#1
Hello UG,

So, I'm trying to come up a fitting solo for a song the band wrote, but everything I try sounds really cheesy and pvssy. We play different sorts of metal, so a bluesy hardrock solo won't cut it. And I've tried the most obvious thing - not using the pentatonic scale, but it didn't work.. So, now I turn to UG!

My main question really is, what techniques can I use to make the solo more vicious or whatever, and what techniques should I avoid?

Thanks in advance, cheers
#3
Um, I notice a lot of tremolo picking in metal solos. Try coming up with a basic dissonant lick and just tremolo picking the hell out of it. Plus, mix in some sweep picking arpeggios from the low register of the guitar to the high end. And end with some nauseatingly high bends, those always sound badass. Hope this helps!
#4
keep it short and sweet, avoid trying to write long boring solos
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#5
Easiest thing to do
Pinch harmonics on the low strings
Abuse the whammy

Something harder...sweep and have a very wide agressive vibrato.
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#6
If you want your solos to have that "confident" feel, you've got to develop your vibrato.
Your vibrato is almost like your fingerprint. It's what makes Jimi, sound like Jimi. SRV sound like SRV. And unfortunately, it's what makes Kirk Hammett sound the way he does.
Listen to some of these players; David Gilmour, Neal Schon, Michael Schenker, Steve Lukather, and Gary Moore.
Notice how their notes sound fluid, like a singers voice. That's what you should strive for in your own vibrato. It will take time to develop a good one. Just be patient and try not to over-do it. Focus on keeping it smooth and in tune.
Also, work on bending. Make sure that you're able to bend up to a 1/2 step, whole step, and 1 1/2 steps consistently. As with vibrato, focus on pitch.
Once your bending and vibrato begin to mature, I think you'll find that your improvising will start to sound more emotional.
Good luck and have be patient.
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#7
Use your neck pickup.
Then there's this band called Slice The Cake...

Bunch of faggots putting random riffs together and calling it "progressive" deathcore.
Stupid name.
Probably picked "for teh lulz"

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#8
Use modes and shred all the way down your neck!
Depending on key do the Ionian then for the rest of it do six note shreds on your B and E strings =D
Go up a note each time and once you reach the 19th fret go crazy with the whammy bar wooo
Oh and divebomb? Haha.
#10
don't constrict yourself to one type of scale or sound. Listen to the song and see what the mood is, what feeling you're trying to convey. In this case, you want something really ballsy and mean sounding. A lot of times it isn't what you play, it's how you play it as cheesy as that sounds. If you want an aggressive sounding solo, play aggressively. Dig in with your picking hand, use some crazy vibrato, thrown in some pinch harmonics HERE AND THERE (not every other note).

You reallly have to get a feel for the song and try to hear the melody in your head and translate that to your hands. That's the best advice i can give.
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#11
well.. whats your idea of a ballsy solo


Well, something that doesn't sound soft, don't really know how to explain it :P

Um, I notice a lot of tremolo picking in metal solos. Try coming up with a basic dissonant lick and just tremolo picking the hell out of it. Plus, mix in some sweep picking arpeggios from the low register of the guitar to the high end. And end with some nauseatingly high bends, those always sound badass. Hope this helps!


Thanks! I'll try tremolo picking, I can't do it right now but it sounds really great in my head. As for the sweeped arpeggios, they're not my strong side, I can only do 3, maybe 4 strings at the moment

keep it short and sweet, avoid trying to write long boring solos


Useful piece of advice, I'll keep it in mind

Easiest thing to do
Pinch harmonics on the low strings
Abuse the whammy

Something harder...sweep and have a very wide agressive vibrato.


Pinch harmonics are like the most obvious thing, yet I didn't think of it, thanks

If you want your solos to have that "confident" feel, you've got to develop your vibrato.
Your vibrato is almost like your fingerprint. It's what makes Jimi, sound like Jimi. SRV sound like SRV. And unfortunately, it's what makes Kirk Hammett sound the way he does.
Listen to some of these players; David Gilmour, Neal Schon, Michael Schenker, Steve Lukather, and Gary Moore.
Notice how their notes sound fluid, like a singers voice. That's what you should strive for in your own vibrato. It will take time to develop a good one. Just be patient and try not to over-do it. Focus on keeping it smooth and in tune.
Also, work on bending. Make sure that you're able to bend up to a 1/2 step, whole step, and 1 1/2 steps consistently. As with vibrato, focus on pitch.
Once your bending and vibrato begin to mature, I think you'll find that your improvising will start to sound more emotional.
Good luck and have be patient.


My bends are pretty consistent, but as for vibrato I usually change it up pretty drastically depending on the mood of the song. A slow, fluid vibrato and an extremely heavy song aren't exactly the best combination :P

Use your neck pickup.


I already do :P

Use modes and shred all the way down your neck!
Depending on key do the Ionian then for the rest of it do six note shreds on your B and E strings =D
Go up a note each time and once you reach the 19th fret go crazy with the whammy bar wooo
Oh and divebomb? Haha.


I'm not too confident on the modes, but they're on my to-learn-list, and my guitar doesn't have a whammy bar, so that option isn't availible to me

Bend, pinch harmonic, vibrato, chromatics, shred, tremelo picking.


Ooh, chromatics sounds like an interesting idea, I'll see what I can do with it.

don't constrict yourself to one type of scale or sound. Listen to the song and see what the mood is, what feeling you're trying to convey. In this case, you want something really ballsy and mean sounding. A lot of times it isn't what you play, it's how you play it as cheesy as that sounds. If you want an aggressive sounding solo, play aggressively. Dig in with your picking hand, use some crazy vibrato, thrown in some pinch harmonics HERE AND THERE (not every other note).

You reallly have to get a feel for the song and try to hear the melody in your head and translate that to your hands. That's the best advice i can give.


Thanks a ton, this is another one of those things that are really obvious but I didn't think of. I'll try playing more aggressively and see how it turns out.
#13
Like mentioned before, abuse the whammy.
Combined with pinch harmonics and vertical vibratos it'll sound great!
#14
You don't need whammy tricks or tremolo picking, arguably that's the worst thing you can do - all that's doing is trying to cover up the problem rather than dealing with it.

If your solo sounds wimpy then it's your fault, plain and simple - it's nothing to do with scales. If it sounds wimpy it's because you're playing wimpy so you need to address that, attack the strings harder, use wider vibrato, bend notes further, use some agressive muted runs. Sort out the basics first, then you can worry about the frills you add on top.
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#15
Play with balls and your solos will sound ballsy. Sounds dumb but I'm serious be confident and attack it with the energy you want it to express.

Good Luck with your quest for more balls
Si
#16
What to do:

ATTACK the guitar! Make a mean face!

Pick the right scale and assassinate it with a furious alternate picked, palm muted sequence that carries you across a couple bars and then seamlessly explode into a maelstrom of frantic hammer-ons using every finger you've got.

Offset the carnage here and there with some wide vibrato on the money notes, and throw in some pornographic bends. Try a slow bend and kick in the vibrato late but go super wide with it. I love to hit chord changes with a big nasty bend like that.

That reminds me, even if you play in one scale, follow the chord changes with it. Play the right notes!


What to avoid:

Wimpy vibrato. Repeating licks over and over like a broken record. Simple sequences that sound like an exercise. Playing all in one position. Making a stupid face or just any face besides a mean face.
#17
The Rhythm can have alot to do with a solo sounding "ballsy". If you have a crappy riff playing under your solo it probably won't sound that great.
#18
HARMONIC MINOR SCALE.

Also, use all the techniques that everyone else talked about.

I had the same problem at first because the only scale I knew was the Pentatonic Minor. Then I learned more scales, and now have solos that have are based off the minor and major scale, with a bit of pentatonic minor thrown in.
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#19
Beat the shit out of your strings, play very fast, be all over the place. If you look like you're about to keel over from an aneurysm in the middle of your solo, that's probably a good sign(unless you really ARE having an aneurysm!)

Oh yeah, and more distortion. Particularly more high end and mids.
#21
Quote by e-free
Hello UG,

So, I'm trying to come up a fitting solo for a song the band wrote, but everything I try sounds really cheesy and pvssy. We play different sorts of metal, so a bluesy hardrock solo won't cut it. And I've tried the most obvious thing - not using the pentatonic scale, but it didn't work.. So, now I turn to UG!

My main question really is, what techniques can I use to make the solo more vicious or whatever, and what techniques should I avoid?

Thanks in advance, cheers



Learn some metal solos and stop being a cheesy pvssy!

but seriously do you know any metal solos? If you want to know what techniques to use, the answers are all there. Music is a great source of information for someone that's learning how to play music. It's not like you can just learn a "metal technique" and then all of the sudden sound Metal. It doesn't work that way.

I believe you simply need more listening & playing experience. Cut your teeth on some metal for awhile, and then come back to writing, when you have enough experience that you can create something in that genre yourself.
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Feb 19, 2009,
#23
Make sure you aren't playing any un-important notes. If you are just hitting random notes in a box pattern, that is probably why you don't like it. Think of the chords underneath the solo, and only play important notes, no matter how much it slows you down.

Once you have this, you have the frame of your solo. This is where I add the "less relevant" notes, so that I can move around from important note to important note without there being a gap.
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