Pop Rock Ballad Solo

by Guido Bungenstock

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  • Difficulty: 7
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  • Hi everybody!

    My fourth lesson is an excerpt of my latest vocal ballad. I took two solo parts out of it and rearranged it a little bit. You'll find a lot of different techniques combined with sad emotions here, so it's all about TONE CONTROL. Specially ballads are perfect for you to let your guitar really sing.

    The two parts have different approaches. The A part is focued on simple but majestic melody while the B Part is a good example of dynamic and emotional improvised solo. Especially the B Part could be a great challenge for you to learn different playing techniques in a melodic sense. Remember, it's all about TONE CONTROL here. You can use my solo as an inspiration for your own playing over the jam track.

    A Part(0:00-0:27)

    B/E G#m79| G#m79 | D/G A/D G/C | G/C |
    Dsus2/F Gsus/Bb Csus/Eb| Csus/Eb Fsus2/AB Esus2/G|
    Asus2/C# Eadd9/G# Dsus2| Dsus2 |

    This part has some complex chords/modes and a few modulations but the simple guitar melody stays on top of it and keeps it fresh. You don't have to care so much about the chords, the melody is what counts! Some whammy bar dips combined with rakes make it more emotional sounding. It sounds really simple but the bending and vibrato techniques need a little practice to get an accurate sound.

    B Part(0:28-1:56)

    Em11| % | G/D| % |

    This totally improvised solo over the backing with some african flair has some sad character because of the two modes, E dorian & G lydian (which I like a lot). I tried to leave more space for the groove and made long rests. This helps to get a better connection with the rhythm section. Also some blues touch, many phrasing techniques and at the end some softer dynamics because I rolled back the volume knob. Last but not least, some Beck-ish tremolo work.

    I made two separate jam tracks for the A & B Part. This way you can experiment with the two approaches here individually!

    Final words

    The goal here is: make your guitar sing, allow some space for the groove and experiment with different dynamics. If you think more like a vocalist rather than a guitar player then it should be easier to add some human touch to your playing!

    I tried to transcribe as close as possible. Especially in the Guitar Pro 5 you'll find all these little extras!
    Have fun with it!

    Cheers - Guido

    Technical specifications:

    Guitar: Music Man Luke II
    Strings: D'Addario EXL 120
    Amp: Peavey JSX Top with Marshall 4x12" V30
    Effects: T.c. electronic G-Major
    Sound-deflection system by DEEFLEXX


    Shure SM57
    Audio Interface: Focusrite Saffire PRO 24
    Recording SW: Logic 9, several plugins

    Standard tuning: E, A, D, G, B, E

    Tempo: 80 BPM

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