#1
So,I'm only half a year in guitar playing,I've started to get the hang of it a bit and learning new things in Rhythm playing and in general.

The biggest problem I have,are now the solo's or basically almost anything at the high e and b strings but none are as big as the solo's.
I just saw and started learning Sabaton's Stalingrad solo,and its not going good,especially the fact that I discovered just today...that the solo isn't a melodic slow type but a rapid speed one,which basically almost sets me on step one.

Can anyone give me any tips on how to start to learn the solo or any solo in general?Without having to shit my own pants every time I see a solo.
And I understand practice is important,but I'm also interested in how to start learning it.
#2
There are really two things you should do before learning any solo, at least in my opinion.

First: make sure you know the solo, by heart, without a guitar in hand. I want you to know every note, to the point where you could sing it. You don't have to have the vocal capability to sing it, but that' an illustration of how well I think you should know it.

Second: before you start learning, break it up in to sensible chunks. This will make it less daunting and simpler to learn if you go piece by piece, and connect them up once you know you can play the parts.

Notice that neither of these mean picking up your guitar at all, in fact they make more sense if you do it away from your guitar. They're about making sure you connect the sound to what you need to do, and making it seem less like a huge thing you need to learn in one go.

Beyond that: relaxation and economy of motion. In both hands. Start slow, speed up once you're 100% comfortable at the speed you're working with, not before.

You can do it, it's just going to take a bit of work!
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#3
^^^^ Can you really memorise a whole solo like that? I'm lucky if I can remember the first half bar, and it's note by note the whole way, literally. It is mostly about muscle memory for me, once I can do it, it more or less sticks, but I don't think I ever do it the same way twice even then. More than once I've thought that I'm not very musical.
#4
That sounds like a pretty big song to tackle for a beginner to be honest. While there's nothing wrong with attempting a difficult song, you should as a matter of fact, trying to learning a song above your level too fast can lead to bad habits and technique. You should also look at what technique the song uses and maybe learn those techniques via an easier song first?

And I agree with ZB's suggestion.

1) I don't see how you can really learn any song without knowing it note for note first. Maybe not right away, but you definitely should for the sections/chunks you're learning. I mean, if you do what Tony does, you're not really learning the solo but rather the rough bits + improv, aren't you? But you should definitely know note for note what you're playing.

2) This isn't the only way to do it but what I generally do for a big solo is I start of learning say a first section, and as I get comfortable move on to the next as I'm able to play more and more of it. Also, getting a music slowdown app (such as transcribe) is helpful. Allows you to start off playing the solo slowly and eventually build up the speed. This not only lets you play along with the original track but also avoids some bad habits in your technique.

It's also important to use your ears, simply playing the right notes or following the tab isn't enough, you've got to make sure it sounds right as well. But anyway you've only been playing for half a year, so take it slow and enjoy the process. Good luck!
#5
Quote by Tony Done
^^^^ Can you really memorise a whole solo like that? I'm lucky if I can remember the first half bar, and it's note by note the whole way, literally. It is mostly about muscle memory for me, once I can do it, it more or less sticks, but I don't think I ever do it the same way twice even then. More than once I've thought that I'm not very musical.

You can learn the solo well enough to hear it in your head although some can be hard to do that with and maybe not super realistic if you aren't practicing along side that.

Start by learning one measure of the song per day its small enough you can easily learn it without feeling overwhelmed.

" I don't think I ever do it the same way twice even then"

You are playing it too fast and need to slow down and use a metronome.

Also that is a hard solo for someone who hasn't ever learned a solo before but if you really want to learn it you could don't let anyone stop you just realize its going to be harder than you might think.

Just take your time with it and its better to play it 10% speed relaxed and perfectly than 80% speed incorrectly and tight.
#6
^^^^ I've been playing like this for over 50 years, I don't think I have a head for melody, but muscle memory works fine. - I can alternating bass fingerpick just about any melody I know, almost from first try. I'm certainly not physically conscious of what my thumb is doing. I think it is just a difference in approach.

Whilst I can see that learning a solo note for note is a very useful exercise for learning technique - I do it myself - I don't see it as a complete means of learning a piece of music. After all, how many of performers really do play things the same way twice? That, IMO, is a road to sterility.
#7
Quote by Tony Done
^^^^ I've been playing like this for over 50 years, I don't think I have a head for melody, but muscle memory works fine. - I can alternating bass fingerpick just about any melody I know, almost from first try. I'm certainly not physically conscious of what my thumb is doing. I think it is just a difference in approach.

Whilst I can see that learning a solo note for note is a very useful exercise for learning technique - I do it myself - I don't see it as a complete means of learning a piece of music. After all, how many of performers really do play things the same way twice? That, IMO, is a road to sterility.

I agree that it is good to play things a multitude of ways but getting down the original solo pat first is important I think. If you know the solo inside out you can play a lot of variations in a cleaner more professional way.
#9
Thanks for the tips,I know the notes of the first part of the solo and try to get to the needed speed.
I did break it down to small chunks and learned the first chuck.
I'm sure I will be done in about a year and more in the amount it took me to do the rhythmic part .
I do want to ask,since this came up.
How do I learn it with a metronome,like one note per beat?Or a few per beat?
Last edited by aleksgorlik34 at Dec 6, 2015,
#10
Until now I only learned the Rhythmic part of the song and not the lead one.
Which isn't that hard.
I do notice about how it should sound and when it sounds sloppy I start all over again.
I see that learning note for note what I'm playing is coming up from you and Tony,so I will try get the hang of it.
Thanks for the help.
#11
Quote by aleksgorlik34
Thanks for the tips,I know the notes of the first part of the solo and try to get to the needed speed.
I did break it down to small chunks and learned the first chuck.
I'm sure I will be done in about a year and more in the amount it took me to do the rhythmic part .
I do want to ask,since this came up.
How do I learn it with a metronome,like one note per beat?Or a few per beat?


Try to find the tempo of the song. If the song is in 4/4 (it most likely is), then there are 4 beats per measure.

Let's say there are 8 8th notes in one measure. Then you would have to play 2 notes per beat.

If you play 1 note per beat, then you're playing quarter notes.

You should learn a bit of theory if you didn't yet. It can certainly help you learning songs
#12
Quote by DanyFS
Try to find the tempo of the song. If the song is in 4/4 (it most likely is), then there are 4 beats per measure.

Let's say there are 8 8th notes in one measure. Then you would have to play 2 notes per beat.

If you play 1 note per beat, then you're playing quarter notes.

You should learn a bit of theory if you didn't yet. It can certainly help you learning songs


I do know the 4/4 and quarter and the notes and circle of fifths and basically almost the basics of the theory,I just never thought that it applies like that to the metronome.
Thanks for the Help
#13
Quote by aleksgorlik34
So,I'm only half a year in guitar playing,I've started to get the hang of it a bit and learning new things in Rhythm playing and in general.

The biggest problem I have,are now the solo's or basically almost anything at the high e and b strings but none are as big as the solo's.
I just saw and started learning Sabaton's Stalingrad solo,and its not going good,especially the fact that I discovered just today...that the solo isn't a melodic slow type but a rapid speed one,which basically almost sets me on step one.

Can anyone give me any tips on how to start to learn the solo or any solo in general?Without having to shit my own pants every time I see a solo.
And I understand practice is important,but I'm also interested in how to start learning it.


If you can, get a copy of Transcribe by seventhstring. This is my "go to" tool every time.

You can then literally "draw" out rectangles over the digital audio display at whatever (small) section you want to practise (and save off this visual section, so you can revisit it later). You can then break a solo down bit by bit (1 or 2 bars if loads of notes, 4-8 bars if not much happening). For a given section, you can then loop it, while slowing it right down until you're comfy at that speed, without changing pitch, and then gradually speed up.

If you don't do this, fast solos can be very hard and frustrating to try and work out.

If you do, it becomes quite easy to remember whole solos, because of the level of attention you give it.

Also helps if you know a bit of theory ... if you use your ear to figure out the bass, then the chords (at least, major or min flavour)) that will also give guidance on the likely scale(s) being used, and help you recognise what notes are "colour" notes not in the scale, being used for ear candy.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Dec 7, 2015,
#14
There are very few songs I play the solo note for note on but some songs sort of require it because occasionally the solo is a major part of the song. If your audience can sort of sing the solo in their heads, it's as important as the lyrics. A song like "Hotel California" is a prime example.

If I am trying to learn a solo note for note, I do it like Blicer. I listen over and over till the melody of that solo is locked in my head. Once I am very familiar with it I start learning it. This only works for me if the solo is a melodic solo. If it's just a technique showcase with fast runs and shredding or where there is little if any melody associated I don't try to learn it note for note. When I am playing gigs we have a song list of about 150+ songs we might choose from. If I was memorizing solos note for note based on pure memory I couldn't do it so when I play it at a gig I rely on the fact that I know the melody and feel of the solo and that works for me. Other songs I just play myself hopefully in that same feel. Anyway, that's what makes playing fun and challenging for me personally.

As a beginner, I suggest you start with songs that are a little more on the level you are playing at. I just listened to the song you mentioned and if you are good enough to play this song with all the changes in timing (chords and all) after playing guitar for only six months, you don't need my advice.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Dec 7, 2015,
#15
Thanks for the help guys.
I sadly can't pay for programs since I don't have a job(only 16 Years Old).
I do try to learn it first slowly and then speed up to the speed where I still can play comfortably and not screw up.
I can play the song quite easily,took me a month or two to get the basic rhythm down,and still need to practice it,I do have some problems here and there but not with the chords,but I'm working on it.
#17
Quote by Tony Done
^^^ Audacity is free, and can be used for stretching (slower, same pitch), pitch shifting and looping It isn't as user-friendly as some, but works fine once you find the right plug-ins.


I think that Reaper would be even better. It's free too, it'll just ask you to buy a license after 30 days, but you can keep using it with no restrictions.
#19
Quote by Tony Done
^^^^ Yes. I try to do that. - But I can't memorise them in the way that Zaphod suggests. Maye I haven't been trying hard enough.

You seriously can't sing the Hotel California solo from memory? Even non-guitar players can do that one

In all seriousness it's a pretty fundamental part of playing the guitar - if you don't know what note you're supposed to be hearing next it makes the learning process a lot harder and more painstaking. Muscle memory is all well and good but playing guitar isn't solely a physical process, your brain and ears also have a lot of work to do. The actions don't exist for their own sake, the actions you perform are determined by the sound you want to make.
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#21
Quote by DanyFS
I think that Reaper would be even better. It's free too, it'll just ask you to buy a license after 30 days, but you can keep using it with no restrictions.


I've also got Reaper, but don't bother to using it or Audacity for that matter , because my ancient copy of Cool Edit Pro still works with W8. Maybe I should take a closer look at it, I could do with something to convert individual CD tracks to MP3. I did try Reaper for real time playing with Fx, but latency was too great through my old computer.
#22
Quote by Tony Done
^^^^ Oh, I can remember simple melodies, more or less, but I can'remember anything that resembles virtuoso soloing, exceopt through muscle memory. It gets stored somewhere in my hindbrain, not the frontal lobes.

I think with fast playing it's important to at least remember the 'shape' of the part. I mean, once you've been playing a while you'll be able to do that, put it together with the tonality and key of the song, and infer the actual notes pretty accurately, but still remembering things as sounds is pretty important.

This may sound like shameless self-promotion but if you listen to the song 'Atrophy' on my band's album (link in my signature), the solo in that was learned the way I described. I actually wrote it away from the guitar and then learned it once it had been written, pretty much by making sure I knew the sound of everything then breaking it in to pieces before putting it together.
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.”


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#23
^^^^ There is no way I could remember something like that note for note, never mind compose it without benefit of a guitars. I have nothing but admiration for those who can.

OK, I'll trade examples:

http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=8813367&q=hi&newref=1

This is literally a continuous clamfest, I stagger from one phrase to another, trying to keep it together. I can. of course, remember the general melody and chord positions, but if I wanted to play it again just like that, I would have sit and learn it note by note just like something I picked up from Youtube.
Last edited by Tony Done at Dec 9, 2015,
#24
Quote by Tony Done
^^^^ There is no way I could remember something like that note for note, never mind compose it without benefit of a guitars. I have nothing but admiration for those who can.

I'll be honest with you dude; the composition part of it is pretty simple. You think of a sound, ad write that down. It doesn't even have to be in tab or musical notation, if you know what you want to achieve and you can write that down in some form (musical notation and tab are formalizations, recording it in any form is the important part), then you have composed something. And that's what I did; wrote down the sounds I wanted to make, and figured out how to play it later.

It's also worth noting, though, that this is notably easier to do (at least for me) with material you've written yourself. Still, it's definitely doable with anything, if you put your mind to it, you can do 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.
#25
Too go off of zaphod, thinking outside of tab and notation can help! Sometimes I draw horizontal lines at different heights and lengths representing how high a note will sound and for how long. Doing something weird and abnormal makes me remember things far easier. It is like when you want to memorize something for school so you make up a weird story for it.
#26
Well,I am back,with little progress being made.
But since I don't want to flood the forums with my noobie questions,I rather ask it here.
There is another quite big or so issue,or even a few.Sorry if they seem demanding.
I got a problem with playing triplets(if that's what it is),I can learn the muted ones,and feel the progress on those,but the one in Sabaton Stalingrad is getting the nerves,I try to learn it for a month or 2 and barely make it well,usually the pick either gets stuck,or just doesn't even get through the string that I pick.
The second issue,is with creativity,I know its probably way way way way to early,but I still like to play around with the guitar and make some sort of a short song or rhythm,but everything I try or even discover,feel like I heard it before.