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Advice on solos

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Michael Yetton, Mar 26, 2001.

  1. Michael Yetton

    Michael Yetton

    Dec 11, 2000
    Essex, UK
    I want to be able to play some good solos on 12-bar blues stuff but i dont know where to begin or to end for that matter with doing a good sounding solo. (Fingers or slap)
    Can anyone help me please
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Start by listening to other soloists. Transcribe what you like (yeah, I'm bad about doing this too). Get a grasp of theory and harmony. Sing.

    that should get you started
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Besides Pacman's good advice, a lot really has to do with who your audience is.

    In clubs, I can get by with either just xeroxing the original since that's mainly covers. And since the crowd usually isn't comprised of a lot of musicians, hitting an effect, like overdrive and ripping off some triplets or two-handed tapping gives `em a cheap thrill.

    Since you mention blues, breaking up the solo into segments of vastly varied speeds works. For example, lingering on a bend and throwing in a lightning fast passage after it, before hitting the next sustained bend works. Also, a lot of blues uses the old roots, "call and response," so phrases built on that work, too. Listening to hard core gospel music with a bull-tonsiled vocalist backed up by an organist who is heavy on the bass pedals can help give you ideas.

    As for studio work or concert settings, knowing your scales and how to mix them up is essential.
  4. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    In the beginning don't play your solos too fast, and don't make them sound too technical.
    Although fast solo stuff is cool to listen to, its hard to play and can old pretty quick if you're not a master. As Pacman said, you can try to sing your bassline solos if that helps (or convert something you sing / have in your mind to the bass).

  5. singing what you play helps a lot. one thing to remember solos dont always have to be lightning fast. playing fast is usually a lot of technique and not a lot of music. however when you play around people who arent musicians they tend not to appreciate slow complicated solos rather than a lightning fast distorted solo. one thing that i always do is use my ehx bassballs pedal and slap and pop octaves. easy once you get the technique down and looks impresive. my suggestions are instructional videos. starlicks master sessions with flea demonstrates the slap/popping octave method.

    "a $300 picture tube protects a .10 cent fuse by blowing first"-Murphy.

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