#1
Sometimes i just have a lot of trouble getting a good sounding solo and i need advice on writing good solos, or at least getting started, cuz that seems to be my problem

heres my style of soloing, if this will help you give advice:

i play bluesy hard rock. Slash, Joe Perry, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix are my influences in my playing... i usually stick with playing around the minor scale and the minor pentatonic and i do a lot of blues and rock cliches. example:
e|------15------|
B|-15b17--17r15-|

i add double stop bends in particular locations in a solo, to add emphasis on that phrase, or just to spice up the solo, kind of like what slash does a lot... when i get into a fast part, i usually find a pattern and repeat it going up or down the minor scale. i usually dont play fast for the whole solo, but i build up tension and at the right moment i let it loose by playing a fast run back up or back down, depending on where i started the solo at.

any advice on writing good-sounding solos would be great.
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#2
I'm not sure you need too much advice, you have the basic idea down, just keep writing solos and learning more scales (supposing you aren't a master of theory and such). Sorry for the ****ty 2 cents.
#3
I can tell you what I've heard from sources unreliable.

David Gilmore used to sing his solo's into a tape recorder and then transfer them onto guitar. (I think I read this in a magazine interview)

Kirk Hammet would record numerous improvised solo's then take the best of the best and put them together to create a final solo. (I think this may have been in the Slash autobiography).

I love the way a lot of those guys you mentioned don't just solo for ear candy. The solo is used to take the song somewhere new, to a new place. This is something I keep in mind when I try to write a solo.
Si
#4
Quote by 20Tigers
I can tell you what I've heard from sources unreliable.

David Gilmore used to sing his solo's into a tape recorder and then transfer them onto guitar. (I think I read this in a magazine interview)

Kirk Hammet would record numerous improvised solo's then take the best of the best and put them together to create a final solo. (I think this may have been in the Slash autobiography).

I love the way a lot of those guys you mentioned don't just solo for ear candy. The solo is used to take the song somewhere new, to a new place. This is something I keep in mind when I try to write a solo.


To my knowledge, Dave Gilmour may or may not have sung solos, but he definitely did attempt solos multiple times and take the best bits of his various improvisations. Some documentary, "Behind The Wall" or something, has an interesting interview with him where he describes writing the second solo in Comfortably Numb, transcribing his improvisations by ear, then going through the music, putting two ticks on very good bars, one ticks on alright bars and a cross on bad bars.

As if a report of Dave Gilmour's solo writing technique alone wasn't enough, I can tell you that, of the solos I write, my favourite ones are generally those constructed (by memory - transcribing by ear would be a very laborious task for me) from the best bits of long jam sessions with a loop pedal.
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#5
There's a common thread that links together people who can improvise well - experience. I always recommend people try to compose solos before trying to improvise, there's no shame in it. When an experienced player improvises they're not simply making stuf up off the top of their head, it's a combination of a few bits and bobs made up on the fly and a hell of a lot of stuff that they simply know already.

Without that kind of experience and knowledge of the instrument you can't improvise effectively. The process of composing solos, actually working with a scale to create something, is what gets the sounds and intervals ingrained in your mind and teaches you how to make best use of the scale. You can't just say "right, I know a scale pattern, I'm going to improvise", you have to have given youself an idea of how things will sound before you can do that. Technically it's still improvising, it's just that the process takes so long at the start due to a lack of experience and knowledge. An experience player can effectively "write" a solo in real-time due to their extensive musical vocabulary, without that experience and knowledge you've got no chance.

Early on that simply means planning exactly what you're going to play, singing solos is a great tool. Think about it for a second, if you can't even produce the sound with your voice, which you pretty much have complete control over, then how in the world will you produce it with a guitar? It's like shooting, if someone gives you a shotgun for the very first time and tells you to shoot something it's a damnsight harder than pointing at it with your finger. The more you do it the easier you'll make the connection between the scales you've learned, the shapes you see on the fretboard and the sounds they produce, and once that starts to happen then you can try to do stuff on the fly.
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#6
what i like to do is to put down a rough recording of the rhythm, it doesnt have to be studio perfect, but good enough so you can hear what the hell is going on.

Then i just improvise over it whilst recording. I do this a number of times and then play them back, taking the bits that i like best from each solo and putting them in the correct places.

Ok, so when i play the song live, i keep the bits i like best, but a large chunk of the solo is improvised. Basdically if theres a particular phrase that ive used over some chords that sounds absolutely awesome then i do my utmost to keep that in, although sometimes im so lost in my music i just go with what i feel like at the time, making things more interesting sometimes.

Often i find mixing up a solo is more fun, because playing the same solo gets awfully boring sometimes. I like the challenge of creating something new that fits on the fly basically.
#7
Quote by 20Tigers
I can tell you what I've heard from sources unreliable.

David Gilmore used to sing his solo's into a tape recorder and then transfer them onto guitar. (I think I read this in a magazine interview)

Kirk Hammet would record numerous improvised solo's then take the best of the best and put them together to create a final solo. (I think this may have been in the Slash autobiography).

I love the way a lot of those guys you mentioned don't just solo for ear candy. The solo is used to take the song somewhere new, to a new place. This is something I keep in mind when I try to write a solo.


what david gilmore does, i sometimes hum what i feel like the solo should sound like, but sometimes i cant get it on my guitar... i should try recording that might be easier.

and yea the kirk hammett thing was from slashs autobiography.

and yea thats a lot like my style of soloing.
My Gear:
Squier Stratocaster
Line 6 Spider III 75w
Line 6 FBV Express

Wanted Gear:
Gibson Les Paul
Gibson ES335
Marshall JVM410H
Marshall JCM800
Dunlop Crybaby
#8
Quote by steven seagull
There's a common thread that links together people who can improvise well - experience. I always recommend people try to compose solos before trying to improvise, there's no shame in it. When an experienced player improvises they're not simply making stuf up off the top of their head, it's a combination of a few bits and bobs made up on the fly and a hell of a lot of stuff that they simply know already.

Without that kind of experience and knowledge of the instrument you can't improvise effectively. The process of composing solos, actually working with a scale to create something, is what gets the sounds and intervals ingrained in your mind and teaches you how to make best use of the scale. You can't just say "right, I know a scale pattern, I'm going to improvise", you have to have given youself an idea of how things will sound before you can do that. Technically it's still improvising, it's just that the process takes so long at the start due to a lack of experience and knowledge. An experience player can effectively "write" a solo in real-time due to their extensive musical vocabulary, without that experience and knowledge you've got no chance.

Early on that simply means planning exactly what you're going to play, singing solos is a great tool. Think about it for a second, if you can't even produce the sound with your voice, which you pretty much have complete control over, then how in the world will you produce it with a guitar? It's like shooting, if someone gives you a shotgun for the very first time and tells you to shoot something it's a damnsight harder than pointing at it with your finger. The more you do it the easier you'll make the connection between the scales you've learned, the shapes you see on the fretboard and the sounds they produce, and once that starts to happen then you can try to do stuff on the fly.


^Respect.
But you make it sound like improvisation is the next level up from composition. It isn't. They are on a plane. Neither is easier, better, or more valid than the other. Both are equally important and difficult.
Si
#9
I pretty much class them as being the same thing, but I view improvising as "harder" because you have less time to think...it's pretty much just composing very very quickly.
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#10
Quote by steven seagull
I pretty much class them as being the same thing, but I view improvising as "harder" because you have less time to think...it's pretty much just composing very very quickly.
Maybe. But with composition you've got to write other voices, or chords, and you have to retain some sort of beat and make it relatively catchy.
        ,
        |\
[U]        | |                     [/U]
[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
[U]      //| \      |       |      [/U]
[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
      *-|-*    (_)     `-’
        |
        L.
#11
Quote by demonofthenight
Maybe. But with composition you've got to write other voices, or chords, and you have to retain some sort of beat and make it relatively catchy.


You can compose with single lines, you don't have to write other voices.
retaining some sort of beat is just as important for improv as it is for composition.

Improvisation = composition

Quote by cj10schmelzer


any advice on writing good-sounding solos would be great.


listen, learn, study, imitate, duplicate, play, get creative (compose & improvise).........alot. it takes time. Be patient. Have fun.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 26, 2008,