The reason im here is because i'm in desperate need of advice and information as to how to write solos effectively. The problem for me is that everything i know about guitar (about a years worth of playing now) i taught myself, and i didnt teach myself anything regarding music theory, or scales or anything like that. Everything i can do now on a guitar came to me as a result of simply...reading tab and learning songs from bands i listen to alot, simply learning harder and harder songs progressively...

...And now i have a bit of a problem, being that now im in a band, and i would REALLY like to know how to write solos effectively, or to make something at least somewhat impressive for a somewhat new metal band. What ive researched so far seems to tell me that i need to construct them using scales...is that right? And if so...can I get a little more information on scales in general? I know very little about scales, so any help i can get on my problem here, whether my problem is solved through scales or some other way, would be incredibly appreciated.

Also, in the event you guys need to know my playing level for...any reason, the best way i can describe it would be by telling you what ive learned as far as solos go so far from other bands, and that would be the solo from Holy Diver (KSE version) and Inside the Fire's solo (disturbed).
See, thats the problem with my lack of knowledge of theory and other such things, is that when things like the term "key" are used i...begin to get a little lost.
I suggest you learn some theory from the "Crusade" by Josh Urban, which is on this sight. It's a good read and i learnt quite a lot.
Learn a couple of blues scales, amazing how you can improvise on them and make them your own. Take Kirk Hammet for example, very bluesy player, yet very heavy as well. Anyway most popular nu metal doesn’t solo anyway.
I have been reading the Crusades columns myself and they are awesome. I knew some theory before that, but he explains it really well. But for solos, I'd imagine it's just shredding a specific scale (I'm learning myself, so I'm just going off what I think is correct).

In a scale, you can pretty much play any note in that scale in any order and it'll sound fine. Obviously some will sound "better" than others, but you don't really break any rules of music. So just learn some scales, then pick around
Last edited by LonnieC at Feb 28, 2009,
Cool, thanks for the information youve given me so far. Also, i ment new as in...new, like a fresh, just made metal band. Not as in Nu metal, in case that clears up why im lookin to solo.

But still, if anyone can add anything else to this thread that would help me it'd be great. Im probably gonna look up some of what you guys have told me already.
Along with reading up on theory, you may find it practical to find some tabs of artists in the same vein that you are looking to write in. I'm not encouraging you to steal riffs, but there's nothing wrong with incorporating the ideas of others within your own music. Also make a note about the length of the solos, the tempo, the dynamics, the note that the solo begins and ends on, and the overall flow of the solo. Also, learn the blues scale, how it's formulated, and play over some blues backing tracks. If you can't find any backing tracks, http://www.bluesblast.com/jams2003.html has some decent ones.
Well, almost all good solos end with a power chord, as for how you want the solos do you want them to be impossibly fast (like Through the Fire and the Flames) or a bit more mellow (like with 'It's My Life').
Have a good one,
Thanks for the additional help guys, i appreciate it, alot. You guys have given me alot to go on so far.

And as far as what your asking pheonix, im DEFINITELY not lookin for any dragonforce style solos, cause i dont even think i have the ability to play things like that, As far as the speed goes im lookin for...average speed solos, possibly fast but nothing to ridiculously technical. The solos i listed in the first post are pretty good examples of the speed im goin for...and the technicality, but even something as technical as the solo in Do What You Do (Mudvayne) would be fine, in other words, not that technical.
There are blues scales on the site. those are great for soloing. It's really about staying in key with the best of the band.
think about the chord tones (the triads of the chords) that you'd be playing over also. if it's something really melodic and you're going to hang on to that note for a while it sounds really good to use a note that's actually being played in the chord you're soloing over, if you're just shredding though or just going to pass over the note it's not that big of a deal.