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#1
I am pretty good at writing some little riffs that are usually pretty good. Write about 4 different songs put them together and sounds great. But I really struggle when writing guitar solos. Is there a good way to approach this when writing a solo?
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#2
That depends entirely on the genre and what you indent to communicate with the solo.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#3
Well most of my music is Rock N Roll. I just try to write a filling solo that is very hard to play. Of course most things I write that are for a solo are pretty much just simply impossible riffs that fly like 80 miles a hour.
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#4
learn your scales then know what key you are playing after that decide what kind of feel u want ur solo to have and then choose wich mode ur gonna be playing in
#6
That make sense. Hmm key I guess all the songs I have write now are in C. Wonder why thats they only key they are in..
If I don't answer you, I probably don't care
#7
Set up a video cam to record and then just improvise. After you're done, watch through it, pick out the bits u like and work with that, scrapping the bits you don't like. Rinse and repeat til satisfied.

But you have to know what key to play in obviously.
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#8
Get good at improvising, and once you can solo overtop anything just put a ton of feeling into it, most solos aren't "written" they are improvised.
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#9
Quote by TisPyon
learn your scales then know what key you are playing after that decide what kind of feel u want ur solo to have and then choose wich mode ur gonna be playing in


Rock music is rarely modal, and when it is, you won't really have a choice of which one you want to play.

I would suggest learning the major scale all over the neck, in every key, as well as the theory behind it. Also important is developing your aural skills. You should be able to identify intervals by ear, and you should be able to hum a melody and play it back on your guitar perfect. You can't expect to solo competently unless you can tranfer what you hear in your head to your instrument.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#10
Thats a pretty good idea to. *fantasies about a USB device that will connect your guitar to your computer and record all the notes you play* I doubt something like that will happen though. Would be pretty cool though.
If I don't answer you, I probably don't care
#11
Watch the Friedman video in my sig, learn theory via my sig, Freepower's, or the Crusafe articles (I'd go with mine due to pure convenience), and fool around a lot. Another good idea to keep in mind is to quote a vocal melody. Many guitar solos are played over riffs that appear elsewhere in the song, especially the verse and chorus riffs, so quoting the vocal melody corresponding to one of those riffs is a good way to make your guitar to sound like it's singing.

Quote by Kylen Johnson
*fantasies about a USB device that will connect your guitar to your computer and record all the notes you play* I doubt something like that will happen though. Would be pretty cool though.
I'd rather have something go from my brain to a music file on my computer. I recall thinking of the coolest riff ever in 9th grade math class and then forgetting it by the time I got home to my guitar.
Oh, how nice that would be...
Last edited by bangoodcharlote at Oct 25, 2008,
#12
Thats a pretty good idea to. *fantasies about a USB device that will connect your guitar to your computer and record all the notes you play* I doubt something like that will happen though. Would be pretty cool though.


Just buy a MIDI pickup.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#13
Quote by Kylen Johnson
Thats a pretty good idea to. *fantasies about a USB device that will connect your guitar to your computer and record all the notes you play* I doubt something like that will happen though. Would be pretty cool though.


It's been out for quite some time. I have a Jamlab and it works fine
#14
Quote by Archeo Avis
Rock music is rarely modal, and when it is, you won't really have a choice of which one you want to play.

I would suggest learning the major scale all over the neck, in every key, as well as the theory behind it. Also important is developing your aural skills. You should be able to identify intervals by ear, and you should be able to hum a melody and play it back on your guitar perfect. You can't expect to solo competently unless you can tranfer what you hear in your head to your instrument.



well true but solos sound a lot more exotic and original if u can effectively use different modes IE Friedmen and Becker
#15
Quote by TisPyon
well true but solos sound a lot more exotic and original if u can effectively use different modes IE Friedmen and Becker
That isn't true modal playing. The new Metallica song The End of the Line, my favorite from the album, is not in E Phrygian just because it makes heavy use of the F5 chord.
#16
Jamlab forgot about that. Might look into it.
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#17
well true but solos sound a lot more exotic and original if u can effectively use different modes IE Friedmen and Becker


Modes are used over progressions specifically designed for them. You don't (can't) just pull them out at will whenever you feel like spicing up a solo. The notion that a solo will automatically become more original as a result of the use of a specific musical practice that has been in use for centuries is ridiculous.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#18
What you can do, however, is play different scales over a progression that gives you a lot of freedom. Over an Am G Am G progression, you could alternate between A natural minor, A Dorian, and if you're tactful with the G chord, A Phrygian. The song would not be modal, but you'd be using the modal tones of various Am modes to diversify your playing, to "add some color," so to speak.
#19
Quote by bangoodcharlote
What you can do, however, is play different scales over a progression that gives you a lot of freedom. Over an Am G Am G progression, you could alternate between A natural minor, A Dorian, and if you're tactful with the G chord, A Phrygian. The song would not be modal, but you'd be using the modal tones of various Am modes to diversify your playing, to "add some color," so to speak.



this is what i meant
#20
Thanks for the help everyone! Much appreciative.
If I don't answer you, I probably don't care
#21
Quote by Kylen Johnson
I am pretty good at writing some little riffs that are usually pretty good. Write about 4 different songs put them together and sounds great. But I really struggle when writing guitar solos. Is there a good way to approach this when writing a solo?



Spend some time learning and memorizing solos. Listen to them, learn them, play them, & study them. Then answer your own question.
shred is gaudy music
#22
Memorizing solos is hard for me but not impossible. Will try it.
If I don't answer you, I probably don't care
#23
Quote by Kylen Johnson
Memorizing solos is hard for me but not impossible. Will try it.



Yeah, it is hard at first. it should be fun though and you get better as you continue to do it. If you like solos enough to want to make up your own, it should be fun for you. With every solo you learn, you will be answering your question about "how to write a solo". plus a whole lot more.
shred is gaudy music
#25
Click on the 1 beneath "read me".

There are lots of ways to approach solos. Try writing nonsense, or strongly defined sections, or use a simple repetition/evolution of ideas, etc. Find more ways yourself.
#26
Quote by TisPyon
this is what i meant


But it's not what you said.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#27
TisPyon, don't take his bait; you'll misspeak and Arch will tear you apart for it.

Arch, was that necessary?
Quote by Freepower
Not necessary, Archeo.

You see?


No one needs to, nor should anyone, respond to this post.
Last edited by bangoodcharlote at Oct 25, 2008,
#30
[this may have been said already im too lazy to read it all]

Record your chord progression that you want to go under your solo, then jam over the chords in the appropriate Key. Experiment and record yourself each time, you will find bits and bobs each time and then you can piece them all together to find a solo you are happy with.
#32
I once saw an interview with Adrian Smith about writing solos and he said he tried to keep to a basic formula. The solo would start with a melodic section as establishing a melodic line helped to make the solo more memorable. This may or may not be based on the basic vocal line used in part of the song. He then moves into a short section that involves a bit more flashy playing, incorporating hammer ons, pull offs and tapping etc. before returning to the melodic hook he established at the start so the solo has a sense of completeness.

This seems to work very well for him as I always like what he does and rate him very highly as a musician. Listen to a few Maiden songs and you'll see exactly what he's on about and for soloing I think it's a good place to start.

The other thing I've found is that theory was starting to constrict me as I ended up getting trapped in shapes. Now I've started ignoring the theory and simply letting my fingers go where the mood takes me. As a result I've started to become more aware of what intervals work on the neck and I use this for the melodic part of the solo and then fall back on licks I already know for the flash bits.
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#33
"But I really struggle when writing guitar solos. Is there a good way to approach this when writing a solo?
Well most of my music is Rock N Roll. I just try to write a filling solo that is very hard to play. Of course most things I write that are for a solo are pretty much just simply impossible riffs that fly like 80 miles a hour."

my advice is listen to how vocalists "phrase" music , it should "sound" easy to play , but some times requires skill to achieve ,
the most memorable part of "for the love of god " by steve vai for me at least is the opening motif , as it sounds like a voice , ease to hum or sing , but has lots of "legato" slides , a skill that requires a good sense of technique to play well .
i sugest you learn simple classical pieces , single note studys ,
if you have a phrase say notes a,b and c .
which could be e:5,e:7 and e:8 in tab ,
try and play e:5 e:7 then e:7 again but bend up to e:8
something simple like this can create a powerful emotive solo , please let me know if you find this info helpful !
#34
I started to look at solos as small compositions. When I began to think of them as
collections of licks instead of writing them all at once, it got easier.

On alot of Hendrix B-sides he can be heard humming out licks and solos.
Try that too. Then figure it out.
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#35
Everything that everyone said about working on your theory, ear, phrasing, and spending time improvising, etc, is right on the money. Not to mention continuing to build your overall technique, so more things are playable for you, and so your overall confidence with the instrument keeps coming up.
The other thing I'd add, is you need a good method for retaining the ideas that you come up with while messing around. Try printing out some blank sheets of tab from Power tab or Guitar Pro, and leaving them by your guitar. Then whenever you are messing around and come up with a fragment that sounds cool, stop and quickly tab it out. This will help you build up a library of cool little ideas. Keep revisiting these ideas you have written down, and playing them. As the library grows over time, you'll start seeing how some could connect together to make longer passages, and you're on your way.
#37
^ I don't practice by my computer (computer in bedroom, music stuff in music room). But that is a good idea, and I could probably use it myself, by typing the stuff I have on paper into the computer when I'm done. Especially since I am a messy person that loses stuff.
#38
Yes, well you don't live in a college dorm; my dorm acts as music room, computer room, kitchen, study room, and pretty much anything but bathroom and lecture hall.
#39
Computers interfere with part of my creative process, they're great for some things but I hate writing down what I play in any kind of software. It is, I admit, mostly because I lack the ability with notation I'd like.
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