In today's guitar world, it seems that every guitarist is focussed on playing with a lot of speed.
Fast guitar solos can sound exciting, and we all like speed. The main problem with this is that players lose a lot of dynamics without parts that are slower, which adds more feeling to the music.
It can be a good idea to start your solo out at a slow pace. This gives the solo time to breathe, and you can add melodic lines into that solo.
You don't have to always play as fast as possible when soloing. You should build your solo up slowly and then add faster passages as a solo progresses.
You want to build up a solo as this not only brings more melody, but it makes the solo more interesting. That way, you can use all of your tricks and techniques near the end of the solo to add excitement.
Long lines of notes can be boring to the listener's ear.
They may be exciting for you to play, but most people are not guitar players. They are going to be bored by your solo if it is just a long series of notes without anything that is catching their ear.
Take a solo like Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd.
This is one of the most famous solos in music history.
The reason for this is it has a lot of dynamics. It has bends, slides, fast passages, slow passages, and so on.
David Gilmour does a great job of making the most of the notes he is using. David is not using any complex scales while he is playing. Despite this fact, his solo is very interesting to the ear.
When soloing, try not to string a lot of notes together.
You can do this by breaking up your phrases. For example, you can play a small, fast passage and then break this up with a bend or a slide. This will add more interest to the solo that you are playing.
An example of a solo with great phrases is Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin.
In this solo, Jimmy Page plays a series of fast phrases, but they are broken up by a chord between them. He is not just stringing a bunch of notes together. The solo is interesting because those phrases are broken up into a series of licks and not just a wall of notes.
Also, be more melodic by creating a solo with that is short.
A great example of a short melodic solo is Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits.
Mark Knopfler does not use a lot of notes in this solo. He makes great use of bends and other dynamics to create an excellent solo. His playing is slow and melodic.
This is an example that showcases how slow playing can be quite dramatic and bring more feeling to a piece of music.
While playing your solo, try holding a note for a long duration. You can do this by bending the note and holding it and adding vibrato.
You can often do this at the beginning of a solo or at the end or even in the middle to add more interest. You don't necessarily have to bend the note. You can just hold a note, add vibrato, or slide into a note to add more dynamics to the solo.
One thing you can do is to repeat phrases. You can do this by playing one phrase at a certain position on the neck and then moving that phrase to another position on the neck in the same key.
You'll be playing the same lick but in a different position, which sounds completely different.
Let Licks Breathe
While playing your licks, try playing a few of them and then stopping for a few seconds. You could string a couple of licks together and then give a few beats of rest before you start the next lick.
This will trick the ear because they expect to hear more notes, but you stop playing for a few seconds. This way, you can string a series of melodic licks together, which will make your solo more interesting.
The key point to take when soloing is not everything has to be blazing fast. When you add more dynamics, slow down, and are aware of the notes you are playing, your solo will sound more interesting.