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hb

Filling in the blank spaces

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I have quite a bit of sheet music that I enjoy using. Music to popular songs that give me the chords and melody line that I understand pretty well. But they never write those little "dittys, riffs" or whatever they're called that is played in those longer dead spaces between the melody notes. Sheet music just gives a long rest in these spots and then goes to the next melody line. I can hear these lines in the back of my head and they're in almost every song you hear, but I can't play this on my own. If I have the music, I can play it, but it's almost never written. I think that this adds so much to a song. How does one start to come up with little fill-ins on your own? Is it some type of COTM thing? If so, what are some suggestions in coming up with this type of thing?

thanks in advance,

hb

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...How does one start to come up with little fill-ins on your own? Is it some type of COTM thing? If so, what are some suggestions in coming up with this type of thing?

Check out Kirk's two "Chord Tone" lessons that are pinned at the top of this forum - he's improvising using COTM.

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.... How does one start to come up with little fill-ins on your own? Is it some type of COTM thing? If so, what are some suggestions in coming up with this type of thing?

thanks in advance,

hb

I'm a n00b so fair warning...:)

First off, have you got your copy of Plane Talk yet? Its helped me so much already, that I can't stand not being a better player yet to utilize all it offers. COTM bible/manual to me.

Secondly, as a n00b, I just noodle around till I find what I like, might take a minute or two or might take 3 days{n00b remember} but the cotm is the key. Now my ears aren't developed enough to just hear the chords, I need them written out for me, but for the improvising, PT has opened the fretboard to me so that I can at least move about until I'm happy with my fills/improv thing. Hope that helps, its working for me at my present stage.

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Yes, I've read PT about 3 times and have found it very helpful. I know the positions pretty well, but just can't seem to make music. If a piece of music had a melody line on a G chord, then needed this little ditty to fill in, and then the melody line went into a C chord, would you try to fill in with something on top of a G or C chord?

hb

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...How does one start to come up with little fill-ins on your own? Is it some type of COTM thing? If so, what are some suggestions in coming up with this type of thing?

This is a loaded question, hb. I think for someone who's been playing less than a year I'd have to say that you might concern yourself with understanding the rhythm of the song and the rhythm that you'll be playing during these passages.

That's a really important part of playing, especially in playing in band situations. Those fill in sections are usually handled by a highlight instrument, like lead guitar or keys. But there's always a huge need to keep the back beat of the song going. Think about learning to drive the backbeat with the guitar and become a great rhythm player.

Not only does this help you to become a strong rhythm player, it helps develop your ear. You can hear and understand the chord and rhythm structure of the song and this will launch you in to creating tasty fills down the road.

When you begin to break it down like this, you'll start hearing how the highlight instruments are complimenting the backing beat and chord structure of the song and get an understanding of what they're doing musically. I hope this helps.

Steve

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Yes, I've read PT about 3 times and have found it very helpful. I know the positions pretty well, but just can't seem to make music. If a piece of music had a melody line on a G chord, then needed this little ditty to fill in, and then the melody line went into a C chord, would you try to fill in with something on top of a G or C chord?

hb

Think COTM and think 1, 3 and 5. Make these your baseline or home notes; your go to notes.

Steve

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All good advice. That I should take too. But I'll add that a lot of newer tab books have good transcriptions of the melody lines. Hal Leonard has a lot in their catalog. Guitar Pro is excellent for something to play along with that show tab for multiple parts and plays them.

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