How To Play A Great Guitar Solo
Whether you’ve just started learning guitar or you’re a seasoned pro, you will quickly realize that is takes many years to ‘master’ the guitar and play great guitar solos. It seems that you never stop learning, however there are some secret techniques that you can start practicing today which will rapidly increase your guitar solos skills.
After all, it’s not just practice that makes you good; you need to practice the right stuff in order to get to the next level of your guitar journey.
1. Learn Your Scales
It goes without saying, if you haven’t learn’t the scales on the guitar, you are basically playing ‘blind’. Scales often have a negative vibe when discussed with a new guitarist. However, if you can be disciplined enough to learn at least the major scales and the pentatonic scales, it will unlock the neck of the guitar for you and your solo skills will go through the roof.
2. Start Slow
At some point in a guitar solo, your favourite guitarist will probably start to shred (play really fast). You will most likely be really impressed with their skills and wonder how you could play this fast. The simple secret behind this ‘legato’ technique is to practice the pentatonic scales really slow ideally with a 3-note-per-string-scale. Once you’ve mastered it at a slow speed, you can start to increase the tempo.
Make sure you use a metronome to keep you playing to a consistent tempo. Before long, you will notice it gets easier to play at a faster speed. Ideally, you need to increase the speed at which you are playing until you can play the sixteenth notes at around two hundred beats a second.
3. Push Beyond Your Comfort Zone
It is important as your confidence in your ability grows, you start to move away from your comfort zones. You should eventually be able to start experimenting as you play and ‘feel’ the music rather than simply following the scales and patterns. Don’t get overly worried if at any time you start to hit a few wrong notes, as this can actually add flavour to what your playing.
The best way to push beyond your comfort zone is to learn some famous guitar solos. This will stretch your current patterns and habits, which in turn, will grow your guitar solo skills beyond your current ability.
4. Play For The Listener
If you want to learn how to play a great guitar solo then it is best if you stick to those that come with simple melodies. You may not have realized this but it is often these simple melodies which are played on and off in a piece of music that prove to be more memorable to those who are listening to it.
When you play a guitar solo, your job is to lift the song and to engage the listener. A great guitarist can communicate the emotion of the song to the listener. This is what separates the average from the great solos.