Improvisation is guitar nirvana – freedom to just play. It’s achievable! The course is designed to kick-start the uninitiated and develop more experienced improvisers. Find the key, apply your I, IV, V (and beyond) progressions, select a relevant scale(s), use good technique, add phrasing and feel. Easy? No. But it could be!

It’s often said that being able to improvise on the guitar is the highest art. Yes – you can learn/copy great players’ licks/riffs but you need to add them into your own creations.

Where does this improvised, composed-on-the-spot music come from? How does it manifest itself on the guitar?

This course is about providing you with the tools and know-how to allow to develop your own soloing ideas (maybe based on some of the ‘greats’).

We hope to give you an understanding of some practical  theory, approaches and technique to inspire you to solo over not only diatonic chords (all from the same key) but also following the changes where chords from outside the key suddenly appear!

We’ll look at standard progressions in many genres e.g. Country (I -VI-IV-V),  Jazz (II-V-I and everything else) or noodling over a Blues (I7, IV7, V7).

Once a tune’s key is determined and suitable scales defined (which we’ll cover), all of the usual suspects of incorporating chord tones, arpeggios, modes are brought into play along with playing hammer-ons, pull offs, bends, vibrato. Plus we’ll be looking at the vitally important elements of phrasing and timing.

We’ll go through a variety of genres and some classic songs to exercise the art of improvisation – the ‘usuals’ such as Blues, Rock and Folk will be in there but we’ll maybe also look at some easy Jazz and Country. Go beyond the major and minor pentatonics!

Course suitability

This is aimed at intermediate level electric guitar players. That said, acoustic players will gain from it but some of the bends might prove interesting and you’ll be limited how far you go up the dusty end of the neck! If you:

  • Can play a Blues in Bb
  • Know basic barre chords over the neck
  • Have a pentatonic minor pattern under your fingers
  • Have a basic understanding of chord types and the major scale

then you’re good to go. We can provide Prep Sheets on each of these subjects.


A folder will be used for the hand-outs as they’re given out during the course with copies of all flip chart diagrams provided afterwards along with any audio/video recordings and group photos.

Prep Sheets are available on request for revision purposes.

Call us for a chat at any time if you’d like to find out more details e.g. discuss the course content and tell us about your playing level and aspirations.

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