uh oh! gig in 10 days and the band wants me to do a solo in a song..

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by yoshi, Oct 4, 2002.

  1. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    yo, they want me to play a short solo at the end of our last song, following 2 gtr solos, taking in turn by each guitarist.

    The thing is, ive never been great at making up lines, and its getting desperate now so i was wondering if any of you could reccomend a short but fastish peice i could borrow until after the gig? The backing's in a 4/4 time at about 120bpm, and its to last over 2 bars.

    sorry to sound cheap.
  2. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    The performance would actually go better, probably, if you actually did solo. Seeing as how you're looking for help soloing, how about we send this to GI.
  3. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    ah sorry, im always posting in the wrong areas! :p

    not to boast, but i feel im capable of doing a solo (as in a 6/10 diffuclty area), its just writing and learning one in 10 days is another thing. After the gig during cool down time id focus more on one.

  4. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    2 bars?! That's not a particularly long time - more a chance for one choice lick than a fully developed solo. How about considering the following three questions:

    1. What route is it on (where has it come from and where is it going from - are the guitar solos two bars or two hundred - and what happens afterwards - another verse or a big 'rock' ending)?

    2. What is going on behind it? A riff or chord progression, etc?

    3. What are your strengths? Assuming you'll be pretty nervous, you want something that sounds good but sits well inside your comfort zone.

  5. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    hiya. oops sorry, by bars i meant measures.

    ok the gtr' parts are over 2 measures (lasting around15-20 seconds). the backing riff is a simple open triplet riff each bar ending in a different note:

    E|000-000-000-5-|-000-000-000-3-|-000-000-000-5-|-000-000-000-3/5-5/6 with the guitars doing root+5th chords. each solo is to last ove rthe space of the above riff played twice.

    id say my strenghths are probably precision over a small area, preferably higher than lower as my hands arent too big so i have a tougher time at the low end.

    thanks for any help/suggestions

    edit: oh yeah, were thrash metal, and i use fingers not a pick.
  6. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    My advice: check out Nick Olliveri's short bass 'solo' on the latest Queens Of The Stone Age single... it's a prime example of a simple line that really works!

    I tend to get quite a lot of these types of breaks in songs where the bass line comes through.

    Best thing is to keep it simple and make sure it rocks!

    If you play too many notes in a short period of time, especially under distorted guitars playing power chords the notes will be lost and sound all muddy for the audience.

    Another good thing would be to try to use space in your bass line, as spaces will emphasise the notes you do play... especially if there'll be a lot of noise from the guitars.
  7. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Aha - your 'measure' is what I'd call a 'phase'. You have to be careful with terminology - for Americans, a measure is what we call a bar and a bar is where you go to drink... :rolleyes: .

    From your first posting, I assume that you've not played that many solos, so a good place to start would be by establishing a good rhythmic riff somewhere up the neck that fits in well with what the guitars are doing and then dropping in a couple of widdly bits to spice it up.


    That's the first half of the first phrase, showing note lengths. You could make most of the bass notes a high E (say 14 fret on the D string) and then use the last pair of triplets to play a little riff.

    The next half, play the same thing but use a slightly different riff at the end (maybe reverse the diretion of the last one) - that way it sounds different but bears some relation to what you played before.


    Of course, your riff is now playing against a slighly different rhythmic backing from the guitars, adding to the interest.

    On the second repeat, play the first half as before - it's easier for you and it makes your solo sound carefully constructed rather than like mindless noodling. On the second half of the second repeat, extend the last run across the entire final bar:


    You could start that last bar in the same way as the riff at the end of the first phrase but just take it further down to finish it all off.

    The whole thing is unlikely to make you sound like a genius... but it should make you sound competent and it provides a simple frame work to begin building your soloing career on ;)

  8. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    "The whole thing is unlikely to make you sound like a genius... but" ... but you might get away with playing a kick arse bass line which is much much better :)
  9. Or you could do the ole' Mike Anthony thing.
    Pluck open E with right hand, drink bottle of Jack Daniels with left hand.
  10. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    cheers, ill bear that in mind when creating basslines :)
  11. sleazylenny


    Jun 20, 2002
    Mpls, MN
    Here's a suggestion. First, alter the format of the solo section so it's guitar, bass, guitar. Get together with your other guitarists, see where they're going. It would be cool if your solo could start off on a similar theme to the first guitar solo, then build a melodically complementary bridge to the second guitar solo.
  12. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Yes, damned good idea!!!!

    We do so much of that sort of stuff in my band(s), I should've thought that myself.

    Then you can pick ideas from the guitar solos, maybe even double the last few 'riffs' then when the guitar cuts out you're there blazin away the same groove on the bass.... nice.
  13. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    just play a bunch of notes in random succession....it works for me ;)
  14. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    You could always just take off your bass and swing it around and around by the strap if you can't come up with anything. :) Or just start smashing something...that seems to be the trand with the modern "rock" bands that can't think of anything else to play.

    brad cook
  15. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin

    I was gonna say, "Eff the solo! Just sling that thing around your neck!"

    Great minds really do think alike. ;)
  16. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    by the way, whilst messing about, i went straight from the backing riff into the start of anesthaisa (as in whens drums enter) and it fits perfectly, so i think ill try to work off that somehow. Also, myself and one of teh guitarists are going to try something out.

    sorry if i sound totally useless...then again i am at writing :'O(
  17. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I think it would be pretty sweet ass if your solo was just you muting you strings (left hand) and you hitting the strings with your right hand in some dopey assed syncopated rhythm... or just straight half notes. Yes... excellent!
  18. Throw in a few weird noises. (On your bass, that is).
    Audiences tend to like those.