Guitar: Learning to play lead (electric) guitar solos

TubStain

Senior member
Apr 19, 2001
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Well I have on and off experience with playing the guitar for many years, but I've never ventured into lead guitar, I've always just stuck to rhythm (chords). I want to put my electricl guitar to full use and start learning this "other" side, but I'm not quite sure how to start.

Does anyone have any good web resouce for this? I've googled, but cant find a good web training resource that covers different techniques and scales etc.. I'd be very happy if at the end of it all, I could play the two solos from Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb...notably the second one.

Whats a good place to start? (and no expensive personal instructors... )
 

silverpig

Lifer
Jul 29, 2001
27,709
11
81
You don't need to learn all the scales. Just learn the blues minor pentatonic scale. It's used in 99.9% of all rock solos. After that, all you need to know is what key the song is in (usually the first chord played), and then play the scale in that key. It'll just sound good.
 

Amorphus

Diamond Member
Mar 31, 2003
5,561
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Originally posted by: silverpig
You don't need to learn all the scales. Just learn the blues minor pentatonic scale. It's used in 99.9% of all rock solos. After that, all you need to know is what key the song is in (usually the first chord played), and then play the scale in that key. It'll just sound good.

Yeah, except once you start trying that in the advanced circles, you'll be the n00b of the bunch. It'll sound decent, but it won't garner much respect. Top soloists follow the chord changes and play the applicable scales. Sounds good, and gets you brownie points from the musically adept. :)

You can get by with the blues scales, though, and it's fun just to mess around on one scale.

The standard blues scale is
1
raised 2
4
raised 4
5
7

e.g. blues scale in key of G would be
G
Bb
C
C#
D
F
G

Ah, middle school. :)
 

hdeck

Lifer
Sep 26, 2002
14,530
1
0
Originally posted by: silverpig
You don't need to learn all the scales. Just learn the blues minor pentatonic scale. It's used in 99.9% of all rock solos. After that, all you need to know is what key the song is in (usually the first chord played), and then play the scale in that key. It'll just sound good.

yes, but learning all the scales will keep him busy so that he doesn't lose interest in playing.
 

rh71

No Lifer
Aug 28, 2001
52,856
1,048
126
Anyone here use guitar pro ? They have tabs that use that program at http://www.mysongbook.com and I find it's great for trying to play a lot of the popular songs note for note. I don't have much of an ear to figure them out.
 

Ns1

No Lifer
Jun 17, 2001
55,414
1,574
126
Originally posted by: CorporateRecreation
It's all about scales, take it from someone who is fluent on 3 instruments :p

47 to lifer ;)

gogo corporaterecreation go
 

Platypus

Lifer
Apr 26, 2001
31,053
321
136
Originally posted by: NeuroSynapsis
Originally posted by: CorporateRecreation
It's all about scales, take it from someone who is fluent on 3 instruments :p

47 to lifer ;)

gogo corporaterecreation go

Because it's the gimmicky thing to do, I will be changing my name when I get there.
 

TubStain

Senior member
Apr 19, 2001
935
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0
Awesome....excellent links in this thread. Just yesterday I masted the intro to Sweet child of mine and boy is it fun to play that. I dont hink I could ever get tired of playing that intro over and over, practiced for about 3 hours last night. I'm friggin pumped to learn more!

I got bored playing the guitar about a year ago, and my electic just sat in the corner of my room for that time. Then I went to a student concert this weekend and was inspired again, but didnt know how to approach lead.

Thanks for the tips.
 

Eli

Super Moderator | Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
50,422
8
81
Originally posted by: TubStain
Awesome....excellent links in this thread. Just yesterday I masted the intro to Sweet child of mine and boy is it fun to play that. I dont hink I could ever get tired of playing that intro over and over, practiced for about 3 hours last night. I'm friggin pumped to learn more!

I got bored playing the guitar about a year ago, and my electic just sat in the corner of my room for that time. Then I went to a student concert this weekend and was inspired again, but didnt know how to approach lead.

Thanks for the tips.
Get a book, "The Art of Kirk Hammett".

There's also another book, "Metallica: Legendary Licks 1983 - 1988". It comes with a cool play-along CD where they play many riffs and solo licks in Metallica songs slow so you can hear each note and follow along.

I don't know if you like Metallica or not, but if you like guitar solos, you should. :)
 

TubStain

Senior member
Apr 19, 2001
935
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0
Originally posted by: Eli
Originally posted by: TubStain
Awesome....excellent links in this thread. Just yesterday I masted the intro to Sweet child of mine and boy is it fun to play that. I dont hink I could ever get tired of playing that intro over and over, practiced for about 3 hours last night. I'm friggin pumped to learn more!

I got bored playing the guitar about a year ago, and my electic just sat in the corner of my room for that time. Then I went to a student concert this weekend and was inspired again, but didnt know how to approach lead.

Thanks for the tips.
Get a book, "The Art of Kirk Hammett".

There's also another book, "Metallica: Legendary Licks 1983 - 1988". It comes with a cool play-along CD where they play many riffs and solo licks in Metallica songs slow so you can hear each note and follow along.

I don't know if you like Metallica or not, but if you like guitar solos, you should. :)


Thanks, I'll look into it, once I'm run dry of my current links and looking for new things to play and try. Hopefully by then , I can just pick it up by ear.
 

ThePresence

Elite Member
Nov 19, 2001
27,730
16
81
I don't know if you checked out GuitarPort which I posted above, but it has one really cool feature. It lets you slow down any song to half speed without losing the original pitch and sound of the song, and you can easily pick up any solo. I use it to record to Acid and ProTools, it's a really nifty liitle piece of hardware/software.
 

TubStain

Senior member
Apr 19, 2001
935
0
0
Originally posted by: ThePresence
I don't know if you checked out GuitarPort which I posted above, but it has one really cool feature. It lets you slow down any song to half speed without losing the original pitch and sound of the song, and you can easily pick up any solo. I use it to record to Acid and ProTools, it's a really nifty liitle piece of hardware/software.

Thanks for the link, I did check it out, but I'm not at the stage that I want to put down that dough just yet. I first wanna cover the basics and get a feel for what I want to do. My next goal is to learn those pentatonic scales, which I'll probably do today when I get home from work. If I reach a point where I see that I need the Port to further my skill, I'll look into buying it. Right now, I still have a lot I can learn for "free" :)
 

silverpig

Lifer
Jul 29, 2001
27,709
11
81
Originally posted by: Amorphus
Originally posted by: silverpig
You don't need to learn all the scales. Just learn the blues minor pentatonic scale. It's used in 99.9% of all rock solos. After that, all you need to know is what key the song is in (usually the first chord played), and then play the scale in that key. It'll just sound good.

Yeah, except once you start trying that in the advanced circles, you'll be the n00b of the bunch. It'll sound decent, but it won't garner much respect. Top soloists follow the chord changes and play the applicable scales. Sounds good, and gets you brownie points from the musically adept. :)

You can get by with the blues scales, though, and it's fun just to mess around on one scale.

The standard blues scale is
1
raised 2
4
raised 4
5
7

e.g. blues scale in key of G would be
G
Bb
C
C#
D
F
G

Ah, middle school. :)

He asked about a good place to start. Learning one scale and a few solos that use it seems like a good place no?
 

silverpig

Lifer
Jul 29, 2001
27,709
11
81
Originally posted by: hdeck
Originally posted by: silverpig
You don't need to learn all the scales. Just learn the blues minor pentatonic scale. It's used in 99.9% of all rock solos. After that, all you need to know is what key the song is in (usually the first chord played), and then play the scale in that key. It'll just sound good.

yes, but learning all the scales will keep him busy so that he doesn't lose interest in playing.

Learning all the scales in a row will bore him to death and will cause him to put down the guitar. If he learns one scale and a ton of solos, then he can go from there onto other scales.
 

Confused

Elite Member
Nov 13, 2000
14,166
0
0
Originally posted by: CorporateRecreation
Originally posted by: NeuroSynapsis
Originally posted by: CorporateRecreation
It's all about scales, take it from someone who is fluent on 3 instruments :p

47 to lifer ;)

gogo corporaterecreation go

Because it's the gimmicky thing to do, I will be changing my name when I get there.

Change it to stop posting. ;)
 

TubStain

Senior member
Apr 19, 2001
935
0
0
Originally posted by: silverpig
Originally posted by: hdeck
Originally posted by: silverpig
You don't need to learn all the scales. Just learn the blues minor pentatonic scale. It's used in 99.9% of all rock solos. After that, all you need to know is what key the song is in (usually the first chord played), and then play the scale in that key. It'll just sound good.

yes, but learning all the scales will keep him busy so that he doesn't lose interest in playing.

Learning all the scales in a row will bore him to death and will cause him to put down the guitar. If he learns one scale and a ton of solos, then he can go from there onto other scales.

Yes I like the idea of learning one scale and mastering some solos using that. I got a great kick out of playing my first solo yesterday, and was a great way for me to come out of my hiatus.

 

I just started learning soloing too. I second the minor pentatonic suggestion. It's all you need to know to get started. Learn to play it up and down the neck as well as the five fingerings for it. You also got to practice your bending and style or you will sound pretty boring.

Once you learn the minor pentatonic you will laugh because you find out that all those wankers you once thought were good were just using a scale you can learn in about 15 minutes.

I printed out the following link and live by it.

http://www.cyberfret.com/scales/minor-pentatonic/index.php

Good luck.

 

TubStain

Senior member
Apr 19, 2001
935
0
0
Originally posted by: dwell
I just started learning soloing too. I second the minor pentatonic suggestion. It's all you need to know to get started. Learn to play it up and down the neck as well as the five fingerings for it. You also got to practice your bending and style or you will sound pretty boring.

Once you learn the minor pentatonic you will laugh because you find out that all those wankers you once thought were good were just using a scale you can learn in about 15 minutes.

I printed out the following link and live by it.

http://www.cyberfret.com/scales/minor-pentatonic/index.php

Good luck.

Isnt that how it is in life all the time, once you figure out how other people do "amazing" things, you quickly demote them from the pedestal :)

I'll print out the minor pentatonic scale, but could you tell me a song that I could play with it? Or will I know that once I learn how to play the scale? I just like relating something like a scale to a specific song, so that I have a goal to work towards.

 

"Knocking on Heaven's Door" by GnR has a really easy solo based on the E-minor pentatonic scale. It's good to practice on.

The tab.