No matter what type of music you are into there is nothing more mind blowing than a killer and impressive guitar solo. You can hear it on a track or if you are lucky live at concert but for any guitar player it’s a skill that we would all love to master. Below I have included some tips to hopefully help you get to the solo you have been waiting for, so if you fancy yourself as the next Clapton or Slash take a read and it will set you on your way.
Know your Scales
A starting point that is going to help you massively when it comes to composing your own solo, by learning and mastering pentatonic minor, harmonic minor, natural minor and major scales you will have the knowledge you will need to work around the guitar which is a great starting point. Whilst expanding your knowledge further about the theory of your guitar you will also find that when playing you are moving around the fretboard a lot easier. I was speaking to an old friend of mine Tom Hess Guitar player about the importance of knowing what you are actually doing before jumping into the deep end with a solo. Tom has a lot of experience within the industry with a career that has spanned over 30 years and has had success with band such as Rhapsody of Fire and HolyHell. Tom is also a tutor to many guitar players throughout the world thanks to his online tutoring and mentoring programs where he uses his experiences and two music degrees to expand the knowledge of others.
Work with the Music
It is very rare that you will be creating a solo before you know the general flow of the song you will be soloing on. Knowing the rhythm or the melody to the song is a massive bonus and will only make things easier for you, for example if you have an instrumental or even some form of recording of what you will be soloing over you can play along with the recording. This will allow you to get a feel with what sounds right over the song, without doing this you could have an amazing solo that just doesn’t fit on a melodic stand point. Working a long with the recording as well means that you can practice on your own you don’t have to eat in to any band practice time, solos are great but not at the expense of genuine practice.
When it comes to music there is always theory but remember there are no rules to what you want to create. This is your solo and nobody else’s don’t be afraid or nervous to try something different, use you creative juices and rock with what feels right for you. Everyone enjoys originality and creating something a bit different that also sounds good will bring the house down at any event you would be playing at. That’s what practice is there for right? It’s not going to work every time but when it does it will work amazingly!