Like a kid in a candy store with A minor pentatonic

So I just finished recording this noddle over A minor pentatonic backing track and I’m very excited like a kid in a candy store!! Under no illusions where I’m at in this journey but my goodness this is soooo much fun when you realise how it is possible to play with other players, all be it a backing track and limited to 4 frets of repetitive generic blues style riffing.
I cannot imagine what it will be like when I have built up the necessary knowledge and skill to be able to do this properly (what ever that means).

I’ve never ever played this way before. Never really played single notes or double stops (I think that’s what they are called) only open chords with a few mangled barre chords thrown in.

This is a long video over 6 mins as I don’t know yet how to edit them so no need to watch it all (or any of it for that matter). I’m just posting because I’m buzzing right now from that session :grinning:

Lovin this!!!


Isn’t the A minor pentatonic just a thrilling blast of fun and wow.
It allows you to jump right in and swim in the warm waters!

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I love the minor pentatonic!!! Lots of great backing tracks on YouTube to noodle away on, lots of licks to learn, probably a life time of enjoyment!! It’s fun connecting the various A minor pentatonic up and down the neck once you get bored of the one position.

Nice playing by the way, seems like you have got to grips with that scale quickly!

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Welcome to the drug of improvisation Colin. Rehabilitation is not possible. :sunglasses:


Thanks Leon.
Yeah I look forward to be able to move about the fret board. Bit above my pay grade at the moment but still barrel loads of fun.

Ha should have visited this before replying to your comment in my post Colin !


Some good stuff going on here for first improv recording. Use of good technique with double stops, repetition and slides etc. As said on the other post make the most out of pattern 1, learn some licks in that area, then deconstruct and reconstruct, general mess with them. Then take that same pattern and try other Keys. Apply what you’ve learnt in G or D, get the feeling of life down low at the 3rd fret or starting to reach the heights at the 10th. I am sure you’ll have some great fun along the way.

From an early advice point of view, just a couple of things. Firstly is the use of space. When we start this journey there is an urge to keep going and fill every gap but you need to let it breath. Don’t be worried about letting notes ring out for a whole bar or just stop playing completely for a bar. You’ll get to know what works and when and find that space is your friend. OK and here I will contradict myself as I just offered to send you links for some 10 minute BTs. I would suggest cutting back your AOVYP impro to around 3-4 minutes, some might urge shorter. But it gets you thinking about what you can get in that more limited recording time and you’ll start to focus on those phrases that sound good to you. Go back and listen and see what you really liked and bank those for future use. Having said that I really enjoyed the whole 6 minutes of someone new doing this so heck what do I know. But hey put those long BTs on a loop and you could lose days if you fingers can stand it !

Looking forward to the next instalment !



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Welcome to the party, Colin.

That was a fine outing, milking that position 1, squeezing out some great licks and sounds.

Liked the way you followed the chord changes and the double stops … if you are not a fan of Billy Gibbons and ZZ Top, then sample some of their tracks like La Grange. You’re sure to like it as I was hearing that vibe in your play.

Now you’ll be faced with the challenge of splitting time between improv and the continuing mastery of the open chords, barre chords, and general playing of songs.

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Very well done Colin for your first foray into improv. It is a fun and addictive part of guitar playing, and a great learning tool as well.
Some nice little techniques and chord tone targetting in there already. Good times ahead.

Cheers, Shane

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Cheers for the advice and feedback all and again I apologize for the lengthy video. I will get better at this and keep it more concise in the future just sometimes the adrenaline pumps and logic goes out the window and it just ‘gotta post it, gotta post it!!’

@TheMadman_tobyjenner Very good advice re space. A victim of adrenaline again I guess and being so excited that the notes are mostly matching the BT that ya just want to keep playing. Gonna put that into practice next session though.

@DavidP Much respect to Billy Gibbons but I have never listened deeply to his stuff. I’ll definitely check it out more though.
Slot a 5min BT noodle in the practice assistant should keep me on track. Just have to control myself to not repeat this item a couple of times each practice routine.

@sclay Thanks Shane. I’ve seen you moving about the fret board doing your improv and that is my goal. Being able to do this and understanding why it works is something I really look forward to.

Colin no need to apologise and just to clarify there are no restrictions on the length of any post, video or audio. All I was suggesting is that recording to a shorter track, gets you to focus on what is sounding really good and trying to capture those runs, licks and phrases. Knowing you have only 3 minutes makes you think “so ok lets make the most of it and put all the good bits in”. Then you analyse to see what’s hot and what’s not then approach from there. :wink:

Just a suggestion and not a requirement for sure. And I agree with @DavidP there was certainly a ZZ Top vibe going on now and then, and it sounded good !

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Awesome Colin! I’m early on in my blues solo journey but couldn’t agree more on how much fun it is!!

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No sweat Toby :grinning: I do agree that a shorter jam would bring tighter focus.
I listened to my post again and can see clearly there was a lot of notes where it could have been none :shushing_face:. Had to have a chuckle how it seemed I just wanted to keep dropping notes in on what seemed like a continuous line. This is one of the many awesome things re this site/community; constructive positive feedback. Ya cant help but want to keep returning and learning.
I do feel like a kid in a candy store with the knowledge that is available on this site. It’s really lit a fire to learn. It just so enjoyable and I’ll listen to (and appreciate) any offered advice.

Cheers Mark. Great fun and amazing when you realise what is possible if you commit and follow the process. Look forward to seeing your playing soon (or maybe you have posted and I missed it?)

Hi Colin, no I’ve not posted up any blues stuff yet but soon :slight_smile:

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Dig the snarl on some of those double stops. That’s a really cool technique, adding some nice dynamics. Digging in with the pick really brings out the gain in the amp. Worth the price of admission right there.

Good command of the scale! Some pauses and sustained notes would add to the dynamics and get you into telling more of a story, making things more conversational. Having the minor pentatonic scale in your back pocket is a huge deal. Well done!

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And rightly so you should be buzzing after that performance. You made it look and sound like you have been doing it for years. Very impressive Colin.

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Thanks Stefan,

I’ve been bashing cowboy chords for years but only really started picking out single strings since coming to JG.
It fascinates me what can be done with proper practice and perseverance (could’ve done with that knowledge when I was a young bloke :crazy_face:).

Great fun and just love being involved.


WOW, that is inspiring. Well done.

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Cheers for the comment Glenn and taking the time to have a look at my post. I really appreciate it.
To read that you found that inspiring has made my day mate :smiley: Thanks so much>
Hope to see you posting your playing soon :+1:

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Well done , I thought your playing sounded tasteful and you’re focusing on melody and timing which is a strong foundation to build from

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