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#1
I was wondering if anyone could help me when it comes to writing guitar solos. I have a lot of trouble since it is hard for me to make a solo to be melodic and really work, rather than one that just sounds like I am running scales. Is there a good starting point and a guide to follow?
#2
instead of playing all notes in order (C, D, E etc) mix it up a bit, try listening to fingerlickin' metal on my profile i tried to do a lot of pentatonic string skipping.

also learn to love vibrato, when ever you stop on a note give it vibrato. also try other things (hammer-ons, pull-offs, tapping, bends etc).
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#3
I got the same problem as you.
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#4
try learning some solos in certain scales and base it off of that until it clicks
#5
You guys should check out Scott Henderson's Melodic Phrasing video. I think it would help you a lot.
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#6
again my post, also i just thought of something, look up the video melodic soloing by marty friedman, great reference.
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Pffffffft schematics


Although i guess the OP will have to get used to reading them if he's going to buy a bugera..
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#7
Quote by puremetalhead
I was wondering if anyone could help me when it comes to writing guitar solos. I have a lot of trouble since it is hard for me to make a solo to be melodic and really work, rather than one that just sounds like I am running scales. Is there a good starting point and a guide to follow?



learn solos
learn licks
learn melodies

memorize and be able to mimic the original as closely as possible.

If your practicing alot of scales, you want to shift your focus over to music. Don't abandon scale practice, just balance it with a healthy dose of music.
shred is gaudy music
#8
Quote by aradine
instead of playing all notes in order (C, D, E etc) mix it up a bit, try listening to fingerlickin' metal on my profile i tried to do a lot of pentatonic string skipping.

also learn to love vibrato, when ever you stop on a note give it vibrato. also try other things (hammer-ons, pull-offs, tapping, bends etc).

this.
plus know that repeating account for a lot of ur average guitarist's solos, so try 2 make some repeating licks out of ur scales
also, learn all the positions for the keys of the scale and feel comfortable with them. this way u can move around the fretboard a lot and it'll feel less like running scales cuz u'll know wich notes 2 go 2 on the whole fretboard and it'll still sound good
#10
Learn licks and patterns by your favorite guitarists. Learn their solo's and try to incorporate their style and licks into your playing.
#11
Thanks Aradine! Marty Friedman is the ****! I will check that video out, and also thank you for the tips!
#12
There are a number of things that you can do to avoid this. You can trill between notes, pull off to open strings, use arpeggios, and a number of other things. You just have to mix it up a little bit. Don't just use one technique for an entire guitar solo. If you listen to and really look at a good guitar solo, the guitar player doesn't (or atleast I've never heard) just use straight legato lines for an entire solo, nor does he just sweep nothing but arpeggios for an entire solo, be it straight sixteenth notes or eighth notes or whatever.

You've gotta have breaks in you solos. Sometimes sustaining one note can make you sound like a complete ****in' genious, and can have a much greater effect on someone than just playing a bunch of really fast lines. It's all about dynamics.

Hope it helps!
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#13
Quote by Page&HammettFan

You've gotta have breaks in you solos. Sometimes sustaining one note can make you sound like a complete ****in' genious, and can have a much greater effect on someone than just playing a bunch of really fast lines. It's all about dynamics.

Hope it helps!


i agree. having breaks in ur solos really creates a lot of feel, as do certain techniques, altering speed, etc. Also, this is wat u want 2 mimic when copying an guitarist is his feel; if u copy his techniques only then u fail cuz ur a copycat
#15
Quote by prsrulz91
this is wat u want 2 mimic when copying an guitarist is his feel; if u copy his techniques only then u fail cuz ur a copycat


Copying is part of learning, its nothing to look down upon. I agree about copying the feel though, but get what you can get out of it. Don't worry about being a "copycat".
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jun 9, 2008,
#16
alot of great artists have copied along the lines, jimi hendrix stole all along the watchtower, and voodoo chile was a jam with him and a few blues guys.

bob dylan stole songs and credited the work as his own.

slash stole chuck berry licks, joe perry licks, you name it (if it's from a a blues rock artist) he took it.

van halen got the idea for tapping from some guy.

you get the idea. your own style of playing comes from you taking your favourite artists style, and changing it to make it easier/better suit you.
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#17
There's an interview that I just saw with Eric Johnson pretty recently where he talks about copying other people's style, and his opinion is that of many great guitarists. You copy someone, possibly even note for note, for a long time, and then you find someone else who just really inspires you and you really love, and you it again. And so many times you'll just repeat that process, and each time you'll grab something new to add to your playing. That's why I think it's so important to just listen to as many different styles as possible, and play as many as possible as well. You can really branch out stylistically, and there is ALWAYS something that you can take from another style, regardless of what you play.
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#18
pretty much all of the advice given here involves using some sort of technique that involves your own judgement and "feeling", which is something that you can't really teach. you gotta learn it on your own throuhg practice. as cheesy as it sounds, you have to learn to feel the piece of music that you will solo over. think about the mood of the song, it's rhythm, tempo, it's dynamics. try to play notes out of the scales you know that will fit in with the song.

don't just try and play scales up and down, try and hear the melody in your head, and play it on the guitar. it takes a lot of practice i think. using vibrato as mentioned before helps. and sometimes just hitting long notes and huge bends really helps too.
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#19
Keep in mind, having good vibrato and really long bends helps, but it eventually gets very dull. You can't just bend a note for three measures, and then pick another one to bend for the same amount of time. You've gotta vary your techniques, otherwise it'll all just sound stale.

Here's something that you should really keep in mind; you'll develop feeling with music in time. It just happens. It's a part of your style. That's how it is for me, anyway. But your style is going to be different from someone else's style, and you're going to approach something completely differently from someone else (be it a pianist, a violinist, a sax player, etc).

Another thing you can try doing that Eric Johnson recommends is learn how to play licks from other instruments. Don't just listen to how guitarists play leads. Maybe learn some trumpet licks maybe. What you take from doing that very well may shock you.
Got Death Magnetic a day early!

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#20
Quote by puremetalhead
I was wondering if anyone could help me when it comes to writing guitar solos. I have a lot of trouble since it is hard for me to make a solo to be melodic and really work, rather than one that just sounds like I am running scales. Is there a good starting point and a guide to follow?
Okay, please dont get offended by what I'm about to say, its just my suggestions....

I think you should take it back a step. If I said you were playing major/minor scales (instead of pentatonics) would I be right? Well take a step back and start playing the simple pentatonic scales.

Once you've learnt a few shapes (2 or 3 is fine), you probably should try to focus on what you feel is the right next note and play REALLY slow. If I said you listen to metal/shred would I be right? Listen to some blues instead. Try to become proficient at moving around the fretboard and between shapes.
Copying a singers phrasing and rhthym is generally a good idea to learn how to improvise. And I dont mean metal singers/screamers, who sing really fast. Copy something slow. This is how people started writing those slow blues solo's.


Doing this will get your phrasing (by copying those singers) and your technique (by moving between shapes) ready for doing some real solo's (as in, stuff that sounds good).


Than after you've got all that down and you're good enough to say that you personally enjoy what you're playing (it took me a couple of years to enjoy my pentatonic wankery), you'll be ready to move on. Than study the major scale, the intervals behind it, the way these intervals create harmonic/melodic consonance and dissonance and watch melodic control. Pretty much look for and study as much theory as you can eat.
At this stage you should start realising that the same note can sound better or worse over different chords and some notes sound better or worse when followed (or preceeded) by some notes. Exploiting this will enable you to control what you're solo's are going to feel like, instead of blindly looking for the right note.


Lastly, dont ever JUST learn licks. Sure licks are great when you have a lapse in creativity, but a whole solo made entirely of licks will give you no freedom in what you want it to feel like. And try to write your own licks, I'd like to see some originality in music. Theres a reason why I hate clapton, slash, hammet and page.
#21
If you haven't really learned scales properly but have focussed on patterns, when you sit there with your guitar and start playing your hands are just going to fall into scale patterns. You're not going to have the experience or knowledge to improvise a blazing solo yet so work out what you're going to play first but do it away from the guitar.

You know your own technical abilities so don't go thinking up stuff you can't play. Just work out a nice, melodic solo in your head. Once you've got the sound you want in your head then you can start working out how to play it on the guitar.
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#22
Quote by steven seagull
If you haven't really learned scales properly but have focussed on patterns, when you sit there with your guitar and start playing your hands are just going to fall into scale patterns. You're not going to have the experience or knowledge to improvise a blazing solo yet so work out what you're going to play first but do it away from the guitar.
No-one who first starts to improvise wants to learn theory first (oh the hard long boring theory) and than the blazing solo's. They want to learn how to do the blazing solo's and than the theory, which is what I suggested. I only suggested patterns because its a great way to learn how to phrase and how your technique should be for improvising.
Quote by steven seagull
You know your own technical abilities so don't go thinking up stuff you can't play. Just work out a nice, melodic solo in your head. Once you've got the sound you want in your head then you can start working out how to play it on the guitar.
Thats great for composing sweet and simple melodies.
What about for improvising? In an improvising situation you dont have the time to look for the right note, thus why I suggested shapes.
#23
Also try using the whole fretboard. I know this sounds hard, it is. Just write down all the notes on the fretboard (Not your actual fretboard, use paper) and play in a key, but try to cover every note on the fretboard in that key and just keep practicing using that same key and the whole fretboard and once you think you can pull of an awesome improvisation using the whole of ( if not most of ) the fretboard then move onto another key, but keep practicing the same key aswell.

Don't be afraid to do massive jumps from one side of the fretboard to another it sounds really cool, but keep it in key. Don't be afraid do go out of key with one or two notes if you think it sounds cool though.

Another good tip is to keep a exercise book and a pen handy and just write down ( tab ) anything you think sounds cool , writing down what key it is in will be handy if you come back to it . Also writing down your ideas is a good way to improve e.g I want to make an epic solo that using only really high notes in this key. Well those are goals really XD!!

I hope my post helped anyone .

P.S.
Don't forget that you can play the same note repetitively and it sounds really awesome e.g
|-3-3---------3----------------------3--5--6---|
Remember music isn't just about playing ultra fast, you don't have to play fast to be labeled skilled, just make it sound cool. Maybe when you get better then play fast but keep it sounding cool E.G. Dragonforce.
#24
One good way to start is ear training. Take the scale and play it in different intervals. 3rds, 4ths, 5ths, 6ths etc.

For example, in thirds you would play the notes in this order 1 - 3 - 2 -4 - 3 - 5 - 4- 6 and so on.

It helps train your ear to the intervals, to get the idea of what each movement will sound like. Secondly, spend some time listening and learning the solos of your favourite musicians. You don't even have to learn the whole solo, pick a few licks that you really enjoy and learn them, this will give you an idea in your head of how to recreate that sound when you want it.


When you finally get to the level where improvising becomes easy, then start moving into a different vocabulary, try to move away from the 'licks' and more into creating lines with the sounds you know. I know alot of players prefer to stay away from theory but I highly suggest learning as much as you can, as sometimes when I get stuck or uninspired I can rest on what I know will be theoretically correct and move from there into outside territory.
#25
Quote by demonofthenight
No-one who first starts to improvise wants to learn theory first (oh the hard long boring theory) and than the blazing solo's. They want to learn how to do the blazing solo's and than the theory, which is what I suggested. I only suggested patterns because its a great way to learn how to phrase and how your technique should be for improvising.Thats great for composing sweet and simple melodies.
What about for improvising? In an improvising situation you dont have the time to look for the right note, thus why I suggested shapes.

I never said not to use patterns, I just explained why everything sounds the same. If you've only learned patterns then your fingers will follow them - therefore if you want to be a bit more creative you have to do something to stop that happening. The long term solution is obviously to learn theory, the quick way is to just step away from the guitar and play with sounds in your head. It's not just for simple melodies, I can construct horrendously complex solos in my head (that I'm completely incapable of playing )

Improvising is a skill you need to develop, experienced players know the fretboard well enough to know what sounds are going to come out. There's still an element of composition, it just happens very quickly. If you're not at that level then you need to start developing those skills - if you cant craft a simple solo you're not going to be able to construct a complex one. Putting the guitar down is a great way to get yourself thinking musically as opposed to physically. You don't need to know theory to think up a melody in your head, granted some scale knowledge might help you locate those sounds on the guitar but it's not essential this early on.
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#26
"I was wondering if anyone could help me when it comes to writing guitar solos. I have a lot of trouble since it is hard for me to make a solo to be melodic and really work, rather than one that just sounds like I am running scales. Is there a good starting point and a guide to follow?"

Listen to music which isnpires you .
ask yourself what you like about it .
try to notate those ideas in any way you know how .
play what you have written .
try and understand the social context where ther music you are playing comes from and then try to empathise with it .
just some food 4 thought 4 u !
#27
mix it up and try and make it more intersting.

1. experiment with large intervals. try purposefully making a huge mistake and then try to incorporate it. just relax and screw around.

2. use intersting techniques like legato, bends and harmonics.

3. use a variety of note lengths. this is a very important one. learn what affect chaging a note length has. a succcesion of fast notes build up tension and can be effective building up to a long note which will sound more powerful for it. experiment with tremolo picking aswell.

4. listen to an artist who you reallly like and try to pick apart exactly what they do and WHY.

5. if u get stuck. dont bother. come back later. i find you cant force creativity.

hope that helped although i know its easier said than done i have similar problems myself =s
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#28
Stop playing scales and start playing melodies.


It's extremely simple but bloody difficult.
#29
What is it people actually DO when "practicing scales"? I'm curious.

The advice here has been good as there's lots of roads that can get you where
you want to go. But, I have to think, the WAY people practice scales must be
pretty ineffective if all you end up getting out of it is "my solos sound like scales".
I'd say upwards of 90% of what I play is a direct result of scale practice, not to
mention generating lots of new ideas and ways to play around with scales as I'm
playing. There's a wealth of musical ideas that are buried inside scales, and they
aren't that difficult to extract out and practice. If you're just practicing them like
an exercise 1.2.3.4.5.6.7.8.7.6.5.4.3.2.1 all the time, you're really
missing out on a lot of other things they offer.
#30
Quote by demonofthenight
Sure licks are great when you have a lapse in creativity.

Licks are not a device to make up for lack of creativity. They are musical ideas, and worth focusing on.

Quote by demonofthenight
And try to write your own licks, I'd like to see some originality in music. Theres a reason why I hate clapton, slash, hammet and page.


You had some good ideas in your post, and the idea to try and write your own licks is good, but I don't get why you think you are somehow more original than Clapton or Page.
Something you should understand is that when you learn existing licks, or any musical idea, it gives you something to work with as you develop your own.
Quote by Nick_
Stop playing scales and start playing melodies.


It's extremely simple but bloody difficult.


+1
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jun 9, 2008,
#31
Quote by GuitarMunky
Licks are not a device to make up for lack of creativity. They are musical ideas, and worth focusing on.
You had some good ideas in your post, and the idea to try and write your own licks is good, but I don't get why you think you are somehow more original than Clapton or Page.
Something you should understand is that when you learn existing licks, or any musical idea, it gives you something to work with as you develop your own.
If your solo contains JUST licks written by other artist's, than thats not being original. Originality is creating something of your own, if your just compiling a whole lot of licks that you think sound good into one solo, well how much originality is in that?

Yes you can write licks that are inspired from other licks, but thats the same as writing your own licks.

Quote by GuitarMunky
but I don't get why you think you are somehow more original than Clapton or Page.
#32
^
There's nothing wrong with playing other people's licks in your solos if you're combining them with your own. You can hear a Jimmy Page influence on Jasin Todd on a couple of Shinedown solos, but it's not like you're listening to Jimmy Page. The idea is to take a lot of your influences, and add your own ideas to theirs. That's how you develop your own style.
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#33
Quote by demonofthenight
If your solo contains JUST licks written by other artist's, than thats not being original. Originality is creating something of your own, if your just compiling a whole lot of licks that you think sound good into one solo, well how much originality is in that?

Yes you can write licks that are inspired from other licks, but thats the same as writing your own licks.



Who said anything about playing a solo with just other peoples licks? You learn licks for the same reasons you learn any piece of music. For inspiration, for education, and most importantly ( to me)...... for FUN.

Listening to and learning the music of others is healthy for your playing. I don't like to see it discouraged.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jun 10, 2008,
#34
Quote by GuitarMunky
Licks are not a device to make up for lack of creativity. They are musical ideas, and worth focusing on.


You had some good ideas in your post, and the idea to try and write your own licks is good, but I don't get why you think you are somehow more original than Clapton or Page.
Something you should understand is that when you learn existing licks, or any musical idea, it gives you something to work with as you develop your own.

+1

The greatest guitarists of the last 50 years all started off copping licks, and many of them still do it. It's a crucial part of a guitarist's early development and equally acceptable when you're an seasoned veteran.
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#36
i didnt get this question answered several posts ago so i'll try again
wat does phrasing mean?
#37
Quote by prsrulz91
i didnt get this question answered several posts ago so i'll try again
wat does phrasing mean?

It's very difficult to explain, but here's the basic idea: phrasing is how you play what you play.
#38
Quote by :-D
It's very difficult to explain, but here's the basic idea: phrasing is how you play what you play.


No offense, but that is pretty vague and really doesnt describe what phrasing is.

phrasing has to do with the use of phrases. Its really a straightforward concept, although alot of people seem to describe in a more mysterious way.


phrase:
"In music a phrase (Greek φράση, sentence, expression, see also strophe) is a section of music that is relatively self contained and coherent over a medium time scale. In common practice, phrases are often four and most often eight bars, or measures, long"


So again phrasing has to do with playing phrases in your music.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jun 10, 2008,
#39
Quote by GuitarMunky
No offense, but that is pretty vague and really doesnt describe what phrasing is.

phrasing has to do with the use of phrases.


phrase: "In music a phrase (Greek φράση, sentence, expression, see also strophe) is a section of music that is relatively self contained and coherent over a medium time scale. In common practice, phrases are often four and most often eight bars, or measures, long"

It's vague because there's no real way to simply pinpoint phrasing IMO. There's so much that is encompassed by it that I think the general idea serves a better purpose in terms of defining the word than trying to narrow it down.
#40
Quote by :-D
It's vague because there's no real way to simply pinpoint phrasing IMO. There's so much that is encompassed by it that I think the general idea serves a better purpose in terms of defining the word than trying to narrow it down.



sure there is, there is nothing mysterious about it. It simply means playing phrases.

Think about it PHRASING..... phrase. There is a connection there.
shred is gaudy music
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