Guthrie Govan's Tips for How to Improvise on Guitar...


Courtesy of Metal Temple

The winner of Greatest Guitarist of 2015 Award on Ultimate Guitar, Mr. Guthrie Govan, shared his take on improvisation, explaining when you should and shouldn't utilize the improvisational approach.

He tells Metal Temple: "Maybe in the world of rock and metal it's not encouraged that much, but blues and jazz guys have always thrived on improvisation."

"A lot of it is context-specific. If you go see a band and they're playing 'Hotel California' or 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' they better play the solo like it is on the record, because it's part of the composition."



"People have heard that recording so many times that they would rightly feel indignant if some guitar player would say, 'I think what Joe Walsh meant to say was this!'"

"So there's a time for recreating the music the way people know it and love it."

"I have some experience with this when I've been playing with Asia. There were some solos from the original early Asia which I didn't necessarily like that much, but as a mark of respect to the band and the audience - you don't try and modify it."

"I think when people come to see The Aristocrats, hopefully there's this unwritten understanding that we're gonna take risks and explore - be a bit naughty."



"Hopefully people would be disappointed if they came to see one of these shows and every note was just the same as the album."

"The thing that we found is - we write the song for the album, go into the studio, crystallize some kind of recorded version of the song, but then we go out on the road, play it another 40 times, and the true nature of the song starts revealing itself."

"And we'll go, 'Hang on, that section should be longer,' or 'That tempo should be 5 BPM quicker," or... Something that was just an accident that happened on stage one night will turn out to be a good accident."



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