#1
Hello guys.
I realised that when I play solo I'm going just up and down the scale with some cheesy bends. It has been worse some time ago, but I still think that my solos actually suck. Please can you suggest me some solos (best in E standart) where I can get some ideas and learn good melodic alternate picking licks. I'm intermediate player.
Thank you
#2
Quote by jozef2451
Hello guys.
I realised that when I play solo I'm going just up and down the scale with some cheesy bends. It has been worse some time ago, but I still think that my solos actually suck. Please can you suggest me some solos (best in E standart) where I can get some ideas and learn good melodic alternate picking licks. I'm intermediate player.
Thank you


It sounds to me like you just need to learn melody in general.

That doesn't really happen by focusing on specific solos in a particular key (E or otherwise). Rather it comes from listening to good music and understanding what makes a good melody line.

I'd advise listening to vocalists and some of the more melodic guitar players out there. Try listening to guys like Satriani or Eric Johnson or Clapton.

Those guys can all shred, but they're highly melodic.

I'd also advise looking at some of the music theory involved with melody. Hope that helps!
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#3
Look up some of the slower tunes by Andy James. Very melodic metal player (even his lightning speed licks are very melodic and not just finger excercise). Also study chord tones, how to anticipate and target them.

A huge chunk of what constitute "melodic" to our ears is the relationship between melody and chords. You can take the most melodic melody out there and slap it over some unrelated chord progressions and suddenly it won't sound so melodic. So look into chord tones and how to outline them in your solo.

After you are well acquainted with that, start to "step out" of the chord by looking into targeting chord extension in a rock/metal context (because if you type in "chord extensions for guitar" you end up with a lot of information on jazz).
#4
I'd reccomend metallica's solos. In their slower songs they are HIGHLY melodic and are simple to play. Try Fade to black, Nothing Else Matters, Sanitarium to start.
#5
Quote by Davetran
I'd reccomend metallica's solos. In their slower songs they are HIGHLY melodic and are simple to play. Try Fade to black, Nothing Else Matters, Sanitarium to start.


Those are great recommendations. i would add that Iron Maiden solos are also a goldmine for beginner solos. Powerslave, Ryme of the Ancient Mariner etc. The lead parts in Hallowed be Thy Name, Trooper etc.
#6
If you want to learn about melodic playing... start learning some melodies!

A lot of metal soloing really is just a firehose of notes. I would ignore that kind of stuff until you've got the technique to approach shredding.

Start with the melodies that make up the verses and choruses. Guitar or vocal melodies, they all get the point across. I'm not a metal guy, but I'm sure you know what you enjoy, so pick some relatively slow melodies and start working them out. Slower, more melodic stuff is where you should build your foundation, in terms of both technique and melodicism. A good melody is a good melody, regardless of the tempo.
#8
Check out some early Larry Carlton (e.g. on "Room 335" album).

Also, try ear training ... see if you can sing the intervals 1,2,3 and 5 from a note of your choice (i.e. at 0, 2, 4 and 7 semitones above that choice). Practice this a LOT ... driving, gym, walking ...

Once you can do this reasonably successfully (hasn't got to be perfectly in tune), add in the b3 (3 semitones), and the 4 (5 semitones). Challenge yourself ... "I'm going sing (even in my head) 1, then 3, then 2, then ..." etc.

Always start on 1 and end on 1, as you're developing this.

Move it from an exercise in getting the notes correct, to adding different durations for emphasis on some of these notes. At this point, melodies will develop.

Do the above away from the guitar.

The above intervals are present is pretty much all the scale types used for rock etc.

Once you have a melodic idea, you can then develop it by keeping the note durations pretty much the same, but maybe change a note of two. Or keep the notes the same, but change the durations. Mix it up.

Most importantly, as you're learning, keep the number of notes used down to a few, and experiment as above. Of course, in between, you can go charging off with fast runs etc. It's al light and shade. But this will help break you out of just scalar, fast playing.

Listen how other players that strike you as melodic are doing the above.

Bit later, learn about tone tendencies. That will also help. You know these, you know how to abuse them, and how to employ them.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Mar 26, 2016,
#9
A lot of people here have suggested some very good listening (and please do go and listen; it will help!) but I'm going to suggest something very different:

Just think. Stop simply playing whatever your fingers want, and think about the notes you're producing and the sound you want to make. A large part of the problem here is that you're not actually thinking enough about what you're playing to be able to choose to play solid melodic lines.

Listen to the backing, think about your own playing, and think about what noises you want to come out of the guitar. Think about how to make them before you make them.

It's a long, difficult process, but if you can get yourself to really think about what you're doing then you'll be in an infinitely better place to make good noise.
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Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Mar 31, 2016,
#10
There's quite a bit that goes into good improvising. There's understanding how the notes in the scale relate to the notes in the chords, how the melodic rhythm relates to the rhythm section. Then there are aspects of phrasing, expression, and style to consider.

The above suggestions are great. I would also add a couple of things.

1. Listening to music outside of your preferred genre.

2. Believe it or not, learning to read music. This will give you a visual representation of how phrases and melodies are created. Hal Leonard Book 1 is a very simple method that you can use to teach yourself. There are plenty of others though.

3. As you learn new licks and phrases, learn how to make them your own. Click here for a free download of a sheet on motivic development that I created for my students. It outlines just a few ways you can spin a lick around to generate new ideas. These new ideas can become part of your trick bag that you can use at any time.

It's important to remember that all of the best players in any genre rarely "just play." They've worked out many licks over many years and they consciously choose which lick to play in each moment.

Improvising music is exactly like having a conversation. When we speak with someone, we're not reading off a script. We're quickly accessing our mental vocabulary and grammar databases to create sentences that make sense in the context of the conversation. So it is with music. In order to improvise well, we must have a suitable vocabulary and grammar to pull from.

Hope that helps.

Good luck!
#11
Kevin's advice is great.

I also recommend getting the guitarist reference app (ios) or similar and recording chord progressions, then for eqch chord in the progression, with the app lookup arpeggios and scales. Link them as you play to the chord progression changes. Having to switch to follow chords will help you break out of the single-scale mode and help you find more relationships between the notes
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#12
Quote by jozef2451
Hello guys.
I realised that when I play solo I'm going just up and down the scale with some cheesy bends. It has been worse some time ago, but I still think that my solos actually suck.


hey Jozef,
one thing I got stuck on with guitar solos is the pentatonic minor. It may be worth trying different modes or scales based on the key your rhythm is in...don't get me wrong I LOVE ACDC as much as the next guy, and I still thrash our pentatonic solos to back in black, but variety is what it sounds like you may be lacking. Some examples are Hendrix who did solos in myxolydian mode, Metallica do some in locrian mode and many in aeolian, Randy Rhoads soloed a lot in diminished scales interspersed with pentatonic, and Marty Freidman sometimes used double harmonic scale with Megadeth.

another thing that is cool is mixing scales in the SAME solo, for example ie) check out Steal Away the Night - Randy Rhoads switches between diminished and pentatonic in the same solo. Also Metallica's Harvester of Sorrow - Kirk goes from a traditional pentatonic scale to a dorian mode in the solo there.

some examples:
in major keys - myxolydian (b7), lydian (#4)
in minor keys - dorian (b3, b7), harmonic minor (b3, b6)

hope this helps