Melody and Motif are so important. It’s truly what separates the adults from the children. A lot of players think melodically first when approaching a solo but the more I play the more I try to focus on the understanding of Motif.
The primary difference between Melody and Motif in my humble opinion is Rhythm. When you think Rhythmically first, it will add so much depth to you’re paying. The great blues players were the absolute best at knowing when to shut up. Mixing things up with triplets and a LOT of space will keep listeners attention way more than a long, never ending, purely melodic solo.
A lot of great guitarists like Robben Ford and Gary Moore(my two favorites) listened to a lot of Sax and Horn players. Guess what they found out immediately.... They had to breathe! It’s inherent with instruments that produce sound from the breath. Same for vocalists as well. The need to breathe forces these musicians to stop playing. These musical segments within one breath are called Phrases, just like language. Phrasing out your Melodies and Motifs will add a world of depth to your playing. Add a catchy Melody and clever Rhythms and you will sound like the greats.
In closing, a great Motif will start off short and sweet, small but clever, BUILDING OFF OF ITSELF over the course of the entire solo fully utilizing interesting rhythms, space, phrasing, and of course, great melody.
Now head to the Discussion Thread above to share and learn with us.