#1
I'm a self taught guitarist of about 4 years and is wondering if anyone can give me some tips on improving on solos. I am able to play quite well to a slower backing track but when I play a track with a higher tempo I'm not sure how to progress into a solo. Any tips will be greatly appreciated
#2
33cerberus03 
What is your methodology for improvising now?
How do you decide what to play?
What kind of knowledge is involved?
What kind of music?
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
#3
It's important to approach playing the guitar with the right mindset. It's a conduit for your ideas, not a machine where you put x in one end to get y out the other.

So, if you want to play fast music first thing you need is some fast music in your head - you need to be able to "think" in terms of faster music. You need to know what you're trying to achieve before you move your fingers.

If you are doing then great, that's all you need...now pick up your guitar and figure out how to play what you've thought up.

If not then this isn't an issue with your guitar playing at all but purely a creative one. You can't play if you don't actually know what it is you want to play, you need to ask yourself what sounds to you want to hear coming out of your guitar.

If your struggling then you maybe need to listen to some of your favourite solos for inspiration. Study then, learn them and try and pin down why the faster bits are there, how they work musically, how they contrast with any slower bits. If you can find a YouTube video of them talking about it even better, as long as they're giving some musical insight as opposed to just telling you where to put your fingers.
Actually called Mark!

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#4
A couple of tips if your serious about improving:

1) rhythm mastery  with a metronome - this is not a "speed" exercise at all - take a scale pattern ( any pattern) and do as follows: put your metronome ( or app) at 80bpm or slower and play a two octave pattern ( up and back) in "whole notes".  Then, without stopping switch to "half notes" when you restart the pattern.  Then switch to "quarter notes " , then "eight notes", then "triplets", then "sixteenth notes". Set the metronome slow enough to be able to do all of them.  This exercise works wonders on your brain because you will interiorise the different feels and it will allow you more flexibility when improvising, allow you to conjure up each one or switch mid-line in a solo.  I can't stress this exercise enough - it will transform your playing over time.  Solos aren't just about notes, they're about rhythms and this is a great way to get the basics under your belt.

2)  learn actual solos at the tempo you are having trouble with - find a song that is similar and learn a few lines.  It will give you a musical example of what works and how to approach it.  Then play around with those ideas and make them your own. 


              
Last edited by reverb66 at May 10, 2017,
#5
Some ideas from me, who also struggles with faster tempos:

- start and repeat solid rhytmic motive - adjusting to the harmony changes - 3 to 5 notes max
- rework and develop the motive - a little bit longer phrases
- play over the bar line
- when you are at your tempo limit - use some polyrhytmic figures - triplets on 4 or tuplets on 3 - it really spices up the solo without having to play too many notes 

Some video examples on my 50 Shades channel
#7
PlusPaul I really don't have a methodology to completely honest. I don't know where to exactly to start. I know the minor and major pentatonic scales while also knowing a blues minor scale. And I prefer to play the blues but I really want to expand my abilities to different genres and expand skill set.
#8
Tell stories with your solos that engage your audience.  The best blues guitarists do this and everyone loves a great story.  Learning solos by BB King, Clapton, SRV, John Mayer, and Robben Ford will help you to understand how they are crafted.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at May 11, 2017,
#9
Quote by 33cerberus03
PlusPaul I really don't have a methodology to completely honest. I don't know where to exactly to start. I know the minor and major pentatonic scales while also knowing a blues minor scale. And I prefer to play the blues but I really want to expand my abilities to different genres and expand skill set.

Well, if you are interested in exploring the blues, here is your methodology; 20 minutes of fine blues playing by Duke Robillard, playing through the various styles of blues history... lots of closeups on the hands, all music, no talk... keep an eye on the screen and it will show the name of the blues player he is playing like as he shifts styles through them. If you listen to this every day I think you will definitely expand your interests and abilities...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=fl0l0mBmGDk
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.