What Are You Thinking As You Play Leads?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Texicaster, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    I’m always wondering about my g string. And no - not the one I’m wearing! :lol:
     
  2. Alamo

    Alamo Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    If i repeat those bum notes it will appear as artistic excellence...
    and the blushing colour in my face will add some kudos to the non existant light operator..
     
  3. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    I play in a blues band and jams. So it's usually improvised sometimes playing with folks I have not played with before.

    "I hope this doesn't suck."
    "I hope nobody is live streaming this"
    "Those guys on TDPRI would shred this"
    "Other guys plays much better than me..."
    "Other guy plays too many notes"
    "Leave space...don't play so many notes."
    Variations on the above.
     
  4. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

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    All I'm thinking is the melody line. Right now I dealing with gospel music, and wanting to keep the song's basic meaning in tact. Any improvisation is going to be planned out in order to keep with the flow of the melody. It's a little more of a challenge that my country-rock background offers.
     
  5. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    first thing I think before the solo is "x chord: what's my first note?"

    then I let what comes 'develop' over the changes

    if I don't have the changes internalized, I wait to hear the root and character of the next chord and start melodies on an off-beat, which is kind of cheating in a way, but it gets me through

    good confident playing for me depends on knowing the changes cold and anticipating them so I can play on the strong first beat

    and there's all the "vocabulary" stuff, which at a certain point is just in you, waiting to come out

    and the song's melody, which is the first thing to learn before even trying to improvise a solo

    capo's can throw me off when it comes time for a break, however great they are for rhythm

    I wish it were easier to find guitar necks with no fret dots anywhere -- that would take away distractions and make soloing easier
     
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  6. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    I have one of two approaches right now. The first one, if I don't really know a song, haven't really worked up anything, etc is just to play very close to the chords and usually in first position (A and G shapes for the 1 chord, etc) - that always sounds nicer than I really expect it to and has minimal chance of clanger notes. It's just not very interesting or noteworthy, but I'm happy to have found a way to play basic solos "on call" at my level of skill. The second approach is to map out the basic melody and work out something kind of close to that, maybe with some nice embellishments, maybe with movement up or down the fretboard, etc. - but that's all planned out in advance. It's always interesting how the simple stuff works so well. I just played a solo to "driving nails in my coffin" - after messing around with a few approaches in practice, I went with 5 notes in the bass register, plucked out Luther Perkins style. Just the melody, big and bold. Audience and band members raved. Nobody is looking for me to be Eric Johnson.

    One thing I never do is to think "oh the flat third is the dominant 7th of the 4 chord, so I'll hit that to suggest the 4 there and it'll sound bluesy" - that happens during solo practice if it ever happens. On stage I'm just lucky if I don't fall over.
     
  7. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Tele-Afflicted

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    "I hope this finishes soon, the longer I have the more I'll mess this up"
     
  8. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Holic

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    I am constantly asking "how did I get here & where am I going with this", and hoping nobody can tell.
     
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  9. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    I'm listening to the rest of the band, looking for something I can build on; who's playing strong, etc. I'm also looking for areas I might want to avoid. For example, if the other guitarist and keys are piled up in the mids, I might go for a higher octave or a more cutting tone. Hopefully, all this stuff has been worked out in advance but that's not always the case.
     
  10. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nice dress... nice body... mmmmm nice eyes...

    Is she looking... is that a smile? A smile at me?

    Watch this....o... fu*k **&#&*£&!!!!
     
  11. speedingjet

    speedingjet Tele-Meister

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    If I can manage to think of nothing, the lead usually flies on its own accord.
    If I'm having to think too much, it will not work as well.
     
  12. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    Did I turn the iron off before I left the house? :eek:
     
  13. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Wheeeee this is fun!

    By the time a song hits the stage, I hope I’ve practiced it enough that I don’t have to think much at all.

    As for building and practicing parts at home, I usually focus on melody and chord changes. If the song allows it, I try to get a little weird and mix different tonalities, but not all do. Then it goes to live practice with the band, which we record. If it sounds compelling I don’t change much - the other players like having some familiarity. If it sounds lame, I work to make it better and start the process over.
     
  14. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

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    Since I play in a Dead cover band, I try to focus on screwing up the solos the same way Jerry would. The important part is the recovery, getting quickly back on track, and making it sound like you intended to screw it up in the first place.
     
  15. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Meister

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    "Remember what key we’re in."
    "Listen to the changes and don't take a dump on the next chord."
    "Don't try to cram every lick you know into one solo."
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
  16. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    as stated many times above, I play in and around the melody, add some of my own vocabulary and also add some things that I recall from records or somewhere...
    I pretty much don't think about it much . I hear it in my head and place it on the fretboard. Sometimes it's gold sometimes, well, it's searching for gold ! IF we play safe we are never searching for gold. Some nights I play safe, thats not a lie !

    A great A team player once told me after I asked him the same question, pretty much a similar answer, "If I think about it, it's too late" !
     
  17. hotraman

    hotraman Tele-Holic

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    I listen to what the lead singer is doing: trying not to step on his/ her musical notes. Depends on the music too. I try not to overthink lead lines, but attempt to play with feeling. And have fun!
     
  18. basher

    basher Tele-Afflicted

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    It's generally a combination of "Bend that double-stop and then do the lick that goes bwah-deedle-donk" and "I AM TWENTY MILES TALL AND I SHINE WITH THE LIGHT OF TEN THOUSAND SUNS."
     
  19. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    "look at the rack on that..."
     
  20. macatt

    macatt Tele-Holic

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    Well stated. This is exactly how it works for me as well.

    S Mac
     
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