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View Full Version : SCALES(A minor, mixo, pentatonic) in relation to improvising


griffith9
11-21-2005, 10:45 PM
OK...

Is soloing the same thing as improvising?


This is the biggest problem I'm struggling with and I can't seem to find an answer myself..

Simple way to describe it.. is I don't know what melody to play when I pick up my guitar.(aside from songs I already know)

OK, so I pick up a guitar, I play random notes,(or attempt soloing) some chord fragments(often adjacent!), and I do this for a while(you know just messing around having fun)

but there is no music, no melody, no rhythm

I compose by humming&improvising and on the guitar, i can't seem to just free myself and play a little melody.

********
It's different when I pick up the flute(though I understand that it's a 'single-note' instrument)
I come up with a rhythm and some kind of 8 bar loop thingy quickly.
*******

I've been worrying about this night and day.

i came to the conclusion that it's the SCALES.

I wanted to get some new sound out of guitar, playing random notes and "adjacent chords and whatnot.

What I think I ended up doing is just *jumping in and out of 100 different scales*, therefore making no melody.

Would you rather stay in a chord scale?
like.. Cmajor, Dmajor,Eminor,Fmajor,Gmajor, Aminor D diminished... this kind of stuff? -_-;;

Do you think there is truth in this?

How would apply A Mixolydian and all those scales when you're soloing?

DO YOU THINK SOLOING IS ALL ABOUT PLAYING WITHIN A CHOSEN SCALE(or chord scales) AND THEN SLOWLY MOVING AWAY FROM THE SCALE CONNECTING WITH OTHER SCALES?
(therefore the solo just flow smoothly.

I know people solo off of pentatonic scales(rock) and pull it off really well.

I can't seem to do that.

ah..... This is eating me alive,

I don't like to think too technically, but I can't figure this thing out without some given rules or plan...
please please give me any advice

Bryan Blakey
11-22-2005, 01:06 AM
Ok I'm not going to read all that, but to answer your initial question:

Most often yes, but not always. You can improvise without it being a solo, and you can solo without it being improvised.

Popup-Box
11-22-2005, 04:46 PM
Simple way to describe it.. is I don't know what melody to play when I pick up my guitar.(aside from songs I already know)

This could be a good thing, because if you "don't know" what to play, your mind is free and open. Decide for a scale, play random notes and see what happens. Experiment

OK, so I pick up a guitar, I play random notes,(or attempt soloing) some chord fragments(often adjacent!), and I do this for a while(you know just messing around having fun)

but there is no music, no melody, no rhythm
No rhythm? Practice for a while with a metronome, and see what happens.
No melody? Check out arpeggios.
No music? If you follow the two previous suggestions something should happen.

I compose by humming&improvising and on the guitar, i can't seem to just free myself and play a little melody.
You might be too obsessed with the sound. Decide for a few notes BEFORE you even play, and then play them. Don't let the sound dictate you; dictate the sound yourself. Force yourself to break the musical rules.

i came to the conclusion that it's the SCALES.

I wanted to get some new sound out of guitar, playing random notes and "adjacent chords and whatnot.

What I think I ended up doing is just *jumping in and out of 100 different scales*, therefore making no melody.
Maybe you are rushing it. Slow down, and focus on the different intervals. Use only a few notes and listen carefully to the sound of the intervals.

Would you rather stay in a chord scale?
like.. Cmajor, Dmajor,Eminor,Fmajor,Gmajor, Aminor D diminished... this kind of stuff? -_-;;

Do you think there is truth in this?

How would apply A Mixolydian and all those scales when you're soloing?
"Stay in" a chord scale. I don't know if that's the best word, but you should use tones from the chords if you're suffering from lack of melody. Definately.
However, the set of chords you listed, to me, did not look like a set of chords diatonic to any major scale.
When applying a scale, emphasize the notes that are characteristic to the given scale. Also, make room for the chord tones, as it will make the melody strong.

DO YOU THINK SOLOING IS ALL ABOUT PLAYING WITHIN A CHOSEN SCALE(or chord scales) AND THEN SLOWLY MOVING AWAY FROM THE SCALE CONNECTING WITH OTHER SCALES?
(therefore the solo just flow smoothly.
Sounds like an interesting thought, but the main focus should be on the background rhythm. Often, several scales will work over a certain progression. There should be no limits, really. In addition, if you know what you're doing when "exceeding the limits", it's even better.

I know people solo off of pentatonic scales(rock) and pull it off really well.

I can't seem to do that.

ah..... This is eating me alive,

I don't like to think too technically, but I can't figure this thing out without some given rules or plan...
please please give me any advice

I can pull a few licks with the pentatonic scale. And that's it. It's more or less the only scale I'm able to improvise with, as I've played it too much; yes, too much. I lack variation.

The Pentatonic Scale is not too hard. First, you should practice the scale up and down. I began playing with an acoustic guitar, and it helped a lot for the 'note attack'/feeling.
After practicng the scale patterns for a while, find a few songs in which the scale appears, and try to emulate it.

As you've done that for a while, you should be able to improvise. Your finger must be used to the movements. Your ears should be used to the sounds. Maybe try improvising a solo you've just learned. Play it, but alter it slightly. Improvise over a progression similar to a progression you like.

That's basically the suggestions I have at the moment. Let's hope the submit button works this time.

Ja Rule
11-24-2005, 12:10 AM
For me all it took was practice. I started off not being able to improvise at all, but over time I just developed the ability to flow and now it's the main thing I'm good at.

PTheory
11-29-2005, 09:52 AM
It is the best way to learn is to just try something different everytime you play, you'll find things that work, when you do just remember them and add them to your lick bag