mormakovo mormakovo
Hey everyone,

First time posting here. I have been playing guitar for 2-3 years now. I have recently got into improving my improvisational skills rather than just being a cover guitarist. My question is: as you are improvising, do you think about the keys you are playing? Let`s say you open up a backing track in C to jam, that automatically tells you Am pentatonic is going to sound good on top and would be a good starting point. That lights up certain frets and boxes on your fretboard; however, as you are hitting random keys, do you know which key it is that you are going to hit before you actually play it? Like "Alright I just played an A. Now I am going to do a quick run from G F and then return to a C". If so, is knowing all the keys by heart (in the scale) necessary? Is knowing their position individually on the fretboard necessary? Or are you not supposed to think about all these and just focus on the shapes? And what is the best way to memorize/match the shapes with the musical context?

Thanks!
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GiantGuitarBlade
Hello friend,

I am certainly not an expert, but I think the most accurate and correct answer is you can do either.

My understanding is that its good to know which notes in the scale you are playing so that you can match that up with the notes in the chords that are being played in the track. However just focusing on the scale shape will get you good ways and you can make some really good stuff with just that. I hope this answers your question to some extent.
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