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How To Play A Guitar Solo

Welcome to the ninth lesson of the Lead Guitar Quick-Start Series. In this lesson, we’ll be going over some tips for building your own guitar solos. With these tips you’ll be able to create solos that sound a lot more like music rather than just playing up and down scales. The concepts we’ll cover are things like phrasing, repeating themes, leaving space, building your solos dynamically, and playing of chord changes.

For the first concept, we’ll be taking a look at phrasing. Phrasing refers to intentionally choosing your notes to create a melody. This can be thought of like having a conversation with someone. You wouldn’t want to run all your sentences together, and you wouldn’t want to have a monotonous tone. It wouldn’t be very interesting, and it’s almost the same when you just play up and down scales on the guitar.

When you’re talking to someone, you leave pauses, have inflections in your voice, and have rest times where you wait for a moment. Sometimes you want your guitar solos to be the same way. Your solo can be more interesting if you pause here and there and build inflections in your playing.

The second concept we’ll cover is having repeated themes throughout your solos. You won’t always want a repeating theme, but occasionally it’s nice to have something familiar to the listener in your solo. A theme can also help tie everything in your solo together to give it a more cohesive feel.

Something that can be hard for many guitarists is leaving space between notes. A good way to think about leaving space is to follow your breathing. As you exhale, you can play notes, and when you inhale, you leave a space. This can give your solos a much more melodic, voice-like characteristic that draws the listener in.

Building your solos dynamically is another way to make your solos interesting and keep your listeners engaged. That could mean you start your solo quietly, slowly build it up, and then by the end, it’s natural to end off with a faster lick or a higher volume.

The last tip is to start playing over chord changes. This means you’ll change the notes you play in your solo to fit with the chords that are happening in the song. In the next lesson, we’ll be jamming along to a jam track that goes between G major and E minor. When we’re playing along, we’ll change our notes depending on which chord is happening in the music.

In the next lesson, we’ll put these tips into practice along with the other things we’ve learned previously in this series to get into learning your first guitar solo.

Are you looking for more lead guitar lessons and relevant jam-tracks? The GuitarLessons.com Academy is Nate Savage’s step-by-step video training system. It has some great songs for lead guitar and it also covers many other important styles of music including rock, country, fingerstyle, metal, classical, bluegrass, jazz, and more. Best of all it includes a huge library of original jam-tracks so you can apply everything to music.