Thursday, December 15, 2005

Guitar: How To Improvise The Classical Guitar Way

By: Peter Edvinsson

When I was a fifteen years old guitarist playing rock solos and
classical guitar pieces I remember that I had a desire to be
able to improvise on my guitar in a classical manner. Nowadays I
have developed this skill and I love to improvise in the style
of composers like Sor, Tarrega, Paganini or others or just
trying to find myself somewhere among the notes. These special
moments are a form of meditation that clears my mind and also
helps me as a composer to stimulate my creative abilities.

The most important reason for learning classical guitar
improvisation is that it's fun! If you learn classical guitar
improvisation it will also help you memorizing sheet music, it
will be easier for you to compose your own guitar pieces in a
classical guitar style, you can make up your own techniqal
exercices on the go and it will help you understand your guitar
in a better way.

There are many ways to develop this skill. You can start with
major scales, experiment with easy chords, or easy classical
guitar pieces. The most basic requisite is that you want to
learn this art and with this desire you will find ways to
practice improvisation in all your guitar playing. I will just
mention using classical guitar pieces in this article.

May I suggest that you begin with a very easy melody with just
one voice or maybe a two voice piece with bass notes on open
strings. Learn a couple of bars by heart and play the melody
over and over again and try to change the melody slightly
without losing the classical touch.

The ultimate exercise is to use advanced classical guitar solos.
If you think about it you will realize that classical guitar
pieces are filled with wonderful licks, more or less
complicated. These licks can be developed and added upon to give
you material that will help you developing your improvisational
skills. For example, take a two bar passage in a classical
guitar piece that you like and practice it until you master it
and then memorize it. Now you can play around with it and break
it down, change it, analyze it and so on. If you want to improve
as an improvisational guitarist and musician you can regard
classical guitar pieces as collections of very musical licks
just waiting to be used.

I hope you feel motivated to try these hints and reap the
benefits from improvising the classical way. I described how I
was affected by this type of guitar playing and I guess you
might feel the same. Good luck!

About the author:
Peter Edvinsson is a musician, composer and music educator. He
is the proud owner of Capotasto Music with
free sheet music, tablature and learn to play resources for
musicians and music students.

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