"I am totally stuck when it comes to improvising. I have spent a lot of time practicing scales and also learning about keys and Music Theory. I have also worked through several books that teach guitar licks all over the fingerboard. I have good technique, I have learnt how to play fast lines, tapping, sweep picking, etc. but, I still just cant seem to play a nice long melody during a solo. When I listen to top-notch players like Steve Vai or just good all around guitar players such as David Gilmour they seem to have a flow to their playing that I just cant seem to obtain. Can you please help me with a few tips on this topic."
Thank you, Donald - Las Vegas, NV.
Andrew goes over a quick "Top 5" list of Improvising Concepts:
1). Learn scale patterns as well as octave templates. Practice for hours to gain a solid technique for them all over the guitar neck.
2). Listen to the solos of great guitar players, and try your best to understand their use of space and economy in their solos. Also, spend time listening to other instruments as well as vocal melody lines. Do a good deal of Transcription work also.
3). Understand that feelings and emotions play a huge role in developing solos that capture a listeners attention. When you feel inspired... PLAY GUITAR!
4). Master the use of phrasing devices such as; slides, bends, legato, vibrato, double-stops, harmonics... etc.
5). Understand the relationships between scale degrees and the chords being performed at a given point in time. Work very hard at developing the ability to target specific notes as you play. It takes awhile to learn how to do well... but it's worth the effort once you begin to see the results!