Finally Starting to Develop Phrasing With Chord Tones

tenchijin2

Member
Messages
3,031
I've stumbled along as a player for a couple decades, to be honest. I've played guitar in bands for years and been the "lead player" in a couple more recently. I can ape a decent solo if I have good source material (speaking about covers here) but I've always been challenged when it comes to improvising.

And I know why. I've just never put in the time on the fretboard to really pull it all together. So the last couple years I've been concentrating on chord tones and trying to see the various points on the board where they fit. I'm certainly still no master at it but I'll be damned if last night it didn't show up unexpectedly at band practice. I recently started with a new band as the lead guitarist, and the quality of this band is higher than I've been accustomed to in other recent projects. Several times during a song last night I just KNEW what I was playing. I could hear it just before I played it, and was able to choose to play it rather than just fingering around on a scale hoping to make some decent sounding combinations. The band even complimented me at one point, saying that I played a "great solo!" I felt it myself and was quite pleased!

Anyway no real agenda in posting this but I've been frustrated for a long time trying to figure out how to pull it all together and be a better player. I think it's actually working, thank God.
 

Guitar Stu

Member
Messages
469
I think you just wrote out my story in your post except I feel like I am maybe just one step behind. I've been putting more time into my playing and I am getting good improvements but improvising is the one area where I just can't get it to click.

I am keeping at it in the hope it all comes together and I think it will at some point.
 

sws1

Member
Messages
11,196
Awesome. That's one area I want to focus on. I think the first song that really got me laser-focused on this was "Back where it all begins" by the Allman Brothers. Very simple E / D progression in the solo. However, Warren's solo hits the right notes right at the chord change. And not always the root...all of them. When I started to study it more closely, it was like a piece of the puzzle became aware to me.
 

derekd

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
43,134
Congrats!

Targeting chord tones is definitely a worthwhile pursuit. Robbie Calvo has a great Truefire package called, Sweet Notes, if anyone is interested in this study.
 

tenchijin2

Member
Messages
3,031
One of the most difficult parts of this process is that I have all the knowledge necessary to do what I want to do, it's just pushing myself to integrate it into my playing that is hard.
 

Ogre

Member
Messages
4,650
Great post. Yes, there are no short cuts. Learn more about chords, theory, & and how it all fits together, and it will broaden your music vocabulary. You too can break free of the trite, overused "licks" that none of us want to play/hear again. Now, back to practice!
 




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