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4 Improvisation & Phrasing Techniques on Heavy Metal Guitar

Let musician Alex Skolnick teach you four improvisation and phrasing techniques in this heavy metal guitar lesson from Howcast.


Okay, improvisation and phrasing, much can be said about it, we could probably talk about it for hours. This is only going to be a few minutes, so I'm just going to focus on taking a pattern and just changing a note around.

So for example, here's an E minor triad, right, I may take that pattern and come up with something based on that, OK, so there's a little melodic pattern right there to improvise, and use it as a phrase. There's a number of things I could do, I could change the last note, alright, so right there I have a nice little pattern.

I could change the first note, I could change a note in the middle, I could add notes, I could subtract notes, I could change the placing of the rhythm. So I'm going to play right now and try to demonstrate doing all of those things just using these few notes in this little position. Okay, so all those phrases came from three strings, one octave position, I'm not moving all around the neck yet, I could of course, but it's better to start in just a small position and see how many phrases you can get out of that before traveling up and down the neck doing different positions.

Remember the key is variation, so just take a pattern, change a note at the beginning, change a note at the end, change a note at the middle, have fun and experiment. And that's our lesson on phrasing and improvisation.

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