Top 5 Mistakes in Soloing And How To Avoid Them (For Beginners)
Every guitarist no matter what any level of playing they are at can make mistakes in their guitar solos. Even at a professional level. We are going to outline some of the common problems that beginners and intermediates struggle with when it comes to soloing and improvising on the guitar.
We will discuss how we can avoid the top five mistakes to improve your guitar solos tremendously.
Playing With No Space
A common mistake that people make when they improvise is always playing throughout the whole guitar solo. They don’t leave any space. Imagine someone was talking to you, and they spoke constantly, with no stops or pauses. It’s very tedious and tiring to listen to. This is what happens in your guitar solo if you don’t leave any stops and pauses between notes.
You need breathing space in your guitar playing because they help to form phrases. Phrases are short musical sentences. When you start your playing and have pauses in between a few notes, they create sentences into your playing rather than having continuous speech. Even when you play fast, you can still have spaces and pauses to add tension and emotion in your playing.
Having Gaps In Between Your Notes
A lot of new players have gaps in between their notes when they play. These voids produce a guitar solo that does not flow fluidly from one note to the next. The notes end up sounding slightly staccato, which is a term for short, pointed sounding notes. There will be times when you want to accent these notes intentionally. However, doing this constantly throughout your playing won't sound very pleasant.
To avoid this, work on eliminating the gaps between your notes. Having smooth phrasing and playing will make your solos much more pleasing to the ear. You will also sound a lot more professional as well.
Out of Tune Bends
When I hear people play bends incorrectly, it often sounds like a cat dying. This happens because they are not bending the string into another note in the scale. It is not enough to just bend it to create a good sound. You need to make sure the bend is in tune with the scale and key that you are playing in.
I am not going to go into detail regarding scales and keys here. If you need more information about scales and keys, ask your guitar teacher about them. Alternatively, if you are in London, you can contact us to find out how we can help you improve your guitar playing and teach you more about music theory.
How to practise your bends?
We are going to take a look at how to get your bends to sound good. To do this, we are going to use a tuner. When you are practising, use the tuner to help you make sure that when you bend your string, it is in tune when it gets to the next note in the scale.
While the tuner will help you stay in tune, the more practise you have, the better your ears will get at listening to when you are bending the note correctly.
Practising your bends this way may seem hard the first few times. You will have to do this exercise three to four hundred times to see improvements in your bends. You also need to make sure that every time you do a bend, you make it to the next note. And when soloing, make sure it is in the scale and key of the piece you are playing.
It doesn’t take very long to practise this a few hundred times, and you will soon find your solos sounding less amateurish and more professional once you have improved each of your bends.
I find that with a lot of guitar players that when they solo, they will use the same rhythm all the time. Or they'll use the same rhythmic value. Rhythmic value is defined by how long a note is. To change this, all you have to do is vary the rhythmic value, and play with a variation of shorter and longer notes.
When you alter the length of each of your notes when you are improvising will make your solos sound more captivating. You'll be able to convey more of a story to your listeners and connect with them better. Variety in your improvisation will make your solos sound more impressive than before.
Starting On The Same Beat Of Each Bar
Another common mistake that beginners make when they improvise or play a solo happens due to making all the phrases start from the same beat of each bar. When they begin their phrasing this way, it makes their solos sound more predictable, and therefore mediocre.
For example, if you are counting bars in a four-beat rhythm, a lot of players will pause and always begin a phrase on the 1st beat. The next time you improvise, try starting on a different beat - maybe the 2nd or 3rd - or even on the off beat.
You can also play slightly before the bar starts as well. You will get much more interesting phrasing this way, and your solos will sound a lot more intricate and adventurous.
Using different ideas to help
All of these tips combined will make your guitar playing sound much more impressive. You will be able to impress more with your improvisation. You will be able to connect with your audience on a deeper level. They will add a lot of variation to your solos no matter what style you are playing. You can be confident that you will sound more creative than ever before.
What To Do Next?
We understand that soloing and improvising can seem difficult to master at first, especially without the right instruction and the right information, given in the correct order. If you are struggling with your guitar playing and would like to become an excellent guitar player - and want to learn in a fun and easy way - contact us to find out how we can help you.
We are so confident that we can provide you with the path to becoming the guitar player that you want to be that we will offer a free introductory lesson. This guitar lesson gives us the opportunity to get to know each other, and you can find out how we'll be able to solve your guitar playing problems. Click on the button below to find out more about the introductory guitar lesson in London that we offer.
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