Improve Your Solos: Basic Guide to Essential Guitar Techniques

For this article a list with short ideas on how to improve your ability to play solos on the guitar. The list can be used as goals, something to focus on during your time while you work on improving your solo skills for the guitar.

    Melodies/riffs and Scale Patterns

Most guitar players will get introduced to Pentatonic Scales at some point. There is a major and a minor version of the Pentatonic Scale. Once you get introduced to a scalepattern learn to use it for anything you play: Do not simply play the scale back and forwards, use it to make melodies and riffs. If you have trouble doing so, go back and try to find out what is causing you trouble. The scalepattern should make it easy for you to play over any song, since the notes will fit the key of the given song. Playing melodies on the guitar with scalepatterns is a very common technique a lot of well-known guitar players use. Get smooth with it from the moment you get introduced to Scalepatterns. 

   String Bending

Being able to bend a string is not only for guitar players of Blues and Rock, it is a technique which can be used in any style of playing. String bending gives you this unique sound which is typical for stringed instruments such as the guitar. You can bend strings on a steel string guitar or an electric string guitar, you can even bend strings on a Soprano Ukulele. The sound of a bended string on a guitar sounds somewhat like someone playing slide on a guitar using a bottleneck. There are different kind of bends such as single string bend or double bend. The single string bend is the easiest to play, the double bend is the most useful to learn since it gives you a lot of sustain and strength for your individual notes.

  Hammer On

The Hammer On gives you the ablitiy to create variety in your single string playing. They can be used during fast runs up-and down the fretboard. Work on getting them smooth into your overal playing style.

  Pull Off

Like the Hammer On, the Pull Off can be used to create variety is your playing, it will create a different dimension to your overal picking technique.


The Slide can be used to bring a different element to your single, string sound. It creates sustain and makes your playing smoother and stand out from the rest. Instead of playing fast notes you can concentrate on smooth phrasing by using slides in combination with well chosen, single string ideas.

   Bonus Extravaganza— TWo Handed String Tapping—

This technique may only be for the brave. Once you start looking into it  Two Handed String Tapping is actually not as complex as what is sounds like. By using it you can make your playing sound less common. The trick is to use this technique not as gimmick but to use it to make phrases stand out from the rest of your melodies.

Looking at the list you may think it is a very short list. Indeed, and any player of any ability is able to use any of these techniques. The better you will become the better any of these techniques will start to sound. Use all of those techniques at any given time and keep working on them as they will make your playing stand out from the rest

Happy Playing and hope to catch you soon again!