For this article a few points how to improve your solos, which I back up with the uploaded video.
The video is not about how to play some of the riffs and ideas I play here, it is more about your approach, and the kind of ideas you can use in imrove your own solos.
The first idea I use is Chordtones: Whenever you play over a song find out first what the chords are. It may also be a good idea to play the rhythm guitar part of the song you want to play solos over. Good solos come from understanding and being able to play rhythm well. It all starts with the groove, check out those chords first, get to known what tones are in each chord, find out where those notes are on the fretboard, and start making melodic ideas with those tones.
Broken chords are called arpeggios, it is possible to play all your solos in arpeggios. It will give your solos are certain sound, but it is worth working on this approach. It will also help you to get to known the fretboard much better, which is a must for all guitarplaying really.
The second idea I use is Scaletones: To get more variation in your sound you can mix the chordtones with scaletones. Play your scaletones over the song you want to play, to check how they sound. Some of the scaletones may not sound good, but if you mix them well with your chordtones you may get some great results.
Work with the scalepatterns you know and check out different scales to find out about different musical flavours: Each scale has its own sound, over time you will learn what you like and works well in the songs you want to play your solos over.
The third idea I use is Melodic Phrases and Ideas: Try to sing musical ideas over the song you want to play. Once you can sing some ideas try to find those ideas on the neck of your guitar. Singing ideas will improve your solos, it will also free you up and get you out of: "What Kind of Scale Do I Need to Use For This Song" mentality. Once you get comfortable with this approach you will never be stuck for ideas. If you cannot hear anything to sing you can always fall back on your scalepatterns!
The fourth idea I use is Rhythm: Try playing your scales with 1 note on the beat, then play two notes on one beat, then try playing on the off-beat of the rhythm. Try also to hold on for one note for a while. Do not be afraid of the space this will create. Music is all about space, harmony and tension. If you play all the time you may want to create some space. A lot of this will depend on the style of music you play, but a lot of possible. Try to practise first with a metronome (or drummachine) to see if you can keep time, also try to hear what the effect is of playing these different rhythms. You can clap the beats while your song is playing, so you can hear the rythmic effect of the beats you are going for.
The Fifth idea I use is Double Stops: Double stops are basically small parts of chords---you can harmonise a scale with all the intervals available Maj. 3rds, Perfect 4ths Perfect 5ths ect----- Try to play a scale by using powerchords. Most of you will known what powerchords are and what they look like. Just play first scaletone and put a 5th underneath it. Two tones will do for your powerchord. Play whole scale in this way and you will be there. Now try playing some solos in this way. You probably end up playing a handful of riffs, but that is a start. Keep at it, and try also some other intervals to get more variation in your sound.
Just keep working on some of those ideas and after a while you will start to notice a different in your sound.
See you soon,
by Eddie De Hamer
I have been a music tutor in Leeds since 1992. Teaching people to learn to play music is my passion and mission especially guitar tuition.
I can provide guitar tuition to individuals or groups throughout Leeds. I am also able to travel to many locations around Leeds. Contact me and I will help develop an individual plan for your musical development.
Please see Live Music and session for more information on what I can provide including live guitar sessions taylored to your establishment.