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Learning to solo, by learning from songs


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  • #16
    I found most of my progress came from surrounding myself by better musicians. I learned by doing moreso than by reading. With that in mind, I think there is really a lot of value in learning the solos of another musician. Learn to do it first, then worry about how they wrote it later.


    • #17
      Figuring out solos off records is a great way to learn. Most of the famous guitarists did it that way. It teaches you to figure out things by ear, and the more you do it the better you get at it. If you can hear something and then play it on guitar, it translates into being able to hear stuff in your head and then play it, which is kind of the basic building block of improvising.


      • #18
        Some great posts in this thread already. I'd just like to add that this is a multi-step process. Slowing the solo down to a manageable speed allows the "bits" to be digested. The focus can be on the notes and positions they are played in for a while and the focus can be on the timing (it helps to count when trying to learn when to play the note).

        Once you can play the solo up to speed you can pay attention to the underlying chords and how the "composer" of the solo fit the bits together.

        I would also suggest lots of recording and listening to yourself. It helps a lot to detach yourself from playing the parts and just listening. It can also function as a "journal" of your progress. Jam with some friends and record the jams. Pick out the bits of your playing that you like and develop them.
        As a human being, you come with the whole range of inner possibilities
        from the deepest hell to the highest states.

        It is up to you which one you choose to explore


        • #19
          One thing is you don't have to learn 5000 solos or 5000 licks. A typical solo in a song is about 8 -16 bars. Not long. AC/DC guitar solos for example are like this except when Angus goes crazy while the rest of the guys take a bathroom break.

          What you do need to do is learn a modest number of licks really well. From these you can make up an infinite number of solos and also modify the notes in the licks in different ways.
          Serious about playing but not much else.