Instantly Improvise Better On Guitar With 3 Easy Steps

Instantly Improvise Better On Guitar With 3 Easy Steps

Eventually, after that gig I told you about in part 1, while everything went fine, it was still kind of boring. I was only playing single notes with no real rhythmic variations, ornaments or real creativity. That's why, the very next day I was determined to do something about that.

Make sure to check out part 1, where we talked about the main pillars of improvisation like understanding the track, what scales to use, and how to start improvising without ignoring the track.

Through my own trial and error, I've discovered two simple yet powerful concepts that will transform your improvisation skills.

In this lesson, we'll delve into these concepts and show you how to put them into practice. So if you're ready to take your guitar playing to the next level and sound like a pro, let's jump right in!

Improvisation Tip #1: Steps Versus Leaps
The idea here is very simple:
- Playing steps means I'm playing one note after another.
- Playing leaps means I'm doing big jumps.

While improvising, we are moving from one note to another, what I consider leaps are distances that are a minor third (two note that are 3 half steps/3 frets apart) or more! Anything below that we would consider steps.

Note: We can do this in any direction, I can do it up or down the direction doesn't matter it's all about the distance traveled between notes!

Check out @2:39 of the video lesson for a quick demonstration of both.

So, over any given track, what you want to do is:

1- Pick the note you want to start on (preferably a note from the chord).

Note: We already covered why in part 1, if you want to take things even further, check out our melodic chord tone improvisation lesson and take your improvisation to the next level!

2- Ascend or descend the scale hitting a second note.

Note: This second note could be also part of the second chord coming next! Or not it depends on what you would like to hear, as long as it sounds nice to you. 

3- Alternate between playing steps and leaps while improvising.

This makes your improvisation sound more melodic, and it grabs the listener's attention. We achieve this by playing something that is out of the norm and that's exactly what alternating between leaps and steps does!

Usually, people are used to hearing steps, so when you throw in a leap, you break that expectation making your improvisation more interesting!

Improvisation Tip #2: Octave Repetition
If you've created a lick you like, we are going to repeat this lick note for note in other places on the fretboard.

Check out @5:35 for a demonstration

What you do is:
1- Create/pick a lick you really like.
2- Find the note on which you are starting that lick.
3- Find that same note on a higher or lower octave.

Note: This is where knowing your fretboard really pays off! Check out this lesson on fretboard visualization and instantly find any note on the guitar!

But for now, if you don't know how to find your note an other octave, you can do it by ear (trial and error). 

4- From there you can either:
- Do the same thing for every other note in your lick.
- Or just copy and paste the same pattern/lick just starting from the octave higher/lower note.

Note: Between the G and the B string you need to compensate for the difference in tuning (move everything 1 fret up), other than that we can just copy and paste, everything while improvising.

Check @7:35 for a more comprehensive tutorial.


Another thing you could do is take that lick and move it up or down the scale. So basically, we are transposing our lick here but within the same scale, just by starting from another note.

All you need to do is:
1- Pick a lick you like.
2- Change the starting note. (Needs to be a note from the same scale)
3- After that: (Starting from that new note!!)
- If the initial movement of the lick is to go up, then you will go up the scale.
- If it is to go down, then you will go down the scale.

Note: Here we need to compensate for the change in notes unlike before when we could just copy and paste the exact same lick for the octaves!!

Check out @9:00 of the video lesson for a quick demonstration.

This concept is called transposing, we are playing the same lick all over the fretboard and mimicking the same pattern or the same movement up and down the scale.

Repetition is a very powerful tool for creating a sense of familiarity, a motif, theme, or melody in the listener's head, this will elevate your improvisation and make your solos sound more melodic.

Final Words:
I hope you enjoyed this lesson today on improvisation. It may seem a bit hard to measure growth daily but practicing and implementing those concepts in your own improvisation will do wonders in the long run.

These examples will ultimately give you more freedom and more ideas when improvising. This also gives you new creative ways to use the scales you already know and allows you to take any of your licks to different areas of the fretboard.

If you feel stuck and in need of a teacher who can show you the way. And if you need someone to help you progress fast while keeping the process enjoyable, then; Check out our premium guitar training program, "guitar elevation'' and learn how guitar learners are completely transforming their guitar playing in no time!

Author: Jack Haddad
Jack Haddad is an expert Guitar educator and teacher and has been helping guitarists, through his innovative methods, get incredible results on the guitar, whether they want to jam with friends or rock out on the big stage.

You can find out more about Jack Haddad's teaching here:
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