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Soloing and Improvising

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Lewi_wilko, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. Lewi_wilko


    Mar 24, 2004
    Hello, i would like to get into writing my own solo's and improvising when playing but i dont know much about music thoery.
    Firstly i was wondering if anyone would knows any websites which show all of the notes in each key, also all of the popular scales and arpeggios used in music today.
    Also would someone please be able to tell me which scales or arpeggios you can use in differant keys.
    Another thing, I have this small book with a few scales in but it has all the modes in it. Are modes used the same way as scales are? And what modes can you use in differant keys?
    Finaly, when YOU improvise and solo do you use scales, arpeggios or both? And which scales are your faveroutes when soloing?

    Thanks in advance and im sorry if i have asked any stupid questions
  2. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    First things first... Do you have a teacher?

    Try to avoid thinking about modes and exotic scales for now, concentrate on diatonic scales and arpeggios.

    Learn and practice the major and minor scales and related arpeggios. Look at the major and minor pentatonic scales, they're really useful.

    Take the music you're wanting to play a solo to, and sing a solo along with it... this should come fairly naturally. Tape yourself singing along with it. Try and work out how to play your sung solo on your bass. Try and work out how the notes you sung relate to the scales you're practicing and the chord structure of the piece.
  3. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    A lot of solo/impro for me comes from BASIC scale knowledge, the rest is all hearing it in my head, and applying it to my fretboard.
  4. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    You've got a long way to go. My advice is to go learn some harmonic analysis and chord scale theory, as well as LOTS of diatonic/non-diatonic harmony.
  5. steveb98

    steveb98 [acct disabled - multiple aliases]

    Mar 15, 2006
    Venice, CA
    Take it slow you don't need to learn a million scales. Learn to use the major scale and arpeggios. Then the modes of the major scale and jazz melodic minor scale. Learn the basics, sing everything you learn that will help develop your ear and help to to play what you hear in your head.

    A good way to get started fast is learn the melodies of songs and play them. Then work on improvising on them rhythmicly. Then work on jazzing up the melody with approach notes and embellishments. One you'll some tune, next you'll learn about phrasing, you'll learn some pieces of melodies to use as riffs in beginning to solo. Again sing the melodies that will help teach phrasing and more on being able to play what you hear.

    listen to great improvisiors they take simple motifs and develop them in their solos.
  6. Lewi_wilko


    Mar 24, 2004
    Thanks everyone for the help so far, this has helped me allot. But could someone please answer this question, Can you only use certain scales for certain keys? For example if something was in the key of G major could i use any scale of G?

    Again thanks for the help
  7. labgnat

    labgnat Banned

    Oct 29, 2005
    outta this world
    well if your trying to stay in the key you're playing in then you would just play the notes in G major scale if you learn the pattern for a major scale then you can find out what notes are in all major scales easily.

    G A B C D E Gb G that's a G major scale G is the 1st A is 2nd B is 3rd and so on.

    here is a tab of G major scale. apply the same pattern to other scales. by starting on a different note other than the G. you could start on for example C and use the same fingering pattern and you've got a C major scale


    and you mentioned something about modes earlier. it's confusing and it's alot more patterns to learn. i could tell you about it, but it's better if you get a teacher or if not that. Bass guitar for dummies will tell you a lot of very useful theoretical info
  8. Lewi_wilko


    Mar 24, 2004
    Ok i get it. So when would i use other scales like pentatonics?
  9. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    To start with, yeah pents are okay. But they're boring, it's more fun to use pent structures up in the tensions.
  10. steveb98

    steveb98 [acct disabled - multiple aliases]

    Mar 15, 2006
    Venice, CA
    It's hard to keep the answer simple. Key is and isn't what your focusing on so much, because keys are changing all the time too. You look at the indivisual chords, then the chords around that chord to see how the chord is functioning. Then what key are those chords in has the key changed. Now its one thing doing this to analize a tune to work up something to practice. Its another if you are on the bandstand soloing on a tune you might not be familiar with. Then tempo how fast are the changes going by will also determine how much thought you can give to all this. That is why I say its a hard question to answer simply.
  11. Go to google.com;

    Search "dansm";

    The first hit should be some guys Eagle's page. This is where I learned all of my theory intially. The guys lessons are great.
  12. charic


    Apr 17, 2006
  13. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Improvisation - the art of spontaneous composition, variation, and ornamentation.

    I've built a mental library consisting of:
    Chord sequences
    Rhythmic patterns
    Melodic motives (phrases)
    Ending formulas
    Prominent notes

    Improvisation Techniques:
    String bending

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