Need help.. Band wants me to solo.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by The1bassist06, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. Ok so tomorrow night we are doing a little show at a theater in town. During practice we were playing the song Cocaine. The guitarist all did like a improv solo. At the end they told me they wanted me to solo tomorrow night and just improv it.

    Problem is I don't really know how to exactly solo. I normally just lay down a good groove and play some fills over it.

    Any tips? It shouldn't be to hard to come up with a solo for this song.
  2. Well you have two choices; 1) play the tune, or 2) follow the chords and play the notes of the chords -- which you have been doing.

    Sometime the tune is easier. At any rate the tune should be in the solo, i.e. take the lead by playing the tune, improvise or mess around all you want - in the middle - and then give the lead back playing the tune.

    Good luck.
  3. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    Hit your OD pedal, fly up and down the fretboard like a maniac for about 5 minutes. Keep getting louder as you go.

    They'll never ask you to do it again. :D
    bbbenji and Imaginary Pony like this.
  4. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    solo does not have to mean improv. (and vice versa)
    write something ahead of time.
    sadowskyguy likes this.
  5. Marcury

    Marcury High and Low

    Aug 19, 2007
    Mid Hudson Valley, NY
    You can always play the groove and add more runs as you develop the solo, keep it grooving adding some rhythmic and melodic fills.
  6. INTP


    Nov 28, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    Noodle around in minor pentatonic.
  7. Woodstockz


    Sep 23, 2011
    San Diego, Ca
  8. It deppends a lot how it was your space solo. If when you are soloing, all the band remains/stays with you during your solo playing soft and giving you the chords at subtle volumen, you can play some melodies without enough problems ´cause they are suporting the harmony. But if during your solo you stay only with the drummer maybe you can bet for grooving. The groove can be your weapon, so you can grow the rythm´s song using muted/gosth notes, octaves, slap or whatever that does moving the audience.

    Good luck.;)
  9. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    So ... the guitarist(s) TELL you what to do? Just tell them you're not comfortable with it, and don't do it. It really is that easy.
    SamJ, Imaginary Pony and AdamRoberts like this.
  10. Danomo

    Danomo Guest

    Apr 25, 2013
    IMO, they couldn't have picked a worse song for you to solo in...
    The song is going to be long enough already with the other two guys soloing, at some point it's just self-indulgent.

    Maybe it's just me, but if I'm in a show/club, and someone plays this song, that's when I head to the bathroom (because I know will have enough time, and I won't miss anything). The only person I want to see perform this song anymore is Clapton.

    I love Blues Traveler, but when I saw them live I was really disappointed by the merciless jamming. Yeah, they played a 2 1/2 hour set, but they only played 15 songs.
    SamJ likes this.
  11. TinyE


    Jan 31, 2013
    This. We opened for a local band in SF with a large following. When they got on stage they went into a jam session on every song. I think in their 1.5 hour set they played 3-4 songs. By the beginning of their 3rd song, the crowd had cleared out from the 300s to about 30.
    SamJ and Danomo like this.
  12. AdamRoberts


    Dec 1, 2014
    It takes a lot of practice to either write, practice, and perform a solo or get comfortable with improv.

    +1 to "Just tell them you're not comfortable with it, and don't do it."
    SamJ, Imaginary Pony and Danomo like this.
  13. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    smile, shake your head "no", and keep playing whatever makes the song sound good.
  14. BazzTard

    BazzTard Inactive

    just play a Rush bassline! break into Limelight or Red Barchetta, that'll teach em
  15. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    Slap. Slap like a madman. That'll learn 'em.
  16. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    This is what I think. I'm sure you could figure something out given some practice, and a little more time, but I wouldn't try to learn how to solo in 24 hours and then try it for the first time on stage without even a single rehearsal.
  17. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    The song is basically E/D, just play off the root notes in a higher register. Play in key and have fun. Will sound cool if you just noodle around. Start at the 12th fret on E, 14th on D, etc. Basic but fairy easy to pull off an 8 or 16 bar solo IME.
  18. AndrewFord

    AndrewFord Guest

    Aug 11, 2012
    Los Angeles area
    Endorsing Artist: Line 6, TC Electronics, Yamaha, Elixir Strings
    Capt.Obvious likes this.
  19. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Keep playing your regular groove with a thick tone, it makes for a nice transition.
  20. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I dunno ... a soloist should add something to the song. What we have here is a soloist just hoping to make it through the song. I've seen too many of those types of improvisations turn into a complete train wreck and ruin an otherwise good performance. Taking a solo should be the choice of the musician, not his band leader.

    ... check out starting at 00:40
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
    Capt.Obvious likes this.