Awesome Beginner Guitar Soloing Lesson

One of the hardest things to do when you're first learning how to play guitar is have enough fun to keep you interested in practicing.

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One of the hardest things to do when you're first learning how to play guitar is have enough fun to keep you interested in practicing. While you probably realize that practicing your guitar is critical to improving on your guitar, it still can be very frustrating to pick up your guitar and not be able to get your fingers to do any of the things you try to get them to do.

This lesson is designed to get you having some fun on your guitar while improving your skills in many different ways. I know for a fact that if you follow through with what I am going to teach you here, you will have lots of fun playing your guitar and you will see major improvements in your guitar playing!

One of the best parts about this lesson is you are going to be playing a solo over a jam track right away!

You will learn to play the solo and you will also learn what makes the solo sound good. This will help you to create your own solos that sound good an have you sounding better than your friends that have been playing a lot longer than you!

How does that sound?!

To help you with this lesson, I have created free audio examples of what you will be learning to play in the lesson. I am also going to give you a free Jam Track with drums and guitar to back you up so you can practice this lesson in a musical context. This will make it a lot of fun and you will find that your progress will be much faster!

I'm also going to give you a free Metronome track that will help you to practice this lesson.

Getting started

Before you continue on, I would like you to download these tracks. Go here to get your free tracks.

This lesson assumes that you already know the very basics of playing guitar such as how to read basic tab and how to play some simple things on your guitar.

Now if you are already soloing a little using the pentatonic scale, then maybe this lesson isn't for you. But we all start somewhere and I see a lot of cool lessons out there for people that have been playing for a little while, but not much fun stuff for the beginners.

This one is for you!

You are going to start by playing a scale that is very widely used in many different styles of music; The Minor Pentatonic Scale

The scale you are going to be using is the Am Pentatonic Scale. What I want you to do is play the scale below starting with string #6 on the 5th fret. You are going to play up the scale (lowest sounding note to the highest sounding note) and back down using the fingers indicated.

The diagram below shows you the notes you are playing in the scale above as well as what the shape of the pattern looks like. Sometimes it helps to be able to see your fretboard in this way to help you visualize what you are playing.

Play the scale several times, nice and slow, until you start to get comfortable playing it. Remember to go very slow. By going slow you will allow your fingers to learn how to move in directions that they are not yet used to. Going fast will slow down your progress.

Listen to the jam track

The Jam Track included with this lesson uses 2 chords: Am and G

It starts on the Am chord (the higher sounding chord) and then changes to the G chord (the lower sounding chord). It just repeats this over and over. I'm keeping it nice a simple so you can have some fun with it.

The Am chord contains the notes: A-C-E The G Chord contains the notes: G-B-D

Simple enough, huh?

Now one of the best things you can do to make a solo sound good is to play some of the notes from the chord that is being played while you are soloing.

You are now going to learn a series of licks (pieces of a solo) one by one and then put them together to form a solo.

Getting down to business

Am Lick 1 has all 3 of the notes from the Am chord in it (A-C-E) so it is going to sound very good. Listen to the track Am Lick 1 to hear what this lick sounds like. Play this lick several times very slow until you are comfortable with it. Then, turn on the track titled Metronome and play the lick one note per click. If this is too fast, turn off the metronome and practice the lick until you can play it with the metronome. When you are able to do this, move on to the next lick.

G Lick 2 only has 1 of the notes from the G chord in it but that's still enough to make it sound very good. It contains the note G and you are playing it while the G chord is playing so that's really good. Listen to the track G Lick 2 to hear what this lick sounds like. Play this lick several times very slow until you are comfortable with it. Then, turn on the track titled Metronome and play the lick one note per click. One thing that is different about this lick is the first 2 notes get one beat and the last note gets 2 beats. Listen to the track again to here what I mean if you are not sure.

If this is too fast, turn off the metronome and practice the lick until you can play it with the metronome. When you are able to do this, move on to the next lick.

Now you are going to put them together. Listen to the track Am & G Licks 1 & 2 to hear what this lick sounds like. Next put them together and play them with the metronome several times. Once you have done this, move on to the next lick.

Am Lick 3 has 2 of the notes from the Am chord in it (A-C) so it is going to sound very good. Listen to the track Am Lick 3 to hear what this lick sounds like. Play this lick several times very slow until you are comfortable with it. Then, turn on the track titled Metronome and play the lick one note per click. If this is too fast, turn off the metronome and practice the lick until you can play it with the metronome. When you are able to do this, move on to the next lick.

G Lick 4 has 1 of the notes from the G chord in it (G) but it is played twice and held for 2 beats on the last note. This will sound very good. Listen to the track G Lick 4 to hear what this lick sounds like. Play this lick several times very slow until you are comfortable with it. Then, turn on the track titled Metronome and play the lick one note per click. Again, the thing that is different about this lick is the first 2 notes get one beat and the last note gets 2 beats. Listen to the track again to here what I mean if you are not sure.

If this is too fast, turn off the metronome and practice the lick until you can play it with the metronome. When you are able to do this, move on to the next lick.

Now you are going to put them together. Listen to the track Am & G Licks 3 & 4 to hear what these licks sounds like when played back to back. Next put them together and play them with the metronome several times. Once you have done this, move on to the next lick.

Am Lick 5 has 2 of the notes from the Am chord in it (A-E) so it is going to sound very good. Listen to the track Am Lick 5 to hear what this lick sounds like. Play this lick several times very slow until you are comfortable with it. Then, turn on the track titled Metronome and play the lick one note per click. If this is too fast, turn off the metronome and practice the lick until you can play it with the metronome. When you are able to do this, move on to the next lick.

G Lick 6 has 1 of the notes from the G chord in it (G) but it is the last note of the lick and is held for 2 beats. This will sound very good. Listen to the track G Lick 6 to hear what this lick sounds like. Play this lick several times very slow until you are comfortable with it. Then, turn on the track titled Metronome and play the lick one note per click. Again, the thing that is different about this lick is the first 2 notes get one beat and the last note gets 2 beats. Listen to the track again to here what I mean if you are not sure.

If this is too fast, turn off the metronome and practice the lick until you can play it with the metronome. When you are able to do this, move on to the next lick.

Now you are going to put them together. Listen to the track Am & G Licks 5 & 6 to hear what these licks sounds like when played back to back. Next put them together and play them with the metronome several times. Once you have done this, move on to the next lick.

Am Lick 7 has 2 of the notes from the Am chord in it (A-E) so it is going to sound very good. Listen to the track Am Lick 7 to hear what this lick sounds like. Play this lick several times very slow until you are comfortable with it. Then, turn on the track titled Metronome and play the lick one note per click. If this is too fast, turn off the metronome and practice the lick until you can play it with the metronome. When you are able to do this, move on to the next lick.

G Lick 8 has 1 of the notes from the G chord in it (G) but it is the last note of the lick and is held for 2 beats. This will sound very good. Listen to the track G Lick 8 to hear what this lick sounds like. Play this lick several times very slow until you are comfortable with it. Then, turn on the track titled Metronome and play the lick one note per click. Again, the thing that is different about this lick is the first 2 notes get one beat and the last note gets 2 beats. Listen to the track again to here what I mean if you are not sure.

If this is too fast, turn off the metronome and practice the lick until you can play it with the metronome. When you are able to do this, move on to the next lick.

Now you are going to put them together. Listen to the track Am & G Licks 7 & 8 to hear what these licks sounds like when played back to back. Next put them together and play them with the metronome several times. Once you have done this, move on to the next lick.

Putting the whole thing together

elow you will see all 8 licks put together. Listen to the track Complete Solo With jam Track to hear what this sounds like.

One important point: This solo is much shorter than the entire jam track. This is designed to let you repeat the solo several times as the jam track plays.

Complete Solo

You can try playing this entire solo with the jam track if you like. If you find that you are having trouble playing it up to tempo, turn off the track and practice it by itself a few times until you are more comfortable with it. Then turn on the jam track a try it again.

You can also practice this solo using the Metronome track. You will find that by practicing to the metronome track, you will play it much better when you play it with the jam track.

Once you become comfortable with playing this solo, you can have a lot of fun by mixing up the licks to create your own version. Just be sure to use and Am Lick when an Am chord is being played and a G Lick when a G chord is being played.

You can also use the Am Pentatonic Scale at the top to create entirely different licks. When you do, try to insert one or more of the notes from the chord being played over into your licks.

Experiment and have fun!

Here are some points I want you to think of while practicing this lesson:

  • Resist the urge to speed up. By practicing slowly, you will train your fingers to play correctly. Speed will come and as it does, your fingers will be better trained to speed up.
  • Try to practice this solo every day, or most days, of the week. By doing so, you will see your progress improve dramatically over a short period of time.
  • Check to be certain you are using the correct fingers for each note. This will help build up those fingers that feel weak right now. Trust me, it will get much better very soon!
  • As you get better at playing through this with the jam track, try to listen more to how each note sounds over the chord you are playing over. This will help develop you ear and help you a great deal when you begin creating your own solo's.

    About the Author: Jeff Vivrette is a professional guitarist, musician, composer and instructor in the Ypsilanti, Michigan area where he is the founder of Vivrette Guitar Academy. He is currently working on several new instructional products and is writing and recording his debut CD to be released in late 2010/early 2011. Visit his website for more information and other free instructional resources at http://vivretteguitaracademy.com

    2010 Jeff Vivrette. All Rights Reserved.

  • 11 comments sorted by best / new / date

      ShredRoast
      Wow i have been playing a while but been trying to find something where i can play at the speed and still think it sounds amazing, great job!!!
      MadKanu
      This is a great lesson. Thanks! One minor tweak is that I believe Am lick 1 has a G in it unless I'm mistaken.
      venshadow
      I think there is a mistake in the last note for the Am and G licks 7 & 8 combined.
      Jeff Vivrette
      Thanks for the positive comments everyone, I'm glad you are finding this article helpful. MadKanu, You are correct, there is a "G" note in "Am Lick 1" and that's OK. It's good to mix in other notes that are not founfd in the chord as long as you emphasize the notes of the chord. More on this in future articles! "Venshadow" pointed out there was a mistake in the last note of "Am & G Licks 7 & 8" and he was correct! I had made a last minute change to that lick and thought I had updated it but, unfortunatly, I didn't. However, UG has been so kind as to help address this and everything is good to go now! I'll be notifying those that have downloaded the audio tracks shortley. Thanks again everyone!