Sorry, i posted this earlier but in the basics guitar and bass thread.

Is it just me or does anyone else find it easier to write solos, with a full band behind you. I made a pretty good solo in E Minor Pentatonic with a backing track. Then tried without a backing in the F Dorian Mode. It sounded utterly complete ****e. I was sat there improvising in E Minor Pentatonic for a couple of mins, and then half-an-hour in F Dorian.

I didn't think it was just me, I just wanted some people's opinions on this.
when you have a backing track you normally don't write, you improvise. you only compose if you have the solo in your head before you actually play it
Eat this, today's music-lovers!
Quote by rabidguitarist
A lot of music isn't really going anywhere. There are tons of fans in here going 'oh my god, <> is evolving so much and <> is so shit lol!' but tons of it is just recycled material and tired ideas.
I also find it easier to write and record the rhythm section before I take up the lead parts. It's easier to get a 'big' sound if I have drums, bass and guitar done because I can make things work together and actually hear how it sounds.
Yeah, I think it helps a little when you have a band behind you. Because sometimes you can kind of hear things in your head, that you didn't hear when you were just playing the song by yourself.
Of course a chord progression or a band behind you is a paramount aid to soloing. Certain chord progressions have certain unique and distinct ways of voice leading and almost unconsciously you hear them. I've seen guitarists who would simply emulate the thirds in the chord progressions or maybe the bass line with a lot of embellishment which yields very pleasing results. Listen to Paul Gilbert's Silence Followed by a Deafening roar. After the main rhythm riff the guitar solo simply plays the 5th, 6th and 4th of the scale that the chords behind it do; and then of course follows the subsequent development of the motif. Listen to it, you'll know what I mean. But the real beauty of experienced guitar playing comes when you can hear a chord progression in your head. They day you manage to do it, even without a band behind your melodic solos would really blossom. Marty Friedman has quite a few morsels of wisdom to share on that.
Dont wanna piss on your fire, but if it doesnt sound good without a band, it probably wont sound good without one

Thats not to say that having a band behind you wont spark ideas, or make things easier. Im just saying make sure it sounds good without the band too
Wow its easier to solo with backing as opposed to soloing over nothing? Really!?!
That was sarcasm^

Sorry for being rude but come on.
I disagree.

alot of solos sound like crap without the backing of a band.
the other beats and harmony lend so much to a solo.

I think it really helps to play with backing to develop your skills, helps see the scale/chord progression relationship on the fretboard... but agree there comes a point in time when you should move on from improvising to composing
I've always thought that a backing track defines the goodnees of the solo so much more than the solo itself.
I.E.: Cemetary Gates by Pantera

If you listen to the solo without a backing track there's no power and it sounds pretty standard but with the full song it has power.
Quote by yingyangthang
Dont wanna piss on your fire, but if it doesnt sound good without a band, it probably wont sound good without one

I don't want to piss on your piss, but ... a solo meant to be played with a backing,
generally just doesn't make a lot of sense without the backing. That's like saying
you're going to build the roof before the foundation and walls. That's probably why
it's easier, because it's actually a bit insane trying to do it in the reverse order.
A melodic solo will generally stand on its own.

In general though, to answer the TS....

You write a solo OVER existing music, be it a band, or recording. So yeah, it helps to be able to hear and understand the music you are writing the solo for. (unless of-course you are writing a solo thats intended to be played unaccompanied).
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Dec 18, 2008,
Even if the backing track is non-existant, you can work out ideas if you can hear it in your head. A lot of times, when I'm writing music, I will come up with a part, and then a couple of licks to play over it, beit fills, or parts of a solo. Whatever, but I can come up with parts. Having these basic ideas in your head always helps when you go to solo.
Got Death Magnetic a day early!

The Low-Cardinal of Zeppelinism - If you're a diehard fan of Zeppelin, join Zeppelinism here

Winner of the "Biggest Led Zeppelin Fuck" award in the CR forum (2 years running!)
Good solos compliment the song - not vice versa.

Solos generally don't sound good by themselves, unless you incorporate a lot of chords to fill out the sound and carry the melody.......which leads me to believe that "solo" is a bad term.

Gibson '57 Les Paul Reissue
Marshall TSL 601
EHX: Big Muff, Metal Muff, Small Stone, POG, 2880
Ibanez TS808
Voodoo Labs Microvibe
Analogman Chorus
Morley Bad Horsie II
Keeley Compressor (C4)
Nova Delay
MXR 10-band EQ
well, for me a backing track before the solo is done is a limiting factor for my creativity, I actually prefer to make the solo before the backing track is done
Quote by domenic_665
well, for me a backing track before the solo is done is a limiting factor for my creativity, I actually prefer to make the solo before the backing track is done

No, that means you don't understand enough about music to play over a backing track, and instead prefer to play without one so your shortcomings are less evident.

The ability to choose the right notes and understanding how they work over a backing track is an inherent part of being able to solo - if you're playing without one then really you're not soloing, you're just mucking around playing random stuff.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.