Guitar Solos For Beginners–Part One— : Making a Melody with Three Notes

Today the first part of a series about how to create solos on the guitar. I will keep things really simple but at the same time will give you practical tips on how to create your own solos.

Okay let us jump straight into it: When it comes to playing solos the average beginner and intermediate guitar player will mimick the solos of other players. Logical, as you learn by copying someone else.
When guitarplayers get to grips with playing solos they often learn about scales at the same time, and for a lot of beginners, scales are a dirty word, it is something which scares them to bits. Why? It sounds complex, the fingers no longer have those familiar chordshapes to fall back on, the mind gets lost in the different,  often unfamiliar fingering-patterns which govern so many scales. I will break down scales  (and the fear of them) at some point, but for today I will make matters really simple: Give yourself three notes, play those notes, sing them, make sure you can sing them. Now find those notes on all your six strings. Once you can do that you are ready to create short melodies, which could be the part of a solo.

~ Play (or sing the first note), play the note again, but use a different rhythm, Play this time the second note a bit louder (using dynamics!!) play a slide before you go into your new note. Now create a little riff which uses those three notes: Two will be the same, the Third note is your second note from the Three Notes I asked you to use before. Now play this little Two note riff on all your strings, see how it feels in different places. You may be able to connect the riff of one string to the riff of the next string by using some other notes. Yes you are allowed to do so! The restriction of the Three notes is only to get you going, once your creativity is flowing you should carry on being creative and play.

~ Once you are happy with your Two Note Riff, write it down in TAP form this will enable you to remember the riff anytime,  is also a good method for notating longer songs you may create at a later stage!!

~ Create a Second Two Note Riff, by reversing your notes of the first Two Note Riff! Simple eh? There are countless of riffs from Hitsongs where this technique is being used, I will provide examples at a later stage, let us focus now on creating!!

~ Create now about Five Riffs which follow this strategy, write them down and have fun with them. When you play electric guitar, use different effects to play your riffs. You may want to use some Flange, a bit of Overdrive etc. Anything will do to give those riffs a different sound. It is also a good way to get a feel to creating different sounds in songs. If you play acoustic, play riff with a pick, then fingerstyle, maybe even put some chords in between the riff. Heh, before you know it, this short Two Notes Riff becomes the start of a song. You see how Solos, Knowledge of Scales and Chords all feed into the same goal: Making Music, That is all what you want to do.

Okay, once you feel you can do this Two Note Riff idea any time you play, it is time to add more notes and to learn a bit more about scales, maybe just the major scale.

Next time more about the idea of playing solos, the thinking behind it if you like.
Enjoy for now and hope to catch you soon again!