#1
I was just wondering how many of the famous guitar solos that alot of people recognize are improvised on the record or composed beforehand. I listen to alot of classic rock and a little older metal and the solos always sound so structured. They flow so nicely, and It doesn't seem like it would be possible to improvise these types of solos on a whim. So what do you guys say? Are alot of the classic rock solos improvised or thought out before hand? Same goes with metal, say with a group like metallica or iron maiden. How much of their stuff was improvised if any at all? This is a pointless question but one I would like to get some input on nonetheless.

Thanks
#2
It's hard to say, but I think that something like Hotel California had to have been thought out.
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#3
I'm not sure, but I know Buckethead improvised his solos on Chinese Democracy. It's just a matter if we will ever get to hear them or not.
#4
it varies from guitarist to guitarist. a lot of guitarists know how they are going to start and finish a solo, just as much as guitarists write solos or improv the whole thing. its hard to say, because even within a guitarist's work and songs, it more than likely varies and each song's solo is written or improvised to a certain extent


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#5
it always amazes me that Larry Carlton's solo on Steely Dan's 'Kid Charlemagne' was improvised on the spot... and what ended up on the record was only the second take... it's one thing to come up with some minor pentatonic rock wiggle off the top of your head, but that thing was several rungs above that
Last edited by inflatablefilth at Aug 9, 2008,
#6
I think most classic rock solos were improvised because most classic rock guitarists were not composers or didn't know a whole lot of music theory. I know David Gilmour would do multiple takes for songs and then use the best part of each take for the final product (genius!) and that obviously worked quite well. I get the feeling that there is equal amounts of improvisation and composing in metal solos. I know Jason Becker isn't your typical example but in the song "Altitudes" he knew what he was going to play during the sweeping section but once the 2nd solo kicks in I think he improvised it. I'm not 100% sure about the second but it certainly sounds that way. I guess what I mean to say is there are a lot of cases of both and it isn't too difficult to figure out which route they took if you listen carefully or look at tabs. And I think harmonized stuff is a dead giveaway of composed material


EDIT: I think Hotel California was improvised until he gets to the pulloffs that follow the chord progression but, again, this is just the feeling I get listening to it.
Last edited by GerGuam at Aug 9, 2008,
#7
Everything was improvised at one point, then repeated, built upon, or forgotten.
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#9
Lol it's crazy how all of these awesome solos were just improvised on the go by these guitarists but yet I have to sit there and practice over and over the licks and runs that just flowed through their fingers. But, I guess that's what years of guitar playing will do for ya.
#10
"Tornado of Souls" by Marty Friedman of Megadeth and "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" by Jimi Hendrix are two classic and brilliant improvised solos.

You can improvise brilliant solos, but you must practice improv. The idea of practicing spontaneity sounds oxymoronic and paradoxical, but if you spend hours with a loop and just play over it, you will get better at "pulling riffs out your ass," building your "lick library," and being able to put together nice sounding phrases and solos.
#13
Quote by :-D
Sue!

We've missed you.
Thanks. I was away with minimal internet access and used that time to check my email for money-related issues and such only.


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#14
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Thanks. I was away with minimal internet access and used that time to check my email for money-related issues and such only.


Anywhere I'm really needed?

Money? More important than UG?

Nowhere I can think of, everything's pretty calm.
#15
When I first learned Tornado of Souls (and Lucretia) were improvised, I nearly quit guitar. There is no ****ing way to come up with anything close to that on the spot!!! It's just way too good. I've sat down for days planning a solo and still never matched anything of that godliness.

Enough Marty worshipping lol...

Comfortably Numb was improv spliced together, Stairway was one of three takes chosen I think. A bunch of solos by Blackmore are improvised, um... there are quite a few others out there for sure.
#16
Quote by rockadoodle
I was just wondering how many of the famous guitar solos that alot of people recognize are improvised on the record or composed beforehand. I listen to alot of classic rock and a little older metal and the solos always sound so structured. They flow so nicely, and It doesn't seem like it would be possible to improvise these types of solos on a whim. So what do you guys say? Are alot of the classic rock solos improvised or thought out before hand? Same goes with metal, say with a group like metallica or iron maiden. How much of their stuff was improvised if any at all? This is a pointless question but one I would like to get some input on nonetheless.

Thanks

id say there are probably more than you would think. like the guitar parts on white room by cream sound pretty planned out but they are improvised. if there are guitar harmonies then its probably planned. if not, sometimes its hard to say. because ive heard some well constructed live solos that were all improvised. like with eric johnson for example. however, he does plan out solos in the studio but live he sounds just as structured. or if you listen to SRV's little wing, its actually improvised. ive heard different takes of it and each one is different. and you can even hear tiny mistakes in it as well. but it still sounds composed.
#18
The entire song, Little Wing, not just the solo, was written in less time then it takes to play.
#21
Quote by RichieJovie
Four

I was thinking more in the region of 5.2.
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#22
Quote by gwitersnamps
Everything was improvised at one point, then repeated, built upon, or forgotten.
I really like this statement. I'm pretty sure I agree?
Quote by bedbangingOne
When I first learned Tornado of Souls (and Lucretia) were improvised, I nearly quit guitar.
Aw, dont worry about it. If you ever get lucky enough to be famous, there'll be some kid that will say the same thing about you. Solo's are probably the most subjective part of music, whats beautifull for one guy is horrible to another.

And hey sue, we all missed you
#23
most rock songs has a main solo and a jam chords on the last part of the song where they can throw in improvisations. I'd say one good example is Paradise City. But then again, some players improvises even the main solos of certain songs like Dimebag's improvised solo on his Crazy Train cover w/ Sebastian Bach. After all, its rock, its all up to you.
#24
Quote by inflatablefilth
it always amazes me that Larry Carlton's solo on Steely Dan's 'Kid Charlemagne' was improvised on the spot... and what ended up on the record was only the second take... it's one thing to come up with some minor pentatonic rock wiggle off the top of your head, but that thing was several rungs above that


Totally agree. Most if not all of his solo's are improvised - can't find any tabs apart from Room 335.

Quote by bangoodcharlote
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I could've sworn I saw a thread on modes somewhere?!
#25
80% of what Slash does live is different to what he plays in the studio. It sounds awesome every time IMO. Double Talking Jive, It's So Easy, Used To Love Her are examples
#26
Quote by bangoodcharlote

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Actually there is something which you could help me with....could you check this thread out please? I'd appreciate it if you could coreect me on what I said - unless I've got the right end of the stick already. Thanks

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#28
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#29
Quote by GerGuam
I think most classic rock solos were improvised because most classic rock guitarists were not composers or didn't know a whole lot of music theory. I know David Gilmour would do multiple takes for songs and then use the best part of each take for the final product (genius!) and that obviously worked quite well.

If you think David Gilmour didn't know much music theory, you are horribly horribly mistaken.