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Thread: !!!! Improvising !!!!

  1. #1
    Registered User JEM555's Avatar
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    !!!! Improvising !!!!

    Hello everybody.....now i really would like to know how to improvise,anyone teach me??
    i have the articles about Pentatonic and Arpeggios used in Improvisation....but they say that you should have some experienve in improvisation before beginning om em.....but i dont know which experience.....so can somebody be that kind to help me out here??
    thanks

  2. #2
    Ibreathe Music Advisor EricV's Avatar
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    Did ya check out my "Be Creative" article ?
    Eric

  3. #3
    Registered User Danny K's Avatar
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    improvising

    Jem 555 - there is no right or wrong way to improvise. The definition of improvisation is spontanious composition. Basically you open up your soul and let the music pour out. To start improvising take all the techique & theory you know, put it in the back of your mind & just play. The application of scales & arpeggios will come, the more you improvise the more complex your improvisations will become. So to sorta sum this all up, get some sort of backing track happening and then to quote Frank Zappa - "Shut up & play you guitar."

    Danny K
    Alien Water Dance Demos
    p.s. to hear some brilliant improvising check out the works of Miles Davis, John Coltraine, Charlie Parker, Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Mike Stern, Michael Fath, & Scott Henderson

  4. #4
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    Listen to other players. That's really what it boils down to. If you lock a guy in a room with a guitar, a stack of theory/guitar books and nothing to listen to, he'll come out later as an encyclopedia of musical knowledge, but I can guarantee you he wouldn't be able to play, because he didn't have any examples to base himself from.

    Theory and harmony are extremely important, don't get me wrong--you need to get a solid grounding in that too. But where you really learn to construct an improvised solo is by listening to other players (who are good at it), both directly and indirectly.

    When I was first starting out, after I had learned scales and was able to get around the fretboard a little, I focused my attention on learning other people's songs and solos, mainly David Gilmour. Invaluable. Learning other people's solos will do 2 major things for you: (1) it will help you learn how to create a well-constructed solo, and (2) you will greatly improve your ear (you start to recognize how each note sounds and will start to be able to differentiate pitches).

    One caution though: Don't jump off and try to learn, say, Frank Gambale right from the beginning, because with the complex harmony and all the notes flying by, you'll get bogged down. Start by listening and transcribing more accessible things--stuff like David Gilmour, old Clapton/Cream stuff, maybe some Charlie Christian if you're looking into jazz.....something that's not so intimidating, something nice and melodic that you can really sink your teeth into. You have to crawl before you can run.

    And as a last note...ALWAYS bring something of your own to the party. Learning other player's solos is important, but you don't want to simply become a walking encyclopedia of Joe Pass licks (although wouldn't it be nice.....). You need to add your own flavor to things and develop your own licks as well as learning others.

    And, no matter if you're playing a slow, raunchy blues, or flying a mile-a-minute over a fusion tune, always play what you feel. If you don't feel a note, then don't play it.

    Thanks for letting me ramble. Good luck on your musical journey!

    Regards,
    Tim

  5. #5
    Afro-Cuban Grunge-Pop Bongo Boy's Avatar
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    I'm a beginner, and making slow progress. I have trouble going from something in my head (which will likely be a mimick of something I've heard already) to the guitar directly. Part of the problem is lack of familiarity around the fretboard. So, by the time I can play the first 4 notes of my Big Idea, I've forgotten the rest of it.

    I think it's a LOT easier (right now) to get the sound down with voice ("doo dee doo doo dee da"), keyboard or clarinet on a recording, so I can at least hold on to it long enough to get it on the guitar. Very marginally successful with this so far because my ear is just so dumb, but easier than going direct. I find that if I try to go direct (brain-to-fingers) then I simply adopt all the lucky accidents I have, and my improv ends up interesting, but accidental. Useful yes, but not how I want to train my ear, etc.

    It seems useful to me to just sit and pick away at a single-note blues kinda thing and not worry about where it goes or how many times I repeat the same 4-note phrase. I can do that for 30 minutes easy without getting bored. It's improvising--just very simple, very primitive--but it does make learning the instrument fun. What I'm saying is, I find learning a cool-sounding 8-note phrase, then moving around the fretboard, to be at least ONE building block of improvisation. I hate 10-minute solos anyway.
    Last edited by Bongo Boy; 02-27-2003 at 04:15 AM.
    Pulsing the System with Confirmed Nonsense.

  6. #6
    Running with the devil... Rock_Rocket's Avatar
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    I have trouble going from something in my head (which will likely be a mimick of something I've heard already) to the guitar directly.
    Don't worry about that, because - in my opinion - that is really tough and needs lotsa practice and experience. I think I remember (maybe I'm wrong) Slash saying something like: "I heard the main-riff of 'Been There Lately' inside my head and I just had to stop to think how I could play it and then I went to figure it out. [...] The most important thing is to be able to play what you hear inside your head - immediately. That's the toughest part."

    So you're not alone. You, I and Slash and probably a bunch of other players have got the same problem.

    Practice makes it best!

    Regards!

    Rock_Rocket

  7. #7
    The Next big thing the1andonly's Avatar
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    I would recommend starting by learning the major and minor pentatonic, and major and minor diatonic scale shapes. then start trying to learn some simple solos you like, via transcribing, tab, or sheet music. once you learn a solo perfectly, try playing around with the ideas from the solo, changing them around and making them into your own thing. its a good way to start learning to improvise and write melodies.

  8. #8
    Registered User NMucci's Avatar
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    Hi,
    Trying to teach someone how to improvise is like trying to explain how to breathe, you just can't do it. Some people can and some people can't. I would recommend getting a good grounding in music theory. Try simply noodling along to some pre-recorded chords, I do that alot, eventually you'll pick it up.

  9. #9
    Registered User JEM555's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone....i understand its a big subject, il try my best to try out everything you said.
    I checked out you "Be Creative" article Eric V...and i like it a lot...im gonna stick with doing those things you said

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