GUITAR SOLOING: Lesson 001 - Constructing a Solo on Guitar

June 09, 2017:
Lesson 001 - Constructing a Solo on Guitar

PART ONE:  In example one, the concept of performing musical lines with minimal notes is addressed. This area of practice can help the guitar player better determine the overall feel of a set of notes being used to create a solo. It falls into the Mies van der Rohe quotation, "Less is More." When first starting to perform a solo, guitar players will often find it more beneficial to compose short melodic statements and join them to create more flowing lines. Example one demonstrates this with two melodic ideas in the key of "E Minor."

Example two breaks down the principle of using more than one location on the guitar neck for solos. This technique operates around three principles. These include, the application of unison tones, the use of articulation to connect phrases more eloquently. And, it also brings to light the condition of how register, (higher or lower tones) can affect the way a melody is performed. Example 2a, demonstrates an unaffected line in "E Minor." Example 2b, changes the line with respect to both register and articulation.

PART TWO: The second half of the lesson begins with a study of the difference in sound when it comes to performing phrases that ascend, as opposed to performing phrases that descend. Both melodic approaches can have successful results musically and they each produce different effects with respect to musical contour. In example three a key of "G Major" progression is the backdrop for two phrases. Example 3a, involves an ascending phrase. And, example 3b, is a descending statement.

In example four, our focus is placed upon the effects of "speed Vs. flow" in a melodic statement. This is one of the more interesting areas of phrasing that musicians can develop in their playing. Even though playing fast lines will involve more advanced guitar technique, the captivating effects of this rapid-paced sound can make it well worth the extra practice time.

In example 4a, the key of "G Minor" phrase contains some speedy 16th-note phrasing. However, a contrast exists in example 4b, with a melodic statement that flows slower and contains a couple of full-step bends to round out the feel and add to the more flowing musical phrasing.

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