How to Improve your Jazz Guitar Soloing – One Skill

14 Comments

  1. arekmenner

    If it's any consolation, it works in reverse. I don't really improv live very often, but I come to these improv videos for tips on how to compose faster!

  2. Jam Jar

    I like jamey aebersold. Though hes a brass player his exercises are fairly good for guitarist aswell. The rule of the thumb is – sing a long while improvising, e.g. george benson 🙂

  3. axeslinger94

    Hey Jens! I have two questions:
    1. Can you explain how to best conceptualize soloing at faster tempos?
    2. Can you explain how to choose the best notes when soloing and why should certain notes be emphasized over others?

    I have a lot of difficulty finding quality info on youtube about HOW to solo, so many players just shred and expect people to automatically get it, but that hasn't been what works for me. I understand music theory well but am having some trouble wrapping my head around faster playing and creating competent solos I actually enjoy hearing.

  4. Peter Schwimmer

    Composing solos is a very good way to learn to improvise better – since it is just improvising at slow speed.

    I have another idea that can help one to learn how to solo better: try playing with another person and take turns playing the next note in a solo, so that you are reacting to possibly unexpected notes, and then try to make a good line out of notes that you are "dealt" by your musical partner. You do this at slow speed to jointly compose a solo.

    I also think it is useful to try to deliberately throw in wrong notes and to try to follow them with notes that turn the mistake into something musical. You can move the next note up or down a half step (of course depending on the scale – you could be playing the wrong note from a harmonic minor scale and moving a half step in one direction might work but in the other direction, you would still be a half-step away from a scale note, so play another "wrong" note or 2 and make a chromatic enclosure, which turns the wrong notes into right notes). When you land on a scale note, it still might partly be a wrong note in that it is not a chord tone yet is on a strong beat, so you you have to figure how to set up a chord tone to fall on the next strong beat, and work your way to that. When you play, always try to hear the relation of the note you just played to the chord you are playing over (or the next one you are going to move to). Then you can make adjustments to mistakes you have played and turn them into something that sounds like it was intended all along.

  5. Jacob Park

    I have a question for you, when you are improvising over a son that has mostly diatonic chords, do you still have to change scales cause technically you can use one scale? Thanks, love he videos.

  6. Jeff Sprankle

    I compose songs but I haven't really considered my improv as a composition like I should…Great tutorial….

  7. Shuzies

    Hi Jens…Nice lesson……..I use a Boss RC-300 for most of playing over or with…ron

  8. Mac

    When you say "Basic 3rd and 7th voicings" on the sheet are you referring to chords underneath or the notes stressed in the lead?

  9. brad

    Great advice. I find that composing is a great way to learn my way around what works over chords and what works for connecting to the next chord; then when attempting to improvise I have a tool box or road map to draw from (if that makes sense). Thanks, Jens.

  10. Anthony Demitre

    ya composing solos are fun and can make me think of the best way or concept to use, this is when I do most of the thinking as opposed to thinking when improvising witch doesn't work for me

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