Well, practice isn't enough. You gotta figure out what you want to play on the guitar. Yeah, practice a lot for it, but you also gotta know how to get those sounds, knowing what does what. Ear training helps.
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
Quote by DiminishedFifth
It's like you read my mind!

I got meself a self-approving sig. Kick. Ass.
learn scales, modes, check some lessons on improvising. look at some videos and learn what the arpegios are, as well as various types of arpegios (7th major, 7th minor, diminished, augmented, etc)

i would reccomend to check the john petrucci and marty friedman instructional videos(rock discipline and melodic control). they have quite good tips on improvising, especially the friedman one. they are on google videos.

but in all, its just something, learn theory, a lot. and learn licks you like, then you can use them as part of your improvisations in any key you are playing.

i know theory and i know i need to practice. but how do i practice improvising?
Listen to different guitarists and see what scales created their sounds.
Use those scales and modes as a place to start.

Scales can be very funny...

Hendrix, Gilmour and Iommi could use the same scale and never be associated with
one another....So just because you use the same scale or mode..it doesn't mean
that you are going to sound like your favorite Guitar Hero.

Its best to learn a scale in only one position than to "kind of know it" all over the entire
fretboard. Master it in one spot...then add more of the pattern one step at a time until
you know it all.

Don't worry about time. I have recently learned the Pentatonic scale after years of playing.
I just never bothered until I needed more out of my playing. By learning the scale I mean the entire neck and also shifting through all of the keys. I know it seems boring, but you can actually play the same scale for years and still learn from it.

Once you find your favorite scale it can be unproductive some days. On those days nothing is happening..its okay to see it for what it is, but play through it anyway. One day its rough, then another day you can sit and write 3-4 riffs worth saving.
I bet Charlie Brown's teacher's name was Mrs.Hammett
ya but how can i actually practice my improvising ability? like against a backing track or what?
Ohhhhhhh.....An inexpensive way that's really good ear training as well is to pick a music
channel and play along with everything that comes on for a while. Find pockets to
add little riffs into ...as well as play rhythm.
I bet Charlie Brown's teacher's name was Mrs.Hammett
You might want to transcribe some of your favourite solos, steal your favourite licks and incorporate them to your improvisations.
Quote by Confusius
You might want to transcribe some of your favourite solos, steal your favourite licks and incorporate them to your improvisations.


No use in reinventing the wheel. When u write a lick which coincidently another artist already played, then noone can tell that u came up with it or stole it.

Learn ur favourite solo's and licks. Learn all about rhythms, listen closely to the notes u play, try playing out of scale tones, work around with phrasing (bends/slides/mutes/sound of the note/vibrato)

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Who's Andy Timmons??
Listen to the blues. Take your favorite BB King album or something and just listen to it, atleast 3 times. And then, listen to it again, but only with your guitar. Try and play along with BB, play what he plays. Everything came out of the blues, there is large chance that your guitar hero's playing is blues based.

Listen to singers, and try to improvise what they sang. Its a good way to get started.

Don't just play the same solo, either, time and time again. Really improvise, force yourself to create something new, something that you have never played, and if it sounds bad, well then you know not to play that again. It really just takes time, I've been improvising for a year and I'm just getting comfortable with it, I'm no where near what I want to be.
Quote by metlhed23
I suck at improvising. How can i get better?

work on your ear

work on your ear

listen to lots of music for inspiration and to widen your melodic imagination

work on your ear some more

the ultimate aim surely must be to be able to instantly play anything you could conjure up from the 'improvised guitar solo producing' part of your brain... that takes technique, but more importantly, it needs the ability to recognize exactly where your hands need to go in order to produce the right notes... you only get that from having a great ear

in fact, if you had an amazing ear and could do the above, you would need to know NO theory whatsoever in order to create a great improvisation. Why on earth would you? your music would be going straight from your 'melodic' mind, via your guitar, to your speakers.. you're not thinking theory, you're just imagining the sound of the music and making it into reality
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