Useful Tips

How to come up with a guitar solo?


Mastering the basics of a solo guitar is an art and skill that comes with time and practice. In this article, you will learn in detail how to play pentatonic, learn various tricks of playing the strings, as well as many other important tricks of playing the guitar, which will help you master the basics of the solo guitar.

Method 1 Pentatonic

  1. 1 Do not forget that many who want to play a leading role. So do you want to play the solo guitar? Then get in line. Here and without you there is already a crowd of people who wish, but fortunately, you have the same chance. So, you can also succeed.
  2. 2 Learn the scale. Today, the minor scale of the pentatonic scale is the largest and most complex scale in hard rock. And guess what? The higher the row, the easier it is to play.
    • The tab shows the full A-minor pentatonic scale on all 6 strings:
      • ---------------------5-8----
      • -----------------5-8--------
      • -------------5-7------------
      • ---------5-7----------------
      • -----5-7--------------------
      • -5-8------------------------
  3. 3 Play this scale back and forth using a variable and downward stroke at least 4,000 times a day or until you feel sick, whichever comes first.
  4. 4 Be sure to change the keys, playing on the pattern on different frets.
  5. 5 Keep the same number of frets between your fingers wherever you start - with a change of position, the pattern remains the same.
    • For example, here's how the scale looks on Do:
      • -------------------------8-11
      • ---------------------8-11----
      • ----------------8-10---------
      • -----------8-10--------------
      • ------8-10-------------------
      • -8-11------------------------
  6. 6 Use your first and third fingers if you can. Otherwise, use the first and fourth for now.
  7. 7 Remember that you have 7 basic tricks that you can revive your game, making it more like a solo than a scale.
    • These techniques include bend, interstring, glissando, hammer, pull, vibrato and chromatic.

Reception Bend comes from the English word "bending", which means "bending."

  1. 1 You press the string or pull it down, causing it to bend and produce higher notes.
  2. 2 Use all unoccupied fingers to “tighten” the string.
  3. 3 You should not just pull it to any height, but bend it so that the note you produce is 1, 2 or 3 frets higher than the current.
  4. 4 Make sure that you are doing everything right by pulling the note up and listening to its height.
  5. 5 Then compare it with the height of the required note, which will be 1, 2 or 3 frets higher.
    • A note bend 1 fret higher is called a half-tone band.
    • The note bend 2 frets above is called a simple band.
    • And when a note is pulled by 3 or more frets, an overband occurs. This technique sounds especially cool.

String Racing

Interstring racing is also a technique for the development of which you do not need to be Einstein.

  1. 1 In short, instead of moving to a note on the next string in the scale, you simply ignore it and skip to the note following it.
  2. 2 You can skip as many strings as you like, but keep in mind that skipping a large number of notes can greatly distort the scale.
  3. 3 You can skip notes both up the scale and down.
  4. 4 Notes can be skipped at any time.
  5. 5 You can even skip school or work if you find this information so exciting that you simply can’t resist it.

Glissando - a stylish welcome.

  1. 1 Instead of trying the next note in the scale, you should lower your finger from the current note to the desired one.
  2. 2 And if this is not enough for you, you can then hit the note, bend it, beat it to death, sue for the damage done, or do whatever your heart desires.
  3. 3 Needless to say, you can also slide from one note to the bottom.

Ascending Legato and Descending Legato

  1. 1 You will need a 450 gram hammer to perform this technique correctly.
    1. With a hammer, break all your fingers and save yourself the hassle of trying to correctly perform this technique.
    2. Okay, joke and that's enough. In practice, the technique is very easy to do. You just need to pinch an already-sounding string with a sharp movement of your finger, while the sound does not have time to stop.
    3. Try it a few times, and you will notice how with fast performance the sound will tell you the right direction.
  2. 2 The descending legato is performed according to a similar principle, but with some difficulties.
    1. To perform this technique, the ring finger is pulled off the string, picking it up slightly while making the next sound sound.
    2. The fact is that it is necessary not only to remove a finger from the string, but to drag its fleshy part down and tear off the next note.
    3. As with the ascendant legato, the essence of the technique is to make two notes sound for the price of one.
    4. Practice practicing this technique until you start squeezing clean notes, then add a couple more ascending legato and you can go ahead.
    5. For the best effect, take the salt and re strings on the 5th and 7th frets, then perform a descending legato from the 5th fret to the open strings.
    6. Practice the game when moving between the 5th fret, 7th fret and open strings, and enjoy your Van Halen sound.
    7. Do not try to repeat this technique if you do not like Van Halen. It is dangerous to approach the dark side.

To perform vibrato, you need to bend the string slightly and again at an accelerated pace.

  1. 1 Vibrato should come from the wrist and cause a quick oscillation or flutter of the pitch of the note.
  2. 2 This is all that can be said about the vibrato technique, you will have to deal with the rest yourself.

  1. 1 Chromaticism is the art of adding “passing notes” that do not exist in the scale, but serve as a spectacular transition from one note to another.
  2. 2 This is why a person needs the middle finger (among other things). Most importantly, do not play these notes too often.
  3. 3 By extracting a couple of passing notes so that they transfer you from one note of the scale to another, you add sophistication to your game.
  4. 4 But if you hold or bend them for too long, passing notes will make your game illegible and unpleasant.

Method 2 Harmonics

  1. 1 This is not necessary, but you might want to add artificial harmonics to your game.
    • These are the receivers that make the note sound at a very high key.
    • Ideally, they will beg for mercy just like you at the N "Sync concert.
  2. 2 To create them, you just need to lightly touch the string while busting the fleshy part of the thumb.
    • Performing a similar trick in different places of the string, you will get different harmonics. You will be ready when you learn to manage them at will.
    • Natural harmonics are very similar, but completely different.
  3. 3 It is easiest to achieve their creation on the 5th, 7th, 12th and 19th frets, slightly resting your finger on a metal fret, without pressing the string to the bar, hitting the string and very quickly removing your fingers.
  4. 4 When you master this technique, squeeze everything out of it and add a couple of original movements, tumble into some rotten bar and light there to the fullest. Oh yes, only boiled eggs are cooler than you.

Method 3 Quick Search

  1. 1 Quick search is used to give a dramatic effect, or for random incendiary solos without descending and ascending legato.
    • Hint: take a heavy pick, and let it slide slightly at an angle along the strings.
  2. 2 Among other things, you can use this technique to muffle the first part of the solo on the lower strings (pretending that the sound is going up) and / or switch to hopeless and erratic chromaticity at the highest frets available to you.
  3. 3 Know that this technique will create a lot of noise that will look and sound impressive, although it will require you a lot of liberties with the sound of the song.

Method 4 One-Way Tapping

One more question, do you want to learn how to do one-voice tapping, like Van Halen?

  1. 1 Drop the pick and with your right hand perform the ascending and descending legato.
  2. 2 Alternate them with standard legato with your left hand, add shampoo, foam, rinse and repeat again.
  3. 3 You should see the faces of those people when they find out how simple this luxurious technique actually turns out to be.
  4. 4 Although this technique is called one-voice tapping, you still use both hands. Polyphonic tapping is more cynical and difficult.

The “melodic” part of the guitar solo

The “melodic" part, according to the logic of things, should be based on a listenable, memorable and hummed melody. In my opinion, the best guitar solos meet these requirements. Listen, for example, to solo John petrucci from the song Another Day (Dream Theater) - an incredibly beautiful solo, listening to which you just want to sing. Therefore, I personally advocate that the melody should be invented precisely by the voice, because this significantly increases the likelihood of its compliance with the three above requirements. If you come up with a guitar, then there is a risk of being trapped in previously learned phrases. These phrases are not necessarily “not on hand”, but they certainly will not be new. And inventing a voice increases the chances of inventing some kind of non-standard for oneself (previously unused) melodic moves.

That is why, working on the “melodic” part, I put the guitar aside, turn on the backing track and just hum on it, which will wander into my head. Some idea came up - I pick up the guitar and “shift” to it what I just sang in my voice. After that, I saturate the phrase with melismatics, chips characteristic of the guitar (grace notes, jerks, bends, slides, vibrato, etc.) and develop it. As an example, I will give a few of my solos, the melodies of which were invented precisely by my voice (in different solos the “melodic” part is located in different ways, as a rule, either at the beginning or in the middle).

"Shredova" part of the guitar solo

In the “shred” part, the guitarist’s vocabulary is primarily exploited, which includes phrases that he learned during the removal of various works or his own “inventions”. However, the “shred” part, of course, should not turn into the impudent and thoughtless exploitation of the fragments that were once learned. Clichés themselves are by no means forbidden, but they must be adapted to a specific situation, and not shove in the same version, anywhere.

As an example of using a “vocabulary” based on various material, I can cite my Reason Solo. It was recorded in 2012 and at that time I listened to Andy Timmons, filmed Nuno Bettencourt from Extreme - Comfortably Dumb and enjoyed one of May Lian's solos, which was partly a reference for me. The influence of all the above musicians can be heard in Reason solo not with an armed ear.

1. Phrase Andy timmons from Cry For You (0.00 - 0.09 in Licks from Reason Solo) is also present in my solo (0.06 - 0.11 in Reason Solo)

2. The phrase May lian in one of his solos (0.10 - 0.17 in Licks from Reason Solo) was also used in Reason Solo, however, in a slightly different context (0.19 - 0.22 in Reason Solo)

3. The downward passage Nuno bettencourt from the song Comfortably Dumb (0.18 - 0.24 in Licks from Reason Solo) can be found in a modified version in Reason Solo. The passage was played in a different position, in addition, unlike Nuno, I did not use the blues note. Nevertheless, one can immediately see where the stone was thrown from (0.35 - 0.37 in Reason Solo) Despite the fact that all three of the above-mentioned guitarists are quite diverse, the delicate use of the phrases received from them can significantly brighten up the guitar part. It goes without saying that the more different pieces by various authors and even in different genres the guitarist has shot, the more he has a “vocabulary”. And consequently, more options for building interesting and beautiful musical structures.

The golden mean in technology and theory

But in my opinion, the most difficult part in writing a solo on a guitar is the search for a middle ground between the “melodic” and “shredo” parts. For example, if you are very keen on building a melody, then in the conditions of a limited time, you may not have time to trite to “say” everything you wanted. The minus is coming to an end, and development is just beginning. In this case, the solo can be boring and boring. The reverse situation is not uncommon either - a person takes it and begins to water the pentatonic scales up and down back and forth. Even if he does it technically flawlessly, it is unlikely that anyone other than his “like-minded people” will like it.

In addition, the golden mean must be observed in theoretical terms. It happens that guitarists become so attached to the natural major / minor, or simply drive the pentatonic, as if a step to the left and to the right would be punishable by execution on the spot. Or some musicians are too keen on experimenting with frets, not noticing how their solo loses its appeal and drowns in a stream of dubious harmonies.

Of course, all of the above is not true in the last resort, but only reflects my subjective opinion on this issue. And in order not to be unfounded, I am attaching a video with my solo to the minus attached above. Here, the “melodic part” was invented exclusively by voice, in the “shred” part there are phrases adapted to this context from my vocabulary, but from the point of view of theory I can say that this solo electric guitar uses a natural minor, Phrygian dominant fret and Dorian minor with added blues note (tonic - re).