hey guys i've been playing for 15 years now, and while im pretty good at chords and picking through some songs, I have yet to figure out how to get good at solo's enough to play like a lot of people I see just do it so effortlessly. I know its a lot of practice but I was wondering how some of you that are good lead's learned how to do solos so well. I have started practicing scales a lot in an effort to get the fingers used to moving up and down the fret board better but am kinda lost on what else I could do.


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Pick a solo and learn it, practice it. Just like anything else, take it slow. It's that simple really. Start with something simple.

Edit: Also, you might want to take a look at the stickys in this forum.
Last edited by lilke at Jan 12, 2013,
I would hardly consider myself to be on the same level as a lot of people that frequent here, but in my experience (assuming you're learning from tabs), actually LEARNING the solo is harder than playing it.

If you haven't trained your ear enough to be able to work it out by listening to it, then listen to the solo a few times while reading along with the tab to get a feel for it. Then work out each section slowly until you can remember it. Then play them all together slowly until you're able to bring it up to speed without messing it up.

If you're aren't working them out from tabs and can already do it by ear, I would still say to follow the above steps, except forget about that tab part.

If you haven't trained your ear at all, you should probably start.
I know its frustrating. I've been playing for 10 years and still I can't play along with all of the solos that I want to play along with.

I found that the cause of that was that I had some bad habbits, I had never learned scale theory, and I had never learned picking technique theory beyond alternate picking.

Mostly the number one cause was that I was overconfident in myself and not knowing how bad I actually sucked until I started uploading cover videos to YouTube and then I got knocked off my high horse.
Don't just practice scales; learn the theory behind them; UNDERSTAND them.
Also, I suggest you record yourself first. Now, after that's done observe your playing carefully. Point out and analyse mistakes. You could also post it here; Trained ears and eyes will do the rest. As for speed - it seems to be the main obstacle for alot of aspiring soloists - DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT. Well, you might ask yourself, "What should I worry about then ?"
Some key elements:

Economy of motion = Small movements -> less tension
Correct posture = again, this will benefit your relaxation
Fluidity = Obvious one; make sure all the notes are executed like they should be

Speed is the last thing you should be worrying about. Remember: Speed is a byproduct of accuracy.

As for practicing:
-Practice loud enough to hear your mistakes
-Practice both clean and distorted
-avoid practicing with the neck pick up and effects - If you can play decent on the bridge pick up, the neck pick up will be your bitch. Effects is the same deal.
-Practice slow
-Use a metronome to improve timing

Record -> analyse -> clean up mistakes -> record -> etcetera.
I started off learning AC/DC and some similar rock songs. They're real easy in the first place, but regardless of the difficulty, if I'm trying to learn something. I take it a measure at a time. It may take me 1 hour or 2 days, but I will work through the section, measure by measure, until I can play it as a whole.

The speed and dexterity comes with practicing and playing lead lines more often.
I'm not sure what you are having trouble with. But something that has helped me in the past is the Amazing Slow Downer. It takes the song and slows it down without affecting the pitch. You can do this in Audacity as well, it just isn't as simple. That way you can clearly hear each note that is being sounded.
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