As you know, improvising is making up music on the spot. We aren’t working from a script, rather from experience and internal resources [inner hearing, singing, inspiration, visuals]. Improvising (single tone soloing and chord progression creation) is a primary practice piece for all guitarists, no matter what level or age.
It all begins with beginning. Start this process immediately. It is an integral component of any sensible learning system.
- All 12 tones are workable in any key, not just the 7 that are in the key. ‘Wrong tone’ means ‘wrong emphasis’. Tones outside the key are used for passing tones or approach tones.
- Sing to yourself. Vocally & subvocally.
- Listen. Really listen for tension and resolution.
- Use maps, then don’t use maps.
- Learn tone-names & intervals – understand directionality & what particular tones can do within a harmonic environment.
- If you hear tones outside the given set [the scale], find & use them.
Audio can assist with your melodic development by providing a backdrop to explore a given tone set. By using tonal material against audio, we find an effective means of practice, a way for us to interact, & an opportunity to play against changing elements within the provided track (melodic motifs within harmonic motion, level of intensity, shifts in sections).
Use any audio [even just songs] for improvising [or any you can find – we do not promote soloing to Muzak type MIDI tracks, simply for the sake of art]. Turn the track on, know your tone set, and run.
Explore every conceivable combination of tones. Listen to what you are playing. Go in any order, repeat tones, & use slurs (pulls, hammers, slides, bends, & vibrato). Use your voice & your ear. Be melodic. Be harmonic [build mini-chords to accent the existing harmonies].
Logging time just noodling and tinkering leads to your melodic faculties (sensibilities) warming up. You may find motifs from tunes you know, &/or write your own melodies. This is a process that assists with songwriting.