#1
I am a beginner guitarist. I have an Ibanez Rg with a fixed bridge. So far the only solos I can play are the intros to Fade To Black, One and Am I Evil and the solo in Nothing Else Matters. I can pretty much nail these.

There's a competition coming up November end, but I can't decide what solo to play. I thought of Stairway, but my .11 gauge strings are too tight for the third bend. I can play decently fast, so I would prefer a solo that's fast rather than one with too many bends, but please don't give something way too fast for a beginner to handle, not very much faster than that fancy part in Fade to Black at least.

It can be a maximum of 2 minutes long. Please help me win this! My first competition and live performance.
Last edited by josonmj at Oct 29, 2015,
#2
Choose whatever you think will win the competition yourself. Choosing the right song is the responsibility of the performer, no?
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#3
If you want to play stairway and the only thing holding you back are the fact that you can't do the bend on 11s, then just replace the strings!!! That's much easier than learning a new solo.
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#4
hot tip: change strings and set-ups down to 9's and that trophy's in the bag.

i really don't get competition soloing....
#5
Please guys don't be like that. I just got these brand new 11 Ernie Balls please don't make me buy more.

Hey I'm competing with people triple my age or more, can't I get some help deciding at least?
#7
Quote by josonmj
There's a competition coming up November end, but I can't decide what solo to play. I thought of Stairway, but my .11 gauge strings are too tight for the third bend..


Quote by bobafettacheese
If you want to play stairway and the only thing holding you back are the fact that you can't do the bend on 11s, then just replace the strings!!! That's much easier than learning a new solo.


No, TS should learn how to bend properly.

Quote by josonmj
Please guys don't be like that. I just got these brand new 11 Ernie Balls please don't make me buy more.


You shouldn't, you should just learn how to play with the current set.

Quote by josonmj
Hey I'm competing with people triple my age or more, can't I get some help deciding at least?


My philosophy on these things is that if you can't decide yourself, you're not ready to do it. Just play a song you like.
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#8
What kind of a competition is it? Do you need to play an existing solo or is it about improvising or does it matter?


To me Stairway would sound like a pretty generic choice, and also, to win the competition, you would have to play it really well. It's a solo that everybody knows really well and that's why I think it wouldn't be a good choice. Even if you play the right notes, it could still sound like crap, especially because people will always compare your performance to the original. It's one of those solos where it's really important to play with "feel". What I mean by that is that the right notes are just one part of it. It has a lot of other things that you need to pay attention to. Those things are what make the solo sound good. Those things are what make it sound like music instead of wanking. There's a difference between playing guitar and playing music. You want to play music. (Though considering that it's a guitar solo competition, I would expect to hear a lot of wanking, not musical playing...)


So, the solo of that song is technically not that hard, but it's hard because of other reasons. It's hard to make it sound good because people know the original so well (and because so many beginner guitarists have played awful covers of it). It's kind of a dangerous song to play. It's a song that I would suggest not playing for the same reason as why I wouldn't suggest playing Bohemian Rhapsody. The original performances are just so iconic. They are very easy songs to ruin (and they have been ruined way too many times). Just my opinion.


If you have 2 minutes, I would suggest choosing a solo that's as long as possible. I would also consider not playing something 100% note for note, unless that's the way you really want to play it. If you can't do the one and a half step bend, don't play it. Improvise. Come up with something else or come up with another way of playing the same thing. (Well, of course this doesn't mean that you shouldn't learn to play the bend, because you should. But if you realize you can't do something but still want to perform the song, it makes sense to change that part.)
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Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Oct 30, 2015,
#9
I agree that I suck at bending, but the reason I switched to Ernie ball was because the stock strings broke during this very bend (and I still couldn't bend all the way) so before I burn through all my string sets because of my bending skills or lack there of, I'd rather do something else. BTW I have no accompaniment, so that's why I chose soloing obvious choice.

I found a way to play the inro solo of FtoB and combine it with the intro solo (if you can call it that) of Am I Evil (don't ask me how) and end with that evil riff just like the Big 4.

A very important thing I forgot to mention is that I live in India, where nobody knows shit about anything. Meeting someone who listens to anything apart from Bollywood BS is about as rare as a Charizard. Also this is an all instrument competition (no accompaniment) hosted by my local church (only a ****** like me would play Am I Evil in church) so it's a safe bet the judges have never heard FtoB or AIE.

I have also started to practice Dave's solo in Wake Up Dead, which seems ideal. It's very tough so far though, so no way I can nail it by then, maybe the second round if I make it. Comments?
#10
If you're nervous playing in front of people, choose the solo you're most at ease with. Make the notes you play count.

As for strings breaking, that's just as likely to be a problem wih the saddle or nut being literally sharp edged. Bad Technique won't break strings, unless you're overbending.
#11
Yeah, there's likely something wrong with either your bridge or nut if you keep on breaking strings. You should be able to bend more than a whole step without fearing to break your strings.

If there's no accompaniment, it can get boring really easily. Something like Stairway wouldn't even work that well because the end of the solo has those breaks.

I wouldn't take it too seriously, though. Take it as an experience, don't worry if you don't win (you most likely won't). Performance experience is always good.

Just play what feels good.


If I were you, I would play an actual composition, not just solos and riffs of random pieces. For example surf songs are pretty easy to play, but they also work on their own - they are based on melodies, not riffs, which is a good thing when you are playing without an accompaniment. Not saying you should play surf, but I would much rather listen to this played well than somebody shredding on their guitar (now that I heard what kind of competition it is - if it was an actual guitar solo competition, it would be different).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WW21rcHiVU0

I found a way to play the inro solo of FtoB and combine it with the intro solo (if you can call it that) of Am I Evil (don't ask me how) and end with that evil riff just like the Big 4.


Well, do that if that feels right.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Oct 30, 2015,