Lesson Series: “0 To 60, An Introduction to Alternate Picking” - Lesson 68

Jump to: navigation, search
Todd Simpson
Todd Simpson

LESSON #68 - Building A Solo

In this lesson, we are going to build a Guita Solo and play it against a backing. So essentially we are going to chain sets of licks/chops together in as musical a way as possible. Before we get in to it, let’s warm up a bit and get our fingers ready to rip! - FINGER YOGA!
Let’s do our usual Finger Yoga stretches. Here is a link to the video for references.


Let’s do a bit o prep for our first lick by doing some “Palm Muted Hammer On’s” This type of lick just takes a little practice. Once you have it down, it comes in very handy for building a cool solo. The Palm muting creates a percussive sound and takes the place of the pick stroke. Here is our first tablature.


Now that we have the pattern down. Let’s play it with a metronome to make sure we can play it consistently and work up some speed and move it around the neck.
Now let’s take that same idea and turn it in to an actual lick that conforms to a scale structure. Our Backing track is in E Minor so let’s use an E Minor Shape. Take a look at the next piece of Tablature.

Now let’s add a different type of lick in to our Solo. After a syncopated scale run type of lick, loosening things up with a Pedal Point, Open String Lick can often work quite well. Let’s do an open string “Pedal Point” style lick where the open string is our “Pedal Tone”.
Take a look at the tablature. Once we have it, let’s play it on every string to give our hand some practice on it.

Now, let’s string these licks together and play them as a solo against a backing. Here is what it should sound like. Click on this link to be taken to SOUNDCLOUD.com for a preview.

Once we have this solo down, think back to last weeks lesson. It was in the same key as this lesson. E Minor. Try to remember the licks we did. All of them will work with this backing. So now, let’s improvise. Take all the licks from this week, and the licks you remember from last week, and mix and match them against the backing. Play them in any order and cycle them as many times as you think it sounds right to do. You are building up yoru “Bag of Tricks/Licks” and eventually, as long as you know the key, you can whip out a solo on the spot.