Video Guitar Lesson 13: Tips on improvising solos using themes, ideas and digging deep

Video Guitar Lesson 13: Tips on improvising solos using themes, ideas and digging deep

  1. How do I keep improvisations interesting and engaging?
  2. What ideas might help me to think on the spot?
  3. What can I gain from digging deep into an idea or theme?
  4. How can I relax while playing and reduce tension?

If these questions interest you and you are interested in being able to play interesting solos and improvisations, then keep reading and be sure to check our video and audio out for this lesson.

FIRST – Get in contact if you want us to produce a technique file podcast in which we will go back over past episodes and collect all the riffs, licks, exercises and rhythms and create a couple of podcasts to summarise and revisit all this.  Email us at tunein.toneup@gmail.com

We are looking for 20 people to be in touch to start working on this!

(see below for timings for both this video and the audio version)

In this lesson, Dan and I return to take a look at how to improve your creative improvisations and what that journey looks like on the guitar. The focus of this lesson, using a backing track we recently did another lesson with, is how having some predetermined themes to use in your solo and a plan can help you to come up with ideas and interest as you improvise.  As we play around with improvisation Dan gives me some tips and a strategy following a structured approach to coming up with ideas.  We use octaves, blues licks and then Dan delves into a couple of ideas: First he highlights the importance of being relaxed and not tense; second we take a look at three note per string pentatonic licks and referencing lots of different players Dan demonstrates how you can delve deeply into one idea to explore the theme fully.

Some things which I am really going to take away from this lesson are that:

  1. I will work on the three note per string patterns
  2. I will use ideas to break up improvisations
  3. I will dig deep into the techniques

All the best, Gary and Dan

https://tunein-toneup.com/

https://soundcloud.com/tunein-toneup/

Timings for the SoundCloud audio version

00:00:56 Reference to That Pedal Show and our last episode
00:01:36 Introduction – how do we mix our licks up to make them not feel too samey?
00:02:11 Fancy Fusion Backing Track in B minor | #SZBT 205: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZUCq_UlqzI
00:02:34 The focus for today’s lesson is making your licks stand out – one idea leading to the next and the next…
00:03:16 Breaking solos into rigid structures
00:03:39 EG – Ritchie Samboura’s solo from Dead or Alive
00:04:19 Analysing the ideas behind the parts of this solo, e.g. octaves, little blues lick, pinched harmonics, country blues rock lick, chugging chords
00:08:43 First soloing over the backing track
00:12:00 Guthrie Govan interview
00:13:34 How important it is to have goals and visualise where you want to be
00:17:55 Learn something different – have a bit of surprise left in your life
00:19:18 Dan’s example of how beginners approach improvisation
00:20:01 1) isolating the ocatave theme and idea
00:21:09 2) by landing here on the fretboard you’re ready for the blues lick
00:21:32 Be bold and not scared of the improvisation
00:23:53 Two tips to help when you’re not sure: leave a note to hang or leave space
00:29:33 Second improvisation, focussing on relaxing and themed ideas
00:35:00 Running with weights: e.g. go up the whole scale using octaves
00:36:23 using octaves
00:36:51 Foo Fighters idea – fattening up a melody
00:37:01 Steve Vai – slipping up to the octaves, slide then octave
00:38:59 The pentatonic thing: with 3 note per string patterns
00:40:26 Second three note per string pentatonics
00:42:37 three notes on one string, then one note
00:43:10 Joel Hoekstra thing –
00:47:12 Podcast episode idea and call to action – get in touch if you want this
00:48:02 Shawn Lane lick
00:52:28 Some advice about digging deep into ideas
00:53:17 Country bends
00:54:19 Guthrie Govan idea from waves – arpeggiating with string skipping
00:55:37 Arpeggiating a Bm chord
00:58:05 Dan using the Guthrie Govan idea to solo over the backing track
00:59:05 Mixing in the Vito Bratta idea of adding tapped notes
01:01:12 Interesting video by Rick Graham – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsEHi1wykkc&feature=youtu.be
01:04:57 Final jam over the backing track

Timings for the YouTube video version

00:00:24 Reference to That Pedal Show and our last episode
00:01:03 Introduction – how do we mix our licks up to make them not feel too samey?
00:01:38 Fancy Fusion Backing Track in B minor | #SZBT 205: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZUCq_UlqzI
00:02:01 The focus for today’s lesson is making your licks stand out – one idea leading to the next and the next…
00:02:43 Breaking solos into rigid structures
00:03:06 EG – Ritchie Samboura’s solo from Dead or Alive
00:03:46 Analysing the ideas behind the parts of this solo, e.g. octaves, little blues lick, pinched harmonics, country blues rock lick, chugging chords
00:08:10 First soloing over the backing track
00:11:27 Guthrie Govan interview
00:13:01 How important it is to have goals and visualise where you want to be
00:17:22 Learn something different – have a bit of surprise left in your life
00:18:45 Dan’s example of how beginners approach improvisation
00:19:28 1) isolating the ocatave theme and idea
00:20:36 2) by landing here on the fretboard you’re ready for the blues lick
00:20:59 Be bold and not scared of the improvisation
00:23:20 Two tips to help when you’re not sure: leave a note to hang or leave space
00:29:00 Second improvisation, focussing on relaxing and themed ideas
00:34:27 Running with weights: e.g. go up the whole scale using octaves
00:35:51 using octaves
00:36:18 Foo Fighters idea – fattening up a melody
00:36:29 Steve Vai – slipping up to the octaves, slide then octave
00:38:26 The pentatonic thing: with 3 note per string patterns
00:39:53 Second three note per string pentatonics
00:42:04 three notes on one string, then one note
00:42:37 Joel Hoekstra thing –
00:46:39 Podcast episode idea and call to action – get in touch if you want this
00:47:29 Shawn Lane lick
00:51:55 Some advice about digging deep into ideas
00:52:44 Country bends
00:53:46 Guthrie Govan idea from waves – arpeggiating with string skipping
00:55:04 Arpeggiating a Bm chord
00:57:32 Dan using the Guthrie Govan idea to solo over the backing track
00:58:32 Mixing in the Vito Bratta idea of adding tapped notes
01:00:39 Interesting video by Rick Graham –
Rick Graham vid
01:04:24 Final jam over the backing track

Last three lessons for new arrivals or those who want to brush up on this content

Keep watching listening and getting in touch.  We really want to hear from you!  Keep an eye out for some improvements to our video setup coming shortly which we’re really excited about.

You may want to check Dan Davies out in action.  You can find a video I made of Dan and his band Full House on this YouTube channel: Full House Brighton Band (more to come with improved video and some different approaches to the audio).

Enjoy your musical journey 🙂

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