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Some Advice on How to Improvise Working with Guitar Scales

1 – Get hold of a top quality backing track to work with

Before anything else, you will need something to play with, such as another guitarist, or even better, a backing track. You can find top quality music backing tracks online to buy on the internet, the lower quality one’s being free and other better one’s you will have to pay for.

2 – Making Use of Arpeggios

If you wish to improvise over guitar scale patterns, it may be hard to discern exactly which notes you should be playing, and this is where arpeggios can help out.

You can begin by playing all of the notes in order and then combining them to make different kinds of melodies. After you are content with playing the different arpeggios, you can then try adding in some other notes from the scale to make your sound that more interesting.

3 – Try Borrowing from other guitar solos

Guitarists like many other musicians, sometimes steal or borrow from their fellow guitarists a lot more than you would think. This is not a bad thing in itself, and making use of someone else’s ideas in your playing can certainly make you into a better guitarist.

  • Nearly everyone is influenced by music which has come before them and so it’s quite natural to be inspired by their ideas.

To help you with your learning, use riffs and licks which you like from various other renowned guitar solos and then start using them to help you along. You don’t have to play the whole solo, just the parts you like and then add to them.

4 – Keeping Things Melodic and Simple

If you’ve been learning your guitar scales and can now play them rather fast it may be somewhat tempting to start improving by playing lots of notes really quickly. However, if you do this, then your improvising may begin to sound something like a technical exercise than any guitar solo.

Try focussing on playing some type of melody or tune, which people will remember. Two or three notes played perfectly at the right moment and with feeling can be a thousand times more effective than running quickly up and down your guitar scales.

5- Don’t Give Up

Like many other things in life, the trick to getting better at something is purely by way of practice. If you stick with it, there is no doubt that you will get better.

You can begin by following the tips above and just keep at it. Should you come up with a little phrase or lick which you like, keep at it till it’s perfect and then move it into another lick and then another.

And with a bit of full hearted dedication, determination and good old fashioned practice, your skills can only get better and in not too far in the future, you’ll be able to improvise over guitar scales just like any pro!

About Cleve Tristano

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