#1
Hey guys, I've been working on soloing/improvising for a while. I'm trying to start improvising in the style of Billy Corgan. If you haven't heard his style but you're a theory buff listen to the solo to Soma or Song for a Son. It sounds like modal playing or harmonic minor to me, but obviously I'm no expert. I'm really clueless. If anyone could chime in on what technique their ears are hearing I'd be happy to know because I'd really like to start playing in this style.
#2
Billy was heavily influenced by EVH and the whole shred 80's which for he was heavily criticised during whole grunge thing.
And yeah. Billy is also great solo player.
#3
He's a brilliant guitarist. He also cites Yngwie as an influence.

I *think* he uses a lot of mixolydian and dorian modes when he's not playing minor pentatonic. For example, isn't the Cherub Rock solo in A mixolydian?
#4
Just listened to the solo in Soma, as far as I can hear it's entirely pentatonic. Also worth saying that it doesn't matter how much Corgan cites Malmsteen as an influence; studying Malmsteen will not help you get that sound at all.

What I suggest is that you learn some theory for yourself and study the actual songs, see what's going on in them for yourself.
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#5
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Also worth saying that it doesn't matter how much Corgan cites Malmsteen as an influence; studying Malmsteen will not help you get that sound at all..

That's entirely true, just mentioned Malmsteen as it kind of explains how Billy Corgan happens to be a more technical guitarist than his peers in the 90s.
#6
Practice made him a more technically skilled guitarist than his peers, not who he listened to. Stevie Ray Vaughn was far more technical than Corgan, but he was influenced by guys like Albert King and Clapton, neither of whom was a particularly rapid or technically gifted player.
#7
Quote by Geldin
Practice made him a more technically skilled guitarist than his peers, not who he listened to. Stevie Ray Vaughn was far more technical than Corgan, but he was influenced by guys like Albert King and Clapton, neither of whom was a particularly rapid or technically gifted player.

Most definitely agree. Arguing that Billy was motivated to practice because of Malmsteen. If I remember correctly Billy said he used to play 4 hours a day for like 5 years because he wanted to learn to shred.
#8
Quote by Jyrgen
Most definitely agree. Arguing that Billy was motivated to practice because of Malmsteen. If I remember correctly Billy said he used to play 4 hours a day for like 5 years because he wanted to learn to shred.


Which isn't enough. No wonder he was bad at it.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#9
The Soma solo falls almost entirely within the E Minor scale. I don't have a guitar with me, but I remember the first note of the solo is outside of E Minor if that is causing some confusion.
#10
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Which isn't enough. No wonder he was bad at it.


And thank God, he's a great musician instead of a shredder!
#11
Quote by Stormface
And thank God, he's a great musician instead of a shredder!


Because, of course, those two are mutually exclusive...
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#12
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Which isn't enough. No wonder he was bad at it.

True but it does not matter, he's quite good enough to communicate his musical point
#13
Quote by Jyrgen
True but it does not matter, he's quite good enough to communicate his musical point


I agree I love his solos too, I think they sound awesome