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> How Do You Compose Your Solos?
Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 22 2011, 04:28 PM
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Hey guys! we are having a very interesting discussion at the chat and I would like your opinions about composing solos. Do you first heard the solo in your mind and then transpose it to the guitar? or do you jam over the backing until you find a good one?

I personally combine both when I'm writing a solo... I sing over the backing and also jam over it..

what's your approach?



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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jun 22 2011, 04:38 PM
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It goes both ways for me when I improvise, although when I'm actually composing a solo for a recorded song I have in mind:

- style of music
- suitable licks
- harmony of the song and the solo part
- dynamics of the solo part of the song
- tone I need
- structure and dynamics of the solo
- rhythm of the part, focusing on drum^bass
- creating a overall balance between faster bits and melody


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 22 2011, 04:54 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Jun 22 2011, 12:38 PM) *
It goes both ways for me when I improvise, although when I'm actually composing a solo for a recorded song I have in mind:

- style of music
- suitable licks
- harmony of the song and the solo part
- dynamics of the solo part of the song
- tone I need
- structure and dynamics of the solo
- rhythm of the part, focusing on drum^bass
- creating a overall balance between faster bits and melody


cool things to have in mind Ivan!


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thefireball
post Jun 22 2011, 05:01 PM
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I jam over the backing until it sounds about right. hahaha! I don't usually hear things in my head.


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VilleFIN
post Jun 22 2011, 05:12 PM
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Usually I "hear" it in my head then I try to play it but it changes a lot. huh.gif
But mostly I jam along - So both.


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SirJamsalot
post Jun 22 2011, 05:18 PM
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I listen to the backing track several times. My mind usually takes over and I start imagining what would sound good to me over that track, then I try to play it. More often than not, what I imagine is too difficult to play or learn in the short time I need to produce it, so I'll compromise a little by trying alternate versions of it. Usually, what I had in mind, after playing it, will morph into something slightly different as I'm learning to play it, and I'll take 15 - 20 minute breaks to walk around and grab a bite or something to drink. While I'm chillin, I'm usually humming the backing tracking and dreaming alternate versions of the solo and will try it. So for me, it always begins as an idea. I rarely begin by jammin. I find for me that jamming limits me to what I can do already do, and that often results in ruts - falling back into my comfort zone - not much creativity there smile.gif

good topic.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 22 2011, 05:23 PM
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As Ivan pointed out, there are A LOT of factors which could be taken into account when creating a solo.

My approach is mostly based on singing over a track - I avoid jamming because it usually makes me play what I already know how to play tongue.gif and i usually want to avoid repetition or cliches, even if it doesn't always work. At least I'm trying biggrin.gif

The main idea is: if someone can sing your solo, it means you're going in a good direction - I don't mean that if you come up with a complex structure and you shred the hell out of that guitar, you're doing something wrong, but I usually like solos a lot more if they stick to my mind in one way or another smile.gif

Remember - you are what you play smile.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 22 2011, 05:59 PM
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QUOTE (thefireball @ Jun 22 2011, 01:01 PM) *
I jam over the backing until it sounds about right. hahaha! I don't usually hear things in my head.


hahaha and do you record your jams?


QUOTE (WeePee @ Jun 22 2011, 01:12 PM) *
Usually I "hear" it in my head then I try to play it but it changes a lot. huh.gif
But mostly I jam along - So both.


why does it change that much?


QUOTE (SirJamsalot @ Jun 22 2011, 01:18 PM) *
I listen to the backing track several times. My mind usually takes over and I start imagining what would sound good to me over that track, then I try to play it. More often than not, what I imagine is too difficult to play or learn in the short time I need to produce it, so I'll compromise a little by trying alternate versions of it. Usually, what I had in mind, after playing it, will morph into something slightly different as I'm learning to play it, and I'll take 15 - 20 minute breaks to walk around and grab a bite or something to drink. While I'm chillin, I'm usually humming the backing tracking and dreaming alternate versions of the solo and will try it. So for me, it always begins as an idea. I rarely begin by jammin. I find for me that jamming limits me to what I can do already do, and that often results in ruts - falling back into my comfort zone - not much creativity there smile.gif

good topic.



thanks for your input! I also think that the breaks are very important when you are composing something.. sometimes I can continue with a solo and after a break I come back and I can improve it and continue it...

QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Jun 22 2011, 01:23 PM) *
As Ivan pointed out, there are A LOT of factors which could be taken into account when creating a solo.

My approach is mostly based on singing over a track - I avoid jamming because it usually makes me play what I already know how to play tongue.gif and i usually want to avoid repetition or cliches, even if it doesn't always work. At least I'm trying biggrin.gif

The main idea is: if someone can sing your solo, it means you're going in a good direction - I don't mean that if you come up with a complex structure and you shred the hell out of that guitar, you're doing something wrong, but I usually like solos a lot more if they stick to my mind in one way or another smile.gif

Remember - you are what you play smile.gif



thanks Cosmin! and yes, the balance between melody and shredding is what I always try to get but if not, I always prefer that Melody wins when I'm composing... smile.gif


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thefireball
post Jun 22 2011, 06:02 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Jun 22 2011, 11:59 AM) *
hahaha and do you record your jams?


Er...no..I suppose I should. smile.gif


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VilleFIN
post Jun 22 2011, 06:11 PM
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Well Sirjamsalot said all what I tried to say. wink.gif

This post has been edited by WeePee: Jun 22 2011, 06:12 PM


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 22 2011, 06:20 PM
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QUOTE (thefireball @ Jun 22 2011, 02:02 PM) *
Er...no..I suppose I should. smile.gif



hahaha yeah! you could forget something cool if you don't... then the problem is to learn again what you played... laugh.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 22 2011, 06:27 PM
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QUOTE (SirJamsalot @ Jun 22 2011, 04:18 PM) *
I listen to the backing track several times. My mind usually takes over and I start imagining what would sound good to me over that track, then I try to play it. More often than not, what I imagine is too difficult to play or learn in the short time I need to produce it, so I'll compromise a little by trying alternate versions of it. Usually, what I had in mind, after playing it, will morph into something slightly different as I'm learning to play it, and I'll take 15 - 20 minute breaks to walk around and grab a bite or something to drink. While I'm chillin, I'm usually humming the backing tracking and dreaming alternate versions of the solo and will try it. So for me, it always begins as an idea. I rarely begin by jammin. I find for me that jamming limits me to what I can do already do, and that often results in ruts - falling back into my comfort zone - not much creativity there smile.gif

good topic.


I just read your reply now - the process is veeeeery simillar to mine biggrin.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jun 22 2011, 06:47 PM
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I just read my post again, and it makes me sound like I'm doing some kind of scientific research when composing, in fact, I'm not at all. smile.gif

It's important to to make a memorable solo that sounds cool, so in the end, if it happens it happens. The things I mentioned can help to some extent, serving as a creativity boost, but in order to really make something good, it has to "click".


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 22 2011, 06:58 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Jun 22 2011, 02:47 PM) *
I just read my post again, and it makes me sound like I'm doing some kind of scientific research when composing, in fact, I'm not at all. smile.gif

It's important to to make a memorable solo that sounds cool, so in the end, if it happens it happens. The things I mentioned can help to some extent, serving as a creativity boost, but in order to really make something good, it has to "click".



yeah! that's the goal! I remember reading Slash book where he says that most of the best Guns and Roses solos appeared spontaneously in the studio without any type of pre-production... so it's obvious there isn't just a way to get a memorable solo...


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Sinisa Cekic
post Jun 22 2011, 09:23 PM
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The most depends on the inspiration, sometimes I hear a line in my head, sometimes shooting jamming , and noting the interesting passages a couple of times..


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El Fortinero
post Jun 23 2011, 03:37 AM
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I JUST JAM IN THE STUDIO (EXPENSIVE WAY SOMETIMES!) AND THEN TRY TO FIND SOME HARMONY (IF THE SOLO REQUIERES IT)

IN THE STYLE OF MUSIC I DO (HARD ROCK - NU METAL) , I DO NOT NEED TO DO A BIG SOLO ITS JUST LESS THAN A MINUTE

I WOULD LIKE TO UPLOAD A MP3 TO SHOW YOU GUYS ONE OF MY NICEST SOLO, BUT I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO IT HERE ohmy.gif

IT WORKED laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 23 2011, 09:38 PM
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QUOTE (El Fortinero @ Jun 22 2011, 11:37 PM) *
I JUST JAM IN THE STUDIO (EXPENSIVE WAY SOMETIMES!) AND THEN TRY TO FIND SOME HARMONY (IF THE SOLO REQUIERES IT)

IN THE STYLE OF MUSIC I DO (HARD ROCK - NU METAL) , I DO NOT NEED TO DO A BIG SOLO ITS JUST LESS THAN A MINUTE

I WOULD LIKE TO UPLOAD A MP3 TO SHOW YOU GUYS ONE OF MY NICEST SOLO, BUT I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO IT HERE ohmy.gif

IT WORKED laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif


Hey man! Thanks for sharing your song! I like that harmonized solo combined with the rocker bends. Is that your band now? What's the band's name? Good job!


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El Fortinero
post Jun 24 2011, 05:42 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Jun 23 2011, 05:38 PM) *
Hey man! Thanks for sharing your song! I like that harmonized solo combined with the rocker bends. Is that your band now? What's the band's name? Good job!


Yes Gabe it's my band! it's called "Groover" we'll be soon on line at www.groovermetal.com.ar we are 3, a drummer, a bass player, and I ( guitarist and singer). It's a 3 years project with a cd recorded. Actually we changed the drummer so we are practising the songs all over again.

I am very glad that you like my solo, the second harmonized part I use the fifth but 1 octave up, it really worked. I was surpirsed by myself huh.gif

Here is another song from my band (aprovechemos la difusión smile.gif )

this time the solo is simple
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Ben Higgins
post Jun 24 2011, 07:16 PM
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I think my approach is similar to a lot of you.. I hear possible melodies and licks in my head.. and I combine that with improvising over the backing. I also think about the context of the song, what the subject matter is, the lyrics and what the mood is. I try to reflect that feel and mood of the song as a movie director directs a scene - what light and what images he wants to capture in the scene and what does he want the viewer to feel when observing the picture that he has presented (and framed)

I don't always do that of course, but I tend to do it more in longer, epic songs.. smile.gif

That reminds me.. I always thought the main solo in Metallica's 'One' was very weird (the fast one) because it's a song about a guy who's been disfigured in war, and the misery of his existence.. yet there's all these bluesy sounding bends and double stops... I always thought it didn't fit the tone of the song but maybe it's just me ? wink.gif

This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: Jun 24 2011, 07:18 PM


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 25 2011, 12:22 AM
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QUOTE (El Fortinero @ Jun 24 2011, 01:42 PM) *
Yes Gabe it's my band! it's called "Groover" we'll be soon on line at www.groovermetal.com.ar we are 3, a drummer, a bass player, and I ( guitarist and singer). It's a 3 years project with a cd recorded. Actually we changed the drummer so we are practising the songs all over again.

I am very glad that you like my solo, the second harmonized part I use the fifth but 1 octave up, it really worked. I was surpirsed by myself huh.gif

Here is another song from my band (aprovechemos la difusión smile.gif )

this time the solo is simple



Great man! I hope to see your band soon here! (El fortinero is from Argentina like me!). You can start a thread in Chill our or iands & artists subforum to introduce your band here! wink.gif

QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Jun 24 2011, 03:16 PM) *
I think my approach is similar to a lot of you.. I hear possible melodies and licks in my head.. and I combine that with improvising over the backing. I also think about the context of the song, what the subject matter is, the lyrics and what the mood is. I try to reflect that feel and mood of the song as a movie director directs a scene - what light and what images he wants to capture in the scene and what does he want the viewer to feel when observing the picture that he has presented (and framed)

I don't always do that of course, but I tend to do it more in longer, epic songs.. smile.gif

That reminds me.. I always thought the main solo in Metallica's 'One' was very weird (the fast one) because it's a song about a guy who's been disfigured in war, and the misery of his existence.. yet there's all these bluesy sounding bends and double stops... I always thought it didn't fit the tone of the song but maybe it's just me ? wink.gif



Cool concept Ben! I like the comparison between a song and a movie! I've done something similar when I started to compose some music inspired in my grandfather biography. He was born in Romania and he has suffered the 2nd world war so he had lots of thing to tell...


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