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63
Intro to Improvisation
Musical improvisation is one of the most fun and gratifying ways to play guitar.
To improvise on guitar usually means to play an improvised solo over a certain set of chords.
Improvisation can also mean to create a new melody and chords on the spot, but we will leave that for
much later.
Te nrst step to improvisation is to learn the chords.
Once the chords are learned you will need to nnd the correct scales (the scales that sound good), to be
able to play a melody on top of those chords.
You need to have these scales memorized and be able to play them without any technical dimculties.
Once you have achieved this try to create your own melodies. Start by playing random notes from the
scale and experiment with them.
Improvisation includes melody and rhythm, so it is important to play dinerent rhythms as well.
Feel free to add special enects" such as pull ons, hammer ons, bends slides and whatever else sounds
good.
Te only way to learn this is the willingness to make mistakes. With patience you will be able to create
some very cool leads that are all your own.
Don't think that you will need to create something new each time. You have your bag of licks and tricks
and sometimes your leads will be better than other times.
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64
Lcsson 36: Housc of thc Rising Sun
1
2 3
X 0 0
1
2
3
0 X
1 2
3
X X 0
1
2
1
3
X X
1
2
0 0 0 0
Am C D F E7
7
R
2
R
!
"
R
5
Te letter R tells you where the root
of the scale is.
Te number tells you what fret you
start the scale on
Tc Blucs Scalc (in A)
For this classic piece you need to nrst memorize the chords in order. Next practice the scale. I gave it to
you in a regular notation example and as a chord diagram. You can practice the scale with either a rest
stroke or using a pick. When using a pick always go up and down (double picking) We will cover economy
picking later.
Heres the scale in regular notation:

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65
Here you have House of the Rising Sun complete. You will have to play with another person or with the
rhythm track. Play the scale and try to create your own melody (lead) for this song. Use the tabs, or better
yet, play the chords and the nnger pattern, that way you can strum without missing any notes.
Lcsson 36 b: Housc of thc Rising Sun Improvisation