Electric guitarists aren’t the only ones who can solo. Acoustic guitar solos may not be as fast and as aggressive as electric, but they tend to have more substance and atmosphere.
In this article we will talk about acoustic guitar solo improvisations.
Before you jump head first into soloing, you need to take a look at your skillset. Guitar solos and improvising in general are great tools for any guitarist, but they aren’t the first thing that you should worry about as a guitarist.
If you have never practiced along to a metronome before, you aren’t ready to start soloing or improvising. In order to solo or improvise, you need a full sense of rhythm. This is developed through using a metronome.
How To Solo Or Improvise?
Take some time to sit down and, starting slowly, work on some basics licks and scales along with the metronome. Each click is equivalent to a single beat of a measure. Four clicks equal a full 4/4 measure.
Once you are comfortable playing along to a metronome, and you are able to keep time with it, you can start to worry about improvising solos.
Despite the name, improvisation isn’t actually spontaneous. All licks and runs that you use in an improvisation are drawn upon from memory. While they don’t necessarily need to be licks you’ve played, they will be variations of licks you already know or licks that you have heard. This means that all of your improvisational skill depends on your practice regimen.
For more tips and tricks to soloing, go to: http://www.guitarplayerworld.com/soloing/
Practice For Good Muscle Memory
If you are a sloppy player who doesn’t practice much, this won’t change when you begin to improvise. Because you are drawing on muscle memory, you are only playing what you know. This means that if all you know is messy playing half written licks, all of your improvisations will be sloppy and half formed.
The best way to work on your improvisational skills is to practice playing licks along to a metronome. While playing the licks, try different variations. Try creating new patterns with preexisting patterns. If you have trouble with certain techniques, such as alternate picking or legato, practice them.
Listen To Jazz
Before you start your improvisation, be sure to take a look at the progression that you will be playing over. You want to understand the key, the scale properties, as well as the chord tones. The chord tones are extremely important if you find yourself getting lost in the improvisation. They can lead you back to the start of the scale and help you to fit back into the progression.
If you want to improve your improvisational skills when you aren’t playing guitar, try listening to some jazz. Study the progressions being used and the techniques being employed. If you find a particular lick or choice of phrasing interesting, make note of it and come back to it when you are playing guitar.
Try and mimic it. The goal isn’t to copy the exact notes; it is to get a feel for the phrasing, the way one notes leads to the next and why. Keep an open mind, practice, and enjoy your playing!