Improvising tips (requested lesson)  

Posted by Guitar Player in , ,

Kronos asked here for a lesson on improvising.

Here it is:

Improvising - Tips & Tricks

Improvising is very fun to do, but it takes some time and practice to be able to do it right. When you improvise, you basically play something over a chord progression. You can play licks, single notes, riffs, etc.

The first thing you need to know is that, in order to improvise, you need to know scales. There are alot of scales out there, and some are better than others over certain chord progressions, but when you start out you'll wanna learn the Pentatonic Scale. It's very used in rock 'n roll, blues, etc.

The Pentatonic Scale has 5 positions, but to get started, you only need to know one of them. It's extremely used, and it does have that rock 'n roll edge to it. Here's a tab:


That is the 1st position of the A minor pentatonic scale. It's in A because it starts on the 5th fret of the E string. There you'll find the note A.

It will be very hard for you if you don't memorize the notes on the lower E string. If you know them, you'll know where the scale starts.

Tip: If you want to play A Major pentatonic, just move the entire scale, 3 frets down. So for A minor you start at the 5th fret, for A major you'll start at the 2nd fret.

In order to practice, search the web for "free guitar backtracks". You'll find some easy. They also have the key of the song included in the name.

Example: Slow Blues in Em (E minor)

Bonus tips & tricks:

1) Don't try to play for the entire duration of the backtrack. Make some pauses. Like, play a phrase, then pause for a second or two. Listen to the music. When you feel it's right, get back in the song.
2) Record yourself. It makes you even better
3) Use alot of hammer-ons and pull-offs, slides, bends and sometimes even muting. It makes your improvisation sound richer.
4) This one is a little bit tricky. Some people say it's good, some say it's bad. As always, I say it's something in between. Here it is. Have a library of memorised licks. It's good to use licks you already know, but when you play them, just include them in tho song how you see fit. Do a hammer-on there, a slide there, a bonus bend, whatever. Just don't make it sound like canned material. From time to time, I'll post some standard licks you can learn and derive from.


A standard lick :D


I hope you enjoyed the lesson :)

Cleaning your guitar strings  

Posted by Guitar Player

Honestly, I don't do it. I'm just too lazy. But it is recommender. After you stop playing, just drag a piece of cloth or something up and down your guitar strings a few times. If you don't do that, they get rusty.

That happens because when you play, moisture from your fingers gets on the strings.