#1
What exactly is involved in building a solo? People say to learn the minor pentatonic scale.

So I learnt the minor pentatonic scale in the key of Eb on 8 places on the fret board. I have tried just playing the notes and bits of those 8 "boxes" fairly quickly. It doesn't sound like much.

So is that the basic idea behind a solo, or am I doing it all wrong?
#2
Do what zappa did
take one note
bend it
release
bend it again
and theres your solo
#3
Repost of mine....

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) of the pentatonic scale, you probably should try to focus on what you feel is the right next note and play REALLY slow. Try to listen to some of those slow expressive blues solo's to get what I mean. Whilst doing this, try to become proficient at moving around the fretboard and between shapes. Aim to be able to slide between 3 or 4 notes on the same string.
Copying a singers phrasing and rhthym is generally a good idea to when learning 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. Think of improvising as singing with your guitar.

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 when 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 by marty friedman. Pretty much look for and study as much theory as you can eat. And analyse solo's, ask yourself, why do they sound good?
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.
#4
Solo over a chord progression/riff.

That's the only way it's going to sound really musical. Wankery doesn't sound musical. You need a structure to form a cohesive milieu for a solo.
#5
Quote by imgooley
Solo over a chord progression/riff.

That's the only way it's going to sound really musical. Wankery doesn't sound musical. You need a structure to form a cohesive milieu for a solo.



Dammit, I was gunna post the Captain America/wank demotivational, but I does not wanna resize just for this specific event. But you come and contradict me.
Captain America knows whats best and if he commands you to wank, you do it.
**** it. I'll just resize. Later.

Right now, I'll try and be helpful. A solo can be whatever the hell you want. If you want something within the realm of tradition, go with what imgooley said. If want spazztechcore, go with what imgooley said.

Structure, no matter how irratic and strange, is still structure.
When I say a "traditional" solo, I mean something that has a good accessible rhythm and is usually pre-written (it's very difficult to improv., while being interesting/entertaining, keeping it cohesive, and just not be complete wank).
Spastic stuff still has to follow some general guidelines, like being dissonant as **** and mashing together a massive amount of different tempos and time signatures.

No resizing. This thread doesn't warrent it.
#6
Quote by imgooley
Solo over a chord progression/riff.

That's the only way it's going to sound really musical. Wankery doesn't sound musical. You need a structure to form a cohesive milieu for a solo.

Soloing over a chord progression or riff is the only way to sound really musical??. I think you're doing it wrong. (where have i heard that before?? ~thinks back to last night)

A solo is a melody. Good melody sounds good without a chord progression. The solo on Led Zep's Heartbreaker rocks. Stevie Ray Vaughan doing Little Wing - yeah there's some backing in there but tell me it wouldn't still sound kick ass (and of course "muscial") with just a lone guitar.

To get your solo sounding good it has to go somewhere. Try to imply movement through using careful note selection on strong beats and accents to build and release tension in a solo the same way you would with a chord progression. Then fill in the gaps. Use bends slides and trills for variety. Utilise contrast by increasing or decreasing note value to build or reduce intensity. Don't forget dynamics loud bits soft bits and silent bits will all help your cause.

Anyway I'm going to go see if I can write a song tonight. Good luck with the solo.

Soloing over a chord progression is the only way to sound musical
Si