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posirock

Trouble with improvizing

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Hey, I know the pentatonic scales backwards and forwards, but whenever it comes to improzing in a jam i can't seem to come up with an good melodies or riffs. I thought it might have something to do with having better rhythm displacement, but i don't know. Any suggestions on how to get better with improvizing will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Melodies tend to rely on the strong chord tones and larger jumps than you find in straight scale playing. make sure you hit those chord tones hard when you play. Everything resolves to a chord tone or begins there. Also look at the passing notes. Notes not part of the pent you are playing. Playing in the pent boxes is just that- playing in boxes. Learn to think outside the box. Pay attention to phrasing. Sing a Melody as your playing it. It helps to keep you on track.

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Hi, posirock. I know what you mean ... turning those five notes into real music -- ie, melody -- isn't easy. You either play something cliché or boring, but to sound original and musical when you're trapped in a pent box is as very difficult.

Allthumbs' advice is good ... don't feel trapped by the pattern, let other notes come into it, let your ear tell you what's good, not the pattern. Also, keep the chord in the forefront of your thinking, the 'chord of the moment', which is that chord you're hearing right now. It's calling the shots, really. The tonality that it's sending out needs to be respected and complimented. You can set up tension and discord with 'outside' notes, but you really do need to come home to the chord, to resolve your lines, to sound 'right'. I personally gave up on scales and modes and (especially) the pentatonic years ago for all the reasons above. I just follow the chords these days.

Here's an example I did today for my other forum where I teach a simple way to see the whole fretboard as 'the chord' so that you can put your solos together this way:

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Tabs. Learn licks from other songs. There is really not much that's completely new. There are a lot of standard guitar licks that you will find over and over in popular songs, especially rock, country and blues. Once you learn a few of them, you'll be surprised how common they are and how the same lick can sound completely different depending on how it is phrased, which notes are emphsized etc. After some practice, you will start recognizing those licks when you hear a song on radio. Also string bending, hammer ons, pull offs, and slides are very important and make playing the pentatonic box sound like music.

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I agree with the other. Also play sometimes free, just start somewhere and discover the sounds of every 'step' than when you are more 'well-known' (this a very wrong word, but i don't know another word XD) you can bind al the steps together. Also watch to the chords you use, use the good combinations. But just improve okay?:P

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Damn Kirk, I love it when you play the electric guitar. I love electric guitars. :D

Along with what the guys said, the other notes does sound good when you hit the right one. I found that out when I "flubbed" and hit the wrong note but it wasn't a wrong note. It sounded too good and I don't think I flubbed, my ears made me do that. :)

Kinda hard to explain it but my mind's a blank and my ears are boss sometimes. Maybe that's the "Zone" I don't know but I get chills from it. All I can say it's fun while it lasted.

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Sorry, Scotty ... I missed this.

I'm playing straight into a little mixer then into the PC. Very simple. I added some reverb and delay in Audition ... probably a tad too much.

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please, no need to apologise Kirk. I appreciate the magnitude of your task.

That is really interesting that you record that way. Classic strat tones that you coax out of your guitar. My strat never sounds like that - I guess the adage of tone is in your fingers really shows through here.

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so nice Kirk, another fan of that pretty tune :)

your words and Allthumbs of play to the chord and follow the chord home are really helpful and refreshing - I been playing rhythm for quite a lot of years and never felt able to break free into melody, finding the 'rule' of the pentatonic scale etc not very helpful lol also helps to sing the melody or at least an idea of it . . .

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