Solos/ Improvisation Tips
1: Add vibrato to your phrases (a phrase is a string of notes). Great places to add vibrato are at the beginning and end of phrases, or notes which are particularly powerful. HOWEVER, vibrato loses its impact if used too often.
2: When improvising, do not be afraid to hit a wrong note. Most of the time nobody will notice it anyway, and if you do happen to hit a bad note, just keep on playing as if you meant to hit that note. If you know how, you can always bend or slide the ‘wrong’ note to a better note choice anyway, creating a cool effect.
3: Try to be unpredictable. This is a good way to add a lot of interest to the listeners and it keeps their attention for longer. There are many different ways to do this. A few ways you can try right now, is by mixing the following things during your solo/improvisation:
-Tempo. Fast licks contrasting with slower licks create interest in the listener. Say you were playing eighth notes for example. Try mixing in some eighth note triplets or sixteenth notes.
-Rhythm/Meter. Changing the rhythm or meter you’re playing at can be particularly powerful. A fun exercise to develop more interesting rhythms is to improvise using just one note. Yes only one note, not even a bend. This will force you to try and make interesting music based on the rhythm alone.
-Dynamics. Play some parts louder and others softer. Playing the dramatic parts louder can really help add to the intensity of the music.
These are just a few ways to help add variety to your playing. If you experiment I am sure you can find many more on your own. Lessons from a live guitar teacher can dramatically decrease the learning curve.
4: Don’t just use one scale position or scale fingering. You have the entire guitar neck at your disposal. Using only one scale or fingering will limit the range of sounds you can get, and it won’t be long before you bore the listener.
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