Solo Trouble

Syn Gates

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 18, 2019
153
109
366
Hey Synners, I’ve heard from a lot of you that you’ve been having trouble soloing and feeling a little bit left out since I started posting “progress videos” of other students. Well I don’t ever want anyone to feel left out so here’s what I want to do.
I would like to enlist the pillars of our community like Jak, Ids, Ed, Hector, Sayonil, Ben, and others to post short videos of ONE basic philosophy they use to write or learn solos. Keep this to about a minute long. I’d rather have more short vids that one long vid. I’d like for you to post these in the Riffs section as well as on Instagram and use the hashtag #teachingsyn wherever you post. Then I’m gonna start posting those as inspiration for others to start working on their own solos. Please keep it simple and don’t forget about simple things like what you practice solos to- for example, backing tracks, a metronome, or actual songs as well as how you learn solos. I would encourage you pillars to talk about less popular methods so we don’t get 10 videos talking about the same thing. You can also use this Discussion Thread to delegate different topics to different people guaranteeing a very diverse series of lessons developed by you guys.
As for the rest of you that are having trouble, once these videos from our pillars come out, I’d like to see you take their advice and use them to make videos creating your own solos or learning other solos like Jak and Hail to the King, or Ed’s tutorial on Strength of the World. I will then post some of those for the world to see! Remember, even if you feel like you’re not good enough, you are, I promise. I’ve been frustrated with seemingly no where to turn to as well but I never gave up, I never gave in, and THAT, is the secret to my success.
Also, please feel free to use this discussion thread to talk about your troubles. I’m sure you will get plenty of amazing advice, I certainly have from everyone here.
Much love to you all!
Syn
 
  • Love
Reactions: Mike Creuzer

Ids Schiere

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2019
2,866
414
1,596
24
Groningen
www.facebook.com
Thanks Syn for considering me a pillar!
Just to be clear. You want us to make a tutorial on soloing or just play a solo?
Besides Do we have a deadline for this?
Also, my Instagram is hidden(like you have to follow me to see the stuff I upload). So, will you see it once I upload it?
 

Jak Angelescu

Guitarist for Unknown. New music 12/30! 🎸🤺🐈
Staff member
Sep 24, 2019
1,979
598
2,096
32
Kansas City, MO
Syn this is an AMAZING idea!! Oh I’m going to have to really think about this long and hard to see what is my best advice I can give and how to demo it because I have quite literally, endless amounts of ideas. But I think I have an idea of what I will use. I really can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!!!
 

Jak Angelescu

Guitarist for Unknown. New music 12/30! 🎸🤺🐈
Staff member
Sep 24, 2019
1,979
598
2,096
32
Kansas City, MO
I am really torn between three different concepts:
1. Slower=better development. Of course we all know this. That you got to go slow before you can go fast. But I want to incorporate that it goes for backing tracks on internet as well as the backing tracks here. For example, I can’t do the 6 string arpeggio in lesson 24 at full speed with sixteenth notes, but I CAN do them as sixteenth notes at 80% speed. I also, at 80% speed, can relax a little bit and allow my melodies and techniques (*cough* INFLECTION *cough*) to be applied without stumbling and falling all over the place. With the concept of learning solos or writing them, I would encourage the situation of “5 minutes at a BPM, then only improve by 1 BPM”. 30 minutes a day at this method had me going on the HTTK solo from 75 BPM to 100 in almost 30 minutes because you pound it into your brain and your muscle memory.
2. Learn rhythm to learn lead. I can’t even begin to speak about how many guitar players I see that let their rhythm work fall by the wayside. And then when they do lead, they lack the concept of “playing in the groove/feel of the song”. I guess you could say you wouldn’t really hear a solo like Dragonforce’s “Through Fire And Flames” over something like Aerosmith’s “Love In An Elevator”. Their timing is all over the place, they can’t create tension or melody because they don’t know the chord progressions, etc.
3. Break the monotony and learn techniques to learn songs. I put the BPM of HTTK solo back down to 100 because I was NOT happy with the sweeps. I practiced them for hours for days on end and for some reason, still couldn’t get them as beautiful as I wanted to. I started to get bored, discouraged, and eventually lost interest. That’s when I started to spend more time on the school’s lessons. Instead of 20 minutes a day on each lesson, I spent an hour and made up my own exercises with what Papa was teaching and only ran through HTTK solo once. For some reason, afterwards, those sweeps in a matter of two days became literally effortless. I was practicing standing up at full speed. I think it’s the idea that you teach your brain to do a wider variety of things, and other things seem less difficult.
I’m just confused on what to pick because they’re all three so important in my progression! And Syn’s metronome lesson helped loads!!
 

Ids Schiere

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2019
2,866
414
1,596
24
Groningen
www.facebook.com
In my opinion of the three things you mention your 2nd point is the most important for your own soloing/improvising. This is becayse I consider a solo bad when it’s misplaced however good it could be if it is misplaced it’s bad IMHO.
 

Dominik Gräber

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2019
955
541
2,096
21
Saarland
Hey @jak, now that you mentioned it, I am currently at the sweeps to the httk solo. So did you watch the lessons to sweeps and practiced that to get better or did you just watch lessons to have multiple things to work on and keep your motivation high?
Also I think I agree with Ids, your second point seems to be the most important that almost nobody talks about
 

Ed Seith

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2019
1,480
343
1,571
49
Marana, AZ USA
I don’t know that I can manage to keep “hello” to a minute, much less a lesson, but I have a good idea what I will cover here, and I will keep it as brief as possible. Thanks for the idea, the support, and the love, Syn! You always inspire taking it to the next level!
 

Dan Shipway

New member
Nov 11, 2019
611
0
0
Can’t really do a video as I am pressed for time but the main point I consider is
Don’t run before you can walk
A lot of solos sound amazing and they are something that millions of aspiring guitar players want to learn but when you delve into the heart of the solos, they are bitches and learning them without having a pretty in-depth knowledge of techniques. Slow songs offer the chance for you to work up to that one solo you have always wanted to do.
Say for example you want to learn the main sweeping solo in the stage. Try practising other solos such as In the end by BVB. There is a sweep at the end of the first solo and if you can practice that one sweep and truly master sweeping to a level you are content with then try working up to more advanced. The first thing that comes to my mind is “I always wanted to learn how to play the guitar but in the beginning, it was so slow and frustrating.” That’s just the nature of the art and as long as you can stay motivated and do things that give you a sense of achievement you will be able to do amazing things.
 

Jak Angelescu

Guitarist for Unknown. New music 12/30! 🎸🤺🐈
Staff member
Sep 24, 2019
1,979
598
2,096
32
Kansas City, MO
@Ids and @dominik Thank you both for your input! I’ll probably work on that then! 🙂
@dominik – I worked on lessons 24-29 and created my own exercises. There are 6 string arpeggios that you can do, and I chose to practice those as sweeps and also alternate picking. I would “double up” on the high E string (strike it twice) in the rhythmic style of the HTTK solo sweeps. Practicing those huge arpeggios made the HTTK sweeps feel a lot less daunting. I think it’s because you have such a bigger span of space to cross, over time your picking hand has no choice other than to relax. It was really hard. You learn a lot about how your angle of your pick will seem to naturally change to adhere to the different strings. I can’t explain it because it’s something that I think occurs naturally. Like, your body will KNOW what to do to make it easier on itself, I think. Does that make any sense? The more I practiced those big sweeps, and just relaxed and enjoyed the practice session, it happened.
Also different exercises exercise different parts of the brain and I believe the break from the over sense of repetition is good. Kind of almost like “too much practice and focus can be a bad thing”.
In both my real estate studies and my singer’s anatomy classes, we both learned that sometimes you need to take a break from something and work on something else that INCORPORATES the same idea. An example could be like instead of my singer listing out all the shoulder girdle muscles to exhaustion, she would instead look up common ailments and conditions related to the shoulder girdle. She still sees the names of the muscles, but it puts it into a different perspective for the brain to process in a different way. Maybe we could call this 360 degree learning, lol!
Anyway, I hope that made sense. I’m like Captain Ed (which is so cool you started to call him that). There’s no way I can shorten an answer, lol! But I’ve been pretty use to the time limit lately so I should be good. Thank you for your input! I can’t wait to see your progress video in 30 days!
 

Sayonil Mitra

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2019
604
77
1,296
Wow Syn. Thanks for considering me as a pillar.You truly inspire me a lot.
I have to really think of something brief, precise. I will try to come up with something I often use.
Like Ids said, is there any deadline?
Jak, I like your 1st 2 ideas. You will do a great job with any of them.
 

Jak Angelescu

Guitarist for Unknown. New music 12/30! 🎸🤺🐈
Staff member
Sep 24, 2019
1,979
598
2,096
32
Kansas City, MO
@sayonil you write up so many helpful topics. I’ve found a lot of use in them for sure! And thank you for your input!
 

Sayonil Mitra

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2019
604
77
1,296
Thanks Jak. I will do one on using Vibratos. (Just so that no one else ends up doing this and each one of us cover a different topic)
 

Jak Angelescu

Guitarist for Unknown. New music 12/30! 🎸🤺🐈
Staff member
Sep 24, 2019
1,979
598
2,096
32
Kansas City, MO
Ugh I tried doing my take last night and it was a mess. I realized quickly how much I’ve been lacking on incorporating what I’ve learned here. I think I need to take a break from learning songs and focus more on learning the guitar😟😟😵😵😔😔
 

Jak Angelescu

Guitarist for Unknown. New music 12/30! 🎸🤺🐈
Staff member
Sep 24, 2019
1,979
598
2,096
32
Kansas City, MO
Here’s mine 🙂 Something happened with my audio that I can’t figure out how to fix it. Also, the quality uploaded poorly to YouTube but not my instagram and I don’t know why. hopefully you guys like it 🙂