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> Composing Solos, how do you do it?
Alex Feather
post Sep 3 2012, 09:40 PM
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I have a lot of cool methods on how to do that! Being a studio musician you have to come up with a solo on the spot and do a good job right away! First I am listening to the groove and making a decision what will I base my solo on it is all starts with a drummer and it depends on what he is playing! If the song has a vocal I will try to create a variation of the melody, spice it up a bit but keep the idea. Also a good idea is to base your solo on the hook this way you really putting it in listeners head! A lot of famous bands do it all the time!


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Max Sokolov
post Sep 4 2012, 05:58 AM
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Great points, Alex!
Guitarists often forget about an opportunity to repeat vocal melodies and to sound cool this way)


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 4 2012, 06:38 AM
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Right! Great points Alex!


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Ben Higgins
post Sep 4 2012, 08:52 AM
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QUOTE (Alex Feather @ Sep 3 2012, 09:40 PM) *
I have a lot of cool methods on how to do that! Being a studio musician you have to come up with a solo on the spot and do a good job right away! First I am listening to the groove and making a decision what will I base my solo on it is all starts with a drummer and it depends on what he is playing! If the song has a vocal I will try to create a variation of the melody, spice it up a bit but keep the idea. Also a good idea is to base your solo on the hook this way you really putting it in listeners head! A lot of famous bands do it all the time!


I'm with you on the vocal melody thing. That is one of the best and most instant ways to create something that cannot fail to be cool ! cool.gif

I'm quite surprised that you use the drums as a reference point for your solo... interesting smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 4 2012, 12:14 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Sep 4 2012, 07:52 AM) *
I'm with you on the vocal melody thing. That is one of the best and most instant ways to create something that cannot fail to be cool ! cool.gif

I'm quite surprised that you use the drums as a reference point for your solo... interesting smile.gif


It's always about the groove man biggrin.gif I think the drums can provide excellent reference points - I am very used to work with my drummers and we usually phrase together a lot


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wollace03
post Sep 4 2012, 02:14 PM
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do you all write down the singers melodies when you are composing?

it is a very good idea to repeat the vocal melody of the for instance refrain when going into the solo (but somehow I never did this until now..).

as for the groove...do you make a backing track and programm the drums like your drummer is playing them or are you composing your solo during rehearsals?



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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 4 2012, 03:00 PM
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QUOTE (wollace03 @ Sep 4 2012, 01:14 PM) *
do you all write down the singers melodies when you are composing?

it is a very good idea to repeat the vocal melody of the for instance refrain when going into the solo (but somehow I never did this until now..).

as for the groove...do you make a backing track and programm the drums like your drummer is playing them or are you composing your solo during rehearsals?


I am always very aware of the vocal lines as in some situations I am doing them myself with Voodoo and in Aria I am writing all of them.

As for the drum grooves, I am writing down an initial groove which is closely related to that one played by the drummer and come up with all sorts of drum/ guitar moments, which at the rehearsal room, are being dissected and changed if necessary with the drummer smile.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Sep 4 2012, 04:01 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Sep 4 2012, 12:14 PM) *
It's always about the groove man biggrin.gif I think the drums can provide excellent reference points - I am very used to work with my drummers and we usually phrase together a lot


I usually work the drums and guitars together for all the rhythm parts but never really approached solos like that.. interesting smile.gif


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Marcus Siepen
post Sep 5 2012, 10:37 AM
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It can be very tricky to find the right solo sometimes, normally I listen to the backing track for the lead and maybe jam a bit, just improvising. Sometimes I find a starting lick very easy and I try to build things from there. Normally I don't try to jam my way through the whole thing, I like to force myself out of my comfort zone, cause as long as I stay there and I just jam I tend to play more or less the same things, the licks that come easy. So when I have a starting point I try to compose my lead from there, really trying to avoid using the typical licks that I would play while just jamming. I like to listen to what was going on in the song before the solo, you can play around vocal lines or chord progressions, you can try to follow percussive elements from the drums, I try to find out what attracts me in the song and what might contribute to the leads.
And very ipmortant for me are two questions: Does the song really NEED a solo? I know, we all play guitar and we all want our lead spots from time to time, but there are songs that don't really need a solo in my opinion. Just take "Sirens" from Savatage for example, awesome Metal classic WITHOUT a solo! And even more important: Do I really have to fire my whole arsenal of tricks, or is a very simple solo better? To be hones it can be really boring in my opinion when players try to be Yngwie all over the place when there is just no need for that. But this is a matter of personal taste of course.


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Narzsa
post Sep 5 2012, 02:00 PM
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QUOTE (wollace03 @ Aug 31 2012, 11:55 AM) *
Hi!

everytime when we write songs and it comes to the solo spots I sit at home wondering what to play. I always end up playing the same stuff and I often get the feeling, that I just play the solo so that there is a solo in that songs. This has a lot to do with my limitations when it comes to playing but also that I somehow have no concept of how to create "killer solos".
I really like great solos that often are not very difficult but put the notes on the right places and sound amazing.
so, my question is:
how do you create solos? do you just put together some licks and see where it leads you, or do you jam over the given backing track until you find good licks?
Or do you have a melody or a complete idea of the solo that you then try do play on the guitar? do you think that there should at least be on short passage that really shows your skills (and helps you move forward when praticing it).
I guess everyone of us wants to play that killer solos when it comes to playing a solo....



Hi Mate,

This took me a while to crack myself, as the prospect of a solo can be a tad daunting (where the hell do you begin?!) so here are the lessons i learned and my views on the matter

-A solo is like a song within a song, it two will have a beginning a middle and and end, so break it up as much as possible

-There's no right way to go about it, and you may revise the solo multiple times until you get it where you want it.

-Like song writing, the more you do, the more experienced and better you get at it

-Look toward your favourite guitarists. What do they do? what licks and ideas do they employee? My favourite guitars tend to share a mix of
melody and shred. They pound out a couple of bars with some catchy sing along tunes, then change up with some runs or licks, then jump back in. Looking at what they play, helps you recognise the sound when you hear it and helps you under stand when to use it

-Listen to the backing track, and try to picture the sound of a lead playing over it. What is your hidden rock god playing? try to replicate

-slow down the backing track and plan out your solo bar by bar if you have to. Once you know its structure, the tricks you will employee you can gradually speed it up so you can play it accurately. Its also a great way to practice new techniques and make sure they are truly under your fingers

-look towards the chords of the backing track and the most prominent notes relative to that chord. These will be your strongest notes to use in your solo at that moment, so if you want to hang on a note, start or finish, those are the notes to hit or bend up to

-lastly. experiment, see what works best for you and keep trying new approaches smile.gif

i hope this helps mate


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wollace03
post Sep 5 2012, 02:20 PM
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first of all: thanks again for all yout contributions to the question..

the hardest part I guess is to admit, that you have no idea and therefor it is better to play no solo than to play a bad solo.....

I started trying different approaches I read here and I have to say, that this led to a lot of good ideas for the solos I am working on right now...

But the most important part for me: listen as long to the song and the backing for the solo until I have an idea about what I want the solo to sound like...





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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 6 2012, 10:49 AM
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QUOTE (wollace03 @ Sep 5 2012, 01:20 PM) *
first of all: thanks again for all yout contributions to the question..

the hardest part I guess is to admit, that you have no idea and therefor it is better to play no solo than to play a bad solo.....

I started trying different approaches I read here and I have to say, that this led to a lot of good ideas for the solos I am working on right now...

But the most important part for me: listen as long to the song and the backing for the solo until I have an idea about what I want the solo to sound like...


It's ALWAYS better not to play a solo rather than playing an uninspired one - of course, if the choice is yours. If the job is about doing a solo for someone else, than ...off to the drawing board biggrin.gif


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Marcus Siepen
post Sep 6 2012, 04:31 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Sep 6 2012, 11:49 AM) *
It's ALWAYS better not to play a solo rather than playing an uninspired one - of course, if the choice is yours. If the job is about doing a solo for someone else, than ...off to the drawing board biggrin.gif



Absolutely agreed, nobody needs an uninspired solo.


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wollace03
post Sep 6 2012, 05:32 PM
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QUOTE (Marcus Siepen @ Sep 6 2012, 05:31 PM) *
Absolutely agreed, nobody needs an uninspired solo.


then nobody needs half of my solos ohmy.gif ohmy.gif ohmy.gif

no, its not that bad but I will work very hard to get better and more inspiring..


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 7 2012, 07:38 AM
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QUOTE (wollace03 @ Sep 6 2012, 04:32 PM) *
then nobody needs half of my solos ohmy.gif ohmy.gif ohmy.gif

no, its not that bad but I will work very hard to get better and more inspiring..


Well, who said they are uninspired? smile.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Sep 7 2012, 09:35 AM
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QUOTE (Marcus Siepen @ Sep 5 2012, 10:37 AM) *
And very ipmortant for me are two questions: Does the song really NEED a solo? I know, we all play guitar and we all want our lead spots from time to time, but there are songs that don't really need a solo in my opinion.


Yes, very good point. We have to approach our composition with discipline towards ourselves and chop away any excess that doesn't benefit the end result. It's always better to have less than too much smile.gif


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wollace03
post Sep 7 2012, 10:20 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Sep 7 2012, 08:38 AM) *
Well, who said they are uninspired? smile.gif


I say that.... rolleyes.gif
but there are some good spots now and then and I feel that I am moving in the right direction.... and thats important...
and concerning old solos I don´t like: I can always say, well I was young back then - and did´nt think too much (this is one advantage of beiing older)


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Cosmin Lupu
post Sep 7 2012, 05:16 PM
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It's important to always keep evolving and refine your taste and ears smile.gif A well phrased solo, can be short or simple to play but it will beat the hell out of any other solo wink.gif


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Alex Feather
post Sep 9 2012, 02:01 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Sep 4 2012, 07:52 AM) *
I'm with you on the vocal melody thing. That is one of the best and most instant ways to create something that cannot fail to be cool ! cool.gif

I'm quite surprised that you use the drums as a reference point for your solo... interesting smile.gif

Well the thing is if there is no vocal I will be playing off the drummer!
I don't know why but I am always concentrated on drummer and always trying to build my solo of the drum beats it helps to have some cool rhythmic ideas and I can take it in any direction from there! smile.gif
I should make a lesson about it! smile.gif


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wollace03
post Sep 9 2012, 08:06 AM
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QUOTE (Alex Feather @ Sep 9 2012, 03:01 AM) *
Well the thing is if there is no vocal I will be playing off the drummer!
I don't know why but I am always concentrated on drummer and always trying to build my solo of the drum beats it helps to have some cool rhythmic ideas and I can take it in any direction from there! smile.gif
I should make a lesson about it! smile.gif


hi alex!

yes, you should definitely make a lesson about it!! would be a great idea!


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