It's the age old question - my solos suck! How do I improve?

What's Hot
13

Comments

  • sev112sev112 Frets: 1302
    I learned 2 things (among many others) that worked really well for me

    know where the Minor 3, Major 3 are in relation to a fretted note - it’s either on same string or next string.  If you know that you know where the 4th interval is.  You know where the 5th interval is because that’s the power chord position,  and you know where the second is because it’s just 2 frets up. You know where the octave is because it’s 2 frets up and 2 strings across .
    If you know you have a maj 7 or min 7 then it’s 1 or 2 frets down from the octave.
    But, the most important and useful thing to know is the Minor 3rd and Major 3rd.

    the other thing I learned, from looking at piano keyboard, is that building a chord / arpeggio, is that 1 3 5 is either the first not plus a major 3rd and a minor 3rd on top of that (major chord) or the first note plus a minor 3rd and a major 3rd on top of that. And that’s why I found that PPI t 1 above was really helpful, as I could build the arpeggio and scale from any note just by knowing the 3rds



    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • RockerRocker Frets: 4265
    Can someone please tell me what is the benefit of knowing the notes on the fretboard?  I play sounds not specific notes, I have a feeling of where the required sounds are located.  This is only an issue when I am learning something, I don't adlib or improvise so when I work out something, I tab it and learn it.  This might take a few days but it has the advantage of being movable if played  in different keys. 
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

    Nil Satis Nisi Optimum

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • ToneControlToneControl Frets: 9629
    Rocker said:
    Can someone please tell me what is the benefit of knowing the notes on the fretboard?  I play sounds not specific notes, I have a feeling of where the required sounds are located.  This is only an issue when I am learning something, I don't adlib or improvise so when I work out something, I tab it and learn it.  This might take a few days but it has the advantage of being movable if played  in different keys. 
    I think you just need the shape of the scales, and know where the root notes are
    If you know these, then knowing the notes on just the E string will enable a lot of playing options
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • vizviz Frets: 7994
    Rocker said:
    Can someone please tell me what is the benefit of knowing the notes on the fretboard?  I play sounds not specific notes, I have a feeling of where the required sounds are located.  This is only an issue when I am learning something, I don't adlib or improvise so when I work out something, I tab it and learn it.  This might take a few days but it has the advantage of being movable if played  in different keys. 
    You don’t have to know them, unless you play in the sorts of situations where someone says that should be a D#, or, can you play an F over that please. 

    Otherwise, yes, guitar is such a transposable instrument and rock music is so simple that using chord numbers and scale degrees is usually sufficient. 

    Having said that, learning the notes is not arduous and seems a fairly sensible thing to do. 
    Anything that isn’t pentatonic is pretentious wank -  LastMantra
    more on the strength of my ability to own a PA than to play a guitar” - ICBM
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • BeexterBeexter Frets: 525
    I'm also trying to learn the fretboard and have found that playing with a tuner permanently on is helping - I try to name the note and can quickly check if I'm right or not without having to refer to a chart.
    I still have a long way to go before I can instantly name a note but using a tuner in this way gives you a very fast and simple answer.
    I am a bit closer to knowing the fretboard than i was this time last week and if i keep at it, I'll be a bit better this time next week...
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • BarneyBarney Frets: 502
    Try and play what's in your head ...and iff you don't think it don't play it ...I bet you could sing a great solo along to a track ...even just using a few notes and different timings ect ....probably the last thing in your head would be a pentatonic scale for ecample but a lot of the time that's what we play more out of habit that anything .....but In my opinion the key to good solos is playing what your thinking..
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
  • vizviz Frets: 7994
    Barney said:
    Try and play what's in your head ...and iff you don't think it don't play it ...I bet you could sing a great solo along to a track ...even just using a few notes and different timings ect ....probably the last thing in your head would be a pentatonic scale for ecample but a lot of the time that's what we play more out of habit that anything .....but In my opinion the key to good solos is playing what your thinking..
    This!!!!!!!!!!!

    Your mind is probably singing good solos all day long. Being an instrumental composer / improvisor is all about making that mental magick happen in the fingers. 
    Anything that isn’t pentatonic is pretentious wank -  LastMantra
    more on the strength of my ability to own a PA than to play a guitar” - ICBM
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
  • bermudianbritbermudianbrit Frets: 90
    This is so interesting to me. I have perfect pitch, which...made me lazy, basically. For the longest time I didn't bother learning the board because I knew instinctively what note I was on...sadly that...doesn't help you until you hit it, and if its a clanger, boy do you know about it!
    So learning songs with basic cords was fine...in rock/blues/country I can here the cords with no difficulty at all. Voicings and creative soloing though...that's where I got lazy. 16 years I've played, and this is still a failing of mine.


    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • bobblehatbobblehat Frets: 377
    I'm in a similar position to axisus. Been playing guitar for the best part of 35 years but never really spent any meaningful time learning how to play. Never had a lesson and just picked things up as I went. This is mostly due to not having the time (kids ,work etc) . As a result I'm pretty clueless when it comes to soloing. I'd consider myself to be reasonably good guitarist and have held my own as the guitarist in a covers band for the last 15 years. I am aware that learning to play other peoples solos is a completely different skill to being able to improvise. 
    I guess the reason this question comes up tie and time again is that we just don't know where to start. There never seems to be a simple road map to follow and everyone seems to have a different opinion, Maybe its easier if your a complete beginner .
    I've recently gone back to basics and started working my way through "Blues you can use" . I bought it on a recommendation from a similar thread on here about 5 years ago!  Started it but only got through the first 2 chapters. Currently on Chapter 6 so that progress!   
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • merlinmerlin Frets: 4157
    edited May 20
    Buy my Digitech Jamman Stereo and practise until the cows come home.  =)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • greejngreejn Frets: 53
    A different approach might help, playing chord melody and mixing it in with single note lines.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • CookiemonsterCookiemonster Frets: 449
    Lewy said:
    Danny1969 said:
    DesWalker said:

    A good start would be to learn the notes on the fretboard. Start with the frets that have dots and build out from there. I don’t see how you can get anywhere without that. You’ve got to get very familiar with the chromatic scale.


    Yep totally agree. You have to know where the notes is you want to be able to implement cool ideals on the fly.  Without that fundamental knowledge everything is going ground to a halt very quickly. 





    I observed a David Greer masterclass one time and he went round the room asking people what they wanted to achieve and nearly all of them said they wanted to improve their improvisation. He said OK, and asked them each to play Happy Birthday in whatever key he called out. Nobody got through it without a mistake, and this was an intermediate/advanced class. It was a great way to bring home the importance of the ground work of ear training and being able to find the notes - people wanted to be able to improvise but couldn't find the most familiar melody of all time on their instrument.
    There is no way I could do that. That's fascinating. I really to up my game.
    I think I am stuck in a rut like the OP.

    I've been trying a few new things, but I think for me at least it's time for some lessons.

    Maybe that would help @axisus ;

    Instagram is Rocknrollismyescape -

    FOR SALE - Catalinbread Echorec, Sonic Blue classic player strat and a Digitech bad monkey

     

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • hollywoodroxhollywoodrox Frets: 1562
    https://www.fachords.com/tools/fretboard-trainer/

    THIS IS ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT FOR LEARNING FRETBOARD NOTES

      it’s much better than octaves and other patterns , the more you play it the better you get and it’s quite fun . I’m sure I found it on here in another thread 3 or 4 years ago . It’s really really good.

    I only knew the obvious ones at first like the low E and A string . It’s just remembering to practice daily , I keep meaning to . Perhaps we could have a thread and see how we are all doing .

    https://www.fachords.com/tools/fretboard-trainer/
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • vizviz Frets: 7994
    https://www.fachords.com/tools/fretboard-trainer/

    THIS IS ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT FOR LEARNING FRETBOARD NOTES

      it’s much better than octaves and other patterns , the more you play it the better you get and it’s quite fun . I’m sure I found it on here in another thread 3 or 4 years ago . It’s really really good.

    I only knew the obvious ones at first like the low E and A string . It’s just remembering to practice daily , I keep meaning to . Perhaps we could have a thread and see how we are all doing .

    https://www.fachords.com/tools/fretboard-trainer/
    That’s a really really good little tool!
    Anything that isn’t pentatonic is pretentious wank -  LastMantra
    more on the strength of my ability to own a PA than to play a guitar” - ICBM
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
  • hollywoodroxhollywoodrox Frets: 1562
    viz said:
    https://www.fachords.com/tools/fretboard-trainer/

    THIS IS ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT FOR LEARNING FRETBOARD NOTES

      it’s much better than octaves and other patterns , the more you play it the better you get and it’s quite fun . I’m sure I found it on here in another thread 3 or 4 years ago . It’s really really good.

    I only knew the obvious ones at first like the low E and A string . It’s just remembering to practice daily , I keep meaning to . Perhaps we could have a thread and see how we are all doing .

    https://www.fachords.com/tools/fretboard-trainer/
    That’s a really really good little tool!
    It really is , you can get quite good in a small amount of time plus there’s a training mode without the timer ,it’s fun to play against the timer though
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • vizviz Frets: 7994
    How do you get it out of beginner mode though?
    Anything that isn’t pentatonic is pretentious wank -  LastMantra
    more on the strength of my ability to own a PA than to play a guitar” - ICBM
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • hollywoodroxhollywoodrox Frets: 1562
    It should be in game mode to begin with , the string lights up yellow and you click where the note is , you are on a countdown timer so no beginner mode ,the quicker you do it the more points you score ,there is a leaderboard 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • bobblehatbobblehat Frets: 377
    viz said:
    https://www.fachords.com/tools/fretboard-trainer/

    THIS IS ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT FOR LEARNING FRETBOARD NOTES

      it’s much better than octaves and other patterns , the more you play it the better you get and it’s quite fun . I’m sure I found it on here in another thread 3 or 4 years ago . It’s really really good.

    I only knew the obvious ones at first like the low E and A string . It’s just remembering to practice daily , I keep meaning to . Perhaps we could have a thread and see how we are all doing .

    https://www.fachords.com/tools/fretboard-trainer/
    That’s a really really good little tool!
    Thats good nad harder than I thought it would be.  =)
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • vizviz Frets: 7994
    I can't get above 30, it's impossible!
    Anything that isn’t pentatonic is pretentious wank -  LastMantra
    more on the strength of my ability to own a PA than to play a guitar” - ICBM
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
  • hollywoodroxhollywoodrox Frets: 1562
    It reall is good keep at it @viz ;
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
Sign In or Register to comment.