Backing Track Improvisation

I have become quite addicted to playing along with backing tracks. I basically just let the autoplay on YouTube go and just jump into whatever it feeds me. This one happens to be in C Major.

I am just over a year with playing. I think about the same with Justin guitar. I really wanted to learn the theory so I could do this kind of thing where I can improvise with other music. I have spent little time learning songs and focused more on scales and learning the fretboard.

I’d love your feedback on my progress. There has been a lot of hours put into this instrument, but I’ve enjoyed them all.
Almost a year of some fairly dedicated guitar study. - YouTube


Well done, RJ, lots of tasty lines played up and down the fretboard in different positions. Good to be working in bends, slides, and occasionally some vibrato.

I thought the second half was better than the first. I think you got a little more laid back, made use of some pauses to allow the lead to breath a little, and seemed to me to be playing more with the BT than over the BT.

In general one wants to avoid over playing or continuously playing. Think of it almost like making a speech or telling a story. Without pauses between phrases, sentences, and paragraphs it is hard to stay connected and really hear, absorb, and make sense of what is being said.

I’d also like to hear the BT a little more prominently. I know with a phone that requires a little trial and error to balance the BT playback and amp volumes.

Guitar tone was good in my ears.

Well done, keep on rocking and rolling!

Thanks for taking the time David.

I think I do always try to pack in as much as I can from a perspective that I am getting more practice in and using my time more valuably. You make some great points, and I do have to practice the ability to pause and build the story. That can be the less is more thing that applies to so many things in life.

I will also try moving my amp next to the source speakers to balance audio. Things I often overlook, thanks for the feedback!

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You play like you practice. In other words if you’re packing in as much as you can with out thinking of it as music you will play the same way. One of the worst thing I see beginners do is practice scales over and over but never making music with those notes.

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That makes a lot of sense! Maybe I gotta dial back the caffeine…lol.

Hey RJ,

Coming along pretty well there mate. Developing some good fretboard knowledge, with some bends, slides etc.

One exercise I’ve found beneficial at times is to improvise over a simple 2 chord backing track. Plenty of cool sounding ones on Youtube.
For one, you’re not chasing multiple chords while you’re developing stuff.
More importantly, it’ll slow you down, and allow you to concentrate more on phrasing, creating different little melodies between the chords, and hitting chord tones on the change. You can then apply this mindset to longer progressions
Playing the backing track through once or twice on its own and singing little melodies in your head is also a good exercise. You can then experiment with a few of these on the guitar.

Cheers, Shane

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Wow, RJ, that is remarkable progress for a year’s work. Congratulations!

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Thank you! That keeps me motivated.

Thanks Shane.

Good ideas. I’ll put some of that into practice for sure.

I’d say your dedication is paying off, RJ. Exciting to think where you’ll get to in your next year!

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Thank you John!

Really nicely done RJ. That was a pleasure to listen to.

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Thank you!