Guitar Soloing - A Concept For Begginers

Soloing is more than just a couple of scales. Here are some examples.

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As I learned, every guitarrist passes through a phase of accomplishment. A phase where we are confused about our soloing. Soloing is more than just a couple of scales, and patterns. Soloing is just like paintings, as well you can also make the guitar talk, you can make her cry, and make everyone around cry. I play the guitar, 'cause it's a way of expressing my feelings, my thoughts, my anger, my entire being. But as the begginer I am, the truth is that I don't know everything about a guitar. I believe that art doesn't come only from techniques and gear. I believe that art doesn't exist without that spark called: creativity. I don't think I need to learn all about musical theory so I can play a guitar, I really don't. The concept of a great guitarrist for most people is Ynguie Malmsteem. I also believe he is great, but not an example to follow. Hendrix was awesome too, but I also think I wouldn't like to be exactly like him. I think that we have too much techniques, but we are really poor talking about creativity, feeling, and personality. There are too many fast guitarrist in this world, tons of people who can play Van Halen's Eruption solo, I know a couple of persons who can play Malmsteem stuff too. I can't. But, why do we need people who can play everyone's stuff??? We need musicians, we need innovators. Not CD players. Do you think you must know all the modal scales??? All the modal scales in every key?? Memorize them?? It's not essential but it is really useful. You must not learn all of them, but you should have a clear concept about them, I mean, at least you should know they exist and know they might be useful sometime. The main concept of this lesson is that: nobody, I mean nobody in this world is going to give you what god didn't: creativity. John Lennon didn't have to be a full speed guitarrist to turn the world upside down. He was only a great composer. I'll give you a couple of examples of great minds: David Gilmour (from Pink Floyd), Carlos Santana (from Santana), Eric Clapton, Silvio Rodriguez (You might not have heard of him, he's Cuban). Can you imagine what can you do with just one Scale??? I am going to give you an example, the Harmonic Minor Scale and the Pentatonic minor, both are awesome and unique scales. Gary Moore used the Harmonic minor scale for blues sound, in the song 'I still got the Blues', Carlos Santana gave it a "latino" sound at 'Maria Maria', Walter Giardino used it as a barroc sound at 'Preludio Obsesivo'. The unforgetable solo on 'Confortably Numb' by David Gilmour was only a B pentatonic Minor, and he used a D pentatonic minor for 'Another Brick in The Wall part II'... Clapton was called god in London. I mean, there are awesome minds, which only need 5 notes in order to make a great solo, just like Hendrix, or Stevie Ray Vaughan. It's not about the scale. It's about the feeling you give to it. If you don't improve your soloing with a bend, a puff-off, etc.. your solo may still sound like a scale. So what can you do in order to play a good solo?? First of all, you must know the key of the song.. in order to do sound okay. Mostly the key of a song is the first note you start playing on it. Example, you have this combination of chords: ' E- G A E- ' Easy right? Then the key of the melody would be the E-. Now that you know the solo key, the sound of the solo will depend on the scale you use for playing it. Probably Malmsteem would chose an E harmonic minor scale.. maybe Vaughan would chose an E pentatonic Minor. It depends on you now. I really don't belive you must know everything about modal theory, but you should try to learn some of it. To play a good guitar solo: - Be inspired, and be creative enough to make such a sublime thing. - Know the key of the song. - Be sure about the sound you want to get, I mean, rock, metal, etc, etc. - Chose the scale for it. (Pentatonic, Aeloian, Harmonic Minor, Major, Minor.. etc) - Play it. Note: If you would learn theory, you would know about mixing modes, etc.. but the only thing I know is that you can mix scales, that's easy, you can turn the melody of the solo, by changing the scale, but not the key.. I know that there are key changes while soloing, like they do in jazz, but how?? I don't really know. Examples: A piece of 'Confortably Numb' Solo. (David Gilmour) Key: B(-) Scale: Pentatonic Minor. Check out how you can use the first pentatonic minor pattern... that's all about.. creativity.
|---------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------|
|--7--9--9>(11)vvvvvv--9>(11)>9>7---7--9--9--7-------7vvvvvvv---|
|---------------------------------9-------------9--9------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------|

|-------------------------------------------10------------------------------|
|--------10------10--12--12>(15)>12>10--12----------------------------------|
|---/11------11---------------------------------------7--9--9>(10)>9>7------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------9vvvv|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A piece of 'Young Loust' Solo. (David Gilmour) Key: E(-) Scale: Pentatonic Minor As I said before: Creativity.
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------15-15-15-15---15---15-----------|
|--------------------------2-2-2ahb~-----------14br-14br-14br-12------|
|-----------5b-7-7-7b-5~-----------------------------------------14~\-|
|-------5-7-----------------------------------------------------------|
|-3h5/7---------------------------------------------------------------|

|--------12-12--12-12--12-12-12-12-12-12--------15b----|
|-12/15--15b----15b----15b---15b---15b--15br-12--------|
|------------------------------------------------------|
|------------------------------------------------------|
|------------------------------------------------------|
|------------------------------------------------------|

|-----------------------------------------|
|-15br-15p12------------------------------|
|------------14br~--12-14-14b-14-14ahbr---|
|-----------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------|
Don't worry if you aren't the fastest guitarrist on the world, David wasn't too but he was a piece of the key, that moved a whole generation (Pink Floyd), and he had what others didn't: Creativity. You see?? You only need 5 notes, to make immortal solos, like last ones. You can also see immortal intros, which were made with only one note.. like this one, I bet you have heard it.
     D  C 
|--------------15----14-----|--------------15----14-----| 
|-----15--------------------|-----15--------------------| 
|:-------14-12----14----14-:|:-------14-12----14----14-:| 
|--12-----------------------|--14-----------------------| 
|---------------------------|---------------------------| 
|---------------------------|---------------------------| 

     G                           D 
|--------------15----14-----|--------------15----14-----| 
|-----15--------------------|-----15--------------------| 
|:-12----14-12----14----14-:|:-------14-12----14----14-:| 
|---------------------------|--12-----------------------| 
|---------------------------|---------------------------| 
|---------------------------|---------------------------|
It's the intro of Guns N' Roses' 'Sweet Child O' mine' It was made over a D major chord. Easy to play, but I bet no one of you would come out with something as great as this. Harmonic Minor isn't only used by Malmsteem or Tolkki, Santana used it on 'Maria Maria' A piece of 'Maria Maria' by Carlos Santana on an A Harmonic Minor (chorus).
|-12-----12-13-12-------------12-----12-17-12-------------12--12-----|
|------------------13------13------------------13------13 --15-------|
|-----------------------14--------------------------14---------------|
|--------------------------------------------------------------------|
|--------------------------------------------------------------------|
|--------------------------------------------------------------------| 

|--12-13-12-------------12--12-12--12-12-12--12-12-12-------|
|------------13------13-----13-13--13-13-13--13-13-13-15----|
|-----------------14-------------------------------------14-|
|-----------------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------|
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205 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    sential
    i like where you are going with this, but for me, i'm such a musical theory idiot, i dont even know what harmonic and pentatonic mean. Like I dont understand how you look at (or hear) something and say oh, that's pentatonic or hamonic, in the key of "d" or whatever. Could you somehow break it down a little more...
    axylrosealonzo
    i feel you bro... what is this harmonic or pentatonic scale thingy.. could you explain it further more ?
    ohdarn323
    "For beginners" my ass, I'm not even a beginner and I don't understand half this lol.
    MiNDspiN
    very nice lesson...Pentatonic mean 5 notes guys...Penta = 5. Harmonic..well i dont have a clue.
    blink_your_eyes
    Wow. I lost interest in the subject when I saw the paragraph intro to the lesson. More stuff I can't comprehend
    metalfreak.666
    For those who don't understand it..... get some lessons!!! and stop bitching about it for god sakes!!!
    thynerobby
    thank you for posting this. i was at the market today & saw a guitar world dvd & magazine. It had lessons for soloing like kirk hammett. I was about to buy it because that would be awesome to speed solo. i didnt buy it. Instead I thought of my melodic solos that i created & shunned the dvd. I shall continue to play with creativity rather than skill. thanks for posting this up.
    Reggy
    This is straight from a book, copied word for bastard word.....
    next.matt.heafy
    pretty bloody good, i must say..the tabs are good, and its very meaningful and in depth...the thing is, like most beginners, i wanna know how to play fast, then maybe ill start being creative and imaginative..its more about the achievement of skill, but you are right about creativity, nice and simple..i put some solos in my songs i write, but not often, cos im a dodgy guitarist when it comes to solos, so i put the wussy allman-brothers noodling runs in, and i think, yeah, creative, but speed would sound so much better...so the lesson people, is get the skills, then get the imagination, cos the more u know, the more imaginative you can be...and i agree with "callMeSlick"
    AprilSilenced
    All he was trying to explain was you don't need to learn a whole bunch of theory to create a nice solo. I thought it was a good "beginner lesson." Just remember... if your not creative, your art will be shit. Literally.
    Silent_Entity
    ^!!!LOL!!!^ im 14 been playing 2 years and just started soloing(played van halens ERUPTION for talent show)this lesson has help ALOT.also if you have trouble with speed(hyperpicking/soloing/neoclassical and metal) get a GRIPMASTER its a little finger exerciser that if you use for 1WEEK!! youll like have the speed if you practiced for like 4 months. PEACE!!!!
    Jbetter_thanu
    OMFG! there are several comments that are paragraphs! WTF just what u gotta say with out preachin! if u wanna say a bunch of shit, write ur own lesson or start a thread. as far as the lesson, not much different than the other one by ug team, they both say use pentatonics and play from your heart, NO FUCKIN DUH!
    JGuill
    To build a house, you have to have a blueprint,tools and materials and know-how. This lesson is like a blueprint to get started, but you still need to learn everything you can get your hands on. And you dont have to play a million notes a minute to play a great solo. Listen to Tom Morello (Audioslave) on "Like a Stone"
    The Guv'nor
    yeah it helps if u know what harmonic and pentatonic means, for music theory retards like my self its confusing as hell, i understood what u were getting at but woulda been better if it was broken down a bit more for simple people like myself,
    JGuill
    Turn your SADNESS into HAPPINESS dude!! The numbers are the frets and the lines are the strings(top to bottum, 1-6) Test4Echo,you must be a Rush fan!! Rush rules!!!
    CallMeSlick
    i know how to play those god damnscales, but I still have no idea how to play solos on it.
    sadness
    from what i've read this song is realy goodand i really wanna play it on my acoustic but i'm just a begginer and i have no clue what the hell the numbers mean can someone tell me plz
    ST. DIZZY!
    #1 Guitarist wrote: Tom delonge is GAY
    Tom rocks man I think that you are! And dont deny it bcoz only a true gay would!
    aznguitarist28
    dude this is great. after i read this, i grabbed my guitar and tried on a natural minor scale and it was awesome just pour out whats in your mind to your fingers
    Barbapapa
    please can you put a sample sound on the scales that your talking about cozi cant follow the tabs without its real sound.
    BlueTails
    good article for those of you who keep yakking about "just make stuff up"...leave the lesson forum these are for technique, let the guy talk about his scale exercises or what not. and "sweet child of mine" is a great intro, i love the music virtuoso who was explaining why its overrated...send me ur brilliance
    hendrix_4ever
    gd article i think u shud try learning some hendrix, the solos in his songs really help develop your guitar playing
    Alejandro Pena
    hey!!!!! i'm a guitar player ...i studied 2 years in college, went to new york to learn from the people playing...i've been played for 15 years...i know harmonic , pentatonic, scales changes...etc.etc.....but that's same conclucion i got!!!!!....music is so simple but hard at the same time. this article is very helpful but i must add....sure you can be creative and play an awesome solo with just one scale!!...thas for sure!! but first you have to know it preeeeety, preeeetive well, in order to be creative and get some tools..... p.d. i think know a scale just one!!! even one key!!!! is the F**** hardest thing i know..... peace thanks!!!!!
    W4T3V3R
    OMG what a load of bull shit at the start, everyone like that should throw em selves of a building, you people all the same " oh i express myself thru guitar oh oh oh!" say what you feel idiot, nobody cares how you play as long as it rocks!
    EricSewellAUS
    this sounded more like a poem than a lesson... beginners need step by step breakdown and more pentatonic help.... i give it a 7 out of 10
    Noterunner
    If you are actually talented as a soloist/improviser a solo comes from within. You don't think too much or worry about scales... BB King couldn't do chords he could solo though. If you can hear it in your head, you're all set. The ear is always right, if you have an ear. If you can't hum in tune and or sing harmonics off the cuff you probably stink at soloing or you sound artificial. If you don't have an ear and you can't hear the music in your head first, then sorry you are just not going to sound great... you're a cheap imitation. Music should come from within. You got it or you don't. Scales are like a compass (a general guide), they are NOT a roadmap. Try to sing the notes you want as you are playing them, you can't do this, you are not playing your instrument it is playing you, you are not making music you are imitating music.
    14GreenDay
    a good website to go to to find the names of chords and scales is the one you're on right now. UG has lessons on both scales and chords.