A guitarist's guide to melodic improvising in any style

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2016/04/05/a-guitarists-guide-to-melodi.html


Try learning to sing along with your solos. Once you get to the point where you know what note is going to come out before you pluck it, you are on the way to being able to play what you hear in your head. That’s when true improvisation begins, not playing within patterns or thinking what scales go with what chords (though that’s a good discipline as well).

“In any style” could only possibly be true if “any style” means something more like “any style of white boy blues.”

I’m also probably prejudiced, because as far as I can tell “guitar solo” almost always means “make a face like you’re wanking and play as fast as you can.”

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If you care about your playing, you’ll never give up your metronome. After decades, I still love to play with a metronome keeping it all together.

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Q: how do you get a guitarist to stop playing?

A: put sheet music in front of him.


You do need the basics first. I’d had some violin and piano lessons before teaching myself classical guitar, but I never really had a good grounding in pure theory. Then I tried to learn to play bass. Hey, two less strings! can’t be too hard! Hah!! This was when I found out how lacking I was in music theory. Also learned to appreciate, say, Paul McCartney more :slight_smile:

Edit: Also nice that now you can find metronomes and tuners on the net for free :smile:

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