Useful Tips On How To Make A Good Guitar Solo

author: Virtuosofreak date: 01/09/2013 category: soloing
rating: 4.1 / votes: 36 
Useful Tips On How To Make A Good Guitar Solo
Wanna get some good tips on how to build a good guitar solo? You've come to the right place! Now, make yourself comfortable, and start carefully reading the lesson! ;) First, let's talk about what you should DO to make a good solo. After that I will show you the most popular modes of the seven-note scales (heptatonic scales), so that you have some scales to use in case if you don't. Ya know, the scales like Major, minor and so on. So, in order to build a good guitar solo, you must do the following:

1. Find out what key is the song in.

It is very important to be in the right key to make a good guitar solo.(Not to mention that your phrasing must be good as well). Now it doesn't mean, that should stick only to that one key (aka scale). You can find a way around the key of song. A safe way is using scale modes (aka relative keys). Most scales have relative scales. Most popular example of modes is the C major scale, which has 6 additional relative scales: D Dorian, E Phrygian, F lydian, G mixolydian, A Aeolian (aka natural minor), and B locrian. You can use modes in whole song, not just it's song. However, to make sure, that your way around still sounds good, you should also both start and end on the right notes. With that, I mean the notes of the chord that is being played at the moment of start/end. For example, If you are playing a part of a song in E Phrygian, which both starts and ends on an E5 power chord, then the right notes to start and end the solo on are E and B. This means, that it is safe to use B locrian, if you don't want to use E Phrygian to solo. Or also, if you are playing in C major, and it starts on C major, and ends on an A minor chord, then the right notes to begin on are: C, E, G. And the right ones to end on are: A, C, E. In order to find out the right notes BY YOURSELF, just look at the chords, and scrutinize at what fret each string is being pressed (open strings count too)

2. Come up with some phrases. Put some dynamics into it.

You may start by shredding the hell out of the guitar, a good example is a guitar solo of One by Metallica. That solo starts right after the thrashy interlude, Kirk uses a lot of legato (hammer/pull-off) runs there. Or also you may start by a few, but very powerful notes with a good vibrato. A good example is an 80's metal classic - Still Of The Night by Whitesnake. That solo riff is not exactly a solo, though. It's more like a warm-up to a solo, but nonetheless, it sounds very melodic, and powerful.It starts after the violin part. You may also start at a normal pace, not too fast, not too slow. You may also kick in with the solo by using a slide at the first note. Or maybe start with a not very fast, yet a very tasty bend, after that throw in a few pinch harmonics, amd end with a nice vibrato. A good example is the guitar solo from Home Sweet Home by Motley Crue. Also, you can do just the opposite of the examples I just gave you. You may also end with a cool bend, or a cool slide, or maybe with a deep dive bomb. There's tons of options. In other words, use the right scale, come up with phrases, mix in some techniques and see where it goes. You can do whatever is possible. Experiment. But never forget to work on your guitar techniques and phrasing. It is vital to make/play good solos. Also, never forget to record your ideas somewhere. This habit may come in handy, in case if you forget some parts(or even all of it). This may sound too generalized, but basically this all you gotta do. It ain't that easy, though. Okay... Now the scales. As I said earlier the most popular modes of the seven-note scales. By the way, do not wonder when you see that there's 8 notes. That because the 8th note is an octave, and shares the same name, as the root note. The examples will start with the C major scale. These scales can be played ALL OVER THE NECK, FROM ANY FRET! (if played in the same exact shape) JUST REMEMBER THE SCALE SHAPES! (But don't stop from enriching your knowledge about them. The more you know the better) EVERYTHING'S IN STANDARD TUNING! C major
E|-----------------------|
B|-----------------------|
G|-----------------------|
D|---------------7-9-10--|
A|--------7-8-10---------|
E|---8-10----------------|
D dorian
E|------------------------|
B|------------------------|
G|--------------------7---|
D|-------------7-9-10-----|
A|------7-8-10------------|
E|---10-------------------|
E phrygian
E|------------------------|
B|------------------------|
G|------------------- 7-9-|
D|------------7-9-10------|
A|-----7-8-10-------------|
E|------------------------|
F lydian
E|---------------------|
B|---------------------|
G|--------------7-9-10-|
D|-------7-9-10--------|
A|--8-10---------------|
E|---------------------|
G mixolydian
E|---------------------|
B|------------------8--|
G|-----------7-9-10----|
D|----7-9-10-----------|
A|-10------------------|
E|---------------------|
A Aeolian (natural minor, or simply minor)
E|-----------------------|
B|------------------8-10-|
G|-----------7-9-10------|
D|----7-9-10-------------|
A|-----------------------|
E|-----------------------|
B locrian
E|---------------------7-|
B|----------------8-10---|
G|---------7-9-10--------|
D|----9-10---------------|
A|-----------------------|
E|-----------------------|
And, we're back to C major! C major
E|----------------7-8-|
B|-----------8-10-----|
G|----7-9-10----------|
D|-10-----------------|
A|--------------------|
E|--------------------|
This type of scales is not the only one that has relative modes. There are tons of other scales that have modes too. There is a good lesson about the modes of the pentatonic scales (The 5 pentatonic scale shapes), here on UG. It's called "How To Begin Soloing And Writing Your Own Stuff". Go check it out as well, if you haven't yet. ROCK ON!
More Virtuosofreak lessons:
+ Useful Tips For Beginner Lead Guitarists For Beginners 01/21/2013
+ Basics Of Songwriting Songwriting & Lyrics 12/14/2012
+ A Lesson For Both Guitarists And Bass Players: Chords And Their Use For Beginners 12/07/2012
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