What makes someone great at soloing on the guitar? And can ANYONE learn how to become great at soloing?
Here’s my top three things that make anyone GREAT at soloing…
1. They Know Their Fretboard Inside And Out
Knowing your fretboard inside and out is a crucial part of becoming a great soloist. All of us at one time or another get “stuck-in-a-box” with our soloing. We end up playing the same old licks, in the same way, in the same area of the fretboard.
True masters of the guitar have learned how to solo using their entire fretboard.
When you know how to do this, you have a lot more options for how to be creative on the guitar.
2. They Have Great Phrasing
Phrasing is the art of being able to make a single note sound amazing. People like David Gilmore are masters of this. They can say more with one note than some of us can with ten.
In case you’re wondering, phrasing is things like vibrato. Bending. Slides. Hammer-ons. Pull-offs. Etc...
The trickiest part is learning how to use these skills together to make a great sounding note.
3. They Have Great Rhythm
There’s nothing more boring than hearing “nursery rhyme” style rhythms. And if you ever feel bored of your own soloing… chances are you might be using boring rhythms.
Having mastery over rhythm means that you’ll never play a boring phrase again. Part of the journey is learning “what” notes to play. But there’s a lot to be said by playing the right note at the right time. A well timed note makes a big difference.
And there you have it. My top three things that make anyone GREAT at soloing. The mastery of these three can take you far. Whether you want to play shred metal guitar solos, or a tasteful blues solo.
What do you think makes up a great soloist on the guitar?