G mixolydian and E phrygian...they're all exactly the same notes. That means that although you think you're playing different scales your actually playing the exact same thing, just looking at it differently.

Also, when you say "change key" do you actually mean "change chord", because you don't need to change scale everytime the chord changes and generally people don't play that way.

Have a read of Josh Urban's Crusade articles in the colums section, they'll set you off on the right track.
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#10
here is where the ii V I progression, the dominate bV principles and that damed diminished scale, chord and runs, come into play..

but first...be determined to learn the fretboard...you do know all the notes on it...you just have not gained the confidence to use them..

play scales on one string ... then two...then three..then in sets of three strings
find the 1 3 5 notes in each scale on each string .. then two..then three
form triads on each three string set...run the scale from the triad forward and backward ... then the arpeggio...
add the 7th tone to all the above...
add the 9th, 11th, 13th to the dominate chords
do all the above with the 5th flatted...then sharped...then the 9th...11th...13th

yes its sounds like alot of work,,,,and it is...but you WILL know the fretboard and be confidant in what you are playing and HOW to play

with that confidence your ability to "phrase" will come naturally...its not something you can practice or memorize...

hope this helps

play well

wolf
#11
Quote by wolflen

with that confidence your ability to "phrase" will come naturally...its not something you can practice or memorize...



I completely disagree with this. You absolutely can practice phrasing, just like any other skill on the guitar. In fact, that's probably one of the more important things that you should practice.

I did a quick Google search and came up with this. There are some good tips in there, especially about listening to horn players.

Listening to the blues helps too. Because there are only six notes in the blues scale, guitar players have had to be able to bring a lot of expression and emotions out of those notes. Along those lines, check out this Youtube video. Also, here's part two of the video. It's useful as well.

Feel free to ask if you have any more questions.
Last edited by dst127 at Nov 10, 2008,