Improvisation...

Z_Zoquis

Member
Messages
3,673
I suck at it. Not only that, but I hate doing it. I'm not sure if I hate it because I suck at it or vice versa. I do know that I have no urge within my heart to express my "inner turmoil" or to make that guitar "cry and sing." I like (hopefully cool) defined, structured lead parts. If I were in a band doing originals there would probably never be an instance where I said "OK, for this 8 bar section I'm just going to do whatever comes to mind." It would pretty much always be something I'd worked out ahead and basically "composed."

In my current cover band, I really don't enjoy the songs where the leads are more off-the-cuff and "jammy."
 

JonR

Member
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15,265
I suck at it. Not only that, but I hate doing it. I'm not sure if I hate it because I suck at it or vice versa. I do know that I have no urge within my heart to express my "inner turmoil" or to make that guitar "cry and sing." I like (hopefully cool) defined, structured lead parts. If I were in a band doing originals there would probably never be an instance where I said "OK, for this 8 bar section I'm just going to do whatever comes to mind." It would pretty much always be something I'd worked out ahead and basically "composed."

In my current cover band, I really don't enjoy the songs where the leads are more off-the-cuff and "jammy."
So what's the problem? Who's forcing you to improvise?

Not everyone is a natural improviser. Just do what you do; compose your solos beforehand if you want. If your band don't like hearing the same solo every night - tough! The audience is unlikely to care. (It's not "jazz", I take it. It's only in jazz where improvisation matters.)
 

Z_Zoquis

Member
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3,673
lol, I guess I sorta forgot to pose any sort of question or talking point here. I'm just looking for others feelings about this. Do any of you feel like I do about it? I think improvising/jamming is something that a lot of players really enjoy and feel is something to aspire to but personally I don't really enjoy it.
 

DeaconBlues

Member
Messages
2,975
I'm all about/into improvising. I hate structured lead parts and refuse to even consider playing a piece of music unless I can improvise the lead.
 

JonR

Member
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15,265
This idea that everyone ought to be improvising lead guitar solos is a bit like the idea that everyone ought to be able to write songs. Not every musician is cut out to be creative in that way. Some (eg orchestral musicians) are quite happy just to play what's written in front of them, and leave composition to composers. It's quite valid to regard playing as a quite different skill from composition (or improvisation), and to focus on the skill(s) one feels comfortable with.
That's the way it was in popular music too, until the Beatles came along... suddenly every rock musician thought they could (or should) write songs too.

Personally, I love improvisation, and prefer to make up my own solos on the fly than play something I prepared earlier, or (worse) reproduce someone else's solo. I've always done that, invented stuff, done things my way, even as a beginner.
But I don't regard myself, for that reason, as superior to someone like yourself.
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,689
I'm complete opposite of that. Those moments of hanging by a thread, improvised were always the most fun I had onstage, especially when the whole band is in that zone feeding off each other. But even for just playing on my own, I just hate sitting down and playing something totally from memory, so mechanical and boring to me. Especially for rock/blues styles like Hendrix or styles like that. The true spirit of that style is the feel and to put that into it, each and every time. I'd get so bored playing from a transcript, we don't memorize things we're going to say to everyone during the day! That'd be ridiculous. I want to sit down and make the guitar talk, not recite., I like to sit down and just see what comes out. Let the hands and ears take over.

Growing up I noticed all my favorite players did that too, they wouldn't really play the same thing live, other than the signature parts that were obvious. Even the chord/verse parts were often ad libbed and fresh every time. Always dug that.

One of my best friends who I've played with in many bands, was like you. Just wanted everything spelled out and played. we'd do extended parts depending on how the crowd is reacting, and there just wasn't anything to go off, he didn't create anything to get to that zone. He's a super musician to have in a cover band, tho', so solid. I guess playing in a Vegas cover band, he'd be perfect. That's what they want in those types of places.
 
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splatt

david torn / splattercell
Platinum Supporting Member
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25,997
if you're not improvising something, you're not playing music, yet.
 

buddyboy69

Member
Messages
5,043
so you like to copy and play note for note off the recording? wow what fun. id probably just rather listen to the record than your band.
 

ChampReverb

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
11,827
I play in a band doing mostly melodic folk-rock covers with a lot of jangle and twang. The songs tend to be fairly well-known. The solo sections tend to be a quick "get in, get out, back to the vocals" deal.

On some songs, I play my close interpretation of the recorded solos.

On a bunch of others, I have constructed a solo section that has a loose overall outline but within which I just make the details up every time the song is played.

Here and there we have songs where I can stretch out completely with nothing pre-conceived.

I like it all. I have never tended to sit down and learn a lot of other people's licks verbatim but in this band context it feels like an opportunity to focus on discipline and execution. I also enjoy the songs that give me a chance to explore more "in the moment" melodic improvisation too and on those songs I never play them the same way twice.

The other three guitarists (acoustic mostly) in the band are limited and just not good at playing things differently on the spur of the moment so that is a hard constraint but the vocals are really good.

...

Occasionally I get together with a few other better musicians who are great at spontaneously going off along any tangent of the moment and we just create song arrangements on the fly following whoever is leading the song and there's a lot of improvised magic in those collaborations.

-bEn r.
 
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Neer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,677
Music is supposed to inspire joy, not anger and resentment. Even if you are playing some kind of hard core depression music, there is still a joy in playing it even if the joy simply comes from expressing those emotions.
 

aiq

Silver Supporting Member
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10,715
Seems people sometimes need to dislike something in order to like something else.

I'm all about dat jam.
 

ZeyerGTR

Member
Messages
3,938
I prefer improvising (for better or worse) and do that most of the time, but for some tunes it just works to work out a solo ahead of time. I might evolve parts over time, but sometimes a written-out solo just works the right way. Usually those written-out solos come about because of a lot of jamming, though. :)

If its' a genre I'm less comfortable in like metal I pretty much have to work it out ahead of time. If it's blues, country or more classic rock I'll improvise most of the time. There are definitely genre preferences. Blues doesn't lend itself to written-out solos, imho, it's all about improvising in the moment. For me, metal is kind of the opposite. Of course, there are no rules so YMMV on any given song or night.
 

Z_Zoquis

Member
Messages
3,673
Don't get me wrong, I do improvise at times. I also don't necessarily cop every solo note for note with covers. But for myself, I don't tend to really enjoy the improve. I don't like that feeling of going off-the-cuff. I prefer my creativity to happen prior to the performance and then the performance becomes about presenting those ideas rather than inventing them.

I'm also not making some sort of value judgment. Some of you sound like you take it personally that I don't particularly like jamming. lol...
 

Jeremy_Green

Member
Messages
1,154
Not to be a jerk but learning to improvise at a very high level takes a lot of time. And that is just work to some.... Work being a four letter word. Usually the people I've met who 'dislike' improvising are simply not good at it... OR are simply unwilling to invest the hours required. So it's better to simply talk it down.

You don't like improvised solos... you sure? You probably like a good Pink Floyd solo or Zeppelin or a myriads of others bands. All of who's solos came from improvising at first before eventually settling on 'parts'.

If you were wicked at it... and you have that opinion .. then maybe there is a deeper discussion to be had. But it sounds to me like you are building the walls high enough that you don't ever have to climb to the other side.
 






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