Play a Guitar Solo in Three Easy Steps

Learn a powerful guitar-soloing system that focuses upon three main areas.

Ultimate Guitar
This time we cover how playing a guitar solo can be broken down into a system that works around three main areas of study.

Step One: Neck Awareness

In order to play solid lead, (staying within the structure of the music), the guitarist needs to first have a good basic awareness of the guitar neck. This includes having both an understanding for where notes are located and how the available harmonies work to create the music.

Step Two: Scale Patterns

Guitar players will also need the ability to play and comprehend scale patterns. This is not just important for the popular tonalities, but the player needs to also learn how to cater to unique tonality. This would primarily be the tonal areas of major and minor. However, melodic subtleties are also important. So, the modes of the major scale along with other minor forms, (i.e., harmonic and melodic minor), must be learned.

Step Three: Technical Skill and Feel

Lastly, players need to possess some of the primary technical skills for actually playing a decent sounding guitar solo. And, it's not enough to just have above average dexterity. Players also need to have feel, and an excellent sense of timing in order for their ideas to flow well, and catch the groove of the song. Once this can be combined with the use of phrasing devices, solos will really begin to come alive. Initially, phrasing devices should include; legato, bending, slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs, and vibrato.

Once a guitarist has developed these three soloing areas, (and has them under good control), they will notice big changes in how they are able to perform a basic lead guitar part in a song. Enjoy the lesson!

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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. You can learn more at his official website.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I hope people understand that just because there are 3 easy steps, it does not mean that you will be able to master the guitar within that same timeframe.