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> Writing A Solo
kaznie_NL
post Jun 10 2008, 02:29 PM
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Hey guys!

I often hear people like Smells or Tjchep in a collab, and then I think, how do they find these cool melodies? I want to ask you guys how you make your collab entries. I normally use the pentatonic scale and just play a bit with the BT without any writing. After about an hour normally something rolls out. Do you guys write likc or something? in some entries there are realy clear several "chapters" of the solo, thos are written, right? And also I hear fast runs sometimes, I gues you guys don't just improvise these either. I'd like to get a good solo for the collabs! I can play stuff like Trond's beginner rock, but I never make these cool solos myself!

Thnx for the advice in advance biggrin.gif

Kaz


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Chris Evans
post Jun 10 2008, 02:48 PM
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Heres my process Kaz smile.gif

Listen to the backing track several times, not playing just listening, see what comes into my head, any ideas for melodies etc, depending on the collab I`ll also study the scale suggested by the collab leader to get it clear where I`m going on the fretboard.

then I`ll play along with the backing, just improvising, maybe adding something that came into my head earlier, at some point while improvising I`ll get a bit of a hook/melody, something that I think "yea that fits well" that usually sets the theme for what I`m going to do, then I just keep building it like that adding runs etc, most of the time the solo`s that end up being posted are a build up of several improvised takes that I`ve pulled parts out that fit together and fit the backing.

This post has been edited by Smells: Jun 10 2008, 02:49 PM


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Henry Dietzel
post Jun 10 2008, 03:26 PM
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Heres my process Kaz it's a little different and a little similar to Smells. I usually will record my solo while hearing the track for the first time to generate some feeling on the fly improvising. I then listen back and try to pick out weak areas, I may keep some ideas or regenerate new ones but I usually do a few takes before I settle.

This post has been edited by Hammerin Hank: Jun 10 2008, 03:28 PM


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Matt23
post Jun 10 2008, 03:37 PM
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My way is very like smells' way. I'll get used to the chord changes in the backing so i can anticipate the chord changes and if i can i'll work out what they are. I'll then sing melodies over the backing track and work out the ones i like on the guitar. I'll then use these melodies and my knowledge of the chords of the backing track to improvise. I set the track on repeat and if i play something i like i'll put it in the next repeat as well until iv basically got one solo which i could write down, but i don't usually bother. smile.gif I sometimes play my solo a lot of times to get it in my muscle memory then i'll add some tweaks to it to make it a bit better but i don't always do that.

This post has been edited by Matt23: Jun 10 2008, 03:38 PM
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beebo
post Jun 10 2008, 04:31 PM
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Well if your like me you probably have very little tools to work with.
All I have is a tape that my uncle made for me and its a rhythm blues tape. *u know the same ol blue riff that everyone uses* But there's hardly no chord progression and it's VERY slow tape so i have to play like 4 times the BPM he's playing and it's really hard to do perfect timing and the drums are from his amp so i have a TON of trouble, BUT i will say it's taught me one thing i'll tell u
Your EAR is more important than any other tool i believe it's right w/ ur hands laugh.gif! becuase u can listen to something but u have to be able to HEAR it. and if u hear it and feel it then this really helps to get in ur head and riffs and lil runs will kind of form in your head and do ur best to try to get at least 60% or more of those and then just keep trying and trying. None of this might not make any sense to you guys but lessons never really helped me idk why huh.gif. But I have always just listened to it and played and played until my fingers fell off for like 3-4 years and now i am where am today because of that.
So my advice is to listen, feel and improvise in ur head, and use ur Ears to bring the notes out, PRACTICE!


whew that's a lot of typing, hope it helped! laugh.gif

This post has been edited by beebo: Jun 10 2008, 04:32 PM
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Chris Evans
post Jun 10 2008, 04:38 PM
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a lot depends on the track, sometimes things just fall into place very quickly.

Just a question of lots and lots of practicing Kaz smile.gif


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Mark.
post Jun 10 2008, 04:45 PM
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I mostly just improvise over it a couple of times, and after that there comes some licks that I think sound good over it. I also look at the chords and try to follow these, especcially with fast sweeping licks, arpeggios are a great way to outline the backing tracks and make a nice melody smile.gif This chord outlining stuff, I've only been doing since a couple of weeks, before that I just gone for it tongue.gif( Which isn't always bad, some solo's with the "just go for it" atitude really rule tongue.gif)
I've been really in to jazzy stuff these days, and I must say it works very good biggrin.gif

And in ur post you say that you use the minor Pentatonic scale, using the full minor scale is also good to make it sound more melodic tongue.gif
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jun 10 2008, 07:32 PM
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First make yourself familiar with the backing and then work your way through it, listening carefully what the backing has to offer to your playing. Always search for good things in the backing and not emphasize disadvantages with your playing, and be guided with a general rule that a good cleanly played solo is always better than badly played one, no matter how fast it is.


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Paul Coutts
post Jun 11 2008, 05:34 AM
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The EASIEST and most EFFECTICE way of creating melodies is to LEARN YOUR CHORD TONES. The biggest mistake that most people make, and that I've made for the past couple of years, is playing scales with never knowing how to use them. When you learn a scale, people just play around with it, Up down, all round, skipping, intervals....but that's a very dodgy and guess orientated way to do it. If you the notes that will ALWAYS work, use the chord tones of the chord your on.
Here's a way I use:
1. Record backing track or get the chords of the backing track
2. Play the root of the chord for the duration of the chord.
3. Repeat 2 for the third of the chord.
4. Repeat 3 for the fifth of the chord.
5. Now start mixing BUT STILL only with chord tones.
6. Now start approaching chord tones from scale tones.

You should have an idea of how this works after doing it a couple if times. STUDY the notes in your favorite melodies, and you'll see a majority of chord tones.

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Iluha
post Jun 11 2008, 08:17 AM
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I do it preety much like the others described here so i wont bore you by repeating their words, instead heres additional couple of tips.
As you listen to the backing, try to devide it to sections, you can just devide it per chord(every chord being a section) but for a better result try to devide it to high and low sections, high sections are sections you feel need a more intense/technical lead, and the lower sectiones need a more simple melodical aproach.
Also, on some occasiones instead of trying to "own" the backing, emphasyse it instead, it will give your a cool flowing feel.
Sorry for thn mess, writing this on my cellphone.


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kaznie_NL
post Jun 11 2008, 05:06 PM
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Thnx for all your tips guys! The chord thing will help, try to go along with the chords would give some help! Maybe it's a bit hard in the start, but I think I'm going to use it in parts. For the whole song, it might get a bit hard for me.

thanks for all the tips, and I get the headlines from it:
-Practice a lot, and also train your ear with it
-Build your solo, by playing several times, taking the good pieces
-use the chord progression, and not just play all the scale notes

thnx!


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Tjchep
post Jun 21 2008, 05:18 AM
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Just found this.

Here's what I do, on the ones were I really like the BTs. I might come up with the first 5 seconds but the rest is always improvised..

But if I was going to write out a solo, than I would figure out all the chords, what notes those chords contain. What arpeggios fit over those chords, and what melodies sound good when playing the specific notes of the chords. I just never have the time to do that. sad.gif

tj


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jun 21 2008, 11:08 AM
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I would go with Tjchep on this one, I always let my licks guide me through improvisation and eventually that lead me to memorizing the scales and intervals on the fretboard by ear. So even without actually listening to what I play I still know how it sounds. This, along side with understanding of the harmony (which I admit is a science to itself and still learning to grasp it) is a foundation of goo impro.
Also As TJchep wrote, when I sit down to write a good quality solo for a song that I need, I usually create one by analyzing the whole piece first and then create a melody that will blend nicely with the track, mood, harmony, whatever. But that isn't improvising, thats like work smile.gif


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Tjchep
post Jun 21 2008, 03:45 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Jun 21 2008, 11:08 AM) *
But that isn't improvising, thats like work smile.gif


Hah, it is.

But if you become an ace at understanding the harmony of a song, you mostlikely will never need to write a solo. And you'll have a hell of alot more fun being an awesome improviser, than having to write out all your solos if you're looking for quality stuff.

tj



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Daniel Robinson
post Jun 21 2008, 04:16 PM
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Personally when writing a solo, first thing i will do is just listen to the BT, i will actually count out how many measures there are from opening chord to the turn around (the point where the rhythm starts over)

I will then improvise over just those measures trying to get a basic feel of the track, when i finally feel comfortable i always try to find at least 1 idea that is completely out of my comfort zone, i will practice that until i can do it smoothly.

Doing it this way for me at least increases my "Lick library" and it helps build new themes in songs i have yet to write. As guitarists we tend to fall into ruts and stay in our comfort zone. I have to force myself to think outside of that zone so i don't gravitate myself into a rut of playing the same kinds of things over and over.

I will also try to sometimes associate the BT with some other artists music, sometimes i might find a common rhythmic pattern for example to an Andy Timmons track, i will listen to alot of his material and try to find some licks of his that i can alter to fit this track.

Daniel



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Trond Vold
post Jun 21 2008, 07:05 PM
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My approach is that I just keep improvising over the track, and after a few times.. (if i'm lucky) i'll come up with a melody i can expand on. I usually dont think about scales too much when doing this. Experimentation is the key.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there's many ways to play or reach 1 spesific note. Even the most generic and safe solo can be really enhanced with bending, sliding or any other technique for that matter.


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