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Reaver

Where should I begin to start improvising on Guitar?

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title says it all.....like what type of knowledge base should I build to become a successful improviser and where should i begin?:smilinguitar:

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well i can play most tabs after an hour at normal speed..Im just learning scales and I have spent over a year doing exercises to strengthen my fingers..but i must say scales have really opened my eyes to the knowledge of the fretboard..i want to know more like this because im sure its an essential skill for improv...

Any advice is appreciated even if you think its really obvious i would love to hear it :yes:

..at this point i cant improv if my life depended on it !!

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Well, Kirk's book, Plane talk is exactly what you are looking for. Read the testimonials to see what I mean. Scales never did it for me either. I got to the point that i could play any scale in any key , slowly but correctly, and still was not making coherent melodic choices.

The basic thing to remember is that strong melody loves chord tones. Start thinking chords. it is a different mindset than scales. Some find it much easier to work with.

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books cant teach you to improvise , although they may hold some information. the trouble with books is ...... that they are somebody elses way of thinking , and with improvisation you may be better off developing your own so that you can freely explore the fretboard without much trouble .

the blues is always the best way to start impro .

record or get a recording of a simple 12 bar loop and improvise in the relative pentatonic scales that apply to it ( part of your learning should include learning how many fit in and why )

then turn your scale into blues scales and see what u can do with that .

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you should begin doing a research in improving your guitar. In today's trend, a guitar is more improvised if there's a multimedia software installed on it.

Hi ya Guitarhero,

Sorry, but I've read and reread what you wrote. Maybe it's just I'm trying to multitask and it's plain as can be but I can't see it. But, what are you talking about "improving your guitar"? Did you mean improving your guitar skills? Or, making physical improvements to the guitar?

And "a guitar is more improvised if there's a multimedia software installed on it"?? Not sure what you meant here.

Just some clarification, please. :winkthumb:

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Andy, I think ghf means improv-ing. It's unfortunate that the abbreviation of improvisation is improv and that adding the 'ing' to it turns it into a whole other word.

Reaver, the art of improvisation is something you arrive at after quite a long time of mastering the basics of music, like knowing your chords and being able to keep good time and especially hearing what's going on musically. There is a definite structure to music, no matter what the tune is and how simple or complicated it may be. Underlying every piece of music is a framework that it all hangs off. To really be able to invent your part on the fly, you really do need to be able to hear what that framework is in order for your part to fit. The pentatonic scale is a good batch of notes to start off with, especially the blues that uses a very well know framework, namely the I-IV-V chords in a definite pattern over 12 bars. If that has already confused you, you need to look into it all a bit. You may well, if you're a natural born-to-be-a-musician kind of guy, be able to invent lines on the fly without knowing the theory behind it all, but from what you wrote, you're probably like most of us who need to work on it.

zappa's suggestion is a good one: find yourself a blues backing track (there are thousands of them out there), one that you like the sound of, and start playing along. Figure out which pentatonic scales apply and fiddle around with them. LISTEN to what you're doing and try to find a way of remembering what works when and what doesn't. In the end, though, you're going to need to really know the fretboard, really know how to break down what you're hearing into music, and by that I mean the actual structure of the piece you're playing to. Every chord has a function within the key of the tune, and you eventually will need to know what it is. Eventually, once you've figured out all those scales and remembered their names, you'll discover that you can forget about them and simply follow the chords as they come and go in the timeline because you'll know the roles that the chords are playing in the bigger context. When you can do that, full scales become irrelevant, melody becomes paramount. Melody is a lot easier to find in chords than in scales, but it takes a while to really understand that, so really concentrate on learning as much about chords as you can.

That's my advice, anyway. :winkthumb:

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This is my take as someone who is trying to learn to play blues which is mostly improvised.

Tabs. You are probably not going to invent anything new. Learn to play the standard guitar licks that all other guitar players use (and there are a lot of them) that can sound completely different depending on how you play them. The best explanation that I've come across is to think of guitar playing like a language. The individual notes of the scale are the "letters". All those standard licks are "words" made up of "letters" or notes. Then you can try to string those "words" together into "sentences". Don't try to reinvent the wheel. Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray etc learned those standard licks somewhere else too and then put their own take on them.

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I would start at the standard penatonic positions. Then you can work your way up different scales like the diatonic, and switching penatonics.:leadguitar:

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