Guitar Signature Style. Part 3

Deeper into the few first steps which will develop your Signature Style as a Guitarist...

Ultimate Guitar
Welcome to another sensational article of "Guitar Signature Style". In the first part we discussed the basics of an Advanced Guitarist and the second part about Practicing. Now all I mentioned about basics and practicing was mostly important to get your Original Signature Style, as it takes time to develop your Original Signature Style, but in this article I'm getting deeper and get on the few first steps and things that will help and guide you to your Signature Style as a Guitarist. If you haven't read my past parts of "Guitar Signature Style" then read them first as they're extremely important to get you where you're getting to with your Signature Style. Here are the past parts of the article:
  • Guitar Signature Style. Part 1
  • Guitar Signature Style. Part 2


    First of all, practising as I mentioned in "Guitar Signature Style. Part2" is mostly important to know where you are. Some of the readers questioned: "I would like to practise for 4 hours daily but I'm lucky to play for 1 hour. Don't you have a job?" "What about people who have jobs? Or school? How do they practice for 4 hours per day??" Yes, I do have a job and go to school too, but basically when you're really trying to find to time for the guitar you will be able to find it, it's like when you're hungry, you don't always have time to eat but you try and find time, and you finally find sometime. In guitar, it's the same thing, you can take an acoustic or electric guitar at work, an in the break practise for a bit, then go home, and instead watching T.V you play guitar, usually when you don't have time enough you just do some exercises that's the best medicine, song practice can wait! Anyway if you have any further questions E-Mail me and I will gladly answer you the questions.

    What You Will Find

    In this Article I will teach you on How to create your own Tricks, improvisation Tricks, bending, Original Sound, Signature Licks and much more. Unfortunately I will only cover: How to create your own Tricks, Improvisation Tricks and Bending, basically the first Footsteps which will help you guide your way and learn more on your own until my next article, and in the end I Guarantee you'll master the Guitar like a pro.

    Practicing Without Hesitation

    If we are dedicated to our growth as artists who play the guitar, we must be very smart to get the best out of ourselves. Part of the difficulty in doing so lies in combating the forces and conditioning of the world around us. One of the most destructive mindsets we can have is a hurried and worried attitude about our daily work, our daily practice. We are conditioned in our schooling, and later in our life in the working world, to a fearful attitude which tells us we need to perform to a certain standard, which is referred to the word "Deadline". Some people become so used to this feeling that they begin to believe they "work best under pressure". They need to feel tense and hurry their work and feel like that as much as possible. The truth is that if you wish to develop as an artist, you must get very far away from this belief system. You must discover a whole new way that does not depend on the fear of some terrible thing happening to you. You must find a way to give yourself completely to your daily work, your daily practice, by the pleasure you are getting from every moment of every day's practice.

    Creating Tricks

    Firstly, what do you understand by "Guitar Tricks"? The simple answer to that is, "A collection of riffs and solos from popular guitar songs to build up your own riffs and solos from them". So here you will learn on how to build up your own Riffs and solos from others', and basically then, you're on your own.

    Steps To Creating Tricks:

    01. Find a set of Riffs and solos from popular songs and start learning them, one by one. 02. Find what's so special about them, and why they're so cool/great sounding. 03. Learn them well, try playing them at different positions and be one with whatever you're playing. 04. Try adding your own kind of Lick or try mixing them, try everything you possibly can. 05. Play them everyday and when you're not playing guitar think about them, get them stuck into your head, and find what you can do to make them better, treat them as their your own Riffs/ solos In these steps, you've become one with your riffs/ solos, treated them as your own, now they're stuck into your head and great to mix them with other things and with your own too, so don't be afraid, mix them, that's where your own riffs and solos come in, remember not to leave what you've learned the same, but make it your own, and mix it, in the end it will be completely different, then it's your own work. Simple steps and you can never what you can achieve!

    Improvisation Tricks

    Making music not just playing exercises, being in control of what you're doing, do it, handle it, that's what you're going to learn. You got to learn the Guitar, Love your guitar, play it, and you're going to live it. This is the Improvisation Tricks section.

    Hearing The Chords

    Before Improvising you have to listen closely to the chords, how fast, strong, easy it's been done and everything. You should keep the chords in your mind and develop your mental ability to hear chords even if they're not there so you could play them on solo or band situation because to make your melodies work, you have to really care about what's really going on underneath them. Play your metronome and imagine there's the chords there, don't play with it just yet, spend 15 minutes hearing the metronome and imagine the chord changes etc... but always the same chord progression, and keep on hearing the same thing in your head which should be in time exactly with the metronome. Doing this daily will help you develop your timing, ear training, and what's underneath all of your melodies/ soloing.


    In the beginning start improvising slowly over some set of chords and follow the chords exactly as you were doing with the metronome but this time the chords played in reality not just your mind, but a vision of the chords should be played in your head too. Play simple basic stuff, example, Arpeggios, Pentatonics, the simple the better. Do this for along time in the beginning don't make the exercises mentioned below, keep on doing this first, understand the chords while playing. Then it's time to start playing improvisation with style AND skills.

    The Relative Minor

    Sometimes when your arpegiating the chords you might notice that you don't have to arpegiate the exact name of the chord that's going on, you might want to break it up a bit, because it might feel a bit uncomfortable sometimes, a good result to this is the Relative Minor. The Relative Minor is the 6th Note of the Chord you're playing, ex. If you're playing a C major chord you can arpegiate a little on the A Minor chord (as it comes the 6th Note from C), this gives a really great feeling and not a boring normal Arpeggio Result.

    Mean It

    The more knowledge that you've have the more control you're going to have therefore the more aggressive you can play and you can play the chords like you mean it and it always come to a cross when a guitar player means what notes he plays because he really digs in and you really can tell that he feels it, he knows what's happening. What you really should do is learn as much as you can of the notes that you're choosing and then you're just gonna feel much better about, which notes you do choose, because you're going to mean, you're gonna play it like you mean it, it's just going to come out much better and when you use distortion to play really aggressive stuff, you're going to realize that everything you would play with a clean tone, is the same, it's just the melody, all you're doing is making music and you can play it really aggressive, you can play it quietly... it doesn't matter, the only thing that matters is that you're aware of the notes you choose.

    Some Examples Of Meant Solos:

  • Guns N' Roses - November Rain
  • Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven
  • Guns N' Roses - Dead Horse
  • Metallica - Unforgiven
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Mama, I'm coming home
  • Pink Floyd - Marooned (Instrumental, but good to hear)

    Past Tricks

    When playing and improvising you might be noticing that the Guitar Tricks you've made before and repeated alot which stuck into your head are starting to appear now without meaning to play them, pop out or just not noticing... The important part is, that you must know that they're a part of you now, so start using them not guessing them and let them pop out, let them lead the way to something which pops out totally new, not the tricks you've made in the past but something totally new. When a great tune will come to you which is totally new, you should write it down, and figure it out like you did with your other tricks, it's a cycle, and this technique never stops.


    You can make up your own scales, some scales are not something you would choose because you don't like them/ don't like the sound/ etc... The only solution to this is to make up your own, in order to use them. Example: Mixing a Harmonic Minor Scale with a Pentatonic MINOR, it has to do alot with it, basically you could make the first octave of the Harmonic Scale and end the second octave with a Pentatonic MINOR (Minor because Harmonic minor should be mixed with a minor, so that the 2 have in common; being a minor) or vice versa. Mixing is what Big Famous Guitarists do.


    Making runs is not as easy as it sounds, yes you can do fast runs but can you make MELODIC Fast Runs? Making the same pattern to run on is not a good idea, but adding some extra notes to that run actually sounds nice. Repeating the whole thing over and over again doesn't grab the listener's ear, so be creative and add some simple notes in those runs, not to many, but 2-3 notes should do, just as the run keeps the Listener Interested in what you're doing.


    Giving the notes and musical composition a rest is the best solution, to think of the Chord you're following, the melody you're making, get some quick short break, and making the musical composition Interesting and cooperative, which leads us to the last part of Improvisation:


    As we do when we speak, each guitar player puts his or her own personal touch into playing their instrument. This personal style is called guitar phrasing and it is very much like speech patterns, in that we choose how to interpret a song, add or detract our own colour in guitar chord phrasing, tease or race a rhythm to make a statement. Whether we are picking or strumming or even not playing while waiting-out a dramatic silence, if we are staying in the 'grove', timing of the piece. A less technical skill (not a technical skill at all) then strumming or picking, a good guitar phrasing lesson focuses more on bringing the player's personality out then teaching anything truly specific. This is really a 'feel' thing and though that term is quite esoteric, there really isn't much more to guitar phrasing then feel. As we would 'phrase' something we say as a question, when we could probably just as easily make it a statement, we approach a particular song, or part of a song, with maybe aggression or a laid-back attitude, which brings our personality into it. Yes, jazz guitar phrasing is full of these changes in inflection but a player can put his or her individual personality into any genre of music they play. This is where a player takes a certain chord progression and really leaves a mark, his or her own personal statement on a passage in such a way that it is theirs as they are playing it. It takes concentration and technique, but more importantly an ability to let go and take chances. Sometimes the less adept player can make some really beautiful stuff come out of his or her guitar chord phrasing that no guitar phrasing lesson could have ever taught them. The more in tune a player is with whom they are or who they might aspire to be, the richer their guitar phrasing becomes. There really is no way to say what and what not to do when attempting guitar phrasing. You really can't go wrong if you stay to the music. You should really play like you're telling a story from the heart and as mentioned earlier, guitar phrasing lessons will teach you to be open to all these varied and rich colours of your playing and show you that nothing you do is wrong if it comes from your feelings and your own individual language. This is the end of the section "Improvisation Tricks" now let's get back to the last lesson.


    Bending doesn't mean to just bend your string and let it go which way it leads to, but you need to understand the meaning you're bending, is it because you're making a groove or a bluesy kind of feeling or are you just making it for fun? As you might not know, there are loads of ways to bend your strings, but I'm just going to mention one which is effective. Say you want to get to a G note (for example), you can get from the F note to bend or you can get from the C# note, which is a bit out of tune, but it's a good thing in a way, as long as you get the pitch correctly it doesn't matter where you've been from, because the most important thing is to get to the specific note you wanted, in this case it's a G note. Doing this manipulates and grabs the intention of the listener's ear and intend to find it quite cool what you played, but you shouldn't stay on the "out-of-tune-note" for far too long; consider it just as "a passing note", nothing more, nothing less. This results as a good way to phrase too, bending could result as using it as a passing note, this is something which you grab someone's intention and get back to what you're doing and show the really meaning you intended to play out of the whole solo/ improvisation/ whatever... Another thing about bending is that if you use support to bend, you will have much more power into it than if you were going to bend with only one finger, support is never in the way.


    That's it people, my Third Part of "Guitar Signature Style", hope you got the meaning out of the first 2 parts, and eventually next time we'll get deeper into what we've said here, and mention some other tricks which are good to use, for example, bending, I'll tell you something else which I didn't cover in this Part, because it would be impossible for you to read it all. Sorry for any kind of Bad Grammars that I might have done, once again. In this part I'm going to conclude like the Second part with 3 (this time) Favourite Quotes which happened to inspire people, as Guitarists, this is Carlos Santana speaking: "My job in this life is to give people spiritual ecstasy through music. In my concerts people cry, laugh, dance. If they climaxed spiritually, I did my job. I did it decently and honestly." "When my father passed away two or three years ago, I didn't listen to music for four days - that's a long time for me." - Carlos Santana And a Slash quote as a Slash Fan and which really means something to me: "Y'know, you got make choices in life. You can't keep on following bands around your whole life and partying out. One day you're gonna wake up and you'll be 30 years old and you won't have done a damn thing with your life." - Slash Hope you liked some decent words around here, cheers, Lee.
  • 28 comments sorted by best / new / date

      id hardly call dead horse a meaningful solo... actually slash claimed never to put meaning into any of GNR's stuff, especially the later days around the UYI project.... probably just being spiteful or whatever... good lesson, might try some of the stuff. peace.
      Good article, but can you really teach someone else how to develope their own unique style? That sounds like a contradcition to me. I mean, if you tell someone else what to do (licks, tricks, technique, etc) aren't you just telling them what you/others already do? I don't know; teaching someone else how to make their own style seems like a contradiction... Just a though.
      jof1029m wrote: checked i found that this was a bit long, and really didnt say all that much. the creating tricks section was on how to borrow from other songs well and the improv section was too long. you spent a long time on phrasing and almost didnt teach anything about it. not bad overall, but you really could have shortened this part and said more.
      I think it was said good, and enough.. so shut the f*ck up.. before i kick your a*s
      dino čobo
      sweet_leaf_777 wrote: I think this article was better on
      yeah right
      dino čobo
      i found this artical a very good read gave me a lot to think about some good ideas in there and explained a few theorys of my own all in all it were great
      The Demiurge
      i found this artical a very good read gave me a lot to think about some good ideas in there and explained a few theorys of my own all in all it were great
      Aarrrgghh... no edit button in this part of UG, my first sentence should read "Fifths are probably the easiest thing...", not my god awful attempt at grammar. It's 1:15 a.m., forgive me.
      ihavnofingrprnt: Soloing over fifths is probably the easiest thing in the world to solo over, especially in metal! I'm a metalhead too, so I'm not trying to bash the genre, but come on, I know metal's intricate, but it's not known for it's deep, moving solos. Metal solos are normally just shredding, and metal is known for it's dissonance. Focus on just a simple scale pattern that employs a natural 5, and you'll do just fine so long as you play the solo in the same key as the rest of the song. Note: The above stereotyping of metal applies only to REAL METAL! If you're talking a7x or atreyu, ignore this, stop even considering solos in bitchcore, and commit suicide for the sake of natural selection.
      Any one who says a metronome isnt worth shit should actually try using one in a very fast song, they help alot more than you think. and as for the article, good job, a bit long but alot of it made sense to me, probably one of the more useful ones on this site.
      checked i found that this was a bit long, and really didnt say all that much. the creating tricks section was on how to borrow from other songs well and the improv section was too long. you spent a long time on phrasing and almost didnt teach anything about it. not bad overall, but you really could have shortened this part and said more.
      go0d article gives the right opinions go0d job now i must read the other two parts
      Did u really write ALL OF THAT, and still you practice 4 hours go to skool & have a job? I mean wooow do u go out or hang out or go to play chill out?
      just okay for me....some things were just touched upon where there should have been a bit in depth...
      A little long perhaps, with a lot of obvious stuff. Dead Horse? What happened to Estranged?!
      using 5th chords is just lyk using all those complicated chords that people go on abt, except you jst chop the complicated part off, and hey presto!! a 5th!! its basically the same, except your chords are as deep and varied, although when playing metal, it doesnt really matter as much as acoustic, blues n some rock stuff
      ihavenofingerprint im with you! i cant learn gmaj7rafi5fo and all of theese crazy things! they all sound the same, i swear its just the same thing fingered differently. mabey when im like 60 ill sit doen and learn them but until then its all power chords, bar chords, basic free hand chords and solos
      coo. good article, a little long, but its all good, thanks for the advice (y)
      good...nothing revolutionary, but a decent read. should help people that are stuck with their soloing techniques right now.
      this is a awesome article! iv had a fair bit 2 drink, which has obiously made it all the more meaningful!! this kinda article makes u wanna sit down n actually do some "musically technical" practise.....meh.....maybe in the morning!
      damn it i hate it when people start sayting ya play the mnor locrain interval over the cMaj 9.54 chord or something like that, cause i dont use all those chords, being in a metal band its mainly powerchords,(fifths) and tasteful solos here and there, someone explain to me how to solo over fifth chords it probably has the same principle, and i know keys, and several scales, but someone should realy make an article on soloing over fifths
      Good article, but IMHO, it "said a lot without saying much." I don't mean to sound unsupportive, but you could have condensed this article pretty easily. Like in "Practicing Without Hesitation" could say (summed up) deadlines/pressure is bad and you must calm down and enjoy your practicing.
      I fell asleep after 1 minute of this lesson... I think I'll pass on the metronome-listening for now.
      If I sat and listened to my metronome for 15 minutes straight I'd fall asleep.
      slash-no1- wrote: jof1029m wrote: checked i found that this was a bit long, and really didnt say all that much. the creating tricks section was on how to borrow from other songs well and the improv section was too long. you spent a long time on phrasing and almost didnt teach anything about it. not bad overall, but you really could have shortened this part and said more. I think it was said good, and enough.. so shut the f*ck up.. before i kick your a*s
      see that little M next to jof1029's name? Yea. You f*cked up.