Simple Guitar Soloing Exercises

Tips on establishing your personal feel for lead guitar and gaining more control for playing guitar solos.

Ultimate Guitar
Getting really good at playing nicely executed guitar solos will obviously take time and effort. Students will need to develop a personal sense of feel and they'll need to begin by working on their own awareness of good rhythm and timing, not to mention a great ability for the scale shapes on the neck.

Where students often fail in their early days is with the need to focus upon developing a set of solid "rhythm guitar" skills. Think of musicians like: Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai or Stevie Ray Vaughan. These legendary guitar players are not just phenomenal lead players, they're also amazing rhythm guitar players. These players prove that the skills for playing lead actually grow from good rhythmic ability, so we need to begin from having this concept as our grounding.

Rhythm Study

Start with a number of basic chords, then rehearse developing good rhythmic feel with your best chords in several music styles. As you are doing this, continuously practice the scale patterns on the neck. Memorize the scales and experiment with arpeggios as well.

Guitar Solo Practice

Use a loop on one chord to develop a basic feel and to gain the deep awareness for harmony. Work with short scale runs and aim for an initial goal of composing simple melodies. As time goes on, move toward more complex progressions and start trying to compose longer melody lines, target into the chord tones, as well as, apply several phrasing devices.

Over the weeks that you're studying, you'll begin to establish your personal feel and you'll gain a lot more control for playing guitar solos. Enjoy!

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About the Author:
Andrew Wasson is a 1992 Graduate of Hollywood California's Guitar Institute of Technology (G.I.T.). He has operated his Canadian Music School, Creative Guitar Studio, for the last 20+ years teaching thousands of guitarists both in studio sessions. You can learn more at his official website.

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