String Skipping and Angular Improvisation

Adding large intervals to your linear playing can spice up your solos. Try these simple practice concepts that can help you make this a natural part of your improvisation language. 

Watch the Video Lesson:

    This is a quick lesson from my LINEAR FREEDOM Improvisation course, where we learn how to add intervallic playing to our linear soloing foundation:

    "Angular” playing is the opposite of ”Linear” playing. It’s when instead of playing the notes in order, you jump between them, using larger intervals. This produces an aggressive, and sometimes kind of eccentric, sound. In some styles this cannot be used much, but can serve as a contrast or surprise element, at moments where the intensity of the music allows it. Experiment and see how you like it. An easy way to produce angular melodies is to use string skipping. In other words you can jump two strings up instead of moving to the adjacent string. You can do this systematically as a pattern, or just randomly. This way (using string skipping) the [angular] effect is not too potent and the lines produced are more friendly. Another, more aggressive way to practice this is to just randomly pick distant notes in the fingering and just play them. Your ear training skills should be at a very high level in order to control this by ear, so if you feel that you just can’t control the sound, you can just use confident rhythmic phrasing to make the lines sound convincing.

    So you can practice these two angular playing concepts and then use the method we used before to get used to embedding them into your linear playing. In other words start with angular playing and then flow into linear melody, start with linear melody and flow into angular playing, and then try to mix them freely.

    You can get some nice exotic sounds with angular playing, although some times they can be tough to control. And it can sound very different when applied to different scales, such as pentatonics for example. But give it some time and soon you’ll have a way to spice up your lines at will. So use the provided backing tracks, have fun with this and I will see you in the next lesson.

Backing Track Playlist:

    Thanks for watching, and remember...

    Enjoy your practice and be effective!