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17

tl;dr: You can always guess what notes to play by ear and find what notes sound good, but at the end of the day you are playing in a scale and you should be aware of that. There are some guitarists that don't know scale (or music theory for that matter) and they tend to play by ear. They listen to the progression and try to play something over it and find ...


15

Learning licks and solos by other musicians can be helpful in this respect. Obviously you'll want to develop your own voice, but no musician exists in a vacuum and it's definitely helpful to learn and analyze (if even unconsciously) the kinds of things musicians you admire have played. Depending on your style and the direction you want to go, it may be ...


12

Play it slow but correct and then speed up. Try to play it perfectly, as slow as you need it to be. It's better to be able to play it slowly and well then to play it fast and sloppy. Your friends are right, a metronome can help. First, set it to a speed at which you can comfortably play it. From there on, put it a bit faster each time. The song is at 120 ...


12

A thing some advanced musicians can do is to listen to the harmony. This will require a bit of advanced ear training, because the chords in Jazz often have many notes and use weird voicings, so a not-so-well trained ear won't be able to pick up the harmony. Ask a bandmate where you are. This might sound bad to you, like you will give off a bad image to your ...


10

I gave an answer to a similar question here, but I'll recap the main ideas. Miles Davis famously said (something like) "Play what you hear, not what you know." In other words, when you're soloing, you don't want to be thinking, "Here comes a dominant seventh chord; I'll play a mixolydian mode over it!" There's just no time for that, and it leads to ...


9

The diatonic chords in minor are: Tonic (A C E) is minor Supertonic (B D F) is diminished Mediant (C E G) is major Subdominant (D F A) is minor Dominant (E G# B) is major Submediant (F A C) is major Leading tone (G# B D) is diminished The key of A minor has zero sharps or flats. However, standard practice is to raise the seventh scale degree of a minor key;...


8

Generally, there are two factors that contribute to quiet playing: 1.) They are insecure with their part - not comfortable physically playing the music. For children, it is often because they don't practice enough. For older kids and adults, it's often because they don't practice enough. :) 2.) Social psychology: by playing as a soloist they are ...


8

With any solo, you want to tell a story. The licks, riffs and grooves are your words. Writers structure stories as narrative arcs. A narrative arc is usually: Exposition: The introduction the story in which characters are introduced, setting is revealed. Rising Action: A series of events that complicate matters for the protagonist, creating a rise in the ...


8

Counting helps a lot. If the passage is 8 bars long, two counts of 1,2,3,4. 2,2,3,4. 3,2,3,4. 4,2,3,4 will keep you together. In a well written song, it should, to a degree, tell you where you are. You should hear the cadences as they approach, and that ought to put you onto the next line , stanza, sentence, call it what you will. EDIT: just realised I didn'...


8

It's a "talk box". It works by projecting the sound coming from the instrument (typically a guitar) into the mouth of the performer (the tube is coupled with a speaker inside the box). The performer then modulates the sound using their mouth, pretty much as if speaking. The resulting sound is captured by a microphone. The resulting effect is similar from ...


8

Possibly soli? In my experience, it means a solo for an entire section. For example, a saxophone soli would be a feature for all the saxophones in a big band. Google tells me it has other meanings in different contexts, so it may not be a universally applicable term.


8

...what the Bb chords function is in the end solo as it alternates with the C chord? If it is just going like C Bb C Bb C Bb... then looking for function doesn't make sense. It's static harmonically. You can just call this kind of two chord alternating a vamp. Function in the traditional sense is about predominant to dominant to tonic harmonic progression ...


6

I think the most important thing you need is to learn how to dive in your guitar's neck without getting lost. Moving around past a certain speed and without watching where your fingers are requires tons of practice. That practice relies in repeating some pattern over and over and over. You can try 1 million solos, practice them, improve and master them and ...


6

The soloist should do all of those things. You don't necessarily have to look straight at the conductor though. Peripheral vision can be enough to see the movement of the hands and baton. If you just listen instead of watching too, there's a good chance you'll miss something and not be together with the ensemble. However, the conductor also needs to ...


6

Chromatic finger exercises with a metronome will help if your fingers are really weak. This is where you play 4 notes on each string from low (low e) to high (high e), and then back up again to low e. One finger on each fret, and when you have done all 6 strings, you start by moving one note up and do the exercise in the next position. (for example, you ...


6

I'm hearing two questions: 1) What notes are safe for me to play? 2) What notes are important? While overlapping, these are different questions that will each have a large impact on your solo. The first is easier to answer, but understanding the second will make you a better musician. tl; dr Try them all, but only repeat the notes you like. 1) Safety ...


6

The verse is just plain E minor. I understand your initial confusion, but you have to remember that you can bring things in from outside the key without changing the key. In this the harmony is simply built on and utilizes the different scales used for minor which are the natural, harmonic, and melodic minor. If you were to naturally build 7th chords off ...


6

At the beginning, with no chord pattern obvious, it could have been any old song. However, the bass and drums ( and occasional keyboard and possible guitar) shape things into the well-known sequence. Unmistakable. He is actually playing parts of the song and the guitar breaks associated. So, for anyone knowing the song, every so often, they're reminded of ...


6

I wouldn’t call it divisi unless two instruments were playing it. Without seeing more of the piece, my first guess is that you’re right and the lower pitch version is for singers that don’t feel comfortable with the high Bb. Another possibility is only if this section is repeated. It’s possible that the singer is supposed to sing it one way the first time ...


6

A simple answer! Pentatonic uses 5 notes - let's for now address the pent. major. Notes 1,2,3 5 6. In key C, C D E G A. Leaving out two other diatonic notes - F and B. Together, those produce a tritone, which is considered dissonant. All the other notes will not clash with each other, in any order - thus are consonant. Adding the B and F into the mix means ...


5

Technically what's happening is the G# over an A chord gives Amaj7, over the C#m is just a 5, within the chord, and over the D makes a b5, as in blues. So yes it'll do the job. As Matthew says, if it sounds good, it usually is.Ears are so good at this skill. I wouldn't just hold that note while the 3 chords are being played consecutively, although it will ...


5

Most of the time, if it sounds good to you it's okay. If it sounds good to the band, that's even better. If it sounds good to the audience, that's the best. But you don't know until they hear it!


5

You seem to be mistaken in thinking that playing scales means you have to play the same scales as everyone else - you don't. In fact, even playing chords and/or arpeggios is a form of playing scales. A scale is, informally, nothing more than a system of dividing a range of frequencies into discrete steps. So saying you 'refuse' to learn scales is, in a ...


5

In general you don't need to use the same scale over every chord. This case is a very interesting, but common one in modern music and can be seen in a few songs including Unchanined by Van Halen. If we slightly modify one of the chords, the key becomes apparent. If you change the C# to a C#m it is easy to see the chords C#m, B, and A are in C# minor. Thus ...


5

First it's important to understand when it is appropriate to mix minor and major pentatonic scales. If you have a piece in minor you will want to stick to a minor (pentatonic) scale. If you have a piece in major which is not meant to sound bluesy, you want to stick to a major (pentatonic) scale. You only want to mix the two in a blues context, i.e. either in ...


5

Try listening to existing solos, it's a good start point. You'll notice that they can and do start on any note, although the root is fairly common. There's also the factor of which beat do you start on. Again, it could be and is any beat, or even in between beats. Although the first beat in the bar is fairly common. There are no hard and fast rules - in ...


5

When it comes to soloing anything is "available" at any time. It just depends if it sounds good to you. The more notes that are diatonic to the key the more consonant or "inside" it will sound while more non-diatonic notes will make it sound more dissonant or "outside". As you're probably aware, this tension and release between dissonance and consonance is ...


5

Edit: my answer was based on the assumption that the OP was playing on a major/minor tonal pop song (whatever the correct classification might be), and soloing felt OK as long as he kept using a pentatonic scale, and introducing the two additional notes IV and VII created clashes with the backing track's harmony. But after a few rounds of comments it turns ...


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