I remember coming across the book, ‘Improvising without Scales’, by Carl Verheyen a while back, and being excited at the thought of learning to improvise without having to learn tons of scales. As it turns out, the title of the book is very misleading and is basically a bunch of Carl’s licks; the main premise being to keep a diary of licks to play over certain chords. While this is a great thing to do AFTER you’ve learned a ton of scales, it’s not so great for anyone who’s neither here nor there in terms of scales. Nevertheless, I was inspired to write this book: Soloing without Scales, whose title is not in any way misleading!
WHO IS THIS BOOK FOR?
The objective of this book is to recreate the necessary conditions for you to be able to improvise using your ear and your heart and tap into that wonderful pool of unheard music to which some of the greatest improvisers, and many more musicians besides, have access. You may find some of the concepts in this book a little challenging at first but work with them and I guarantee you’ll see some impressive results in time. If you’re looking for a quick fix, or some kind of shortcut to becoming a guitar god then this book probably isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you have an open mind and are willing to invest sometime in a much-neglected area of guitar playing, then this book is definitely for you.
This book isn’t aimed at a particular skill level, although I would recommend you have at least a couple of years of playing under your belt. It’s for anyone who’s looking for an alternative to learning scales in order to improvise. This is by no means a shortcut, just another perspective on guitar improvisation and one that’s probably crossed your mind, but perhaps you weren’t sure how to go about it.
This book isn’t for everyone as some of the concepts are quite challenging when compared with the standard methods for learning to improvise. However, if you’re a creative individual with the patience to explore the possibilities of your potential to improvise on the guitar, I think you’ll like it.
Any guitarist that wants to learn how to play ‘outside’ lines will also benefit from this book as it will break you free from patterns and predictable phrasing.
What you’ll also develop with this book is a much better ability to jam with people of all levels. To successfully jam with people, you need a good ear, the ability to listen, and plenty of creativity; this is what you’ll improve with the exercises in this book.
This book also includes 15 backing tracks which can be downloaded separately (link provided in eBook).