I'd say I'm a fairly intermediate player....I'm kinda in that weird spot between beginer and Intermediate. Anyways, I like heavy metal, classic rock, and things of that nature and thus I've always enjoyed a good guitar solo. So far my efforts to learn one though haven't turned out very well. Here is my list of "solos" I know

Smells Like Teen Spirit
Wish you Were Here Opening Solo
Sweet Dreams solo.

Here are some songs I know minus the solos

Sunshine of you Love
Simple Man
Mother By Danzig
The rest of the Wish you Were Here solos (I don't really want to tune my guitar to Open G just to play them)
Fear of the Dark by Iron Maiden
And a couple of other songs that I can't think of at the moment.

Not exactly an impressive collection. So I'd like to learn some solos, so I ask you all here at UG....How do you go about learning solos? What is it that you do? I'd really like to know, I hear people talking about how the Master of Puppets solos are easy as pie and all of that sorta stuff. And I'd also like to know about how long it generally takes you to learn a solo. I know it depends on how hard the solo is, but lets just say an average middle of the road solo...not too fast, not too slow, no weird techniques.

Also, I know my major scales and I can improvise...eh...decently well. IT doesn't sound super great or anything but I can do it.
you shouold learn the solo in another brick in the wall.
it seems like a big step, but after a learn the whole thing of smells like teen spirit, i learned that.it took me about 6 half hour guitar lessons and practicing everyday. If you dont take lessons i don't know how you would go about learning it by ear..l.
Last edited by BreakingTheGirl at Jul 7, 2006,
I'd say you need to get a book chock full of scales and stuff; that way you'll get to understand how solos work more. You said you know your major scales; that's good, but here are some other ones you should learn:
Blues scale
Minor/Major pentatonics
Melodic/Harmonic minors
The more scales you know, the easier it'll become to improvise
Of course, learning other solos is great practice too. Once you know the blues scale, most of Black Sabbath's stuff will be a piece of cake for you. Pretty much anything from their first two albums (Black Sabbath & Paranoid) are all great beginner songs; plus they're two awesomely rockin' albums!
Plenty of Metallica should come easy to you as well. For instance, Fade to Black; especially the opening solo. If you have the Black Album, I suggest learning as many songs from that as you can.
And as long as you're learning Maiden (by the way, !), here are some Maiden songs that I found "easier" when I was at your level:
Aces High (w/solo)
To Tame a Land (w/solo) (ridiculous finger practice, but not too difficult once you get it down)
Anything off the Number of the Beast album (minus pretty much every solo)
Die With Your Boots On (maybe w/solo)
Still Life (maybe w/solo)
Also, one of the most rocking and easiest solos to do would be the solo to "Get Your Hands Off My Woman" by The Darkness; it sounds hard, but it's basically a bunch of pulloffs and unison bends. It's pretty easy, and it sounds ridiculous if you can nail it.
Well, that's all I can really think of right now. Good luck with your guitar playing, and keep on rockin'!
I don't take lessons... I learned the solo in Smells Like Teen Spirit in a day or so... it isn't that hard... solos are hard though...well most of them.. keep trying and practice a lot... like... I play about 7 hours a day because I have no life at all... it's all good keep trying.
do you know how to slow down the speed of songs on windows media player???? if you slow down the speed you can listen to the notes and it will help you with timing.....and you can work up to speed.
We're Not Gonna Take It has a simple solo. I'm not very good at solos but I was able to learn it in five minutes
more scales the better.. but it requires practice.. So practice makes pefect :p
Listen to the solo enough times so you can get a feel for it. Start playing along with the solo in powertab/guitar pro, and again, try to get a general feel for playing it. Go away and practice sections that you find are too difficult technically, break the solo down.

With enough practice, you'll be able to speed each part of your playing up, playing the solo in time, perfectly.
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try to atleast learn your pentatonic scales and their patterns. A lot of the classic rock artist molested the pentatonic scales in their solo's. Knowing them will allow you to atleast play key parts of the solo and then allow you to throw your own touch into it. You will notice if you watch a lot of your favorite artists they don't always play their solo's the same way, but they still give it that touch in spots thats lets you recognize it.

The easiest way to play them exact would be to just take it step by step. Try to cut parts of the solo into sections or bars and learn it one bar at a time, then just put the pieces together.

I would recommend trying a few of these as they can help those stuck in the between skill levels like yourself.

Iron Man Black Sabbath(might sound out of your reach but if you look at the solo you will see it is very repetitive, break it up into parts and you will nail it fast)

Paranoid Black Sabbath( fairly slow solo with some moderately fast quick phasings here and there, but once again it's easily doable at that level)

Talk Dirty to Me Poison(song it'self might have some lead phasings that trip you up until you get the timing down, but the solo for this is slow and easy with a good feel to it)

Were an American Band Grand Funk Railroad (intro sounds trickier than it really is. Solo starts off slow then has a fast part in it, but it's just a pentatonic phase that repeats a lot then gets slow for the end again.)

Cat Scratch Fever Ted Nugent
(fun song to play,especially in a rock band as crowds dig this song and the first solo is fairly easy, mostly a lot of bending toward the end. The second solo is a one string bend fest for the first few bars then various pentatonic licks throughout till outro of the song. I tend to have fun with this one and improvise on this song as I've met Ted before and he says he puts a different feel on it each time live.)

If you feel like getting a little bluesy try the classic crowd pleaser Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry( Little intro solo is easy to get when you get the feel for the rythem of it. The song itself is just your basic 12 bar blues rythem. The solo is another fun penta jam fest and will prove not only easy, but fun too.)

Sweet Child of Mine Guns N' Roses( If you can get the song down you can get the solo's. Solo is one is solo and melodic requiring very little speed to master. solo 2 might trip you up at bit toward the last few measures as it does increase in speed, but again it's not as bad as it looks if you really break it down into bite size chunks. the outro solo at the end is once again pretty easy as you get some bending fun in there to finish out the song.)

It's a long way to the top AC/DC
(overall you should be able to nail the solo in this one, the song itself is extremely repetitive as most AC/DC songs are. the solo is fairly slow with some moderately fast phasing in middle/end part, but once again examine how it's done and get a pattern down for it and you will have no problems)

EDIT: Since your already working on a cream/clapton tune how about

Cocaine Eric Clapton (Song as a whole is very basic in structure and easy to get down to a science. The solo is slow and bluesy with some bends a few hammer ons and pulls off in it. Toward the end it has a slightly speedy run, but also easily do able.) figured I would toss that one out there for ya to check out too.

Thats about all I can think of right now, but hopefully that will give you a couple of ideas to add to the list the others have already made
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Last edited by SinisterLefty at Jul 8, 2006,
I agree with sinisterlefty on Paranoid, It's a Long Way to the Top and Johnny B Goode. Can't think of any others to add at the moment.
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When im trying to learn a solo i like to break it down into smaller parts and then just practice each part over and over. Use a metronome and start out slow then work up to speed.
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Yeah Paranoid is a good easy metal solo, try the opening solos to Welcome Home and Fade To Black by Metallica as well
Thanks for the advice everyone, I really appreciate it. I do know my pentatonic sclaes though, sorry, I forgot to mention that. But I'll take everyone's advice in mind. Thanks for the ideas of songs to work on.
what I would do is listen to my a song that I like over and over again ( the solo anyways) and just play around till you find certain notes that fit the song and keep playing around till I find it out a definite 10-20 min max learn... thats how I learned the solo for A7X "Chapter 4" even the hardest solos are easier when you play around and find notes and go off of it.
before you try tabbing the solos for yourself. try using the tabs at UG and learning the solos for songs that people have put up for you to look at.

and start off with easy solos dont be like my friend who picked up a guitar and tried learning crazy train the first day.

take easy solos and try to play them slow. and once you learn them thats when you start playing faster and faster untill you have the speed right.

and once you are considered by others as a excellent guitarist move on the the harder stuff.

ive been working on decoding a solo for a year and a half now. its for cult of personality it is by far one of the hardest solos anyone will ever play. and ive been playing for 12 years. i didnt start leaning solos unitll i had been playing the guitar for 2 years. so just dont rush into them take it slow and they will eventually come natually to you.