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> Learning To Improvize, using different ways of pairing questions and responses
Aris
post Nov 11 2014, 11:13 AM
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Hi all,

Below I have made a non-technical analysis on different ways to form questions and responses in soloing/improvization. This analysis is based on Satriani's - the extremist (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LP7OYW8rA20) where I think it includes all of the following approaches to make his soloing more musical and interesting.

1. questions are usually repeated taking different responses each time
2. Adjacent Questions have small rhythm/melodic variations. Similarly for responses
3. Responses may also be small variations of the questions
4. Sometimes questions will ascend the scale and responses descend or the opposite
5. Other times questions will be mainly based on longer duration notes (half and quarter notes) and responses on shorter duration notes like eighths or sixteenths or the opposite
6. a question may also be a repeating phrase. After it is played repeatedly, a response will follow.
7. responses can also be formed by repeating phrases
8. questions and responses can be short phrases or longer phrases (longer phrases have a feeling like going downhill then climbing up and start to roll with speed again)
9. often responses are played in higher octave or lower octave than questions
10. Also in general, it uses a lot of different rhythm patterns and pauses (even very short ones) at the end of most phrases

I have tried to record an example for most of the above scenarios. I must admit that it may be hard to spot the demonstrated points in the given examples since I was trying also to play something interesting at the same time, which I found it wasn't easy to come up with good ideas. All examples are attached in this post.

I played each example so many times in order to provide the best possible recording but unfortunately there are still some issues.

Let me know on your suggestions and what you think.

This post has been edited by Aris: Nov 11 2014, 11:14 AM
Attached File(s)
Attached File  point2.mp3 ( 937.17K ) Number of downloads: 165
Attached File  point3.mp3 ( 937.17K ) Number of downloads: 118
Attached File  points4_5.mp3 ( 937.17K ) Number of downloads: 121
Attached File  point6.mp3 ( 937.17K ) Number of downloads: 114
Attached File  lastpoint9.mp3 ( 937.17K ) Number of downloads: 105
 
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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 12 2014, 09:30 AM
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Hey man!

This is a GREAT way to look at improvisation elements and I think that it's very organic and personal. Usually people run away from improvisation because they don't really know what to do and playing something of your own is a scary thing to most people, until a certain point in their musical journey, when they have realized how to let the things you hear in your head come out.

Your approach is a great way of letting things come out in a musical way smile.gif I have listened to your examples and I think that for point:

2) The idea is pretty well illustrated, but it could be a bit more obvious in terms of question and answer delimitation, as at this point, they are not as well defined - Defining them really well, involves the risk of making it sound a little too mechanical, all for the sake of demonstrational purposes tho.

3) This one has better definition in terms of relating to the description you gave it wink.gif

4) 5) 6) and 9) The ideas are good as all the ones in this post, but you should spend a little time on working on timing, hand synch and intonation and reaching the correct pitches when bending smile.gif

Since I think you have a lot to say musically, the technical factor is the one that you should pay a little focus on, as it can boost your abilities sky high. For that, I wanted to ask you if you would like to work together smile.gif I am running a mentoring program which you can find more about, here: https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...t=0&start=0

Please let me know if you are interested, deal, mate? wink.gif

Cosmin


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Nov 12 2014, 02:23 PM
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Hi Aris!! Thanks for sharing this workout at the practice room! When you first shared this analysis at Gab's Army I thought that more GMCers could learn from this guidelines that you've wrote to create phrases based on that Satriani's song.

I checked each of the ideas recorded and I can say that each one is a good example to the point that is representing. There are some that are more "creative" or "nice sounding" while others are more informative which is not bad at this point.

I will talk a bit more about this with you at Gab's army but here I would like to invite to everybody to take this points as exercises to experiment and practice phrasing playing. Here is an idea of how to work on this:

1. Choose a backing track that you like and work on each of the points for at least 5 minutes.
2. Record yourself practicing each of the points and share the recording here if you want some feedback.
3. Listen to what you recorded and choose the parts that you like more of each example.
4. Re-learn your favorite parts and try to record them again.
5. Listen to it one more time.
6. Work a bit more on the structure on the phrases and re-record parts if it's necessary.
7. Share the result here or at Gab's Army!


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Aris
post Nov 12 2014, 03:05 PM
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Hi Cosmin,

Thank you for your review and the valuable feedback.

I agree with your comments on each of the points. Especially points 4&5, 6, 9 took me a long time to record them over the backing track. Unfortunately, I would need a lot more time to get rid of every timing issue and other technical problems before I had more decent takes.

Also, it is very encouraging that you see some musicality in the parts.
I would like to do everything in my ability to progress as much as possible. I hope one day I will be also at that certain point that you mentioned where I will be able to let the things I hear in my head come out on my music.

Thank you so much for your invitation in working together.
I am already working with Gabriel on a personalized routine which I am very happy with. Working with you at the same time would be a great opportunity as well which I would not like to miss.
What I am most worried about is making sufficient time for it due to work and family obligations. Now, I'm trying to practice at least an hour per day which is not always feasible and I feel it is slowing down my progress already. Unfortunately, I mostly play just before I go to bed.

It would be great if you could propose a way that we could still make it work.
I will also send you all the details you need according to the questionnaire included in the link that you sent me.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions. Thanks a lot!

QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Nov 12 2014, 01:23 PM) *
Hi Aris!! Thanks for sharing this workout at the practice room! When you first shared this analysis at Gab's Army I thought that more GMCers could learn from this guidelines that you've wrote to create phrases based on that Satriani's song.

I checked each of the ideas recorded and I can say that each one is a good example to the point that is representing. There are some that are more "creative" or "nice sounding" while others are more informative which is not bad at this point.

I will talk a bit more about this with you at Gab's army but here I would like to invite to everybody to take this points as exercises to experiment and practice phrasing playing. Here is an idea of how to work on this:

1. Choose a backing track that you like and work on each of the points for at least 5 minutes.
2. Record yourself practicing each of the points and share the recording here if you want some feedback.
3. Listen to what you recorded and choose the parts that you like more of each example.
4. Re-learn your favorite parts and try to record them again.
5. Listen to it one more time.
6. Work a bit more on the structure on the phrases and re-record parts if it's necessary.
7. Share the result here or at Gab's Army!



Yes, sometimes I felt good with an idea but most of the times I had to force it just to demonstrate a certain point with no interesting ideas coming up.

I hope I did not mess up your plans for having a post about Guidelines to Satriani's phrasing :| I guess this could still serve this purpose as well.

However the suggested exercise sounds great and must be very creative.

This post has been edited by Aris: Nov 12 2014, 03:06 PM
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Nov 12 2014, 03:34 PM
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QUOTE (Aris @ Nov 12 2014, 11:05 AM) *
Yes, sometimes I felt good with an idea but most of the times I had to force it just to demonstrate a certain point with no interesting ideas coming up.

I hope I did not mess up your plans for having a post about Guidelines to Satriani's phrasing :| I guess this could still serve this purpose as well.

However the suggested exercise sounds great and must be very creative.



You didn't mess anything, this is exactly what I was thinking you should do with this analysis! Spreading it to the world. smile.gif It's also interesting if you continue exploring this stuff, maybe expanding it with some other Satriani's song or even better with some other guitarists! What about Vai, Timmons, Friedman, Petrucci, SRV?

I can imagine Aris's book of phrasing in the future.... biggrin.gif


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Kristofer Dahl
post Nov 12 2014, 10:08 PM
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Very cool thread Aris, by working analytically like this you will have a huge advantage over people with 'rock n roll' approach only.

Maybe you could share the backing you used so others can show their approach to question and answer? I would like to have a go at it as well.

At the end of the day we might get wiser!


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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 13 2014, 09:09 AM
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QUOTE (Aris @ Nov 12 2014, 02:05 PM) *
Hi Cosmin,

Thank you for your review and the valuable feedback.

I agree with your comments on each of the points. Especially points 4&5, 6, 9 took me a long time to record them over the backing track. Unfortunately, I would need a lot more time to get rid of every timing issue and other technical problems before I had more decent takes.

Also, it is very encouraging that you see some musicality in the parts.
I would like to do everything in my ability to progress as much as possible. I hope one day I will be also at that certain point that you mentioned where I will be able to let the things I hear in my head come out on my music.

Thank you so much for your invitation in working together.
I am already working with Gabriel on a personalized routine which I am very happy with. Working with you at the same time would be a great opportunity as well which I would not like to miss.
What I am most worried about is making sufficient time for it due to work and family obligations. Now, I'm trying to practice at least an hour per day which is not always feasible and I feel it is slowing down my progress already. Unfortunately, I mostly play just before I go to bed.

It would be great if you could propose a way that we could still make it work.
I will also send you all the details you need according to the questionnaire included in the link that you sent me.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions. Thanks a lot!


Hey matey - I understand the situation but I must say that one hour a day would be a bit too little, to cram up stuff from both me and Gabi.

I am sure that Gabi is already doing a great job with you so you should stick to the program which he has prepared for you - since you have taken the time to write me in the mentoring program thread, I will tell you how I would approach things and then you can decide wether you would like to try my approach as well. But as I said - cramming a lot of information in very little amount of time will never lead to anything good.


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Aris
post Nov 13 2014, 11:31 AM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Nov 12 2014, 09:08 PM) *
Very cool thread Aris, by working analytically like this you will have a huge advantage over people with 'rock n roll' approach only.

Maybe you could share the backing you used so others can show their approach to question and answer? I would like to have a go at it as well.

At the end of the day we might get wiser!


Hi Kristofer,

Thank you for your advise and interest.

I have the backing track at home. I will do a small correction that I noticed in the drum loop to make the groove feel more natural and send it tonight.

I am also very interested to listen to other improvisation possibilities so it would be great if you would also like to share something on the same backing track or even a different one.

QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Nov 12 2014, 02:34 PM) *
You didn't mess anything, this is exactly what I was thinking you should do with this analysis! Spreading it to the world. smile.gif It's also interesting if you continue exploring this stuff, maybe expanding it with some other Satriani's song or even better with some other guitarists! What about Vai, Timmons, Friedman, Petrucci, SRV?

I can imagine Aris's book of phrasing in the future.... biggrin.gif


Hi Gabriel,

Nice to hear this.
Definitely! I will use the same approach to any songs that sound interesting to me and check the recommended guitarists as well.
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Aris
post Nov 13 2014, 12:22 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Nov 13 2014, 08:09 AM) *
Hey matey - I understand the situation but I must say that one hour a day would be a bit too little, to cram up stuff from both me and Gabi.

I am sure that Gabi is already doing a great job with you so you should stick to the program which he has prepared for you - since you have taken the time to write me in the mentoring program thread, I will tell you how I would approach things and then you can decide wether you would like to try my approach as well. But as I said - cramming a lot of information in very little amount of time will never lead to anything good.


Hi Cosmin,

Yes I really like working with Gabriel.
I appreciate your proposal and any suggestions you may have for me but as you said Gabi's is already doing a great job with me and since I already struggle with time, more information given the circumstances may not possibly help.

Thanks a lot!
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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 13 2014, 12:28 PM
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QUOTE (Aris @ Nov 13 2014, 11:22 AM) *
Hi Cosmin,

Yes I really like working with Gabriel.
I appreciate your proposal and any suggestions you may have for me but as you said Gabi's is already doing a great job with me and since I already struggle with time, more information given the circumstances may not possibly help.

Thanks a lot!


No problem mate wink.gif I just took a little time to point some important aspects out, so please take a look here: https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...st&p=700402

Hope this helps wink.gif

Cosmin


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Aris
post Nov 13 2014, 04:02 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Nov 13 2014, 11:28 AM) *
No problem mate wink.gif I just took a little time to point some important aspects out, so please take a look here: https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...st&p=700402

Hope this helps wink.gif

Cosmin


Hi Cosmin,

Thanks again for taking the time to give me detailed pointers and suggestions. I really appreciate it.
To be honest most if not all points are also pointed out by Gabriel and we are working on it. It surely helps to have as much details as possible.

Also, it is great that you mentioned the early wake up solution. It is true that I 'm feeling pretty worn out from the day at the time I go to practice so I have also been thinking about the early wake up lately. Now that you also mentioned it, I am convinced that this will work better and my brain will work better then. It's also nice to go to bed when I need to although when I start playing I really forget about it.
I will try to figure out some changes first before I can practice early in the morning since currently my gear is in the bedroom and that would wake up my wife also.

The only downside is that I will have to drop everything when it's time to leave for work so I won't show up late sad.gif But this will be a small price to pay.

Thank you very much for the valuable advice.



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Kristofer Dahl
post Nov 13 2014, 09:56 PM
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QUOTE (Aris @ Nov 13 2014, 12:31 PM) *
Hi Kristofer,

Thank you for your advise and interest.

I have the backing track at home. I will do a small correction that I noticed in the drum loop to make the groove feel more natural and send it tonight.

I am also very interested to listen to other improvisation possibilities so it would be great if you would also like to share something on the same backing track or even a different one.
Definitely! I will use the same approach to any songs that sound interesting to me and check the recommended guitarists as well.


Great - it's a perfect backing for this thread, and it is also interesting to have the same reference point as to what can be done solo-wise. After all the backing track is probably more important than the lead - in terms of establishing the musical frame.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Nov 14 2014, 12:58 AM
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Interesting idea Kris. I'm also interested in giving this approaches a try over the backing. It's a good idea to see how each of us can have different results using the same backing and also the same approach to connect phrases.

This thread is turning out very interesting.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Nov 14 2014, 10:39 AM
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QUOTE (Aris @ Nov 13 2014, 03:02 PM) *
Hi Cosmin,

Thanks again for taking the time to give me detailed pointers and suggestions. I really appreciate it.
To be honest most if not all points are also pointed out by Gabriel and we are working on it. It surely helps to have as much details as possible.

Also, it is great that you mentioned the early wake up solution. It is true that I 'm feeling pretty worn out from the day at the time I go to practice so I have also been thinking about the early wake up lately. Now that you also mentioned it, I am convinced that this will work better and my brain will work better then. It's also nice to go to bed when I need to although when I start playing I really forget about it.
I will try to figure out some changes first before I can practice early in the morning since currently my gear is in the bedroom and that would wake up my wife also.

The only downside is that I will have to drop everything when it's time to leave for work so I won't show up late sad.gif But this will be a small price to pay.

Thank you very much for the valuable advice.


Hey mate! Nothing to it wink.gif I gave you the details, because I think they are important and I was sure Gabi mentioned them as well, but you know the old saying - 'When two people tell you that you are drunk, you will have to trust them and go straight to bed' laugh.gif

Now that you know very, very well on what you need to focus on, I think that re-thinking your schedule in order to get the most out of your hour, would trigger some amazing changes.

I would first move my gear and practice place in another room where I would not bother anyone in the morning and then I would practice going to sleep as early as possible, in order to be ableto get the necessary sleep and also wake up in time to practice my daily hour wink.gif

That's how I'd approach the situation smile.gif


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Aris
post Nov 14 2014, 12:15 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Nov 14 2014, 09:39 AM) *
Hey mate! Nothing to it wink.gif I gave you the details, because I think they are important and I was sure Gabi mentioned them as well, but you know the old saying - 'When two people tell you that you are drunk, you will have to trust them and go straight to bed' laugh.gif

Now that you know very, very well on what you need to focus on, I think that re-thinking your schedule in order to get the most out of your hour, would trigger some amazing changes.

I would first move my gear and practice place in another room where I would not bother anyone in the morning and then I would practice going to sleep as early as possible, in order to be ableto get the necessary sleep and also wake up in time to practice my daily hour wink.gif

That's how I'd approach the situation smile.gif


Hi Cosmin,

Yes I' m pretty drunk for sure! never doubted it tongue.gif For sure having your details also help me draw the picture even more.
Yes, finding a new place for my gear is interesting and challenging. But I will work something out.

I 'll let you know how it goes after I do this for a while.

Thanks again my friend! smile.gif

QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Nov 12 2014, 09:08 PM) *
Very cool thread Aris, by working analytically like this you will have a huge advantage over people with 'rock n roll' approach only.

Maybe you could share the backing you used so others can show their approach to question and answer? I would like to have a go at it as well.

At the end of the day we might get wiser!


Hi Kristofer,

Here is the backing track I have used for the posted melodies.
I would be glad to listen to other ideas over the same backing track or even a different one.
They could also be used as reference to demonstrate different ways.

Attached File(s)
Attached File  backingtrack02.mp3 ( 937.17K ) Number of downloads: 59
 
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Nov 14 2014, 03:03 PM
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Cool! Thanks for the backing track! I'm already trying the approaches over it. smile.gif

As many of you know I just finished the level 1 of my improvisation course at the Vchat. I'm giving the complementary lessons and exercises in order to be ready for level 2.

I think that these analysis made by Aris is very useful to add to the course so today I will be experimenting and discussing about each of these approaches at Vchat. The session starts at 21 hs so I hope to see you there, with your guitars, showing how you also apply these ideas to your phrasing.

Who is in?


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Kristofer Dahl
post Nov 14 2014, 04:00 PM
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QUOTE (Aris @ Nov 14 2014, 01:15 PM) *
Hi Kristofer,

Here is the backing track I have used for the posted melodies.
I would be glad to listen to other ideas over the same backing track or even a different one.
They could also be used as reference to demonstrate different ways.

Thanks a lot Aris!

When recording my take I was constantly thinking about trying to mimic a conversation between two people.

Attached File  kris_take_call_n_response.mp3 ( 2.49MB ) Number of downloads: 115

Examples:

00:03 person 1
00:08 answer from person 2
00:10 new statement from person 1
00:15 new answer from person 2
00:18 longer statement from person 1, which is repeated twice with a variation
00:30 person 2 now fully agrees and praises person 1 ph34r.gif

I prolonged the backing track after my take in case anyone else wants to record after my lines!

The backing is in G major 120 bpm. I used G lydian, G major and G major pentatonic scales when soloing. As well as the G major arpeggio and the D7 arpeggio.

To make it more interesting I used some outside notes (= bad sounding notes), which I bent up to "good sounding" notes. Can you hear where those notes are?


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klasaine
post Nov 14 2014, 07:39 PM
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Good exercise!
That progression is perfect for the task because each chord lasts long enough that you're forced to play 'over the changes'.

Here's mine. The end of the tack comes up quick. It took me by surprise.

Attached File  DR000139.mp3 ( 695.16K ) Number of downloads: 75


Not so much 'question and answer' but thematic development.
The first lick I play (:00 - :04) is the germ that is used throughout in gradually higher registers as well as two other keys. I get to it with scale or arpeggio type passages.

*I analyzed my playing after the fact.
Other than just thinking melodically I didn't consciously decide to do that. It just felt 'right'.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Nov 14 2014, 09:14 PM


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Aris
post Nov 14 2014, 10:07 PM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Nov 14 2014, 03:00 PM) *
Thanks a lot Aris!

When recording my take I was constantly thinking about trying to mimic a conversation between two people.

Attached File  kris_take_call_n_response.mp3 ( 2.49MB ) Number of downloads: 115

Examples:

00:03 person 1
00:08 answer from person 2
00:10 new statement from person 1
00:15 new answer from person 2
00:18 longer statement from person 1, which is repeated twice with a variation
00:30 person 2 now fully agrees and praises person 1 ph34r.gif

I prolonged the backing track after my take in case anyone else wants to record after my lines!

The backing is in G major 120 bpm. I used G lydian, G major and G major pentatonic scales when soloing. As well as the G major arpeggio and the D7 arpeggio.

To make it more interesting I used some outside notes (= bad sounding notes), which I bent up to "good sounding" notes. Can you hear where those notes are?




Hi Kristofer,

It's very useful to have this detailed analysis and to visualize the solo as a real conversation and maybe it will give some ideas.
I admit, that it is not always clear to me if I'm listening to the question/statement or the response part. Or where exactly the solo switches to the response. Your analysis helps me to interpret the melody correctly and see where the melody turns to a response etc.

Some melodies are clearer for me to interpret, other melodies such as Klasaine's (which is also really cool - melodic and still intense) is not so easy to understand if I m listening to the response or the question. Is there some kind of soft rule to realize this or it's a matter of experience and instinct?

I guess the notes outside the scale should be at 00:05, 00:13, 00:32. Is this true?

This post has been edited by Aris: Nov 14 2014, 10:31 PM
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klasaine
post Nov 14 2014, 10:36 PM
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QUOTE (Aris @ Nov 14 2014, 02:07 PM) *
Hi Kristofer,

other melodies such as Klasaine's (which is also really cool - melodic and still intense) is not so easy to understand if I m listening to the response or the question. Is there some kind of soft rule to realize this or it's a matter of experience and instinct?


If you listen to mine a few times you'll hear that I play a new phrase every two measures (8 counts). Your chords change every 4 measures (16 counts) and I play two phrases per chord change. You can think of that as one question and one answer per chord change. I call it idea and development.

For me, the 'soft' rule would be ... "think Like a singer or a horn player" in that they have to take a breath once in awhile.
Also, the answer doesn't have to be the same length as the question. Nor does it have to be on the same topic. Think of it as a conversation, not a test.

*I'm also thinking of each chord change as a new key G maj, D7, C maj, D7, G maj.
Yes, theoretically it is a I - V - IV - V - I in G major but four measures per chord is an eternity (in musical time). If you only think of scales in 'relation' to G as the root tone you'll constantly be focusing on G notes and tending to begin phrases on G - which gets old, fast.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Nov 14 2014, 11:44 PM


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