#1
Hello UG,
I am currently stuck trying to write a guitar solo for an instrumental track. I was wondering how do you guys start writing a solo?

Thanks.
#2
depending if its a short or a long solo. I let the backing track play on a loop, and then I fiddle around on my guitar try to find what scales or whatever sound good with it.

I do that for a while then I record it for a bit and listen to it and see if I liked anything. I pick certain parts out to help form my solo &/or fill in parts I'm having trouble with.

Another thing, which parts to keep melodic, which parts to shred, show technical ability etc. I also keep in mind.

edit: I hate writing solos.
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Last edited by aznbobby at Dec 26, 2015,
#3
i often use my mouth to start, i don't think i really need to explain that method. the trick is more about knowing how to translate your "weedly-wow" noises to notes. being able to identify target notes (e.g. points within a phrase where the direction changes) tells you where you need to go, and knowing scales helps you fill in the gaps.

if i don't have an idea in mind, i just loop the music, pick a scale, play the notes of the chord progression in multiple places of the neck, and improvise.
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#4
I wouldn't ever really think of it as "writing" solos. When I record a track, I often write multiple instrument parts the same way. Sometimes by programming, but also just looping. I loop a section staring from enough time ahead to get into section, and come out of it, or only section itself, and loop that and find what I want. Then choose that take and thats the solo.

But that's it. I don't plan it out in any way, or use theory to determine anything. I listen to the music, and it makes me feel like playing something back, just like in a conversation, someone talks to you, and you just automatically think something and reply.

What you can't really do as a beginner, is to think a line, and then just play it. That's what all the theory and practice is for, so that it is possible to play what you think, in the moment you're thinking it.

But I don't know how that happens, just like I don't know how I thought of this sentence, and nor do you know how you made this next thought you're having now. Things occur to us.
#5
I usualy just improvise.. I don't write parts for a solo I improvise 3 times to figure out wich notes I can use and then I improvise once more knowing where I can go and it usually stays that way.. memorizing leads is very boring and useless, Improvising makes a better solo.
So basically improvise a couple times to see where you can go and improvise until you are happy..
If you're not so good at improvising then record a couple of ideas that sound good and play them until you've memorized them and apply them
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#7
usually you have some kind of theme or idea for how the guitar solo will feel. like do you want something chaotic? something fast? maybe something that really flows?

once you've got that idea down, unless you plan on thoroughly writing out the solo, i would recommend, for the most amount of freedom and flexibility (especially if you plan on playing live), that you write specifically what you want for the opening and closing action of the solo, then leave room to improvise in the middle.
#8
There are 6 steps to create a solo writing in guitar that is to be followed:
1. improvise over the song to feel for the correct key and feel.
2.Determine which scale you want to use.
3.Start writing with big, small whole notes.
4.Incorporate other melodies from the song if you are lost.
5.Think of a solo as a brief story, building tension throughout.
6.keep improvising until you find something you like.

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#9
It is said that David Gilmour records several solos and then chooses certain (best) parts to form the final part. The thing is that he mostly plays the same solos, but I'm inclined mostly to the imporvisiation part, which here I will suggest also. I also agree with the above guys about finding the right key(s) and then improvise on that. This
#10
Quote by fingrpikingood
I listen to the music, and it makes me feel like playing something back, just like in a conversation, someone talks to you, and you just automatically think something and reply.

What you can't really do as a beginner, is to think a line, and then just play it. That's what all the theory and practice is for, so that it is possible to play what you think, in the moment you're thinking it.

But I don't know how that happens, just like I don't know how I thought of this sentence, and nor do you know how you made this next thought you're having now. Things occur to us.

This is true! I am 100% onboard with this advice. There are two things that I live by when it comes to writing:

1. Charlie Parker: "Learn the changes then forget them." When writing your solo, you have to pretty much toss everything you know out the window and let it come to you.

2. Michael Jackson was asked how he writes his songs one time, and he replied by basically saying that he really doesn't "write" his songs. It just comes to him.

Learning to let the music come to you is a skill that can't really be taught. You just have to let your mind and heart be receptive to great ideas that are trying to fight their way into your brain. Personally, the best music I ever wrote is this last album I've completed (though I still need to record the tracks). I would pray before I begin writing, and then close my eyes and think about what the song is about, and just let those emotions determine how the song is going to sound.

Though I haven't mastered this, it brought me massive results, and I wrote way better than I ever thought I could write.

Hope this helps you out!
#11
Quote by vIsIbleNoIsE
i often use my mouth to start, i don't think i really need to explain that method. the trick is more about knowing how to translate your "weedly-wow" noises to notes. being able to identify target notes (e.g. points within a phrase where the direction changes) tells you where you need to go, and knowing scales helps you fill in the gaps.

if i don't have an idea in mind, i just loop the music, pick a scale, play the notes of the chord progression in multiple places of the neck, and improvise.


Agreed. If you have it recorded, loop the portion you want to solo over and just improvise over it, with whatever instrument your most comfortable with. Record yourself if possible. Sooner or later you'll probably come up with some licks/expressions that you like and you can just sort of "copy and paste" them in the order you like. In a general sense, you can think of it like writing an essay in school and use the 3 part system: Introduction (attention grabbing), Main body (This is the meat and potatoes of the piece, generally speaking this is the climax of the piece, make it stand out from everything else), Conclusion: This can be the exclamation point at the end or something transitional to set up the next portion of the song, or both).
Other tips:
-Repeat previous portions of the song but with some kind of twist that distinguishes it
-Follow the chord progression, make up a little riff to play against each chord
-Use opposites. If the song is mostly lower notes, solo with higher notes. If the song has a fast tempo, do the opposite and use long drawn out notes ect.
#12
@HaroldWalla
I like your systematic approach. All too often I find I'm going at it chaotically. Sometimes that works amazing results if a melody just pours through me, but more often I'm like, "ummmm..." lol, and even with an inspired motif it's still going to need structuring.
Thanks
Last edited by leecloudpitt at May 5, 2016,
#13
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