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Start improvising guitar solos with these 3 simple exercises

Guitar improvisation
(Image credit: Future)

Guitar lessons: Learning more scales won’t make you a better guitarist. Learning how to use scales more creatively will, though. 

These three improvisation techniques will restrict you so that you focus on how you play as much as what you play – this will help you avoid noodling aimlessly up and down scales and stick to making the kind of music you enjoy.

1. Using two notes 

(Image credit: Future)

Using only two notes isn’t as limiting as you might think. This example shows how you can play these notes long, short, hard, soft or moving from one to the other

2. Playing on one string 

(Image credit: Future)

Single-string soloing allows you to be creative when moving between notes. Slide between large intervals and combine with bends, hammer-ons and pull-offs.

3. Using a note limit 

(Image credit: Future)

Limiting yourself to, say, 10 notes in a solo ensures you think about which notes you play. This example uses sustained notes before a quick flurry at the end.

Learn more: Improving your guitar solo improvisation