How To Improvise on a guitar. First steps.

in #music6 months ago


Good afternoon friends! I, as a citizen of the hive, decided to produce and give you a useful product. Information. Improvisation is a topic in which I have a certain skill and which I study in detail.

In this post I will give you clear instructions on how to start improvising on the guitar. Let's start with the simplest.

Many people think that improvisation is when a person hears notes in his head and transfers them to a musical instrument. This is partially true, but not entirely true. It comes with experience and long practice.

To start your first steps it is enough to learn scales, modes, phrases and operate, mix all this together.

What is important to know to start improvising?

  1. You need to know the key of the song.
  2. You need to know the scales, modes or phrases to this tonality.

This is enough to start taking the first steps.

If you read this post, I hope you are already a little prepared in basic musical theory. You know what notes are, what major and minor are.

In simple words:

If the song is in the key of C major, you can improvise by learning the scale in C major, pentatonic C major and the phrase in C major. In this, everything will be exactly those notes that will sound logically and beautifully in this song.

Scales, pentatonic, modes


In essence, these are all scales. In this post we will begin with the first note of C and with the key in C major. I will use this tonality for an example. I will not delve into the theory, but will tell you everything in simple words.

Scale is a logical sequence of notes. It can be either upward or downward. Usually gamma has 7 notes.

Pentatonic is the same scale, but simplified. It has 5 notes. This range is easier to remember and more convenient to use.

Modes - modes are scales with a certain shade of folk music from different countries. There are major and minor modes. There are many frets and each has its own character. It is important for you to remember that the Ionian mode is suitable for major, and Eolian for minor.

These are your three main tools for improvisation.

On this site you can look all scales, modes, pentatonics on guitar.

For easy learning of scales, frets and pentatonic created boxes. Boxes are simple schemes for playing scales. I will make a separate post about this.

Where to start improvising on a guitar?

Start with a simple C major scale.


Learn this scale, if you have not done so. Feel confident in these notes. Play in order and scatter.

Also learn to C major pentatonic scale.


Start from the first position. Do not try to immediately remember everything so that your brain does not melt :)

For those who do not know, these schemes are called boxes. Imagine this is a guitar fretboard.

Look at the first position. The lowest line, where the number is 8, is the lowest string of the guitar, the thickest. Number 8 is the fret number where you need to hold this string. You start at fret 8, and then go to 10 fret.

I hope I clearly explained, but if you do not understand, ask me.

Practice with a backing track

So, you have learned the scale of C major and the first position of pentatonic.

I wrote a backing track for you so you can practice. In this backing track there is only one chord in C major.

Play the scale and pentatonic scale for this backing track. Play sequentially and at random. Try to come up with a melody from these notes that you have learned. Experiment!

A small digression:

You can also use any backing track in the key of C major, which you will find on the Internet. But in other backing tracks there may be other, additional chords. For example, first there may be C major, and then F major and so on.

If on top of other chords you play scales in C major this does not mean that it will not sound, it will sound. But it’s much more interesting to be able to beat each chord and quickly switch from one scale to another.

Therefore, I suggest that you gradually master the scales and chords and beat the chords separately, and then combine them. Start with simple and gradually move on to complex.

If something is not clear to you and you need additional consultation, you can contact me in the comments and discord.

My discord: gulia.peito#9612

If you like my work and you can support me, I will be very grateful to you! It is very important to me.

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