Guitar lessons: Partaking in some improvisation is a fun and freeing approach to creating music, but it can also be daunting and feel aimless. Having a simple concept in mind can really help focus your playing and inspire new ideas. Here we’re looking at three licks that you can learn, and, more importantly, adapt in your own creative ways.
Once you’ve learnt and understood the concept of each approach, try applying them to different scales and key signatures and use your imagination to take them to new places.
1. Wide interval ideas
This lick uses wide interval jumps to descend the minor pentatonic scale. Rather than playing the scale from one note to the next, the idea is to skip strings and use bigger jumps between notes for a more inventive sound.
We’ve written finger numbers next to the notes in the traditional notation to assist you with your fretting technique.
Following the chords is a good way of drawing inspiration from the music you are playing over and here we have an Am-Dm progression to jam to.
You could just play the A minor pentatonic scale over both chords, but, for a more musical effect, we’re playing the notes of each chord. Try this approach over any simple chord progression.
3. Rhythmic displacement
Thinking rhythmically is a great source of inspiration that can elevate simple ideas. In bars 1 and 2 we have a very basic four-note melody – it’s easy to play but it repeats in a triplet (three-note) rhythm. By crossing over the beat like this you get fresher, more interesting sounds.