Tell me the truth!

Hey there!

NOTE - This was an improvisation on a backing track on youtube. I had played along with the track for 5 minutes or so before recording this.

I’ve been a member for 6 months or so and this resource is incredible. So I’m going to use it!

I focused on “making music” for this video. Phrasing mostly. I get bored listening to it.

I’m looking for some feedback from people who aren’t afraid to tell me what is lacking in my playing.

I had a pretty big break through this week regarding switching pentatonic positions.


I think you’ve got a good foundation there - plenty of variation in terms of different speeds of playing, varied phrase lengths, making sure your phrases are musical ideas rather than letting them be governed by what technique your using and you avoid falling back on stock or repeated phrases.

I’d work on bend/vibrato intonation and on making sure your slower/more rhythmic playing is landing absolutely dead on where you want it on the grid. Do something like a few bars just landing on the 1, then the 2, then 3, then the and of 1 and so on and so on. Then try with 16th notes and gradually make it more and more complicated til you sound like John Scofield/Wayne Krantz.

I’d hope that doing this would then help your faster lines “pop” a bit more as they’ll be more locked in to the beat.

edit: I wouldn’t worry that you’re bored of your playing over the same track after 5 plus minutes, you’re welcome to list the worlds entire list of completely compelling 5 minute long improvised solos in a separate post but I’d be wary of this forums lower word limit.


This is great feedback. Thank you so much!

Your “edit” made me LoL. Thanks for some perspective on that.

I took a listen to my original video after not listening for a couple of days. I feel much better about it now. Fresh ears! Gotta be less hard on myself as well.

I’m wondering if starting all of my exercises right on the downbeat is starting to catch up to me?

Again - thank you so much! I’ve got work to do!

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I personally liked quite a few of the ideas there. I just wish there were more development of the good ideas as opposed to “stream of consciousness” playing.
You are creative, and got some cool licks in there. I was surprised by how you negotiated the altered dominant chord (B7#5).
Some bends were noticeably out of tune and the vibrato wasn’t that convincing. The faster lines come across as a bit “insecure”.
Overall I liked the playing. There is a lot of potential there, for sure.


You clearly know your way around the fretboard and you have a lot of different tools and phrasing ideas. There are a few tings that I think of… first off, the guitar is slightly out of tune (too low in pitch), especially the G string. This makes it almost impossible for anyone to sound really good.

The other thing is that phrases have this kind of insecurity to them and I think a lot of that boils down to the fact that there seldom are sustained ending notes that makes your playing breath. The ending of a phrase is what sells the phrase and a convincing note with a good solid vibrato is key. Listen to any “good” shredder… Yngwie, PG, Guthrie… all of them have great vibratos and you feel that there are tension and release within their phrases.

Also, intonation in bends is superimportant. Otherwise it’s like a singer with bad pitch. And this goes together with micro bending and ornamentation that makes notes and phrases come alive.

One last thing is phrasing and it has a lot to do with those sustained notes that makes the playing breath. If you listen to in carefully, can you really tell when each phrase is ended and the next one starts? In the beginning it better, but as you go further you loose that a little bit. So I don’t think you have any problems with having to few licks or ideas, it’s more about really listening for the overall expression. Think like a singer. Play phrases like it was you singing them. I like to think that one phrase shouldn’t be longer that what you can express in one breath.

Good luck and thanks for your post.


I would recommend finding a guitar teacher either in real life or online whose playing you really admire.

For the level of playing most CTC students aspire to, it’s extremely difficult to figure all this stuff out on your own. You need someone that has “walked the path”.

Realize that many of the guitar heroes we look up to have had lessons from legends themselves, take Steve Vai for example who was a student of Satriani and all of the GIT graduates.

I am lucky that I have found a guitar teacher that completely transformed my playing within months, he pointed out stuff I didn’t even know I was doing wrong. How can you improve something you don’t even know you need improving on? You can’t. That’s why you need the outside perspective of a veteran teacher.

Just my 2cts.


Beautiful sound … Do you use Helix? … What did you use for this sound?

Thanks! I just use a tube screamer and a Klon both set pretty neutral.

Guitar - klon - ts9 into a standard Marshall jcm800

Who are your favorite players? I’m hearing Larry Carlton?

I had a similar Charvel. I didn’t like the full shred pup. Too thin. I prefer more mid, power and saturation…but I think we are different players.

I’m more of an aggressive rock guy, but even if that’s not your thing I recommend you work on your bending and vibrato, as well as some slides and slurs. Your attack is too consistent and predictable. I liked the thoughtfulness of your playing. You build some nice tension on the faster line.

Immerse yourself in
John Sykes
George Lynch
Early Malmsteen
David Dipietro
Zakk wylde…

Get some attitude and aggression going.

All the best

This is an improv I did last year, a little fuzzy recording but you get the gist of where my head is…

Yes I love this style! Nicely played. Now I gotta check out those artists you listed.

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Hey everybody! Thank you so much for all of your well thought out responses! They have changed my playing tremendously over the last few weeks. I will post a video in this thread at some point showing what I’m working on, but if i never get around to it just know how grateful I am.

Major things I’ve learned from all of you -

I didn’t like to play long notes because they sounded bad.
They sounded bad because my vibrato was bad and also my bends were not in tune.


@Copenhaversean I also received similar advice on my vibrato on this forum and it helped tremendously! (Not saying my vibrato is great now, but at least I definitely pay attention to it now and has improved).

A friend of mine suggested me this video a while ago and it has also been very useful:

Best takeaway for me was to see vibrato as a bunch of mini-bends and releases that you can practice with precise rhythms!