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 Post subject: Guitar improvisation, good books to order?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:04 am 
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Hey guys, I'm in between two different studies at the moment so I got whats left of this semester to play guitar... The thing is, I've played classical guitar for 9 years, electric guitar for 4-5 years but I never really learned much about improvisation/composing. Most of the time I just played tabs.

I can play most of the "harder" guitar solos, like all RR's solos of Diary/Blizzard, Led Zep, Guns etc.. But I dont have any knowledge of what's behind it. So when I want to give it my own twist while playing I need to look up the scales or just play with what I think is right (this is a skill I developed a bit).

So I would like to order some good guitar books about improvisation/theory that have some backing tracks with it, but don't start from the basics like how to hold your guitar. Could anyone recommend me something? An amazon link would be nice!

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 Post subject: Re: Guitar improvisation, good books to order?
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 7:48 pm 
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Hey Stewie, check out Lick Library here... they've got excellent instructional materials.

Another outstanding product is Desi Serna CAGED series stuff here - he explains the concepts with real world song examples so you can see the ideas in action.


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 Post subject: Re: Guitar improvisation, good books to order?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 5:13 am 
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Stewie, I was going through the guitar books I have tonight and I came across this book called Rhythm Guitar: The Complete Guide from Musician's Institute. It's an excellent book for building and understanding rhythm guitar... When I came across it, I thought of you since you said you were good with lead playing, I thought you might want to build up your rhythm so as to help with songwriting...

Hope these suggestions help.


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 Post subject: Re: Guitar improvisation, good books to order?
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 3:50 pm 
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Thanks Paul for the recommendations! I already dug up a rhythm guitar book in the meantime but I'll look into "The Complete Guide" when I'm finished with my current one.

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 Post subject: Re: Guitar improvisation, good books to order?
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 8:01 pm 
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You've been playing classical guitar for almost a decade and you don't know any scales? Do you at least know how to read music?

I don't mean to be rude. I'm just shocked. :shock:

Creating a guitar solo is not hard. (Creating a good guitar solo takes a bit of effort, though.)

Fortunately, writing a rock solo isn't exactly rocket science. If you are in the key of F# Minor, and the first couple measures of your solo are over an F#minor chord, your best bet would be to use F# minor scale (or if you wanted a more traditional rock & roll sound, minor pentatonic), emphasizing the tones F#, A and C# (what are known as the "chord tones.) Emphasizing chord tones is ESPECIALLY important is your are playing a slower solo. (If you play a fast run of 16th note triplets over the F# Minor chord, then chord tones aren't really as important. Chord tone melodies are really best used during slower passages of a solo. Look at Randy Rhoads' solo in Goodbye to Romance to see what I mean. Listen to the chords he is playing over, and listen to what notes he focuses on during the slower parts of his solo.)

A lot of it is listening and transcribing guitar parts - both the solo AND the chords the solo is played over. (Tabulature is no good, especially if you've been playing for nine years.)

And I would stay away from books that teach rock guitar. You can learn scales and how to harmonize them into chords from a book, but you CAN'T learn how to rock from one!! (it's no wonder that all bookworm shredders sound the same. . .) As you acquire theory knowledge, all you have to do is LISTEN to what your favorite players are doing on CD. I can't imagine a 20-year old Eddie Van Halen or Hendrix reading a book called, "Rock Out With Your Cock Out." (They're the guys who practically WROTE the book, by the way.)


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 Post subject: Re: Guitar improvisation, good books to order?
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 10:25 pm 
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Very good advice... and well written, too!


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 Post subject: Re: Guitar improvisation, good books to order?
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 3:31 pm 
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I would like to have a book as a guide; I know some scales and I have a scale book, but there are so many and I'd like a book that tells me which ones are most used and which ones go with a certain genre etc...


kamalayka wrote:
You've been playing classical guitar for almost a decade and you don't know any scales? Do you at least know how to read music?

I don't mean to be rude. I'm just shocked. :shock:

The guitar teaching that I had didn't focus on theory, we only focused on reading music and playing it. This has not prevented me of playing 'hard' classical guitar pieces, but I haven't got a good theory base in those years.

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 Post subject: Re: Guitar improvisation, good books to order?
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 5:12 pm 
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Stewie, check out http://www.ibreathemusic.com/ they have great info and an excellent forum to help you with what you are stuck on.


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