So I know how to feel rhythms now. (Thank you jazz man for the help) I know the pentatonic and I have five of the seven modes down. I've gotten a lot faster at alternate picking and have started practicing legato so I can play fast licks when I'm improvising. But it still sounds very beginnery. Like if I'm trying to improv over an A minor backing track that is using completely diatonic chords I play the A minor pentatonic. But that's it! And it sounds just kinda bland and dull. I feel like I'm missing a core concept for improvisation and music. Like can I use other things than the A minor pentatonic. Like what if a C chord is playing can I use a pentatonic for the C chord? Maybe I don't understand how to best utilize the knowledge that I have. If you have any tips or advice on direction or something about music theory that can help I would greatly appreciate. Thank you for reading and have a nice day <3
I feel bad that you didn't get a reply so I am going to do my best to cover some information:
1. Phrasing: fast isn't everything. A few things that will elevate improvisation include knowing when/how to let notes "breathe", building tension by ascending/descending the fretboard, and incorporating core motif's (i.e. short phrases that you return to and modify slightly to build layers within your improv)
2. You question about the C chord is opening up a whole can of music theory worms. Can you play Am pentatonic over a C chord? Absolutely, especially since Am is the natural minor of C. The notes of the C major pentatonic are C-D-E-G-A. The notes of the Am pentatonic are A-C-D-E-G. Same notes, different order.
If I had to do a quick summary I'd say you are at a good spot to start listening to and recreating other's solos. I think a great place to start (especially since you are comfortable with pentatonics) is with Angus Young's AC/DC solos. He shreds without having to shred, meaning it sounds way heavier and faster than it actually is. On top of that, he is masterful at blending minor AND major pentatonics together which is a great 'next step' and adds a lot of depth to what might feel shallow.
Hope some of this helps at least a bit...
I feel like some of Rick Nielsen's stuff with Cheap Trick is a good example of some old school pentatonic riffs too.