Hey guys, trying to get a little more JF sound out of my solos and I was wondering if you had any tips.

I know he plays the minor and minor pentatonic scales, but he doesn't bend the usual notes. It would seem that he likes to bend the root note and others.

How do I make this fit without sounding like I'm trying too hard and do y'all have any tips for doing his fast/shredding solo?
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I'm afraid that, however much I adore his playing, I don't know enough about it to give you specific advice. I will say, however, that if you ever want to sound like anybody you'll never be able to do a truly good job of it unless you listen to their influences; the people that they tried to sound like. So as Frusciante is a massive Hendrix fan I'd bet that he takes a lot of his playing styles and note choices from him, so maybe give him a bit more of a listen too?
The best way to emulate a guitar players style is to look at their influences and learn their stuff. Not only do you discover a lot of amazing music, but you gain access to a board range of techniques.

In JF's case, you want to focus on Hendrix, Zappa and the first 3 RHCP albums. Because as you may not know, JF was a huge fan of the band back in the mid 1980's and when they were auditoning guitarists, the band chose him because he knew the material so well.
Have a listen to hillel slovaks playing, frusciante idolized that man...
he tends to play alot of inversions, very hendrix/curt mayfield style...

most best advice is KEEP IT SIMPLE! he doesnt tend to overcomplicate things too much, build nice melodies from few notes, not dizzinging the listener with flurrys ands runs everywhere.
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Get the "sound" right. Like so much of chili peppers stuff, what they actually play/sing isn't as important as how they play it (try actually listening to the lyrics of the outro to death of a martian). Try thinking about not just what note you play, but how that note sounds and how to play it

So you want to build the volume to an epic-chorus? why not play a chord in a "high" inversion (e.g. a D barred on 10th fret) and pick the strings in their mid-point between fret and bridge! You'll kill the overtones meaning you won't cut through but will fill out the "sound".

Maybe you want to burst through with a solo? Play a few slow notes lower down the neck with a bit of gain and pick closer to the bridge, start that solo by tipping the wah slowly forward and you'll immediately jump out of the mix before shooting up the neck, sticking a phaser on and playing a fast arpeggio pattern to create an explosive finale!

I would say JF has one of the more difficult styles to pick up because what he plays is so driven by the rest of the band which doesn't ever "change" if you play with recordings and is hard to emulate when jamming with friends.
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Last edited by doive at Apr 9, 2012,
There are have been alot of different ways Frusciante has played. I assume by the "JF" sound for soloing you are talking about things like Live At Slane Castle etc. Big Muff soloes and the like. I'm a pretty big fan of his and I did what you are wanting to do awhile back myself. Again, I am assuming you are talking about the sounds that you get from listening to LASC, so this is what I would say you should do.

I would suggest first that you have a decent grasp on the ENTIRE minor pentatonic scale and not just that one box that everyone knows. Minor penta is by far JF's favorite thing to solo in, but he makes it sound interesting by not restricting himself to the scale and I think this is a pretty important point. For instance, he'll play the minor pentatonic scale, but he'll break the box and play notes that sound good in the context of the music that aren't necessarily in the minor penta. I would scour youtube and listen to live shows and try to learn them by ear and try to recognize the notes he uses that aren't necessarily in the minor pentatonic scale he's playing and you'll soon start to pick up on that.

Also, try not to approach it like it is a science. It's pretty obvious he favors emotion and feel compared to shredding/speed/technique and it would help you in the long run to remember that. If you are soloing in Em penta and you hear this incredible lick in your head don't be afraid to break out of the scale just because it might sound bad. If you hear your friend on bass playing something really intense and you know exactly what would sound awesome over that then don't be afraid to try it.

One last thing, if you get discouraged, keep in mind that in those live shows John Frusciante easily has 25+ years of guitar playing under his belt, and not only that but he is being backed by an incredibly talented rhythm section. You aren't going to sound exactly like John Frusciante and honestly I would try to morph some of his style with what you like and make it your own. Jamming with friends would help over jamming to backing tracks, but do what you have to do. Oh and knowing a bit of hendrix would definitely help too.
Good Luck!