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Thread: How to Improve Musical Improvisation and Making Music In General?

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    Default How to Improve Musical Improvisation and Making Music In General?

    First off, I understand that I just asked "the" musical question, the one all the greats had to find out to get as far as they did. But what I want to know is what must I do to open myself up musically, my current bag of musical tricks is somewhat limited, I always find myself falling back into the same few patterns. I have a few crap "styles" that I fall back onto when I don't know what to do (single strum to accent chord changes, palm muted quarter note chords followed by a non muted half note chord) and even when I do know what to do my styles are fairly limited, my two main styles are pseudo bell choir (like Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah) and punk riffs that don't have more than 4 notes or chords.

    What can I do to expand this? I try to play songs and incorporate themes and techniques from the song into my own playing, but I can't seem to remember when it comes time to get the band together.

    Do any of y'all have experience or resources that can help me?

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    Vintageologist crusty philtrum's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Improve Musical Improvisation and Making Music In General?

    Look beyond guitar. Music is way way bigger than the tedious guitar.
    Lumbering dinosaur (what's a master volume control?)

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    Default Re: How to Improve Musical Improvisation and Making Music In General?

    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    Look beyond guitar. Music is way way bigger than the tedious guitar.
    Care to elaborate?

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    Mojo's Minions dave74's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Improve Musical Improvisation and Making Music In General?

    I think you're on the right track with learning other people's stuff,,,,which is sort-of like their bag of tricks.

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    Mojo's Minions PS412's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Improve Musical Improvisation and Making Music In General?

    As painful as it is for many players, jazz and classical. You may not like it but it's like buckleys. It works.

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    OH THE GLAZE! Clint 55's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Improve Musical Improvisation and Making Music In General?

    Learn theory to the point where you can remember the ideas from the tunes you play better. And work on more and more complex tunes. Studying good tunes that you like is really the most important part. When you internalize enough of it, you can start to advance your own style. Can you break down a tune like Hotel California and remember the chord progression and why it works the way it does; the different background leads; the solo and what scales you can use over the chords and sections of the song.

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    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Improve Musical Improvisation and Making Music In General?

    Take lessons. Iíve been playing 30 years and a few years ago I found myself in the same situation as you. I was good at the things I knew but my vocabulary was limited.
    Youíve got to be honest with yourself and assess exactly what your weaknesses are. Then find somebody that can help you overcome them.
    Believe me, itís humbling as hell when you realize that there are aspects that you ďthoughtĒ you were pretty good at until somebody points out all the bad habits. In the end itís worth the effort.

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    Default Re: How to Improve Musical Improvisation and Making Music In General?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gtrjunior View Post
    Take lessons. I’ve been playing 30 years and a few years ago I found myself in the same situation as you. I was good at the things I knew but my vocabulary was limited.
    You’ve got to be honest with yourself and assess exactly what your weaknesses are. Then find somebody that can help you overcome them.
    Believe me, it’s humbling as hell when you realize that there are aspects that you “thought” you were pretty good at until somebody points out all the bad habits. In the end it’s worth the effort.
    I have neither the free time nor the money to do musical lessons in person, the latest I can book one where I live is 6 o'clock and I can't open any slots in my schedule before 9:00. I'm thinking about the Gibson Learn and Master Guitar DVD set. Can any of you confirm whether or not they will help me with what I'm looking for?

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    Default Re: How to Improve Musical Improvisation and Making Music In General?

    Quote Originally Posted by '59 View Post
    I have neither the free time nor the money to do musical lessons in person, the latest I can book one where I live is 6 o'clock and I can't open any slots in my schedule before 9:00. I'm thinking about the Gibson Learn and Master Guitar DVD set. Can any of you confirm whether or not they will help me with what I'm looking for?
    I take Skype lessons from a guy across the country. I get the money aspect though. Good luck. I honestly feel that without lessons itís an uphill battle.
    You wouldnít rip apart your cars engine without somebody showing you how first. (Bad analogy but Iím sure you get my point).

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    Toneologist Obsessive Compulsive's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Improve Musical Improvisation and Making Music In General?

    Well...I have definitely expanded my musical horizon since I started converting to jazz more than 10 years ago.

    Then I went back to my roots learning piano (I first learned organ when I was little but hated it, before taking up guitar) and converting to Chick Corea, Miles Davis and John Coltrane, ditching George Lynch, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai; learned to play Coltrane changes ('Giant Steps') on piano and that's it.

    These days I only focus on jazz piano, occasionally listening to dumbed down music (metal, rock, blues) for fun. I feel like I am going back to first grade whenever I listen to guitar music. I don't give a f**k what anyone thinks, that's me.

    I feel bad for my guitars though cause I don't really play them anymore, yet at the same time I don't want to play same ol' stuff like Kirk Hammett or Angus Young all my life cause I am too afraid to get out of the comfort zone.

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    Default Re: How to Improve Musical Improvisation and Making Music In General?

    A looper helps. Playing with musicians from a different discipline helps, too. When you find yourself on auto-pilot, playing the same licks..stop, and never play those again. Once we shed all the stock licks we depend on, all that is left is some real work to do.
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    OH THE GLAZE! Clint 55's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Improve Musical Improvisation and Making Music In General?

    The Gibson learn and master guitar DVD set seems pretty good. It has the main topics that you should focus on.

    https://www.learnandmaster.com/guita...opics-covered/

    Seems like good stuff. Guides you through reading, ear training, basic chords, rhythmic concepts like strumming, pentatonic, major and minor keys, complex chords, blues, jazz. You'll for sure learn from this.

    https://www.learnandmaster.com/guita...r-lesson-book/
    Last edited by Clint 55; 10-09-2017 at 11:16 AM.

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    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Improve Musical Improvisation and Making Music In General?

    Quote Originally Posted by Obsessive Compulsive View Post
    Well...I have definitely expanded my musical horizon since I started converting to jazz more than 10 years ago.

    Then I went back to my roots learning piano (I first learned organ when I was little but hated it, before taking up guitar) and converting to Chick Corea, Miles Davis and John Coltrane, ditching George Lynch, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai; learned to play Coltrane changes ('Giant Steps') on piano and that's it.

    These days I only focus on jazz piano, occasionally listening to dumbed down music (metal, rock, blues) for fun. I feel like I am going back to first grade whenever I listen to guitar music. I don't give a f**k what anyone thinks, that's me.

    I feel bad for my guitars though cause I don't really play them anymore, yet at the same time I don't want to play same ol' stuff like Kirk Hammett or Angus Young all my life cause I am too afraid to get out of the comfort zone.

  14. #14
    OH THE GLAZE! Clint 55's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Improve Musical Improvisation and Making Music In General?

    Here you go OCD:


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    Toneologist Obsessive Compulsive's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Improve Musical Improvisation and Making Music In General?

    Yeah like I said, that's just me, I don't give a f**k if anyone disagrees.

    Hey if you can get ahead playing blues and metal the whole time, be my guest but me...I feel I my IQ level goes down a notch.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: How to Improve Musical Improvisation and Making Music In General?

    I didn't realize anyone was hardcore about jazz in here, that's cool. What are some of your favorite tunes besides Giant Steps? You can play jazz and other music that you perceive to be advanced on the guitar too you know!

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    Default Re: How to Improve Musical Improvisation and Making Music In General?

    Clint, from Ben-Hur's explanation the diminished 6th is just an altered dominant 7th chord (G7b9) resolving to I, which is pretty common when you improvise and want to add tension..but Barry Harris made it look complicated.

    I haven't really explored this diminished 6th scale cause I still have too many to learn and incorporate...knowledge and theory are nothing if you can't incorporate it into your playing.

  18. #18
    OH THE GLAZE! Clint 55's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Improve Musical Improvisation and Making Music In General?

    Just trying to dialogue with you and your faulty premise that guitar is an inferior instrument because you can only play blues and metal on it. I know the harmonized dim 6th scale alternates between inversions of I6 and V7b9, I brought it up. He incorporates it into the tune How Deep Is The Ocean a few minutes into the video.
    Last edited by Clint 55; 10-09-2017 at 06:58 PM.

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    Default Re: How to Improve Musical Improvisation and Making Music In General?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55 View Post
    Just trying to dialogue with you and your faulty premise that guitar is an inferior instrument because you can only play blues and metal on it. I know the harmonized dim 6th scale alternates between inversions of I6 and V7b9, I brought it up. He incorporates it into the tune How Deep Is The Ocean a few minutes into the video.
    While we are on the subject, how deep is the ocean?

  20. #20
    OH THE GLAZE! Clint 55's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Improve Musical Improvisation and Making Music In General?

    I dunno, how high is the sky?

    Why not find some weirdo on craig's list who can teach you at 9pm?
    Last edited by Clint 55; 10-09-2017 at 08:32 PM.

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