Improvisation for the Fingerstyle Guitarist II

Dec21

We continue with another concept.

Example 1

Concept : Arpeggiations Mixed With Single Line Phrases

If you play Example 1, you will notice we now play 3 voices :

1) Melody (single note lines),

2) Accompaniment (chord arpeggiation), and

3) Bass (the root on the first beat of each measure to provide a solid reference point)

Before combining these 3 functions it’s wise to experiment with different melodies accompanied by the bass note of each chord

Example 2a
Example 2b
Example 2c
Example 2d
Example 2e

Here we play the melody of HendrixLittle Wing‘s first two measures on different postions on the neck around the chord shapes with the bass notes on strings (6) and (5).. (Notice that I mix open and fretted strings).

It’s important to learn the melody of a tune in different positions because it can be used as a reference, a starting point to improvise and it will give you your solos a richer melodic quality.

Experiment by mixing open and fretted strings.

Example 3a
Example 3b

It’s also possible to play the melody an octave higher (Example 3A) or lower (Example 3 B).

Example 4a
Example 4b

Here we experiment with embellishments of the melody and scalar like passages. Keep in mind it’s our purpose to improvise around the melody. You can leave out or add notes.

Try to create differences into your playing activity. You don’t have to play a mass of notes all the time, incorporate fields of lesser activity.

Example 5 line 1
Example 5 line 2

Now we combine the three voices together on the first four measures of Little Wing. This is quite tricky at first, but the more you experiment the easier you will be able to invent great melodies at the spot in conjunction with an accompaniment and bass part.

Next time we will pay attention to the accompaniment part and put more movement into the bass part.

Also check out… Improvisation for the Fingerstyle Guitarist Part I

About Gilbert Isbin

Beligan acoustic guitarist GILBERT ISBIN's early influences, ranging from classical to jazz, blues, ethnic and freeform music, has ultimately contributed to his now distinctive and refined style. His music transcends the dualities of classical/jazz and composed/improvised music and is filled with strong melodies, rich colorful harmonies, sound effects and polyrythms, highlighted by delicate acoustic guitar picking. Be sure to visit his website and check out our Guitar Noise reviews of his music.

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