Improvisation For The Fingerstyle Guitarist. Part 2

The previous lesson was started with some practical example of improvisaton for fingerstyle playing. Today we continue with another concept.

24
In the previous lesson we started with some practical example of improvisaton for fingerstyle playing. Today we continue with another concept. Concept - Arpeggiatios Mixed With Single Line Phrases. Fig. 1 (picture).
e|--0-----------------3__2--0--|
B|-----3__3--------------------|
G|--------------0__0-----------|
D|-----------4-----------------|
A|--------2--------------------|
E|--0--------------------------|
If you play Fig. 1, you will notice we now play 3 voices: 1. Melody - single note lines 2. Accompaniment - chord arpeggiation 3. Bass - the root on the first beat of each measure to provide a solid reference point. Before combining these 3 functions it's wise to experiment with different melodies accompanied by the bass note of each chord. Fig. 2a (picture).
Em7 - G6
e|--------------0-----3__3--|--0-----------------------|
B|--0-----3-----------------|--------3-----3-----0__0--|
G|--------------------------|--------------------------|
D|--------------------------|--------------------------|
A|--------------------------|--------------------------|
E|--0-----------------------|--3-----------------------|
Fig. 2b (picture).
Em7 - G6

e|--------------0-----3__3--|--0-----------------------|
B|--------3-----------------|--------3-----3-----------|
G|--4-----------------------|--------------------4__4--|
D|--------------------------|--------------------------|
A|--------------------------|--------------------------|
E|--0-----------------------|--3-----------------------|
Fig. 2c (picture).
Em7 - G6

e|--------------0-----------|--0-----------------------|
B|--0-----------------8__8--|--------------------0__0--|
G|--------7-----------------|--------7-----7-----------|
D|--------------------------|--5-----------------------|
A|--------------------------|--------------------------|
E|--0-----------------------|--------------------------|
Fig. 2d (picture).
Em7 - G6

e|--------------------------|--0-----------------------|
B|--------------------8__8--|--------------------0__0--|
G|--------7-----9-----------|--------7-----7-----------|
D|--7-----------------------|--------------------------|
A|--9-----------------------|-10-----------------------|
E|--------------------------|--------------------------|
Fig. 2e (picture).
Em7 - G6

e|--------------0-----------|--0-----------------------|
B|--0-----------------------|--------------------0__0--|
G|-------------------12__12-|--------------------------|
D|-------12-----------------|-------12----12-----------|
A|--------------------------|-10-----------------------|
E|--0-----------------------|--------------------------|
Here we play the melody of Hendrix' "Little Wing"'s first two measures on different postions on the neck around the chordshapes with the bassnotes on strings (6) and (5). Notice that I mix open and fretted strings. It's important to learn the melody of a tune in different postions because it can be used as a reference, a starting point to improvise and it will give you your solos a richer melodic quality. Experiment by mixing open and fretted strings. Fig. 3a (picture).
e|-------10----12----15__15-|-12----10----10-----------|
B|-12-----------------------|-------------------12__12-|
G|--------------------------|--0-----------------------|
D|--------------------------|--------------------------|
A|--------------------------|--------------------------|
E|--0-----------------------|--------------------------|
Fig. 3b (picture).
e|--------------------------|--------------------------|
B|--------------------------|--------------------------|
G|--------------------------|--------------------------|
D|--------0-----2-----0__0--|--2-----0-----0-----------|
A|--2-----------------------|--------------------2__2--|
E|--0-----------------------|--3-----------------------|
It's also possible to play the melody an octave higher (Fig. 3a) or lower (Fig. 3b). Fig. 4a (picture).
e|-----------0--3--0__0-----|--0-----------------------|
B|--0-----3--------------3--|-----3--3--0--------------|
G|--------------------------|--------------0--0--------|
D|--------------------------|-----------------------0--|
A|--------------------------|--------------------------|
E|--0-----------------------|--3-----------------------|
Fig. 4b (picture).
e|-----------7-10--7-----0-----0--|--------0----10-----------|
B|--------8-----------8-----0-----|--8-----------------0__0--|
G|--------------------------------|--------------------------|
D|--------------------------------|--------------------------|
A|--------------------------------|-10-----------------------|
E|--0-----------------------------|--------------------------|
Here we experiment with embelishments of the melody and scalar like passages. Keep in mind it's our purpose to improvise around the melody. You can leave out or add notes. Try to create differences into your playing activty. You don't have to play a mass of notes all the time, incorporate fields of lesser activity. Fig. 5 (picture #1).
e|--------------------0--3--0__0-----|--0--------------------------------|
B|--3-----------3-----------------0--|-----0--3__3-----------------------|
G|-----------0-----------------------|-----------------------0--------0--|
D|--------4--------------------------|--------------------0-----0__0-----|
A|-----2-----------------------------|-----------------2-----------------|
E|--0--------------------------------|--3--------------------------------|
(picture #2)
e|-----------3--0--------0-----------|--3__2--------------------|
B|-----------------0__0-----0__0-----|--------3--3--------------|
G|-----0__0-----------------------2--|-----------------2--------|
D|-----------------------------------|--------------2-----4__2--|
A|--0-----------------3--------------|--------------------------|
E|-----------------------------------|--0-----------------------|
Now we combine the three voices together on the first four measures of "Little Wing." This is quite tricky at first, but the more you experiment the easier you will be able to invent great melodies at the spot in conjunction with an accompaniment and bass part. Next time we will pay attention to the accompaniment part and put more movement into the bass part. Acoustic and jazz guitarist Gilbert Isbin's early influences, from classical, to jazz, blues, ethnic and freeform music, has ultimately contributed to his now distinctive and refined style. His music transcends the dualities of classical/jazz and composed/improvised music and is filled with strong melodies, rich colourful harmonies, sound effects and polyrhythms, highlighted by delicate acoustic guitar picking. He performs solo, in duo with Iep Fourier, Jeff Gauthier, Joe Fonda, poet Frank Decerf, in trio with Sador Szabo and Major Balazs and with the Gilbert Isbin Group. - Gilbert Isbin's Official Website - Gilbert Isbin's E-mail Address - gilbert.isbin@telenet.be

15 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    s/ash
    yeah this one is good too. Be sure to read part one to understand the theory behind it
    Rosencrantz
    If you want an example combining functions into a single phrase (ie: Bass, Melody, and accompaniment) listen to Pachabels Canon. Great lesson dude, much helpful. You get a hero cookie.
    Bleee
    Its not boring if you've been looking for some straight foward info like this for a long time. Obviously there are a lot of proffesional guitarists out there who can play like this. But few who can explain it, and fewer still willing to take the time to teach less experienced guitarists for free. Dope lesson