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Improvising long lines

 
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Volume Swell



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
Posts: 250

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:35 am    Post subject: Improvising long lines Reply with quote

I can improvise great lines slowly, but at fast tempos I really play a lot of little 5-7 note lines, or ones that have too much repetition. Has anyone else run into this problem/have a good solution to it?
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Gorecki
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Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 62518
Location: Davis, CA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thinking more in the idea of melodies instead of lines may help. Lines generally are short in nature most of the time. In comparison lines resembles a statement or sentence. Melodies lean more toward telling a story, hence more of a beginning, middle and end.

A good first step would be to begin chaining lines together. You’ll probably find quickly lines don’t always chain together easily because they’re often statements and passing quickly statements have even less meaning because there is little time to consume the information.

So, try constructing a melody that has lines as filler for the melodic outline. Quick example that comes to mind is Flight of the Bumble Bee. The melody is single notes in nature with lots of filler. Extreme example but hopefully gets my point across?
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Volume Swell



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
Posts: 250

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, I never really thought about chaining lines together. I'll give that a try. I think I found, since posting, that my biggest problem is I'm going all over the fretboard, rather than making lines that span 1 or 2 positions. Staying in a small area gives me a much stronger base to work around, just because I only have to pay attention to notes across 4-8 frets.

Thanks for the help; it's much appreciated!
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planetguy



Joined: 11 Dec 2008
Posts: 284

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...and on the other side of stringing short phrases together, you might try some continuation exercises....

you take one length note, say quarter notes or eigth notes and without pausing or any breaks... "continue" playing through a particular progression using only notes of that same duration.

if you have to stop or pause...try slowing down the tempo.
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peckerwood



Joined: 09 Dec 2008
Posts: 44
Location: vancouver, WA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

indeed! a jazz teacher once taught me to practice going up various "positions" (maybe staying within 5 frets or so) and play quarter notes up the according scale to whatever chord is being played, and just go right back down the neck when you reach your "top" note. its basically another way to wrap your mind around the relationship between the notes/scales without engaging in position shifting and comfortable arpeggio positions for the relative chords.

now, you can take this simple concept of playing linearly up and down the neck and expand upon it....try doing three notes-per string, four notes-per string, etc.
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