Improvising Archives - Riff Ninja Academy

Tag Archives for " Improvising "

Start Soloing (4/7) – More Riffs

In this series, we’re going to learn about creating solos. In part 1, we covered the progression for Ain’t No Sunshine that we’re working with. In part 2, we started working with two different scale patterns over the jam track. In part 3 we learned three very generic, usable riffs that you can twist in many, many different directions.

In this lesson, we’re going to add some more riffs to keep building our repertoire!

 

 

Start Soloing (3/7) – The Riffs

In this series, we’re going to learn about creating solos. In part 1, we covered the progression for Ain’t No Sunshine that we’re working with. In part 2, we started working with two different scale patterns over the jam track.

In this lesson, we’re going to learn three riffs which come out of the scales we’re working with, which we’ll begin to use as a basis for our improvising.

 

 

Start Soloing (2/7) – The Scales

In this series, we’re going to learn about creating solos. In part 1, we covered the progression for Ain’t No Sunshine that we’re working with. In this one, we’re looking at the scales we’ll be using over that progression. If you’ve been following the School lessons in order, you should already be familiar with the scales presented in this lesson. We’re using the pentatonic minor, and the three position climb. If these patterns are totally fresh to you, it would be best if you go back and review those previous lessons first.

These scale patterns provide the notes you need to improvise a solo! So the first step is to become really comfortable using just the scale in the context of the jam track – listen to yourself as you play and take note of how each note sounds with the track.

 

 

Start Soloing (1/7) – The Progression

In this series, we’re going to learn about creating solos. We’re going to start by learning the progression we’ll be working with. It’s inspired by Ain’t No Sunshine. Before we even get to the main course of this series (improvising a solo), it’s great practice to first play rhythm along with the jam track until you get very comfortable with it. Try playing the chords in different positions, work with it a bit until the progression feels very comfortable. You’ll find this really pays off when it comes time to solo over it.

The first part of the progression is two bars, and goes like this:

Am       Em   G  | Am

The second part goes like this:

Em7   |   Dm7

Phrasing Guitar Solos

This lesson deals with phrasing your solos, adding dynamics just like you would if you were speaking a sentence to someone. No one (interesting anyways!) speaks in monotone, without speeding up from time to time, adding slight pauses, choosing different words or putting emphasis in different places right? Just as those are all great ways to add character to your voice, using similar techniques will really help your guitar solos sound more natural and interesting.

Another great place to start before hitting this lesson is the Essential Techniques series. That will teach you some of the tools Colin references in this lesson like hammer ons, pull offs, sliding, string stretching, vibrato and more.

Settle in – this one is nearly 50 minutes, but you can come back to it if you need to.

Improving Your Improvising

Some of you have been asking questions about how to go about improving your improvising, and / or soloing. This lesson is a direct response to that, although to really get to the heart of this, you need to spend some time going through the Essential Guitar Techniques lessons – all of which will teach you different ways to add flavor to your solos.

It’s very common for players to struggle with making their solo sound more like a solo, and less like a scale, and it is important to realize that achieving this is as much about “feeling” where the notes are and where you want them to go as it is about logically deciding. For that reason, this is a bit of a tricky topic to teach, especially when we’re not in the same room together, so grab your guitar and settle in, because this lesson is a good long one that is really going to get at the heart of this issue.

As usual, any remaining questions are welcome in the comments section below.

Login