Complete Guide to Lil Wayne Guitar Solo

Everything you don't need to know about the story behind, guitars and amps as well as used guitar techniques.

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Ultimate Guitar
Complete Guide to Lil Wayne Guitar Solo
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You've never asked for this, but you definitely need it! Complete guide to Lil Wayne's solos! Enjoy!

Story behind the solos

I play da guitar, cuz girlz think playing da guitar is sexy!

Wayne is the most interesting rock star in the world. By a mile. His decision to start playing guitar was so groundbreaking and unexpected, that a lot of guitarists left the scene and several bands broke up.

His outstanding guitar solos inspired a lot of people to start playing guitar, and even more people decided to stop learning guitar and never come back.

In September 2016, in regards to his contract dispute with Cash Money, he indicated a possible retirement on Twitter saying "I AM NOW DEFENSELESS and mentally DEFEATED" and then said "I leave gracefully and thankful I luh my fanz but I'm done." Many rappers responded with respect and encouragement. He has refuted the claim then so we're all happy to know that he can continue to share his outstanding solo techniques with the whole world.

So go forward, the world awaits!

Music Videos

Official video

It's not clear how much of "Prom Queen" he played himself, though judging by his guitar skill, it's probably somewhere in between "none" and "one bar." Originally the video was expected to end before Wayne's solo, but someone forgot to hit "stop" button and it would be a crime to cut it out.

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Live version

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Phrase "Kill Yourself" from the unknown guy at the end of the video is addressed to those, who will try to repeat this greatness, because it’s clearly impossible.

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Famous covers

There aren't any famous covers of his solos because nothing can even stay close to Lil Wayne's magic guitar skilz. Only some Russian guy came close once to copying one of Wayne solos.

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Gear and settings

Guitars

Guitars that he plays don't really matter because everything he touches achieves magic power and becomes far better.

Below you can see guitars that were lucky to get into hands of his majesty.

Gretsch G5135GL G. Love Signature Electromatic Guitar


That's how guitar looked before Lil took it.


… and how it looks now.

Taylor T5-S Electric Guitar


Before…

… and after. According to several reports, this guitar was taken to Heaven by angels.

Gibson Dark Fire


Before it met Mr. Wayne.


It's not in playable condition anymore, because it turned into a solid piece of gold.

Epiphone Emily The Strange G-310 Electric Guitar

Originally this guitar didn’t have "People are strange" written on it. It mysteriously appeared after the first Lil Wayne's attempt to play the solo on this guitar.

Amps and effects

Amps don't matter too because he sometimes doesn't even need to plug-in his guitars. The sound goes right from his heart and chains.

Amp settings

Screw it, just let the passion take you into the vibe of the solo.

Tablature

"Leather So Soft" tab - the only correct tab all over the Internet.

"Prom Queen": Tab version, Guitar Pro version, Tab Pro version.

Tuning

His guitars are beyond any possible tune.

Solos key

His solos are very complicated and fluctuate between J minor and Z flat major minor.

Techniques

Lil Wayne's use of atonality and clashing key signatures could be compared to the greatest avant-garde composers of the early 19th century.

One of the greatest techniques, which Lil Wayne invented, is unorthodox thumb picking because "picks are for looooooosers!"

Take the correct fretting hand positioning into account. Usually, you should hold your thumb behind the neck, but that's for newbies. For these outstanding solos, you must hold your fretting hand like if you are panhandling. It gives you less control over your fingers, but "pffff… who needs control."

Lil Wayne's palm muting technique is so unique that he doesn't even need to use his palm.

His fretting technique is so fast, that you can't even see his fingers moving!

His precise accidental bends make his every solo very memorable and unique, that's why so hard to repeat it note by note.

One of the characteristic and famous Lil Wayne's techniques is his signature "dying goat" sound. To perform it you need to use hammer-ons, but don't hit notes completely to achieve this symbolic sound of unbearable suffering.

The same you should do for tapping. You don't need to think about accuracy, only speed matters. There is a legend that Lil Wayne learned this tapping technique from masters of Woodpecker Kung Fu style.

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Wayne's solo without amplification. It helps to understand his "ahead of time" techniques.

And don't forget to rotate guitar to the vertical position to show your love to your instrument and to signalize that you own this solo and no one else can repeat it.

One of the easiest ways to repeat his solo is to drop your guitar down a flight of stairs.

Recommended lesson

Lollipop solo

Check this thorough video lesson to Lil Wayne's absolutely ingenious guitar solo.

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48 comments sorted by best / new / date

    N-D
    I'll just leave this here: Pokemon Lil Wayne card
    SandKatChappy58
    What happens when they got more chin hair then anywhere? You know it, ol 2-pubies was sited over at the A and N callin itself Katie, and B has no clue. We heard it's still there with a string of nom du juor like Rockin911. Heard it's still spiraling out over AG, and counting on AG thinkin its own AS-pics is SL (by all accounts, it ain't). While yer at it, wind it up and watch it resurrect CH.
    JJ1990
    This is by far one of the best articles ever produced on UG! I haven't laughed this much on an april fools joke article before. This is pure gold, good job guys!
    MrKRB64
    I'd like a detailed analysis of Fred Durst's face melting solo next UG:
    hatch.da.egg
    From studying Lil Wayne's live guitar playing very closely, I have finally discovered the secret to shredding like a pro- Keeping one finger still on a fret and slowly applying and releasing pressure to another fret with the other?
    ddstar991
    Lil Wayne is my new influence. John Petrucci, Joe Satriani, and Synyster Gates have nothing on him.
    kilmerborges
    It's so annoying how he keeps interrupting the woman's singing by repeating "put your motherfucking hands in the air" and shit like that in one of the videos. Reminds me of Jay Z doing a similar thing to Paul McCartney and Chester Bennington when they performed together. Why are most rappers like that?
    Anjohl
    Because it's the only thing they know how to do, talk. Unlike musicians, who have to play with other people, and actually have talent, play an instrument or sing, and/or write their own songs, rappers just steal the beat and melody from other songs, and talk over it.
    Guitar Rockher
    Well at least he actually tries to play guitar, most rap artists don't. I'd take a few more lessons if I was him though.
    chouderhead
    What brain power it took to write this article, maybe just maybe stop wasting people time and actually improve the knowledge given to actually try and better guitarists. You know? What the site was actually for until it started whoring itself out.
    Spinnerweb
    Mate. Mate relax. Why do you want the site to be as dull-and-dry as possible? The 'Featured Lessons' section is right next to the 'Music News,' use it as you will. <3
    Way Cool JR.
    The only thing worse than Lil Wayne's guitar skills is this article of Lil Wayne's guitar skills.   
    BlackDeath92
    You do realize the day the article was published on, right? 
    Way Cool JR.
    Not really a good April Fools joke at all considering it's an old long time running joke. April Fools is for spontaneous pranks and jokes that catch people off guard.  This is neither.  So yes I'm aware.
    dectlariosa005
    Lil Wayne, my inspiration, my guru,my master, my sensei. And sooner or later im going to worship you.
    chronic_stp
    Legend has it that the real magic in a lil Wayne guitar solo lay in the overtones and resonances floating around the 60khz range which is a far beyond what you or I are capable of hearing. Lil Wayne has tapped into a special area of the frequency spectrum where the typical octave no longer repeats itself and entirely new keys are possible like the aforementioned Z major minor key. You need a properly trained ear that would theoretically take over a centuries worth of ear training to achieve but lil Wayne was fortunate enough to be born with it. He tries to bless us with beautiful music that tragically only he can hear. We are stuck listening to the mud beneath the masterpiece and his true genius falls on to deaf ears
    BiggusDickus
    To be honest, his guitar solos are more interesting than the Kirk Hammett's. I'm not kidding.