The guitar solo is one of the most important fundamentals of lead guitar
playing. While you may think that lead guitar playing is another way of saying guitar soloing, this isn’t
Lead guitar playing simply means that the guitarist is playing the lead part of the song. This doesn’t have to
be a solo—it can mean a melody or even a pattern.
Guitar soloing is a fundamental of lead guitarist’s playing because it allows them to take the lead in parts
where a solo is workable.
In this article, we will discuss how to teach yourself the basics of guitar soloing.
In order to teach yourself guitar soloing, you will need a few things. The first is a metronome. A metronome is
a time keeping device that allows you to do just what it says—keep time. It can be set to different tempos so that
you can play at different speeds, allowing you to build up your skills bit by bit as you go along.
The second thing that you will need is a tuner. A tuner is extremely important if you are going to be soloing.
Why? If you aren’t in tune, no matter how good your guitar soloing skills are it won’t sound right. Being in the
proper key is pointless if you aren’t even in tune to begin with.
The first thing you want to do after you’ve gotten your metronome and your all tuned up is to warm up. Never
play fast without warming up beforehand. This can lead to tendonitis, carpal tunnel, and a vast array of other
nerve related injuries that will be the death of your guitar solo playing before it has even begun. Play some
scales or just play a low tempo song—anything to get your circulation flowing and your fingers eased up.
When writing a guitar solo, you need to look at the riff that you will be playing over. Ask yourself a few key
questions that will help you to discern what should be put into this solo, as pertaining to both notes and
techniques. What key is this piece in? What style riff is it? What techniques are used within the riff? Are there
key changes in the riff, as in a progression, or is it a repeating riff?
These things will help you to choose the right notes as well as help you to avoid overlapping techniques and
make too much noise. This is something many guitarists do, and it makes too much confusion with the clash of
techniques, such as over use of hammer on and pull off techniques in both the riff and the solo over the riff.
Study the riff as you would study a song that you are learning. There is no rule as to how you should teach
yourself to play a guitar solo; all that matters is that you are able to look at the riff and discern what fits
best over it. Good luck with your guitar soloing, and have fun with it as well. For another lesson on string
skipping, click here.