Solo Trouble

Robert Korcok

Member
Nov 11, 2019
17
5
15
I try to summarize below my “knowledge” on how to write licks or solos but please correct me if I’m wrong or feel free to add anything what you think can be helpful. I would really, really appreciate that.
So, the 2 choices I have while improvising/soloing are:
Relates to all
I can play the same scale over the chord progression – if the progression is in E minor, for example i – iv – v / Em – Am – Bm – I can play the E minor scale for the whole thing.
Treat each chord like different event
For the same progression I would play for each chord it’s own scales. For example over the Em chord the E minor scale, over the Am the A minor scale and over the Bm the B minor scale / or any of the minor modes over each chord. (over Em the E Dorian, over Am the A Dorian etc… )
But how to chose the right notes in the scale, to build licks and solos, and not just play random notes and wish that whatever I’m playing makes at least a little sense… in Wayne Riker’s book, The Complete Electric Blues Guitar Method, he gives few tips how to use each note of the blues scale ( I guess it’s the same for any scale, so if you don’t play the blues scale and you don’t have the b3 but 3rd, it’s not a blues note, but the below is still true )
The Root – Chord tone. Strong starting and ending note.
The b7 – Chord tone. Primary blues tone, very strong ending note.
The 5th – Chord tone. Strong.
The b5 -Primary blues tone. Effective mainly as a passing note.
The 4th – Neither a blues tone or a chord tone. Suspended tone, the weakest note of the scale, best used as a passing tone.
The b3 – Primary blues tone. Very strong. Best used in the middle or at the start of the lick.
Also in the same book there is another perspective, like “There are only twelve notes you are messing with, just play all of them and make sure you land on the right ones.”
So basically by the ‘right ones’ they mean the chord tones, (R, 3rd, 5th, 7th)
I would be really grateful if you could add more or explain this in more depth… I started analyzing few solos if they follow the above and which note is used and how… I can share those notes here too if you want, but in the meantime I would like to see your thoughts on the above
Thanks in advance
 

Ids Schiere

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2019
3,134
676
2,096
24
Groningen
www.facebook.com
Tbh usually I don’t really treat each chord as a new event. Personally I prefer to have a good flow in my solos as a whole. Treating each chord as a new event can mean you just play a collection of licks the whole way true which can sound incredibly messy to my ear. As far as playing each respective scale and minor/major modes over each chord. That mostly gives you a bit more option but what you should be wary of is that sometimes modes can have a lot of wrong notes in them too. So you should be cautioned by which mode you use. For example when playing Em-Am-Bm you can do B minor scale and A minor scale over the respective chords because they different only by 1 note with respect to the E minor scale so most notes on those scales will work. But for example A phrygian over the A minor can sound a little bit off when you look at the harmony. So be wary with the modes(take into account that Em scale is G major so over Am it would be A Dorian and over B minor it would be B phrygian).
As for the notes you chose. That is really all up to your ear. For example your book says to use the chord tones but I really like to use 2nds,4ths and 6ths sometimes as well either because it can create a certain tension or a sound I really like over the chord. Using 7ths is the one which should be used with caution because that one can really sound horrible sometimes. I use that one mostly to grab attention of the listener(or the John Mayer trick as I soemtimes call it). I think note choice is not something a book can tell you because the book is probably something someone else really liked too. Happy experimenting!
 

Ted Hoffman

Member
Nov 11, 2019
20
1
10
Nice, Ids!
For me, with my Parkinson’s problems – it really might be a blessing in disguise, as it’s forcing me to think less like a Ritchie Blackmore wannabe and more like a George Harrison wannabe… short, concise, and something simple that augments the song. I’ve always said one of the best and most effective solos ever recorded was Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl” …one note. Cue in to 2:06…

Another screamingly effective minimalist solo is Duncan Sheik’s “White Limousine” (cue in to 2:30)

One of my favorite gee whiz guitarists (and there are many!) is Toto’s Steve Lukather… while he routinely peels paint off the walls with his solos – this one is is short, to the point, and melodic as heck.. cue in to 3:11

Back in 2004, as a result of the tsunami that devastated Thailand and Indonesia, some members of another forum decided it would be cool (since there were members from all over the world) to put something together – write a song that we could have people download and donate the proceeds to the cause, sort of a “we are the world” deal. Well, I wrote a melody and a verse, and figured I’d let everyone else have at it to write subsequent verses, add vocals and instruments, and, of course, the solo section. We offered to sort of hold a contest to see who could come up with a solo for the song. Amazingly, most of the entries were based out of a minor pentatonic blues scale, which (and you’ll hear why if you listen to the tune) just did not work whatsoever. Finally, EQ Magazine columnist Phil O’Keefe (who was assembling the final track) suggested that I put my Rick 360-12 to use on the solo. So that’s what I did. Sadly, the cooler version of this with the many people playing on it got lost when my old hard drive bit the dust…so what I’m posting here is my working track with just me and Jak’s brother Drew on drums. Copies of the good version still exist – I just don’t have any myself. For anyone that is curious, the solo section begins at 1:55 …

I guess my point is some very simple solos can be quite effective.
 

Ids Schiere

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2019
3,134
676
2,096
24
Groningen
www.facebook.com
Oeh! George Harrison is one of my heroes! I do really love his playing and songwriting! Solos in for example Something and Let It Be fit those songs like a glove! I’ll listen to those links you shared later, I’m in my magnetic properties of solids lecture right now😅
 

Ids Schiere

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2019
3,134
676
2,096
24
Groningen
www.facebook.com
Yeah I’ve been having a lot of fun with physics lately.
I have never heard of Duncan Sheikh before but that solo sounds pretty pleasing to my ear.
That song you wrote for the tsunami sounds pretty good!
 

Ted Hoffman

Member
Nov 11, 2019
20
1
10
Thanks, Ids… yeah… I kinda like that trippy melodic stuff. Thanks for the kudos about the song, too… I wasn’t supposed to write the whole dang thing…but I guess nobody was that motivated LOL. There was a funny scratch demo where I was asking folks to join in and write part of the tune, but nobody else did.
 

Evan Cosman

New member
Nov 11, 2019
58
0
0
So I have been working on the walk with me in hell solo by lamb of god. I had it down pretty good on the weekend, I was practicing it yesterday and I couldnt get some parts down that I had before. I got really frustrated and I felt like I needed to prove to myself that I could play it so I kept trying for around 2-3 hours getting more and more sloppy and starting to mess up more parts that I used to be able to play.
I guess I’m just scared that I have messed up my muscle memory and made it sloppy now. What do you guys think
Rock on guys
 

Ids Schiere

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2019
3,134
676
2,096
24
Groningen
www.facebook.com
You can lose memory if you haven’t already played it a billion times before. Maybe in the weekend you could play it based on memorizing it in your head and you did not develop you muscle memory properly yet so just keep on building it and you’ll be fine.
 

Jak Angelescu

Guitarist for Unknown. New music 12/30! 🎸🤺🐈
Staff member
Sep 24, 2019
2,025
757
2,096
32
Kansas City, MO
This is me trying to add more. I learned a HUGE valuable thing the other day with my dad. DON’T BEND FROM THE FINGERS. Bend from the wrist! I know that this is a little longer than a minute but I’m not expecting Syn to share it. It’s just to help.
ALSO!!!::::: I know that the end jam, the video glitches badly. I’m getting use to a new program and I didn’t know I couldn’t stream the internet with it recording. I loved what I played and didn’t want to redo it. It won’t happen again 🙂 Lesson learned!
 

Dan Shipway

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2019
612
0
1,191
My fretting hand is naturally at a 45 degree and it makes bending feel really natural as it follows the curve but this is incredibly useful and something that I have seen lots of people do wrong. Can be a bit of a pain with scales as stretching with your hand slanted can be awkward.
 

Brandon Diemert

New member
Nov 11, 2019
5
0
0
I can’t even solo with this cheap guitar I’ve been playing guitar for 6 years and I’m at the point of giving up if I can’t efford a good guitar like I’ve had it





This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by  Brandon Diemert.


 

Brandon Diemert

New member
Nov 11, 2019
5
0
0
I rather have have someone be by me and teach then a video that doesn’t even help it makes you wanna break your guitar can’t do it sorry syn I just can’t





This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by  Brandon Diemert.


 

Jak Angelescu

Guitarist for Unknown. New music 12/30! 🎸🤺🐈
Staff member
Sep 24, 2019
2,025
757
2,096
32
Kansas City, MO
I looked on your profile and this is the only thing you have posted. You haven’t posted any riffs so perhaps we can see where your mistakes are. You also haven’t posted any forum topics asking for help. You just blatantly come out and say “the school isn’t helping”.
A teacher helps more than a website does because your teacher can see what you’re doing wrong. You also communicate with your teacher about when and what you’re struggling with. If you don’t talk, we don’t know. If you don’t post riffs, we can’t see what you’re doing wrong. It’s not the site, it’s your inactivity. The site has helped hundreds of students including myself, as they talk about it. But they also have improved because they’ve been active.
And John 5 shreds on a Hello Kitty guitar. I can understand it makes it frustrating. But Slash started on a one-string nylon. You do with what you have or invest a little money in making your setup better.
Going to be honest… it’s a little rude for you to tell Syn that his several- hundred thousand dollar and nearly decade-long dream to HELP YOU isn’t helping you when you haven’t even been proactive since it opened
 

Brandon Diemert

New member
Nov 11, 2019
5
0
0
alternate picking x ive tried in mediuem speed but I keep losing focus on it im trying to learn alternate picking a little better