Improvising.

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by Stratafied, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. Stratafied

    Stratafied Most Honored Senior Member

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    How good are you at improvising over a backing track , for me it’s something I definitely need to put more time in. I just run out of ideas and it doesn’t flow, it reminds me of a local band I go see occasionally, they do great covers and also just do a jam with three guitarists. Each one gets to adlib a solo , the first two guys sound great and the third one is just meh, but he’s a very good covers guitarist.
     
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  2. Birdsong

    Birdsong Strat-Talker

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    I don’t know how good I am at it, but that’s about all I do is improvise leads even on covers, just normally have a couple of the key licks from the solo and work around them . I don’t know if I worded that right , or if you can understand what I’m saying. As far as playing with backing tracks , never used them. I either played with a band . Or either just put me down some rhythms on the looper.
     
  3. bonquavius

    bonquavius Strat-Talk Member

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    I feel like I'm pretty good. It's nice if it tells me the key, but after a while I'll be able to figure it out.

    It really helps a lot if I hear someone else play over it so I can kinda get a "vibe" or "style" that I want to play it in.

    Phrased it poorly, not sure how else to say it.
     
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  4. dogletnoir

    dogletnoir V----V

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    It's what i do.
    Even my backing tracks are improvised, actually.
     
  5. Dibbs

    Dibbs Strat-O-Master

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    Sometimes, if you go to sleep thinking about a solo, you literally "dream one up", and have a great idea or two for solos, in the AM, when you get up. Or PM, whatever.
     
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  6. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member

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    I'm not the best judge. I was too busy being lost in the moment, as it were, and just letting it happen.
     
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  7. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too.

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    I'm with you OP, it's something I need to put some time in on.
     
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  8. StratSounds

    StratSounds Senior Stratmaster

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    I like to think I’m pretty good at pulling up any old backing track, or telling whoever I’m playing with to just play whatever they want and I’ll do my best to go to town on it. But truth be told, depending on how long a jam is, I’ll find myself dipping into the same honey holes more often than I’d like. Lately I’ve been trying to think outside the box more and change up the tempo of certain licks, concentrate on playing it different, just leave more open space, and try not to double dip as much. Maybe I’m maturing or something.:D
     
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  9. cranky

    cranky Strat-O-Master

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    I'm decent at it when playing the scale. Not great, not overly creative or athletic, since my technique flaws definitely inhibit what I'm even able to visualize doing let alone attempt.

    But the corner I'm starting to turn is soloing over chords specifically. This requires so much more focus -- another flaw of mine -- since I admittedly tend to forget the chord sequence of a song and lazily assume that there will be no borrowed chords or modal mixture as I meander up and down the neck melodically. But soloing by way of outlining chords is a whole next level of self-conscious "attack and release" playing. For now, I'm happy that I understand what I'm even talking about with this stuff. But I definitely will progress and I definitely can be a little restless about it.
     
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  10. soulman969

    soulman969 Senior Stratmaster

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    Most of my life as a band member has been about improvising even well known bass lines to fit into the way the band I was in played them. And if there was nothing pre-recorded to improvise from I'd just have the band run through the progressions to get the right feel and improvise a line that fit.

    I'm a rhythm and riff player and I can do the same on a guitar but it takes a bit longer especially if there's a keyboard player as well. I like to listen to what's already there first to see if I can find something that will fit without stepping on anyone else's parts. That process is tougher for me than bass.

    Any soloing I do is fairly basic and confined to what I can do not always what I'd like to do but I can improvise over blues and most straight ahead rock at least to a degree. I mean when you're playing a blues jam on guitar and the song leader nods in your direction you'd better come up with something fast.

    :D
     
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  11. tatoo

    tatoo Strat-Talker Gold Supporting Member

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    Hard to objectively judge oneself...
    I can hang quite decently in many styles. However with age, I escape shred more and more and mostly hang at “say it with less”.
    Find those few notes and make them count.
    After 30+ years of playing, modes, scales etc. are just rough guidances and I just want to be minimalistic but musical in my playing.
     
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  12. Stratafied

    Stratafied Most Honored Senior Member

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    Sounds great!
     
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  13. Stratattack72

    Stratattack72 Strat-O-Master

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    It's about the only way I know how to solo. I have lots of experience doing it at open jams and in bands I played in in the past . About the only thing I don't think i do well with is comping over Jazz . That is a whole nother world . I think it helps I am very rooted in the blues as well as classic Rock.
     
  14. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Silver Member

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    improvising is like speaking.
    when you are by yourself playing along to a backing track, you can say what you want for as long as you want.
    if you are playing with people, you must listen more and speak less. do not interrupt people, because it is rude. when its your turn to talk, say what you like, but keep it on topic.
    the more people there are, the more you listen and the less you speak.
     
  15. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Most Honored Senior Member

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    I'm also an improv guy - I can rarely play a lead the same way twice. I'll sit and watch TV with an unplugged strat in my lap, noodling along with the music in movies or tv shows.
    Pretty much all my YT demos are improv as well.

    One thing about improvisation - I do find that basing your entire style around it can lead to a lot of repetition - I remember seeing interviews with Yngwie or Santana and how they improv everything, but to my ears so many of their leads sound the same because they are often relying on muscle memory instead concentrating on creating melodic statements.
    I actually find the Yngwie's best stuff are the parts of the songs when he does compose vs improvs.

    My favorites are players who can strike a balance - create well-crafted, memorable melodies within their leads, but also leave enough space for personal expression. David Gilmour is a perfect example - he will often compose solos by taking several improvised runs at a lead, then go back and pick the best spots out of each and create a single lead.
    Alex Lifeson and Eric Johnson are other good examples - they will create a lead with certain signature moments, and then incorporate variations around those moments live.
     
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  16. WhiteWabbit

    WhiteWabbit Senior Stratmaster

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    I recorded this the other day and was happy with it. I agree with what Helter said... it’s easy to play too much even with a backing track which is something I need to work on. It’s easy to hide behind a lot of notes. Playing with people forces you to choose your notes wisely and play for the song.
     
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  17. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Silver Member

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    yep. some people can blah blah blah all day and say absolutely nothing, whereas some can say very few words and speak volumes.
    you did a really good job of mixing up the maj and min penatomics, btw.
     
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  18. ripgtr

    ripgtr Most Honored Senior Member

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    It is a skill like anything else. The more (focused) time you put in, the better you are at it.
     
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  19. WhiteWabbit

    WhiteWabbit Senior Stratmaster

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    Yea exactly. I think of a guy like Peter Green who could throw out that one note at the exact right time and send shivers up your spine.. thanks man!
     
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