Guitar Improvisation Exercises

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Are  you ready to learn how to play lead guitar on the fly? These guitar improvisation exercises will help develop your improvisational skills.

Improvised guitar solos are made up on the spot. It may sound impossible to do, but it becomes natural once you cover your bases.  Start improvising today with these exercises!

Guitar Improvisation Exercises: 1

Practice playing a melody or solo over this track in the key of D. Try using the D pentatonic major, D pentatonic minor, or the D major scale.

You can Click here to download the wave file of the track that I’ve recorded. Open this up with your digital recording program (cakewalk, cool edit pro, etc.) and loop it. Record your track along with it, mix it down and convert your completed work to MP3.

Here’s the rhythm guitar part. Don’t record this part! Only record your own melody or solo. I’ve included the rhythm part here in case you want to play it along with the recording:

Guitar Improvisation Exercises

Guitar Improvisation Exercises

Here I am laying down an improvised lead:

Ballad In C

This ballad in the key of C has as C, Am, FM7, GM6, C chord progression. For the FM7 (F major 7th) and GM6 (G major 6th) I use my thumb to play the root notes on the low E string
which enables me to play the high E string open. Otherwise these would be just ordinary F and G chords played using an E style barre chord pattern. With the inclusion of the open E string the chord voicing are morphed to FM7 and GM6.

Here’s the progression:

Guitar Improvisation Exercises

Guitar Improvisation Exercises

I’ve created 2 lead guitar parts that go over this progression . You should spend some time to come up with your own lead parts for the progression. I used the C pentatonic major
scale to create both of my lead parts.

Both lead parts repeat the same phrases over and over. They still sound fresh each time they are played because of the changing chord voicing behind them.

Lead #1

This lead is compromised of one basic phrase:

It is repeated throughout the progression with slight variations:

Take a listen to the audio sample below and see if you can find where each lead phrase is played:

Lead #2

This lead part only has 2 different phrases. Since all the note movements are done with slides, you can play both phrases by using only your 1st finger to do all of the fretting.
You can do this by creating a barre on the high E and B strings using your 1st finger on the 8th fret. All you have to do to get the other notes is slide your finger up and down the fretboard.

The first phrase is repeated several times:

The second phrase comes near the end:

Mid Tempo Rock In F

This relaxing tune is in the key of F major. It employs a F, Dm, F, Dm chord progression for the first part and a A#/Bb, C chord progression for the change.

The primary riff of the song is tabbed below. This is the part that is played when the song is on the F chord.

To play a lead over this track we’ll use the F pentatonic major.

Here is the track:

Here’s a sample improvisation using the F pentatonic major: