Lead Guitar Soloing Basics

This lesson covers the foundational principles for learning how to play guitar solos.

Ultimate Guitar
When it comes to learning the basic principles of using any scale to play a guitar solo we need to have fairly decent skills with familiarity of the scale pattern on the neck, physical technique for being able to play the scale, as well as, a relaxed application of licks, scale fragments and melodic phrases.

While many of these ideas can slowly develop (just by ear) over many years of jamming, study and through learning the guitar solos of your favorite guitar players, there are a few other concepts which can help speed up the process.

Guitar players need to have a good enough ear for hearing the notes that we want when we're creating different types of melodic resolutions into specific scale tones. These "choice tones" will work to uniquely affect the backing chord of the moment. Well placed use of chord tones, suspensions and scale extensions will all come together to make a big difference in how your guitar solos sound.

Of course, this is obviously a lot of stuff to develop, (and it will take time), but I'm going to break it all down into a system for you that you can start working on right away to help you learn the basics of "Lead Guitar Soloing."

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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.

26 comments sorted by best / new / date

    "This question was sent in from Chris, he's out in Cardiff, Wales in England"... Wales is its own country, and is part of the United Kingdom, NOT in England! This aside, this is an excellent lesson
    You know what they say - "War is God's way of teaching Americans geography" I'm just kidding, I've got nothing against God or Americans
    Wales is a principality, not a country...
    No, Wales is most definitely a country, they have their own sports teams, they have their own language, their own capital city, just like Scotland, Wales is a country that is part of the sovereign state of the United Kingdom
    The answer lies somewhere between these two posts. Wales was officially a principality until 2011, when a Welsh AM managed to get Wales officially recognised as a country. It differs from Scotland, which was a separate country that came together with England in an act of union in 1707. Principalities still have capital cities, separate culture etc, but yes, now Wales is officially a country.
    According to Google Maps, it is actually considered as a section of England; "Whales, England."
    I love it! I've been playing for a while now and feel comfortable at a lot of these techniques, but it's always nice to get a refresher - especially from someone that really knows what they're talking about!
    Why are you asshats arguing about Wales on a guitar lesson video's comments section? Wales is a country, get over it, and leave comments to the topic of the video please. Anyways video was great and very helpful not only for beginners, but experienced players as myself. Mainly because I am self-taught, but many guitar player are this day and age. Thanks for the great video!
    Same reason a majority of YouTube video comments end up being an argument about religion, regardless the videos topic.
    nargis · Oct 16, 2015 01:13 AM
    Anyone thinking Wales is part of England gets one point from Sweden. Americans and geography...
    Its owned by the Queen, therefore a principality
    You are a moron. The Queen is the head of the Commonwealth, which covers loads of countries around the world including Canada, Australia, India, basically places that were once under the rule of the British Empire. By your logic, since the Queen is the head of the Commonwealth, all of these countries are principalities. Just trust me on this one, Wales is a country, and is part of the United Kingdom, which is a sovereign state. Jesus, just Wikipedia it and you'll find this out!
    Are you sure??? i'm pretty sure that all the countries still pay a levy to the Queen?? Also, not too sure why i need to wiki Jesus?? this happened long after he died
    CANADA pays the Queen $60 Million a year, and there's a 5% inflation buffer built in. All of her Commonwealth regions pay millions to the British family each year... There are 15 Commonwealth Realms in addition to the UK: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Papua New Guinea, St Christopher and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Tuvalu, Barbados, Grenada, Solomon Islands, St Lucia and The Bahamas. They all pay the Royal Family money annually. And, Ireland, Scotland and Whales also pay too. Don't believe me... Google is your friend!