Soloing for Beginners

A guide to soloing for complete beginners.

Ultimate Guitar
I have always been enamored with soloing. I have been playing the guitar for some time now and ever since I started playing, I knew I wanted to be a soloist. Along the way, I have played in various bands, performed at several venues ranging from the slightly boring but well-paying businesses to some killer rock fests where, more often than not, compensation was handed out in beer pints. Of course, I started out playing rhythm, as I suppose we all well should, fiddled with the bass for a while, and jumped onto the lead as soon as I possibly could. UG and the people who come here have helped me immensely during my progression as a player, and I will try to put down here a few things that may help others become better soloists. Outline I currently have some idea of how I am going to go about this article or series of articles as I think of it and this is what I have so far: 1. Feel 2. Technique: Basics 3. Rhythm 4. Theory: Scales Feel: In the beginning, God created Music Before you start soloing, before you ever touch the guitar, before you ever even think of playing an instrument, you hear music. Music is what captivates you, it is what enchants you, and it is why you go through your day thinking of a few seconds of heaven with a smile on your face. At the end of the day, you are trying to create music; music that moves you. Listen to as much music as you possibly can within the genre that you are crazy about and outside of it. At times, you can pick up some great ideas and find brilliant artists that you would not have otherwise heard. Every musician has a different take on the same twelve notes that you commonly hear, however the rich variety of music is astounding. I love the blues and I am crazy about jazz, but I am a major Tool fan. I absolutely love those guys and I am sure, some of that rubs off on my playing somewhere. I have come across some great bands and artists that I would never have heard of had I restricted myself to the blues, and consequently, I would not have progressed as a player. There is something about the music that you listen to, that you like. Try and figure out what it is. Try and separate the layers upon layers that exist in almost any track that we listen to. In most cases, there are several instruments collaborating to create a great piece of music. Listen to each instrument individually and understand how it moves in the piece. From personal experience, this can be difficult. It can be overwhelming, in the beginning, to pick out the bass from the drums and the layers of guitars all spaced out around other instruments. However, it becomes extremely important to know what is happening in a piece, as a whole. The same lick/phrase, played in differing musical contexts can change the sound immensely! To end with an example, try the following phrases over three different chords, G major, C major and E major:

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I think your intentions are good, but this article is quite useless for someone who wants to solo. Even the examples arent that great - the fourth one can result in a b6 in the key of E major following your instructions yuck!
    Kind of what I wanted to show. The same lick played over different chords can have remarkably different results. A beginner would just think of the odd sound and not the b6.
    I'm new to guitar, just started a week ago and I just learned some basics and I put in 4 hours of practice everyday this whole first week. I know two scales, E and A pentatonic, I know a few major chords, A, C, D, E and G and I'm fluently moving around them with different progressions and I'm practicing licks and riffs created from the scales I know so far. I however, didn't find anything here useful about soloing... not to mention as a new guitarist here, I don't know what the letters "b", "r" and "s" stand for in these tabs. Can someone educate me on what these letters mean??
    Dragon avenger. B = Bend, R= Release S= Slide if you just started and are learning online or from a book eventually you'll run into a section about lead playing techniques where the tablature will be further explained how bends slides and releases are written.