Imprivisation

Guitar Tricks Forum > Music Theory > Imprivisation

New Member

Joined: 05/29/01

Posts: 8

Please explain to me how to begin improvise.
anze.robic@s5.net

#1

Please explain to me how to begin improvise.
anze.robic@s5.net

Member

Joined: 01/11/01

Posts: 38

ok....

Improvising is very much about listening and communicating with other musicians. To be able to "speak" the musical "language", you have to learn the letters, how to build words and sentences. In guitar terms: To learn the fretboard and know where all "letters" (tones) are. Then try and learn some of the most important basic words in the language: how to put the tones in orders that will make you able to build "sentences" (phrases and solos)

The first thing most electric guitar students learn is the major and minor pentatonic scales, which are both the easiest and most commonly used scales. The scales can be found in tab here on guitartricks.I won't get into so much theory as building these scales, so get a good book about music theory. Learn the two pentatonic scales in five different positions (you just have to learn five positions because if you play a minor pentatonic scale three frets up you get a major pentatonic! The theory books will explain such things better).

When you know the pentatonic scales then put on your favorite record and play along with that. Try to play your own solos using the notes in the scale. Try to copy some phrases and licks from the record (older blues guitarists are easy to learn from since the don't play too fast).

Then learn some other scales, for example the blues scale (it's a minor pentatonic scale to which you add an b5). Different scales are usable for different situations. There are jazzy scales, metal-sounding scales (ie harmonic minor) and so on..
So...the long-time goal...learn the fretboard so well that you can just play what you want for the moment. And for now: pay around with the scales you learn, and copy licks from other guitarists. And buy a good book explaining things better...

/Wide

#2

ok....

Improvising is very much about listening and communicating with other musicians. To be able to "speak" the musical "language", you have to learn the letters, how to build words and sentences. In guitar terms: To learn the fretboard and know where all "letters" (tones) are. Then try and learn some of the most important basic words in the language: how to put the tones in orders that will make you able to build "sentences" (phrases and solos)

The first thing most electric guitar students learn is the major and minor pentatonic scales, which are both the easiest and most commonly used scales. The scales can be found in tab here on guitartricks.I won't get into so much theory as building these scales, so get a good book about music theory. Learn the two pentatonic scales in five different positions (you just have to learn five positions because if you play a minor pentatonic scale three frets up you get a major pentatonic! The theory books will explain such things better).

When you know the pentatonic scales then put on your favorite record and play along with that. Try to play your own solos using the notes in the scale. Try to copy some phrases and licks from the record (older blues guitarists are easy to learn from since the don't play too fast).

Then learn some other scales, for example the blues scale (it's a minor pentatonic scale to which you add an b5). Different scales are usable for different situations. There are jazzy scales, metal-sounding scales (ie harmonic minor) and so on..
So...the long-time goal...learn the fretboard so well that you can just play what you want for the moment. And for now: pay around with the scales you learn, and copy licks from other guitarists. And buy a good book explaining things better...

/Wide

Kevin Taylor

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 03/05/00

Posts: 4722

yup...record yourself doing backup chords then play leads over top of em. Better yet, if you have midi, download songs off the web and just make up stuff to em. Something like Band-in-a-Box is good for improvising too cause you just input the style and chords you wanna use & you have a backup band ready to go.
As you progress and learn more scales etc... you'll find yourself using bits & pieces of everything you've learned, like little bits of leads, hooks and tricks etc.. and incorporating them into your own leads.
The height of improvising is when you can play what you hear in your head without struggling to find the notes...so the more you learn how to navigate the fretboard the easier it'll be.
Kevin's Guitar Tricks Lessons
Schmange Music U.K./Canada - Home Page
Schmange's iTunes

#3

yup...record yourself doing backup chords then play leads over top of em. Better yet, if you have midi, download songs off the web and just make up stuff to em. Something like Band-in-a-Box is good for improvising too cause you just input the style and chords you wanna use & you have a backup band ready to go.
As you progress and learn more scales etc... you'll find yourself using bits & pieces of everything you've learned, like little bits of leads, hooks and tricks etc.. and incorporating them into your own leads.
The height of improvising is when you can play what you hear in your head without struggling to find the notes...so the more you learn how to navigate the fretboard the easier it'll be.
Kevin's Guitar Tricks Lessons
Schmange Music U.K./Canada - Home Page
Schmange's iTunes

New Member

Joined: 06/30/01

Posts: 25

Get to know this scale really well...

--------------------------5--8----
---------------------5--8--------- A minor pentatonic
----------------5--7--------------
-----------5--7-------------------
------5--7------------------------
-5--8-----------------------------

...that would be a very could first step. Make up some stuff

#4

Get to know this scale really well...

--------------------------5--8----
---------------------5--8--------- A minor pentatonic
----------------5--7--------------
-----------5--7-------------------
------5--7------------------------
-5--8-----------------------------

...that would be a very could first step. Make up some stuff

Member

Joined: 03/27/01

Posts: 86

Recently i bought two instructional books wit CD. Playing along with the examples and after that play along with the backing tracks, first as in the book described but later your own licks, etc. It's important to find real good backingtracks. I have a lot of them but not all are inspiring. With a little searching it's not difficult to make a choice out of the large amount of book.

#5

Recently i bought two instructional books wit CD. Playing along with the examples and after that play along with the backing tracks, first as in the book described but later your own licks, etc. It's important to find real good backingtracks. I have a lot of them but not all are inspiring. With a little searching it's not difficult to make a choice out of the large amount of book.

Member

Joined: 01/11/01

Posts: 38

I'd just like to say that playing random notes in a scale may not sound that interesting to a listener. Knowing the scales should help you play those things that come up in your head and a great way to come up with new ideas is actually to copy licks, phrases and whole solos from good improvisers, and try to understand how they think when they improvise. A good way to learn licks is using the Winamp real-time pitch control plug-in and slow down mp3 or wav files to half speed. Much more comfortable than sitting with a CD player and listening to that solo again, again and again...

#6

I'd just like to say that playing random notes in a scale may not sound that interesting to a listener. Knowing the scales should help you play those things that come up in your head and a great way to come up with new ideas is actually to copy licks, phrases and whole solos from good improvisers, and try to understand how they think when they improvise. A good way to learn licks is using the Winamp real-time pitch control plug-in and slow down mp3 or wav files to half speed. Much more comfortable than sitting with a CD player and listening to that solo again, again and again...

New Member

Joined: 05/29/01

Posts: 8

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Martin Spaans
Recently i bought two instructional books wit CD. Playing along with the examples and after that play along with the backing tracks, first as in the book described but later your own licks, etc. It's important to find real good backingtracks. I have a lot of them but not all are inspiring. With a little searching it's not difficult to make a choice out of the large amount of book.
[/QUOTE]

Hello,

Thank you for replay. Please tell me if you know
where on web I can buy instructional book of guitar
improvisation.
I'm from Slovenia where is not a
lot of music shops and this stuff.I really need good
book because I dont have money for a guitar theacher.

#7

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Martin Spaans
Recently i bought two instructional books wit CD. Playing along with the examples and after that play along with the backing tracks, first as in the book described but later your own licks, etc. It's important to find real good backingtracks. I have a lot of them but not all are inspiring. With a little searching it's not difficult to make a choice out of the large amount of book.
[/QUOTE]

Hello,

Thank you for replay. Please tell me if you know
where on web I can buy instructional book of guitar
improvisation.
I'm from Slovenia where is not a
lot of music shops and this stuff.I really need good
book because I dont have money for a guitar theacher.

New Member

Joined: 06/30/01

Posts: 25

You could check out http://www.musiciansfriend.com , it has just about everything.

#8

You could check out http://www.musiciansfriend.com , it has just about everything.

New Member

Joined: 06/30/01

Posts: 16

Hey Zoom505
Check out this link within this site.

http://www.guitartricks.com/guitrick.shtml

On the home page of this site is some very good lessons you may be interested in.
Good luck.
Slidin' on.

#9

Hey Zoom505
Check out this link within this site.

http://www.guitartricks.com/guitrick.shtml

On the home page of this site is some very good lessons you may be interested in.
Good luck.
Slidin' on.