#1
Alright, so im working on a song, and im at a point where i feel adding a solo would be a good idea. But, in the past, i have just made something up, and through trial and error, it fit, but i want to get into a pattern of writing solos that is more consistent than that. I understand the whole 'find an emotion and play' thing, but what about scales and such? For example, i already have an idea of what the rhythm guitar will be doing, so should i pick a scale that has those notes and work with it in the same key, or is there a completely different way i should approach it.

Any help, or points in the right direction would be much appreciated, because from searching around for about an hour or so, all i have found is 'learn a scale and make a solo', which, in my opinion, is a tad vague.
#2
well different scales will sound different, what is the mood of the song? is it is it angry, aggressive, sad, happy... etc

picking a scale that sounds right could help.

also just imagine what you want the solo to sound like before you even try to play it. think of cools licks or nice melodies or whatever that fit with the song.
#3
Solo over pentatonic, they can be soloed weather if its a happy solo or sad.
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#4
what im looking for is, how to choose a scale to work with, based on the notes that are in the rhythm part.
#6
Find the key of the song. Decide if the songs happy, or sad. Choose major if it is happy, or minor if it is sad.
#7
Quote by Draconis93
Alright, so im working on a song, and im at a point where i feel adding a solo would be a good idea. But, in the past, i have just made something up, and through trial and error, it fit, but i want to get into a pattern of writing solos that is more consistent than that. I understand the whole 'find an emotion and play' thing, but what about scales and such? For example, i already have an idea of what the rhythm guitar will be doing, so should i pick a scale that has those notes and work with it in the same key, or is there a completely different way i should approach it.

Any help, or points in the right direction would be much appreciated, because from searching around for about an hour or so, all i have found is 'learn a scale and make a solo', which, in my opinion, is a tad vague.


how about this. Learn a scale + LEARN a solo....... lots of solos. THEN come back and try to write.....when you're ready.


simply put.......you need experience.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 5, 2010,
#8
Yes, you should probably stick to using scales that work within the key until you get comfortable with that and can experiment a bit. Can you tell us what the rhythm guitar plays as backing to the solo section?
Quote by DiminishedFifth
Who's going to stop you? The music police?
Last edited by FacetOfChaos at Jul 5, 2010,
#9
In my experience, there are a few key factors that will allow you to make a decent solo.

The first is to listen and analyse. Put on a solo you think sounds good and listen, listen to how it interacts with the other instruments, listen you how it's rhythm contrasts (or doesn't) to the other instruments. Then either transcribe the solo or analyse a tab and see how the notes work together, the note choice over certain chords etc.

The second step is to learn. Learn to solos and learn your instrument, know what it is capable of get to know what it sounds like in different areas (The difference between an open string and the same note past the 12th fret).

Then you write your own solos with direct influence from whatever you have been listening to, and once you feel you can emulate, write your own solos in your own style. Now obviously, creating or finding your own style is going to take time, so don't get worried that despite the fact you can write all these solos that are great, but they sound too much like someone else. Remember, it takes time to be truely original.

Experimentation can be extremely helpful, be it with effects, note choice or rhythm etc. But again, don't get discouraged if your experimentation sounds like wank, you'll still learn something from it that could come in very handy at some other time.

Another thing is that solos don't have to be the most complex shredfests ever, very simple solos that work and contrast with the backing can be amazing at times. And this is why I implore you to learn about the instruments you are playing with. Don't just say "right guys, it's solo time; drummer, you play snare-hat-hat-snare-hat-hat...and bassist, you play constant 8th notes using the chord root". Keep in mind though, that complex tapestrys don't always sound right, so use your ears to get a solo that is right for the song.


Now there are many ways to go about this, but this way works for me.
#10
Quote by SWAS
Find the key of the song. Decide if the songs happy, or sad. Choose major if it is happy, or minor if it is sad.


the problem that i have with this kind of approach is that you will only be able to write solos that are either happy or sad - the vast majority of the remaining palette of emotions is entirely left out.

listen to guitarmunky. you need experience. it's less about playing certain scales for certain sounds. there's a lot more to it than that.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#11
Quote by Draconis93
what im looking for is, how to choose a scale to work with, based on the notes that are in the rhythm part.


What you should do is take the rhythm progression, record it somehow or have someone else play it, and solo over it using the scale notes of the key it is in all over the fretboard.
#13
Quote by PattyCakes
what about a solo that goes from happy to sad? Scale change? key change?


Use the relative minor to change up the emotion a bit.
#14
Quote by PattyCakes
what about a solo that goes from happy to sad? Scale change? key change?

You would adjust your solo accordingly and play what sounds best to you over it. There's nothing stopping you from using more than just one scale. If the key changes from B to D, then use a D scale when it changes. Just follow how the song flows and play with the changes. Above all, don't forget to listen. Your ear should tell you what sounds good or otherwise.

Quote by Funk Monk
Use the relative minor to change up the emotion a bit.

Also you can't solo in the relative minor. Especially if the tonic stays the same, you'd just be playing the major scale but with emphasis on other notes. This is because they share the exact same notes. If the tonic doesn't change, you're just using a different scale position on the guitar.
The only way to even use the relative minor is if the song changes and resolves to the relative minor of the previous key (From F to Dm for example) and even then I wouldn't really say that you're using the relative minor, just a minor scale. I'd say relative minor is more just a theory term.

If the backing part is just a couple powerchords you can have a lot more freedom on what scales you want to use which can give a wider variety of expressions.
Say I had a rhythm part that played F and C power chords (the I and V in this example)
The notes in those are F C and G which are the first, fifth, and second scale degrees. This means I can define the others however I want. F major and the F minor scales would work just fine and I could easily switch between them and it wouldn't sound dissonant. Perhaps this is like what he meant by using the relative minor? Either way...

I think I went off on a tangent and started rambling
Quote by DiminishedFifth
Who's going to stop you? The music police?
Last edited by FacetOfChaos at Jul 5, 2010,
#15
he could have meant modulate to the relative minor, which is obviously quite possible. however, if he meant solo using G# minor over a chord progression that is obviously B major, that is incorrect, yes.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#16
Coming up with melodies to layer on top of something is not hard at all, you just need to sit back, listen, relax and have your guitar handy. I suggest starting doing improvisations over simple chord progressions. Like... make a riff that consists of 4 chords played over and over, and for each chord come up with a lick.
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#17
Loop the rhythm part, and sing over it.

I'm a firm believer of being able to hear it in your head and then figure it out on your instument. You can also throw in some rock bends, or whatever your genre usually uses as well, but SING!
#18
Whenever I've written a solo I've written it like a vocal melody. I usually hear the solo in my head first or I try to hum it. that way I know I have something melodic and something that will add to the song rather than a bunch of exercise patterns joined together.

From here I get my scales and start forming the solo on the neck so it is not just bouncing around in my head.

From there I refine the solo and make sure it has a coherent begining middle and end and that it has purpose.