How to develop improvised lines on single strings

Andy Timmons
(Image credit: Future)

This month, I’d like to continue our exploration into the horizontal approach – moving up and down a single string – to crafting improvised solos. We started with one finger on one string, the benefit of which is that it immediately pulls you out of playing familiar “positional” phrases and forces you to listen, hear and think melodically, without being guided by physical and visual habits.

All players are best served by getting to the point where one can play with confidence and total freedom while ascending or descending each and every string. The first step in laying this foundation of fretboard visual awareness is to play a scale (or a series of scales) up and down each of the six strings, one at a time. 

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Andy Timmons

Andy Timmons is a world-renowned guitarist known for his work with the Andy Timmons Band, as well as Danger Danger and Simon Phillips.