Writing/Improvisng Solos


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RockOnTheRocks
09-22-2005, 05:12 PM
This is my first contribution so suggestions are welcome.

Contents
1. Intro
2. Here we go
3. The Meldoy
4. Repetition
5. Rythem
6. Switching Scales
7. Resolution
8. Don't Get Stuck in a Rut
9. Techniques
10. Experiment

1. Intro

Alright so here's another lesson on soloing but I'm going to do my best to give you new material. I'm going to go over as little of the basic technique as possible because there are already perfectly adequate lessons every well established guitar technique I know.

2. Here We Go

To start off, you should know by now that a guitar solo should express the feeling of a song. It is most often (but not exclusively) used as a climax of a song. You should try to make your solo reflect the mood of the rest of the song. If it's a fast fun song make it a fast fun solo (doesnt even have to be complicated to sound good just listen to Living After Midnight by Judas Priest, the solo is really easy but it reflects the song well and therefore in my opinion is a good solo). Also I find that solos often reflect your mood at the time you write/play it. My best soloing has always been done when I'm having fun with the song.


3. The Melody: I know this has been touched on before but I thought I'd quickly restate it. One way to solo is to take the vocal melody and turn it into your solo (always sounds more interesting if you add a few quick licks in between the main part if the melody). The best example I can think of right now is Go for a Soda by Kim Mitchell.

4. Repetition: A good trick is to find a lick that sounds good and repeat it several times throughout the solo (maybe at different octaves and make sure you don't overdo it. There's a fine line between genius and annoying)

5. Rythem: So a solo is just a bunch of notes right? NO! A solo needs rythem. You can put notes from the right scale on top of a chord progression and it can still sound like crap unless you phrase it properly. Make the rythem of your solo match with the rythem of the rest of the band (I don't mean only play a note when they do, but every so often bring everything together).

6. Switching Scales: Another way to mix things up is to switch the scales in the middle of a solo. The best way I can think of to illustrate this is when playing over a blues progression. For example sake we'll say were playing the 12 bar blues in E. Lets say you start off in the (E) minor pentatonic over the root of the progression (the E chord). When the rythem section goes to the next chord (which would be the A chord) I might switch to playing in the (E) major pentatonic scale. Then I would switch back to the minor when the band went back the the root note. In a blues progression what scale you play over what chord doesn't really matter, but I find it gives the solo unity with the rest of the band if you change the scale when they change the chord.

7. Resolution: If you play the right scale over a chord progression every note in the scale will sound good...usually. I find that at certain points during a solo (especially right at the end) you may find that the note you are playing sounds wrong even though it's in the right scale. In these cases you need to resolve your solo by hitting a strong note in the scale (The root and the fifth will just about always work, others will to depending on what scale you are playing over what progression). If you happen upon one of these instances where you are playing a "wrong" note, just use it as a passing tone to get to your resolution.

8. Don't Get Stuck in a Rut: Always try to avoid playing the same thing over and over every time you improvise and/or always sticking to one position of one scale on the fretboard. I still have problems with this one on occasion.

9. Techniques: I said I wasn't going to go into detail and I stick by that. I will however say that you should use all the technique you can...to a certain extent. I have tried to extend established solos (that I have written) just to fit in one technique that, while impressive in itself, didn't really fit with everything else in the song. In these cases I usually realize that it just isnt working and I will take a different approach (or in the case of an established solo just not change anything).

10. Experiment: Just because no musical theory book says that you can play that note over that chord doesn't mean that note is off limits forever. Experiment with everything you can think of. Some of it may sound terrible, but who knows, you may come up with a small work of genius. In the words of Eddie Van Halen "If it sounds good, it is good." :cool:

----------------------------------------------------------------

I don't know if I'm done yet but here it is so far for crit.

sillybuuger12
09-22-2005, 05:27 PM
This is my first contribution so suggestions are welcome.

Contents
1. Intro
2. Here we go
3. The Melody
4. Repetition
5. Rhythm
6. Switching Scales
7. Resolution
8. Don't Get Stuck in a Rut
9. Techniques
10. Experiment

1. Intro

Alright so here's another lesson on soloing but I'm going to do my best to give you new material. I'm going to go over as little of the basic technique as possible because there are already perfectly adequate lessons every well established guitar technique I know.

2. Here We Go

To start off, you should know by now that a guitar solo should express the feeling of a song. It is most often (but not exclusively) used as a climax of a song. You should try to make your solo reflect the mood of the rest of the song. If it's a fast fun song make it a fast fun solo (doesn?t even have to be complicated to sound good just listen to Living after Midnight by Judas Priest, the solo is really easy but it reflects the song well and therefore in my opinion is a good solo). Also I find that solos often reflect your mood at the time you write/play it. My best soloing has always been done when I'm having fun with the song.


3. The Melody: I know this has been touched on before but I thought I'd quickly restate it. One way to solo is to take the vocal melody and turn it into your solo (always sounds more interesting if you add a few quick licks in between the main part if the melody). The best example I can think of right now is Go for a Soda by Kim Mitchell.

4. Repetition: A good trick is to find a lick that sounds good and repeat it several times throughout the solo (maybe at different octaves and make sure you don't overdo it. There's a fine line between genius and annoying)

5. Rhythm: So a solo is just a bunch of notes right? NO! A solo needs rhythm. You can put notes from the right scale on top of a chord progression and it can still sound like crap unless you phrase it properly. Make the rhythm of your solo match with the rhythm of the rest of the band (I don't mean only play a note when they do, but every so often bring everything together).

6. Switching Scales: Another way to mix things up is to switch the scales in the middle of a solo. The best way I can think of to illustrate this is when playing over a blues progression. For example sake we'll say were playing the 12 bar blues in E. Lets say you start off in the (E) minor pentatonic over the root of the progression (the E chord). When the rhythm section goes to the next chord (which would be the A chord) I might switch to playing in the (E) major pentatonic scale. Then I would switch back to the minor when the band went back the root note. In a blues progression what scale you play over what chord doesn't really matter, but I find it gives the solo unity with the rest of the band if you change the scale when they change the chord.

7. Resolution: If you play the right scale over a chord progression every note in the scale will sound good...usually. I find that at certain points during a solo (especially right at the end) you may find that the note you are playing sounds wrong even though it's in the right scale. In these cases you need to resolve your solo by hitting a strong note in the scale (The root and the fifth will just about always work, others will to depending on what scale you are playing over what progression). If you happen upon one of these instances where you are playing a "wrong" note, just use it as a passing tone to get to your resolution.

8. Don't Get Stuck in a Rut: Always try to avoid playing the same thing over and over every time you improvise and/or always sticking to one position of one scale on the fret board. I still have problems with this one on occasion.

9. Techniques: I said I wasn't going to go into detail and I stick by that. I will however say that you should use all the technique you can...to a certain extent. I have tried to extend established solos (that I have written) just to fit in one technique that, while impressive in itself, didn't really fit with everything else in the song. In these cases I usually realize that it just isn?t working and I will take a different approach (or in the case of an established solo just not change anything).

10. Experiment: Just because no musical theory book says that you can play that note over that chord doesn't mean that note is off limits forever. Experiment with everything you can think of. Some of it may sound terrible, but who knows, you may come up with a small work of genius. In the words of Eddie Van Halen "If it sounds good, it is good." :cool:

***********************************************
done your spelling check mate but you've laid it out simmilar to the way i lay my stuff out which is what i find works best

sillybuuger12
09-22-2005, 05:48 PM
no actually this is the place that all lessons and columns are ment to go through to get aproval to prevent shoddy articles. this should not be submitted untill it receives aprovall for either silent Def or Rankles neither of whom are her at the moment.

So please noob, shush ok ;)

RockOnTheRocks
09-22-2005, 07:28 PM
I could give you tabs of some of these things but what would be the point of that? I wanted to give what little knowledge I may have on writing and improvising your OWN solos. However I could add a few if you guys think it would make the article more clear (lemme know on that). As for the simplicity, I explained at the beginning that there are already plenty of articles on soloing. But if there's some way you think I could elaborate on things more without being repetive I'm all ears.

SilentDeftone
09-22-2005, 10:09 PM
no actually this is the place that all lessons and columns are meant to go through to get approval to prevent shoddy articles. this should not be submitted until it receives aproval for either The Magnificent Mod SilentDeftone or Roaring Rankles (raWr!) neither of whom are here at the moment.

So please noob, shush ok ;)
:haha :cheers:

Sillybuuger is right, this is what the forum is for. I will check this over tomorrow probably.

-SD :dance:

gmsje
09-22-2005, 11:15 PM
My fault. I went to it from New Posts and didn't pay attention to where it was listed. Sorry. I deleted my erroneous previous post. I still like the sections on melody and switching scales.

Rankles
09-23-2005, 03:54 AM
It's a good start, but like other articles like this I can't shake the feeling that the only people who'll understand what you're talking about here are the people who already know what you're trying to say.

Watcha reckon SD?

SilentDeftone
09-23-2005, 10:27 AM
I agree, you're hardly touching on the subject at hand it seems. This could use a LOT of filling out.

-SD :dance:

RockOnTheRocks
09-23-2005, 03:30 PM
Alritght I see i need to do more work. Ill do a revision of it with more beef to it. Thanks guys.

gmsje
09-23-2005, 03:41 PM
An example tab using a melody line would probably illustrate how melody and scale switching works/happens. And adding licks around the melody line could illustrate some of the other points you are making, and you could isolate those parts of the tab and cite the topic section illustrated. Maybe embellish the Go For Soda melody you mentioned. I definitely will save your finished product for future reference.

SilentDeftone
09-23-2005, 03:44 PM
Alritght I see i need to do more work. Ill do a revision of it with more beef to it. Thanks guys.
Great, looking forward to it! :cheers:

-SD :dance:

RockOnTheRocks
09-23-2005, 08:39 PM
This is the second version of my soloing article. Lemme know if there is still something I should explain further.

Contents
1. Intro 7. Tapping
2. Here we go 8. Resolution
3. The Meldoy 9. Don't Get Stuck in a Rut
4. Repetition 10. Techniques
5. Rythem 11. Experiment
6. Switching Scales


1. Intro

Alright so here's another lesson on soloing but I'm going to do my best to give you new material. I assume that you already know basic techniques but I will give some suggestions on how to use these techniques that have helped me.

2. Here We Go

To start off, you should know by now that a guitar solo should express the feeling of a song. It is most often (but not exclusively) used as a climax of a song. You should try to make your solo reflect the mood of the rest of the song. If it's a fast fun song make it a fast fun solo (doesnt even have to be complicated to sound good just listen to Living After Midnight by Judas Priest, the solo is really easy but it reflects the song well and therefore in my opinion is a good solo). Also I find that solos often reflect your mood at the time you write/play it. My best soloing has always been done when I'm having fun with the song.

3. The Melody: I know this has been touched on before but I thought I'd quickly restate it. One way to solo is to take the vocal melody and turn it into your solo (always sounds more interesting if you add a few quick licks in between the main part if the melody). The best example I can think of right now is Go for a Soda by Kim Mitchell.

Go for a Soda solo:
e|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|------------------------------------------------9----------------9b^-----------------|
G|---------10--------10------------8--8--10-----8--10--10-------------------------|
D|----------------------------8h10-----------------------------------------------------|
A|---8--8------8--8--------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

e|-------------------8-------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|---11--11--11-----9b10----------------------------9----------------9b^---------|
G|-----------------------------10-----------8--8--10-----8--10--10-----------------|
D|-----------------------------------8h10----------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

This melody is the same as the vocal melody sung during the verse, with a few hammer-ons and bends to make it more interesting.

4. Repetition: A good trick is to find a lick that sounds good and repeat it several times throughout the solo (maybe at different octaves and make sure you don't overdo it. There's a fine line between genius and annoying)

An example of a simple lick you can repeat in solos (this one in A)

e|-------------------------------------------
B|--5h8p5-----5h8p5--------------------
G|-----------7-----------7-----------------
D|------------------------------------------
A|-------------------------------------------
E|-------------------------------------------

Incredibly simple right? But A LOT of guitar players have used this in solos before. Check out the solo in Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin. Jimmy ends the solo with that exact lick. It's also a good fallback if your out of ideas and need to fill up a few bars.

Heres another common one (still in A).

e|------------5--------5--------5------------
B|------------5--------5--------5------------
G|------5b7-----5b7-----5b7--------------
D|--------------------------------------------
A|--------------------------------------------
E|--------------------------------------------

This one can be heard among other places at the beginning of Angus' solo in Highway to Hell.

5. Rythem: So a solo is just a bunch of notes right? NO! A solo needs rythem. You can put notes from the right scale on top of a chord progression and it can still sound like crap unless you phrase it properly. Make the rythem of your solo match and expand on the rythem of the rest of the band (I don't mean only play a note when they do, but every so often bring everything together). This is especially important if you're the only guitarist in a band and you want to do a solo. Leaving the bass to carry the rythem sometimes just doesn't cut it and you have to make an especially rythemic solo.

6. Switching Scales: Another way to mix things up is to switch the scales in the middle of a solo. The best way I can think of to illustrate this is when playing over a blues progression. For example sake we'll say were playing the 12 bar blues in E. Lets say you start off in the (E) minor pentatonic over the root of the progression (the E chord). When the rythem section goes to the next chord (which would be the A chord) I might switch to playing in the (E) major pentatonic scale. Then I would switch back to the minor when the band went back the the root note. Whether you play the major or minor pentatonic over a vertain chord doesn't really matter and you can through in a flat fifth (which turns the pentatonic into the blues scale) or two as well. You can also mix scales together in the middle of a phrase but this can be more difficult and may not always sound good (takes practice to figure it out). And again the solo in Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin is a good example of switching scales.

7. Tapping: I'm not going to explain how to do it, just check out some other lessons. I will suggest ways to use it though. Many people will just tap out the same arpeggio over and over in their solo and switch chords with the progression. This can get boring after a while. Try to make up licks with tapping instead. An excellent example of this is the intro to Green Tinted Sixties Mind by Mr. Big which I have tabbed out below.

e|-0h2p0----7p5p0-------0--h5--h7--t12--p7--p5--t17--p9--h12--t17--p5--h7--t16--p7--
B|----------0--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
G|---------------------2h4-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
D|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

e|---p0--h4--h7--h12/16\12---p7--p4------------------------------------------------------------
B|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
G|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

8. Resolution: If you play the right scale over a chord progression every note in the scale will sound good...usually. I find that at certain points during a solo (especially right at the end) you may find that the note you are playing sounds wrong even though it's in the right scale. In these cases you need to resolve your solo by hitting a strong note in the scale (The root and the fifth will just about always work, others will to depending on what scale you are playing over what progression). If you happen upon one of these instances where you are playing a "wrong" note, just use it as a passing tone to get to your resolution.

9. Don't Get Stuck in a Rut: Always try to avoid playing the same thing over and over every time you improvise and/or always sticking to one position of one scale on the fretboard. I still have problems with this one on occasion. If you find that this applies to you, try to change the position you are playing on the fretboard. You should learn to be comfortable with the whole fretboard and there are already other lessons on scale positions that you should check out.

10. Techniques: I said I wasn't going to go into detail and I stick by that. I will however say that you should use all the technique you can...to a certain extent. I have tried to extend established solos (that I have written) just to fit in one technique that, while impressive in itself, didn't really fit with everything else in the song. In these cases I usually realize that it just isnt working and I will take a different approach (or in the case of an established solo just not change anything).

11. Experiment: Just because no musical theory book says that you can play that note over that chord doesn't mean that note is off limits forever. Experiment with everything you can think of. Some of it may sound terrible, but who knows, you may come up with a small work of genius. In the words of Eddie Van Halen "If it sounds good, it is good." :cool:

?Mike

RockOnTheRocks
09-23-2005, 08:40 PM
ok the table of contents turned out a little wonky but I ran out of space and had to shorten everything.

RockOnTheRocks
09-23-2005, 08:55 PM
This is the second version of my soloing article. Lemme know if there is still something I should explain further.

Contents
1. Intro
2. Here we go
3. The Meldoy
4. Repetition
5. Rythem
6. Switching Scales
7. Tapping
8. Resolution
9. Don't Get Stuck in a Rut
10. Techniques
11. Experiment

1. Intro

Alright so here's another lesson on soloing but I'm going to do my best to give you new material. I assume that you already know basic techniques but I will give some suggestions on how to use these techniques that have helped me.

2. Here We Go

To start off, you should know by now that a guitar solo should express the feeling of a song. It is most often (but not exclusively) used as a climax of a song. You should try to make your solo reflect the mood of the rest of the song. If it's a fast fun song make it a fast fun solo (doesnt even have to be complicated to sound good just listen to Living After Midnight by Judas Priest, the solo is really easy but it reflects the song well and therefore in my opinion is a good solo). Also I find that solos often reflect your mood at the time you write/play it. My best soloing has always been done when I'm having fun with the song.

3. The Melody: I know this has been touched on before but I thought I'd quickly restate it. One way to solo is to take the vocal melody and turn it into your solo (always sounds more interesting if you add a few quick licks in between the main part if the melody). The best example I can think of right now is Go for a Soda by Kim Mitchell.

Go for a Soda solo:
e|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|------------------------------------------------9----------------9b^-----------------|
G|---------10--------10------------8--8--10-----8--10--10-------------------------|
D|----------------------------8h10-----------------------------------------------------|
A|---8--8------8--8--------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

e|-------------------8-------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|---11--11--11-----9b10----------------------------9----------------9b^---------|
G|-----------------------------10-----------8--8--10-----8--10--10-----------------|
D|-----------------------------------8h10----------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

This melody is the same as the vocal melody sung during the verse, with a few hammer-ons and bends to make it more interesting.

4. Repetition: A good trick is to find a lick that sounds good and repeat it several times throughout the solo (maybe at different octaves and make sure you don't overdo it. There's a fine line between genius and annoying)

An example of a simple lick you can repeat in solos (this one in A)

e|-------------------------------------------
B|--5h8p5-----5h8p5--------------------
G|-----------7-----------7-----------------
D|------------------------------------------
A|-------------------------------------------
E|-------------------------------------------

Incredibly simple right? But A LOT of guitar players have used this in solos before. Check out the solo in Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin. Jimmy ends the solo with that exact lick. It's also a good fallback if your out of ideas and need to fill up a few bars.

Heres another common one (still in A).

e|------------5--------5--------5------------
B|------------5--------5--------5------------
G|------5b7-----5b7-----5b7--------------
D|--------------------------------------------
A|--------------------------------------------
E|--------------------------------------------

This one can be heard among other places at the beginning of Angus' solo in Highway to Hell.

5. Rythem: So a solo is just a bunch of notes right? NO! A solo needs rythem. You can put notes from the right scale on top of a chord progression and it can still sound like crap unless you phrase it properly. Make the rythem of your solo match and expand on the rythem of the rest of the band (I don't mean only play a note when they do, but every so often bring everything together). This is especially important if you're the only guitarist in a band and you want to do a solo. Leaving the bass to carry the rythem sometimes just doesn't cut it and you have to make an especially rythemic solo.

6. Switching Scales: Another way to mix things up is to switch the scales in the middle of a solo. The best way I can think of to illustrate this is when playing over a blues progression. For example sake we'll say were playing the 12 bar blues in E. Lets say you start off in the (E) minor pentatonic over the root of the progression (the E chord). When the rythem section goes to the next chord (which would be the A chord) I might switch to playing in the (E) major pentatonic scale. Then I would switch back to the minor when the band went back the the root note. Whether you play the major or minor pentatonic over a vertain chord doesn't really matter and you can through in a flat fifth (which turns the pentatonic into the blues scale) or two as well. You can also mix scales together in the middle of a phrase but this can be more difficult and may not always sound good (takes practice to figure it out). And again the solo in Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin is a good example of switching scales.

7. Tapping: I'm not going to explain how to do it, just check out some other lessons. I will suggest ways to use it though. Many people will just tap out the same arpeggio over and over in their solo and switch chords with the progression. This can get boring after a while. Try to make up licks with tapping instead. An excellent example of this is the intro to Green Tinted Sixties Mind by Mr. Big which I have tabbed out below.

e|-0h2p0----7p5p0-------0--h5--h7--t12--p7--p5--t17--p9--h12--t17--p5--h7--t16--p7--
B|----------0--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
G|---------------------2h4-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
D|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

e|---p0--h4--h7--h12/16\12---p7--p4------------------------------------------------------------
B|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
G|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

8. Resolution: If you play the right scale over a chord progression every note in the scale will sound good...usually. I find that at certain points during a solo (especially right at the end) you may find that the note you are playing sounds wrong even though it's in the right scale. In these cases you need to resolve your solo by hitting a strong note in the scale (The root and the fifth will just about always work, others will to depending on what scale you are playing over what progression). If you happen upon one of these instances where you are playing a "wrong" note, just use it as a passing tone to get to your resolution.

9. Don't Get Stuck in a Rut: Always try to avoid playing the same thing over and over every time you improvise and/or always sticking to one position of one scale on the fretboard. I still have problems with this one on occasion. If you find that this applies to you, try to change the position you are playing on the fretboard. You should learn to be comfortable with the whole fretboard and there are already other lessons on scale positions that you should check out.

10. Techniques: I said I wasn't going to go into detail and I stick by that. I will however say that you should use all the technique you can...to a certain extent. I have tried to extend established solos (that I have written) just to fit in one technique that, while impressive in itself, didn't really fit with everything else in the song. In these cases I usually realize that it just isnt working and I will take a different approach (or in the case of an established solo just not change anything).

11. Experiment: Just because no musical theory book says that you can play that note over that chord doesn't mean that note is off limits forever. Experiment with everything you can think of. Some of it may sound terrible, but who knows, you may come up with a small work of genius. In the words of Eddie Van Halen "If it sounds good, it is good."

?Mike

RockOnTheRocks
09-23-2005, 08:56 PM
there i fixed the contents

gmsje
09-24-2005, 12:03 AM
This is a very useful article for my level of solo ability. In fact, it couldn't be more timely for me. I will be saving it as a standard reference.

Typos - rythem is rhythm; also rhythmic at the end of section 5 (I've been mispelling it too recently; happy to double check now). In Here We Go there is a "doesnt" without the apostrophe. Incredibly few typos. Nice job in my humble opinion. It will help me.

RockOnTheRocks
09-24-2005, 10:14 AM
Fixed the typos thanks, and thank you for the compliment as well gmsje. Glad I could be of service.

Contents
1. Intro
2. Here we go
3. The Meldoy
4. Repetition
5. Rythem
6. Switching Scales
7. Tapping
8. Resolution
9. Don't Get Stuck in a Rut
10. Techniques
11. Experiment

1. Intro

Alright so here's another lesson on soloing but I'm going to do my best to give you new material. I assume that you already know basic techniques but I will give some suggestions on how to use these techniques that have helped me.

2. Here We Go

To start off, you should know by now that a guitar solo should express the feeling of a song. It is most often (but not exclusively) used as a climax of a song. You should try to make your solo reflect the mood of the rest of the song. If it's a fast fun song make it a fast fun solo (doesn't even have to be complicated to sound good just listen to Living After Midnight by Judas Priest, the solo is really easy but it reflects the song well and therefore in my opinion is a good solo). Also I find that solos often reflect your mood at the time you write/play it. My best soloing has always been done when I'm having fun with the song.

3. The Melody: I know this has been touched on before but I thought I'd quickly restate it. One way to solo is to take the vocal melody and turn it into your solo (always sounds more interesting if you add a few quick licks in between the main part if the melody). The best example I can think of right now is Go for a Soda by Kim Mitchell.

Go for a Soda solo:
e|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|------------------------------------------------9----------------9b^-----------------|
G|---------10--------10------------8--8--10-----8--10--10-------------------------|
D|----------------------------8h10-----------------------------------------------------|
A|---8--8------8--8--------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

e|-------------------8-------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|---11--11--11-----9b10----------------------------9----------------9b^---------|
G|-----------------------------10-----------8--8--10-----8--10--10-----------------|
D|-----------------------------------8h10----------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

This melody is the same as the vocal melody sung during the verse, with a few hammer-ons and bends to make it more interesting.

4. Repetition: A good trick is to find a lick that sounds good and repeat it several times throughout the solo (maybe at different octaves and make sure you don't overdo it. There's a fine line between genius and annoying)

An example of a simple lick you can repeat in solos (this one in A)

e|-------------------------------------------
B|--5h8p5-----5h8p5--------------------
G|-----------7-----------7-----------------
D|------------------------------------------
A|-------------------------------------------
E|-------------------------------------------

Incredibly simple right? But A LOT of guitar players have used this in solos before. Check out the solo in Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin. Jimmy ends the solo with that exact lick. It's also a good fallback if your out of ideas and need to fill up a few bars.

Heres another common one (still in A).

e|------------5--------5--------5------------
B|------------5--------5--------5------------
G|------5b7-----5b7-----5b7--------------
D|--------------------------------------------
A|--------------------------------------------
E|--------------------------------------------

This one can be heard among other places at the beginning of Angus' solo in Highway to Hell.

5. Rhythm: So a solo is just a bunch of notes right? NO! A solo needs rhythm. You can put notes from the right scale on top of a chord progression and it can still sound like crap unless you phrase it properly. Make the rhythm of your solo match and expand on the rhythm of the rest of the band (I don't mean only play a note when they do, but every so often bring everything together). This is especially important if you're the only guitarist in a band and you want to do a solo. Leaving the bass to carry the rhythm sometimes just doesn't cut it and you have to make an especially rhythmic solo.

6. Switching Scales: Another way to mix things up is to switch the scales in the middle of a solo. The best way I can think of to illustrate this is when playing over a blues progression. For example sake we'll say were playing the 12 bar blues in E. Lets say you start off in the (E) minor pentatonic over the root of the progression (the E chord). When the rythem section goes to the next chord (which would be the A chord) I might switch to playing in the (E) major pentatonic scale. Then I would switch back to the minor when the band went back the the root note. Whether you play the major or minor pentatonic over a vertain chord doesn't really matter and you can through in a flat fifth (which turns the pentatonic into the blues scale) or two as well. You can also mix scales together in the middle of a phrase but this can be more difficult and may not always sound good (takes practice to figure it out). And again the solo in Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin is a good example of switching scales.

7. Tapping: I'm not going to explain how to do it, just check out some other lessons. I will suggest ways to use it though. Many people will just tap out the same arpeggio over and over in their solo and switch chords with the progression. This can get boring after a while. Try to make up licks with tapping instead. An excellent example of this is the intro to Green Tinted Sixties Mind by Mr. Big which I have tabbed out below.

e|-0h2p0----7p5p0-------0--h5--h7--t12--p7--p5--t17--p9--h12--t17--p5--h7--t16--p7--
B|----------0--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
G|---------------------2h4-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
D|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

e|---p0--h4--h7--h12/16\12---p7--p4------------------------------------------------------------
B|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
G|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

8. Resolution: If you play the right scale over a chord progression every note in the scale will sound good...usually. I find that at certain points during a solo (especially right at the end) you may find that the note you are playing sounds wrong even though it's in the right scale. In these cases you need to resolve your solo by hitting a strong note in the scale (The root and the fifth will just about always work, others will to depending on what scale you are playing over what progression). If you happen upon one of these instances where you are playing a "wrong" note, just use it as a passing tone to get to your resolution.

9. Don't Get Stuck in a Rut: Always try to avoid playing the same thing over and over every time you improvise and/or always sticking to one position of one scale on the fretboard. I still have problems with this one on occasion. If you find that this applies to you, try to change the position you are playing on the fretboard. You should learn to be comfortable with the whole fretboard and there are already other lessons on scale positions that you should check out.

10. Techniques: I said I wasn't going to go into detail and I stick by that. I will however say that you should use all the technique you can...to a certain extent. I have tried to extend established solos (that I have written) just to fit in one technique that, while impressive in itself, didn't really fit with everything else in the song. In these cases I usually realize that it just isnt working and I will take a different approach (or in the case of an established solo just not change anything).

11. Experiment: Just because no musical theory book says that you can play that note over that chord doesn't mean that note is off limits forever. Experiment with everything you can think of. Some of it may sound terrible, but who knows, you may come up with a small work of genius. In the words of Eddie Van Halen "If it sounds good, it is good."

?Mike
[/B]

RockOnTheRocks
09-24-2005, 10:17 AM
oops just ignore the [/B] at the bottom there

gmsje
09-24-2005, 06:55 PM
My pleasure.

RockOnTheRocks
09-26-2005, 03:07 PM
Um...so can I get this approved? Mods? What's the verdict?

SilentDeftone
09-26-2005, 08:43 PM
RED is spelling/grammar.
BLUE is my comments.

*****

Contents
1. Intro
2. Here we go
3. The Melody
4. Repetition
5. Rhythm
6. Switching Scales
7. Tapping
8. Resolution
9. Don't Get Stuck in a Rut
10. Techniques
11. Experiment

1. Intro
Alright so here's another lesson on soloing but I'm going to do my best to give you new material. I assume that you already know basic techniques but I will give some suggestions on how to use these techniques that have helped me. I don't like this paragraph. The attitude conveyed seems depressing towards the reader: "here's another lesson on soloing"


2. Here We Go
To start off, you should know by now that a guitar solo should express the feeling of a song. It is most often (but not exclusively) used as a climax of a song. You should try to make your solo reflect the mood of the rest of the song. If it's a fast fun song make it a fast fun solo (doesn't even have to be complicated to sound good just listen to Living After Midnight by Judas Priest, the solo is really easy but it reflects the song well and therefore in my opinion is a good solo). Take this sentence out of parentheses, it can stand on its own. Also I find that solos often reflect your mood at the time you write/play it. My best soloing has always been done when I'm having fun with the song.

3. The Melody
I know this has been touched on before but I thought I'd quickly restate it. One way to solo is to take the vocal melody and turn it into your solo (always sounds more interesting if you add a few quick licks in between the main part if the melody). The best example I can think of right now is Go for a Soda by Kim Mitchell.

Go for a Soda solo:
e|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|------------------------------------------------9----------------9b^-----------------|
G|---------10--------10------------8--8--10-----8--10--10-------------------------|
D|----------------------------8h10-----------------------------------------------------|
A|---8--8------8--8--------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
Your tabs don't end at the same space. Make sure you're using a monospaced font, i.e. Courier New.
e|-------------------8-------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|---11--11--11-----9b10----------------------------9----------------9b^---------|
G|-----------------------------10-----------8--8--10-----8--10--10-----------------|
D|-----------------------------------8h10----------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

This melody is the same as the vocal melody sung during the verse, with a few hammer-ons and bends to make it more interesting.
Well that was a nice example, but what about other melodies? I feel like this is just a grain of sand on the beach, hardly touching on the subject.

4. Repetition
A good trick is to find a lick that sounds good and repeat it several times throughout the solo (maybe at different octaves and make sure you don't overdo it. There's a fine line between genius and annoying).

An example of a simple lick you can repeat in solos (this one in A)

e|-------------------------------------------
B|--5h8p5-----5h8p5--------------------
G|-----------7-----------7-----------------
D|------------------------------------------
A|-------------------------------------------
E|-------------------------------------------
Again your tabs aren't spaced well. Use a monospaced font.
Incredibly simple right? But A LOT of guitar players have used this in solos before. Check out the solo in Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin. Jimmy ends the solo with that exact lick. It's also a good fallback if your out of ideas and need to fill up a few bars. However if that's terribly out of key for your solo and song I wouldn't suggest using it. Oh, and it's not in A, you used G.

Heres another common one (still in A).

e|------------5--------5--------5------------
B|------------5--------5--------5------------
G|------5b7-----5b7-----5b7--------------
D|--------------------------------------------
A|--------------------------------------------
E|--------------------------------------------
Same tab problem, and C isn't in A major (although this one isn't as big a deal. That's a perfectly acceptable riff in A major in my opinion).

This one can be heard among other places at the beginning of Angus' solo in Highway to Hell.

5. Rhythm
So a solo is just a bunch of notes right? NO! A solo needs rhythm. You can put notes from the right scale on top of a chord progression and it can still sound like crap unless you phrase it properly. Make the rhythm of your solo match and expand on the rhythm of the rest of the band (I don't mean only play a note when they do, but every so often bring everything together). This is especially important if you're the only guitarist in a band and you want to do a solo. Leaving the bass to carry the rhythm sometimes just doesn't cut it and you have to make an especially rhythmic solo. More could be said here. What about using silence, which some soloists ignore?

6. Switching Scales
Another way to mix things up is to switch the scales in the middle of a solo. The best way I can think of to illustrate this is when playing over a blues progression. For example we'll say were playing the 12 bar blues in E. Let's say you start off in the (E) minor pentatonic over the root of the progression (the E chord). When the rhythm section goes to the next chord (which would be the A chord) I might switch to playing in the (E) major pentatonic scale. Then I would switch back to the minor when the band went back the the root note. Okay, but why?! Whether you play the major or minor pentatonic over a certain chord doesn't really matter (Are you sure about that?) and you can throw in a flat fifth (which turns the minor pentatonic into the blues scale) or two as well. You can also mix scales together in the middle of a phrase but this can be more difficult and may not always sound good (takes practice to figure it out). And again the solo in Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin is a good example of switching scales. Tab? Show me where Rock & Roll switches!

This is a big section that could use a lot more explanation, really its own lesson.

7. Tapping
I'm not going to explain how to do it, just check out some other lessons. I will suggest ways to use it though. Many people will just tap out the same arpeggio over and over in their solo and switch chords with the progression. This can get boring after a while. Try to make up licks with tapping instead. An excellent example of this is the intro to Green Tinted Sixties Mind by Mr. Big which I have tabbed out below.

e|-0h2p0----7p5p0-------0--h5--h7--t12--p7--p5--t17--p9--h12--t17--p5--h7--t16--p7--
B|----------0--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
G|---------------------2h4-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
D|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

e|---p0--h4--h7--h12/16\12---p7--p4------------------------------------------------------------
B|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
G|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A|-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Same tab problem. Also you might mention to not make tapping sections sound like technique exercises. That's boring.

*****

-SD :dance:

SilentDeftone
09-26-2005, 08:43 PM
8. Resolution
If you play the right scale over a chord progression every note in the scale will sound good...usually. I find that at certain points during a solo (especially right at the end) you may find that the note you are playing sounds wrong even though it's in the right scale. In these cases you need to resolve your solo by hitting a strong note in the scale (The root and the fifth will just about always work, others will to depending on what scale you are playing over what progression). If you happen upon one of these instances where you are playing a "wrong" note, just use it as a passing tone to get to your resolution. You might want to use the words DISSONANT and CONSONANT in this explanation and perhaps a tabbed example?

9. Don't Get Stuck in a Rut:
Always try to avoid playing the same thing over and over every time you improvise and/or always sticking to one position of one scale on the fretboard. I still have problems with this one on occasion. If you find that this applies to you, try to change the position you are playing on the fretboard. You should learn to be comfortable with the whole fretboard and there are already other lessons on scale positions that you should check out.

10. Techniques:
I said I wasn't going to go into detail and I stick by that. I will however say that you should use all the technique you can...to a certain extent. I have tried to extend established solos (that I have written) just to fit in one technique that, while impressive in itself, didn't really fit with everything else in the song. In these cases I usually realize that it just isn't working and I will take a different approach (or in the case of an established solo just not change anything).

11. Experiment:
Just because no musical theory book says that you can play that note over that chord doesn't mean that note is off limits forever. Experiment with everything you can think of. Some of it may sound terrible, but who knows, you may come up with a small work of genius. In the words of Eddie Van Halen, "If it sounds good, it is good."

*****

-SD :dance:

RockOnTheRocks
09-29-2005, 03:16 PM
However if that's terribly out of key for your solo and song I wouldn't suggest using it. Oh, and it's not in A, you used G.

Actually i intended it to be an A minor pentatonic lick (same with the other one) and I meant that you could move it around the fretboard depending on the key you're playing in, sorry I should've been more specific.

And thanks for the suggestions I will definately work on those.