Bet you didn’t know that Eric Clapton plays the solo on the Beatles song ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’. I think it’s one of the most memorable solos in rock.
There’s really no way around it; if you want to learn guitar solos you have to practice your scales. While learning chords will enable you to begin playing songs at once, you have to master scales if you really want to play solo like your guitar heroes. One of the most important scales you have to master is the Blues Scale.
The Blues Scale is actually the minor Pentatonic Scale, but with an extra note added called the ‘blues note’. Once you have mastered this scale, not only will you be able to play virtually any song in almost any genre, you will also be able to improvise your own guitar solos.
To play a basic Blues Scale that will enable you to easily learn guitar solos, do these steps:
TRY THIS BLUES SCALE SOLO EXERCISE 1. place your fingers in this position: your first finger presses down on all six strings, your second finger on the fifth string, your third finger on the third, fourth and fifth strings and your fourth finger on the first, second, third and sixth string. 2. Play the scale forwards and backwards by alternate picking: first pick downwards and then upwards. 3. Be sure that you are playing each note clearly. Fool around a bit to challenge yourself.
Once you’ve mastered the Blues Scale, you can start to learn guitar solos by using the different notes you’ve learned from the scale (notes strung together in a pleasing way are called licks).
SOME COOL IDEAS FOR LEARNING SOLOS 1. You might want to learn different positions of the various scales so you can have more options in creating solos. 2. You can also begin experimenting with various techniques to make your licks sound better, including slides, vibratos and half-step bends. 3. Another idea is to look up licks online and try playing with those. 4. Personally, this is my favorite. And it’s the thing I did over and over and over again. Just start attempting to play solo with an accompaniment; you can readily download 12-bar blues audio files that you can play along with.
When improvising licks, you should avoid the common pitfall of playing too many notes. Keep in mind that the best guitarists do not want to impress their audience with their virtuosity, but seek to communicate feeling using their playing.