Guitar Improvisation

On this webpage, we have place together some tips and lessons on guitar improvising to help you get started.

Making things up on the spot is never easy. If you have ever had to make a speech on front of a group, then you know the full scale of nerves and jitters.

This means you should also know that nothing you say in front of that room will be made up on the spot. Even if it is a rough outline, you have certain topics you are supposed to cover, certain guidelines you must follow (no profanity, vulgarity, etc.) and a certain audience to cater to.

Now that you look at it from this perspective, you should begin to see how even the most unprepared speech actually has some subconscious planning.

This is how improvising works. When you watch a guitarist improvise, they aren’t just making up patterns and hitting random notes that they hope may sound decent. They are following a key, a structure, and a basic goal.

To improvise properly, you need to take all of the aforementioned qualities into consideration. While your guitar certainly can’t spout profanities, it can definitely make some vulgar sounds. If you are completely out of key, it can cause listeners to cringe.

Before you approach improvisation it is important that you have an understanding of scales and keys. Both concepts go hand in hand, and if you know one, you undoubtedly know the other. However, if you don’t know either, I strongly suggest that you take the time to learn them.

Once you know your basic scales you can begin to approach improvisation with the proper tools.

Work To Make Your Playing As Fluid As Possible.

The final step to learning to improvise is to try it out. Play along to a simple rhythm and record yourself. See what patterns you tend to fall into, which structures you repeat, and then work on expanding your repertoire.

You can’t draw on skills you don’t have, so if you like a certain technique that another player uses, practice it, up and down the neck, in different positions. This will help the technique become second nature, which will then allow you to add it to your improvisations.