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Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 207
Crazy Improvisation techniques on guitar
    #4249296 - 06/02/05 07:31 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

For the last two years I have been studying a music degree and have been taught jazz improvisation techniques, but I could never ever get the hang of using arpeggios and modes, I always prefered the old pentatonic hendrix type approach on my guitar (not being a particular fan of jazz)

But now I've joined a wicked jam band, I've started using the techniques I was taught not because I was taught them, but because I've actually started to 'feel' them and been able to use them in a context i'm happy with. WTF!

I always thought i was never as good as some other guitarists I know, but now i've realised it's all about playing the music your happy with and the crazy techniques come later. For nearly 5 years I have played guitar thinking you had to learn boring stuff to be a good guitarist and only now I've realised that improvisation is a natural process rather than a learnt process! And I thought i was pretty on the ball with my music!

Can anyone else relate?

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Registered: 02/09/05
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Re: Crazy Improvisation techniques on guitar [Re: marvoman]
    #4249331 - 06/02/05 07:43 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

yea man i know what you mean, i used to hate going thru the modes and practicing arpeggios (which i still suck at).

  these things do come in handy though. 

  one thing i noticed is that the stuff i play when im focusing on what mode and chord im playing in sucks and goes nowhere.

  but when i stop and listen to the groove and whatever other music is going on  i get an idea and work off of it.  once i start to play what i hear happening next in my head, then i totally forget about modes scales and arpeggios. 

i mean i still use the notes contained in whatever mode it is, but it  happens without me thinking about that, all you have to think about is the melody you're trying to play and where its going.

all those boring hours of practice integrate subconsciously.  it'll all be there when you play, but i think it comes out better when you let the melody lead the way and the modal notes will come when you need them.

man i wish i had a band to jam with :frown:

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Re: Crazy Improvisation techniques on guitar [Re: BoneMan]
    #4249346 - 06/02/05 07:48 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Exactly, thats what is happening with me right now.

All the boring stuff I have learnt seems to be coming naturally now that I have a context to work in.
The important thing to me now is that its all about where the melody goes, the modes etc are just an extention of that.

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Re: Crazy Improvisation techniques on guitar [Re: marvoman]
    #4249364 - 06/02/05 07:55 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

I've been playing bass around 6 years now and I do not know any scales, modes or arpeggios. Over the last year I have acquired the skill to actually improvise rhythm and melody on the spot. I find when I focus on the rhythm and get into a groove the notes usually naturally flow and I start to get a feel for what notes to hit at the right times. Herbal influence often helps a lot :craven:

I can only imagine how fun it will be when I learn the ropes of theory.

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Re: Crazy Improvisation techniques on guitar [Re: faslimy]
    #4250571 - 06/03/05 12:42 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

I have been playing the guitar some 9 years, newer having "studied" (actually went to 1 lesson) and seldomly learning to play songs (maybe a signature riff etc.). Point being that I've been the main writer in my band for some 7 years, all of it based on improvisation. This doesn't automatically translate to 3 chord punk. I don't condemn learning modes/scales, but i hate formulaic stuff and hearing the same licks/riffs. I just think that improvisation is where it's at, "making" your own chords/scales. And most importantly it develops you ear, wich is probably the single most important aspect of making music.

when you're watching television the higher brain regions (like the midbrain and the neo-cortex) are shut down, and most activity shifts to the lower brain regions (like the limbic system). The right hemisphere is twice as active as the left, a neurological anomaly. The crossover from left to right releases a surge of the body?s natural opiates: endorphins, which include beta-endorphins and enkephalins. Endorphins are structurally identical to opium and its derivatives (morphine, codeine, heroin, etc.).After just 30 seconds of watching television the brain begins to produce alpha waves, which indicates torpid (almost comatose) rates of activity.

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Re: Crazy Improvisation techniques on guitar [Re: otoroko]
    #4251108 - 06/03/05 03:30 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

you must be going to a crappy school. that was the first thing i was taught in first year. music exists and theory was developed later to interpret it. theory is extremely useful in understand the mechanics, but in the end you have to play music.

the key principle in improvising is to conceive a musical statement in your head and execute it. guitarists have a tendency to ignore this and let your fingers play for you what "works" and totally ignore such things. that's not improvising, that's regurgitation.

in the end, anything from arpeggios, scales, modes, chords, extensions, alterations, blah blah all help in your creative process. they are there as an aid in your musical conception, and aren't musical in themselves. you, the individual, has to do that.

anyways, enough rambling.

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