...is it as important to be able to play along with it as is on the actual song it's from, just as learning the rhythm parts to a song you like? I only know a few Metallica solos from their slower songs, the 1st solos in One and Sanitarium, and I know some of the first Fade to Black solo. Is it more important to understand the solo and analyze from a technical/theoretical point of view?
Originally Posted by SkyValley
yeah im a virgin but im also pretty good at things like ping-pong and drawing pictures of people playing water polo so it balances out
all of what you asked is very important (however i'm too tired to explain...)
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write your own songs, so you don't have that problem

nah, in all honesty it depends on your point of view as a guitarist. some people like to just be able to play it well and full speed, and dont learn the whole theory behind it like me, or some people do. personally, i dont, and i still can play solos fine, but i know that the other guitarist in my band does.
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When I want to learn a specific solo, i usually break it down into repeating licks vs. 'connecting' licks i.e. scales or whatever. then I learn each lick in sequence, put them together, bibitty bobitty boo. In the long run, no one will care if you can name what key or mode something is in, people care that you can play something baller. good example: brendon smalls. doesn't know a whole lot of theory, but he can shred righteously.
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learning solos is dumb. improvise. make your own.
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Quote by cashewchaching
learning solos is dumb. improvise. make your own.

You can't make your own unless you have an idea of what you're doing. It is important to be able to improvise, but there's nothing wrong with learning the solos of others to get an idea for yourself.
I'd say both. First, learn the solo at full speed, then slow it down and figure out why it sounds good. It'll help you learn to write your own solos far better if you can both do the techniques at full speed and understand why you need to do them on those particular frets during that particular rythem.

Basicly, the more you can learn the better, but don't sacrifice speed for the sake of theory, and vice versa. (if that makes sense)
I slow it down in Guitar Pro or just look at one section of tab at a time and playing them until I can play it well enough then move on playing the previously learned part with it...Then I practice the whole thing a few times for timing and such....I usually will learn a solo but not note for note, just a rough version that I improv off of....
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Its like listenning to a cover song some bands just do an exact copy of the song and others make it completely different ( ie Nazareth's version of "This Flight Tonight" is completely different from the original Joni Mitchell version which is a folk song.
The same applies to solos it is all in your personal preference. Myself I try to get it close to the original but I don,t worry about getting it note for note as long as it fits the song I am happy with it.There are others who think it is blasphemy to alter a solo in any way and will actually get angry about it.
If you want it to be exact then by all means do so and take the advice of the above posts and learn the theory behind it aswell.
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The most important thing when learning a solo is to learn it over the backing if possible. It helps you learn how to play in time and it also allows you to hear how the notes interact with the underlying chords.

Learning the solo "properly" also means that you can experiment with it and see how you can change it.
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first learn the solo and learn how to play it as fast as the song and exactly as they do it in the song. it'll make you appreciate and learn about all the subtle things the musicians do in their songs that slightly tweak the sound of their solos. (ie a certain hold on a note for just a bit longer than most would). Then after you've got it down completely and fluidly so u can do it exactly as the song with your eyes closed. start looking for patterns in the solo and in the song. try and see what scales and modal keys the use. when you've figured that out with several solos and songs it becomes way easier to improv a solo to a song that one of ur friends is making just by seeing what notes he's playing (or if you've got a real good ear, by hearing them). Also try and notice what techniques they use in the song and where they use them to create what desired effect (ie certain extended bends tend to make the solo be more sad and slow-paced --almost mourning--, while fast paced high pitched bends and hammer ons provide a sense of excitement although they must be used sparingly).

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