The Art Of A Great Guitar Solo

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Remember the days when the guitar solo was the highlight of the song?

But then we had an era where bands started phasing out guitar solos. It seemed we went through a period where solos had vanished.

It is nice that groups like Avenged Sevenfold and All that Remains and other bands are starting to put in guitar solos again.

Don’t get me wrong — I love great rhythms, but a lot of songs just feel incomplete without a solo. I guess I became programmed by the songs from the 70’s and 80’s where you would always have a break for the guitar solo.

It was especially awesome when a song had a solo in the middle and the end of the song. The solo is like the tootsie roll in the middle of the Tootsie Pop. It is the part you want the most. However, the tootsie roll would not be the same if it were by itself.

You need the anticipation to fully enjoy it.

“How many LICKS does it take” to make a great solo? I will break it down into three components:

1.    Feeling:  A great solo should be constructed in a way that it has a beginning point and builds intensity until a climax. A great guitar solo will make your adrenaline pump. The solo will be able to tap into your soul and create an energy that draws you into it. A good example would be the solo in Pantera’s Cemetery Gates.

2.    Technique: You need the “know how “and the tools to get creativity and expression across. Therefore, you need the knowledge of scales and modes. They will help you build the framework for your solo. To write quality solos, the guitarists should be able to incorporate the following techniques. By perfecting these techniques, your guitar solos will become more colorful and expressive. They are: Alternate picking for speed, bends, vibrato, slide, hammer ons and pull offs, tapping, arpeggio sweeps and any other tricks.

3.    Equipment: The selection of the equipment you are using is as almost important as your playing. Your choice in the type of guitar you play and the type of amplifiers and pedals you choose will shape the sound you are trying to achieve. The varieties of set-ups are endless. You will have to experiment what works best for you. The key word is “experiment”. Every guitarist develops their own sound. For example, Angus Young sounds nothing like David Gilmore.

Recording devices are also critical in creating desired effects and sound. This website is a great tool for product reviews and equipment. Follow the above tips and you will be on your way to some incredible soloing. Blending the three components together will help bring life to a great solo.

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