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help me with improvisation

beatrix

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  • Sep 19, 2020
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    Italy
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    hey fam, wanted to ask you a question. its a doubt i’ve been carrying for some time and i want to clarify...well, which technique do you use when you improvise? at the moment i use pentatonics, since i haven’t yet learned well how to use major, minor, modal scales ecc. if for example a backing track is in Am, do you start with box 1 on the note A or what the hell do you do?😹 i use a method which maybe is too static...i mean i start from the reference note with the first box and then connecting the others to follow..is that right?
     

    Ids Schiere

    Sold-out Crowd Surfer
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    Nov 11, 2019
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    5,730
    Groningen
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    hey fam, wanted to ask you a question. its a doubt i’ve been carrying for some time and i want to clarify...well, which technique do you use when you improvise? at the moment i use pentatonics, since i haven’t yet learned well how to use major, minor, modal scales ecc. if for example a backing track is in Am, do you start with box 1 on the note A or what the hell do you do?😹 i use a method which maybe is too static...i mean i start from the reference note with the first box and then connecting the others to follow..is that right?
    I usually use a scale that works and just start on whatever note sounds good to me. I don't think in boxes as much as I think in notes that work have the respective chords. I just play whatever I can come up with at that moment.
     
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    William Byerley

    Hot Topic Tourer
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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    On the CAGED lessons shapes, there's 5 Pentatonic shapes, you can try memorize those. I think the shape/pattern you already know is the G shape. On the Intermediate section and Advanced ( I think both ) there's lessons on practicing connecting them. I'm still working on those, haven't been doing much last few weeks.
    I think if you learn the patterns/shapes, you can play them starting any note and that determines the "Key" of the song, I can't confirm that though. When things get boring for me, I kind of just look the other way, play whatever and listen for what sounds nice. Sometimes sounds ok, I also put on music and play along or just have it on to try and distract me. Hopefully this is on point, I'm often aloof. o_O
     
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    Chris Johnston

    Music Theory Bragger
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    I think everybody's technique differs for improv but this is my two cents:


    If I was improvising over an Am backing track I would tend to use some A minor blues/pentatonic scale (Any of the 5 shapes), for a certain type of sound - Most of the work I do with this scale is letting my ears guide me to a melody I'm trying to hear.

    I also use a lot of arpeggios when I play, to get more colors against the chords - For this stuff, knowing the overall Key of Am is your best friend! I look at the key of Am - (Related to C Major) Am, Bhalf dim, C Maj, Dmaj, Emin, Fmaj, Gmaj - and I play the arpeggios that lie on the chord tones of Amin (A, C, E) So I get Amin arpeggio, Cmaj arpeggio and E min arpeggio.

    If I could boil my technique down to 4 things it would be Knowledge of a Key, Pentatonics ,Arpeggios & most importantly Ears! - all with chromatic notes in between if needed.

    The 100% most important thing is that you play what you want to hear - like practice putting a backing track on and seeing where your ears lead you without thinking too much about it, then try and imagine what you'd play over something and then try and figure it out - - all of these things will develop your ear & your sense of melody. You want to use the shapes you know to bring out what you want to play/hear verses having the shapes dictate the sound of what you do, if that makes any sense :LOL:

    Overall, you'll learn most by experimenting with sounds - the hard part is trying not to overthink it!
     
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