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Old 01-03-2013, 04:35 PM   #1
drummer420
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How do you write good guitar solos

I learned some scales and notice an improvement in my playing. I just don't understand how you can get to the point of playing something like in my darkest hour. For me I can handle something basic but not up to that speed. Should you be using 4 fingers for a solo? For the most part I just use my index, middle, and baby finger.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:50 PM   #2
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no such thing
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:52 PM   #3
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How much theory do you know? How good is your playing?
Study your favourite solos, see how they work. I'm not too good at explaining the rest but that can get you started.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drummer420
I learned some scales and notice an improvement in my playing. I just don't understand how you can get to the point of playing something like in my darkest hour. For me I can handle something basic but not up to that speed. Should you be using 4 fingers for a solo? For the most part I just use my index, middle, and baby finger.


You can use whatever finger(s) feels more comfortable to you in such a case. Doesn't really matter. I've seen people play great solos without ever using their pinky finger.

As for what to do next, AeonOptic is right. Study your favorite solos. Get some ear training too, and work on transcribing simple things first, if you feel you aren't ready to transcribe your favorite solos. Seems to be what worked for most.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:24 PM   #5
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There's a lot that goes into making a great solo, however, I believe that sometimes the best ones are improv. I basically go about solo construction by just jamming on a track and seeing what i like. BUT sometimes, Ill have a certain mood that i want to convey, and ill link what ik about theory to the mood, and i try to make sure, no matter the type of solo, that it has a melody. The fast parts are nothing without a strong melody. Otherwise its just pointless wanking. A good solo doesnt have to even have a fast lick (Something I learned the hard way, in the pocket is better much more often than balls out shredding). However, just go with the mood of the song, try to accent what makes u special as a player, and just go for it.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:25 PM   #6
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Get a ****ing metronome. Practice your scales at a comfortable speed then increase the speed gradually with the metronome. Now was that so ****ing hard?
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badfish_lewis
Get a ****ing metronome. Practice your scales at a comfortable speed then increase the speed gradually with the metronome. Now was that so ****ing hard?


scales are useless

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Old 01-03-2013, 05:28 PM   #8
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@badfish_lewis i see little connection between improving speed/precision of playing scale shapes and writing good solos
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:35 PM   #9
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How do you write good solos?

Transcribe a lot of solos. Spend at least 2 hours a day (more if you can) practicing songs and playing the guitar. Sing your intervals. Study music theory.

There really isn't a magic way. You just have to think "Should a solo be in this song? Where should a solo be put in this song? what type of mood does this song have that the solo should compliment? How long should the solo be?" and then, with a very good understanding of the instrument, a very good ear, and a decent understanding of theory (this one is, in a sense, optional, but it defiantly only benefits) you will be able to write a good solo.

That is if good solos exist. Everything is subjective.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:19 PM   #10
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When I'm trying to think of a melody, I find that its a lot easier for me when I have the harmonies in front of me.

If you can read notes, I highly suggest going to a website called noteflight.com. Its a free notation website where you can save your compositions. For me at least, its much easier to write melodies when you can see the chords and the harmonies in front of you. You have a better conception of tensions and resolves, and the contours of the line.

If you can't read notes, then you should learn to read notes. That's just basic fundamentals.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:34 PM   #11
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I write solos by examining past melodies and motifs. I then think of interesting contours and rhythms the melodies can take and modify them based on the underlying harmony.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:12 PM   #12
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to me a good solo makes you want to hum/sing along with it. it's catchy and keeps your attention. it has unique phrasing that blends with the rhythm of the song naturally. i could probably go on and on about what makes a good solo.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:56 AM   #13
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Maybe listen to what the other instruments are playing. Listen to the chords, rhythms and sounds and react to them. Write melodies, not just pointless scale wanking.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drummer420
I learned some scales and notice an improvement in my playing. I just don't understand how you can get to the point of playing something like in my darkest hour. For me I can handle something basic but not up to that speed. Should you be using 4 fingers for a solo? For the most part I just use my index, middle, and baby finger.


You're asking two different questions, here.

Your subject line says, "How do I WRITE a good solo?", but then your post is about being able to PLAY a good solo. Two totally different things.

You PLAY a good solo by practicing until you get it right. It may take a while. The speed will come, but it's not going to be there in a week.

You WRITE a good solo by learning melody, harmonization, phrasing, and other aspects of composition. I, personally, learned it by reading two books: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Composition and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Solos and Improvisation. They're cheap. Go get you some.
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