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How to Play Guitar Solos

playing a guitar soloThe guitar is not straight-laced and classy. The guitar is flashy and eccentric. People want to learn to play guitar to stand out.

To do that, a guitarist must first learn how to play guitar solos in various styles, or at least in their favorite style.

Think about your average band. Sure it’s hard to match the charisma (and ego) of the lead singer, but almost always close behind in popularity is the guitarist. Ladies tend to like the guitarist because the guitar is hot! Typically, guys the guitarist because they love guitar solos in general.

It’s true! All guys daydream about busting out in a five minute solo on stage. It’s practically encrypted into our DNA. The guitar solo is what makes a man at his finest moment. It's awesome...the rest of the band continues to play, but they do so playing second fiddle to the amazing talents, creativity, and presence of the guitarist.

If you’re longing to learn how to play guitar solos, let me break down this brilliant technique into its simplest form.

The guitar solo is a free form technique so much of it I cannot really teach you. When you play a solo it just comes naturally. In fact the guitar solo is the closest thing to “improv” jazz and blues as you’ll get.

But there is a lot of preparation that goes into learning how to conquer the guitar solo.

First and foremost, you must first play the guitar at an advanced to expert level. I’m sorry beginners, but you do not just pick up a guitar and in two weeks play challenging solos. It’s just not that easy.

In fact a lot of solos may not look difficult, but there is no way you can play them without the complex bends, “hammer-ons,” “pull-offs,” and other advanced techniques. While you can learn these techniques rather quickly, it’s first advised that you learn guitar basics such as chord playing and proper strumming technique.

Once you learn the fundamentals than the advanced techniques are much easier. If you’re curious about playing guitar solos, look into “hammer-ons” and “pull-offs” because you’ll need to use these two techniques quite often.

Guitar solos will use a lot of the high end strings and many of the notes are down on the lower third of the guitar neck. Up until this point you have more than likely stuck exclusively with the top third section because that is where all the chords and power chords are located. But for solos the focus will change to the lower-third section.

Now I love the lower-third part of the neck, but there are some complications you’ll run into. For example, the frets are much closer to each other than they are at the top of the neck. The margin for error where you’re finger will accidently bump into the fret is much higher. This is especially common with individuals who have long or thick fingers.

Guitar solos will really test the speed of your fingers. Do not even think about attempting a solo until you’re an expert with strumming and can shift through the strings on the guitar neck with ease.

The masters of guitar solos will really change the tempo on a beat and can shift from a slow and melodic solo to a fast and frantic pace. The fast and frantic sections are obviously more difficult to learn so make sure you can keep up before even attempting to play.

If you’re like me, the guitar solo is what you want to learn how to play. It’s the whole reason you desired to pick up the guitar in the first place. However, guitar solos take time to learn and are not advised for beginners unless they are incredibly simple.

That said, learning how to play guitar solos can be a great way to expand your horizons, so learn some scales, get familiar with one or two keys, and learn a few solos you like to get started.

Guitar Tricks - 5 stars
If you'd like to learn to rock out with the best of 'em, I'd recommend taking lessons from someone local who can teach you your favorite style of music. If you can't afford to do so, Guitar Tricks is $12.95/month, and a great way to learn how to play guitar solos!



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