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Improving as a solo guitarist without learning scales

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 ...
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12 votes
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What to do when you get lost in a jazz song?

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-...
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10 votes

Why does pentatonic + diatonic embellishments sound so much better than just using the diatonic for guitar solos?

The general answer is that pentatonic scales avoid some of the dissonances against the chords that occur naturally in the diatonic scales. For example, suppose you're playing over a C Major chord. ...
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9 votes

Minor key and its chords

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 ...
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9 votes

What other scales can be played over ii chord in ii-V-I besides Dorian?

You can play pretty much anything, depending on context and what has been established both melodically and harmonically. All modes derived from the mayor scale are commonly used: Lydian easily fits ...
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8 votes
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How to train in order to perform a "good" drum solo?

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 ...
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8 votes

What to do when you get lost in a jazz song?

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. ...
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8 votes

What is it called when one voice type sings a 'solo'?

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 ...
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Rolling Stones Sway guitar solo chord function

...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....
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8 votes
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How good am I supposed to be at my 3rd year of playing electric guitar? Also, suggestions for songs and exercises to improve faster

There just isn't a simple graph that could be made - time played against ability to play. Every single person's would be very different! And then there's actual playing ability. Playing any of those ...
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7 votes
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How to improvise over a C#, B, A chord progression?

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 ...
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7 votes
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Air tube to change the sound of guitar

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 ...
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6 votes

Improving as a solo guitarist without learning scales

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 ...
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6 votes

Starting a solo on a root note

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 ...
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6 votes
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How Can I Make my Solos Sound Like an Actual Song?

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. ...
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  • 174k
6 votes

Melodic line for voice soloist with divisi. Why?

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 ...
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6 votes
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How to write guitar solos from a keyboardist perspective?

The best way to write for an instrument you are unfamiliar is, is to work together with whoever is going to be playing the part. Start by writing the piece as you imagine it, in a way that you think ...
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6 votes
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How do I properly support a bass solo as a keyboard player?

Since the solid bass playing will stop during a bass solo, only coming back in during the last couple of bars, maybe, the drums often continue. That is to keep a rhythm going, sometimes even against ...
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6 votes

Background sound of pick hitting string

The amount of pick sliding over the string may be the problem. Try holding the pick more gently, and changing the length it sticks out, thus not more than 3 or 4 mm showing. Also, you may be digging ...
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6 votes
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What is the full form of cont. RH solo and its meaning?

It means 'continue right hand solo'. The RH solo starts at M.54 (notated) and at M.58 you continue improvising in a similar style. The arranger has written out the first four bars of the solo to give ...
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6 votes

Why does pentatonic + diatonic embellishments sound so much better than just using the diatonic for guitar solos?

Pentatonics are so much safer! The two notes that are most likely to sound out of place in any chord sequence are the two omitted from the diatonic set - 4 and 7. A tritone apart (both ways). Those ...
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  • 174k
5 votes

Question about soloing

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 ...
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Question about soloing

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!
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5 votes

How to improvise over a C#, B, A chord progression?

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 ...
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5 votes

Improving as a solo guitarist without learning scales

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. ...
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5 votes

When/how to switch in between major and minor pentatonic

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 ...
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5 votes

What is the purpose of knowing the relative minor of a particular major scale?

You're nearly correct. The natural relative minor shares all those notes. There are other minors that don't. The concept is that any piece has a 'home' sound. Generally, in a major piece, it sounds ...
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5 votes
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Modes over II-V-I

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 ...
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