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  #51  
Old 08-16-2008, 10:21 AM
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I've decided it's time to ressurrect this thread. Today I've been working through " Holy Light " by Stratovarius just to improve the clarity of my alternate picking, and it's suprisingly easy.
Timo Tolkki = not as good as many people think he is. It's just a lot of fast picking. The Speed of Light solo is pretty easy.
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  #52  
Old 08-16-2008, 12:37 PM
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Playing solos is my hardest thing with guitar, I'm a pretty good rhythm player but I can't play leads worth shit. Any tips for teaching yourself how to play a good fluid solo?
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  #53  
Old 08-16-2008, 12:43 PM
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Playing solos is my hardest thing with guitar, I'm a pretty good rhythm player but I can't play leads worth shit. Any tips for teaching yourself how to play a good fluid solo?
Well the first thing is to become familiar and fluent with the different techniques used in the solo. For most solos, alternate picking is a must so really practice that. Another thing that Ralph reccomended to me and has been a huge help is the use of a metronome. Start off slow and play along with the metronome to build speed and precision. Don't go faster unless you are completely confident with the speed you are at. It can be a long and agonizing process sometimes, but it pays off.
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  #54  
Old 08-16-2008, 09:48 PM
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Well, it's hard for me to give advice since I have no formal guitar training, my only training is theory.
But if you want to play good solos:
You need to be good with scales, it's a no-brainer really. If you don't know scales you can't solo very well, so you definitely want to make sure you know those. In addition to that, I think of it like this:
Picture where all the notes in a typical scale on a guitar fall, and work on getting to these points and working around them. For example, say I'm in the key of E minor. I know everywhere on the guitar the notes I would want are. That makes improv about 100,000 times easier, because you don't need to plan every detail out, you can just make it up by knowing scales and note placement. Oh, and it REALLY helps to know the chord structure of what you're playing over. Obviously if it's just one-chord or ridiculous riffing this is a void point, but if you know the chord structure, it will help you know what notes work better, and also if you're doing any sort of an arpeggio, you kind of need to know what chord(s) to be arpeggiating.
There's a few techniques essential to playing good solos. The first key aspect I think A LOT of starters miss is vibrato. It's absolutely essential to making longer notes sound good. You need to get that string vibration going with your finger, it makes things sound about 50x better. Another is artificial harmonics, but you probably are already familiar with that from rhythm playing. Hammer-ons and Pull-offs, tapping, bends, and alternate picking are obviously all important aspects.
I also think (barring shred-based solos) it's crucially important to base solos, at least the beginnings of them, around a strong melody, many times borrowed from another section of the song. Either a strong melody or a really important drawn-out note really help to start-off a solo, this is the kind of thing that makes Adrian Smith solos so awesome... he gives you that bit to grab onto that makes you remember it.

I hope this was of some help, but, like I said, I'm self-taught, I make my own rules up as I go along.
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  #55  
Old 08-17-2008, 06:46 PM
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Playing solos is my hardest thing with guitar, I'm a pretty good rhythm player but I can't play leads worth shit. Any tips for teaching yourself how to play a good fluid solo?
Like the others said, the most important aspect for learning to play lead guitar is the metronome. Practice everything from like simple exercises to actual songs you're learning with it. A good way to use it is just start off pretty slow (which for certain things can almost be harder than playing fast) and gradually increase the tempo until its so fast you cant play it accurately anymore. Keep your focus on accuracy and clean/smoothness in the playing, that way when you do get up to the higher tempos you can nail it without it sounding sloppy (which noone likes ).

When it comes to improvising and/or writing your own solos - the two best sources of help can be from music theory (whether its just very basic stuff, or really intensely out there stuff) and from just learning the solos from songs you like. When you learn it though, don't just learn the notes, analyze it sorta and figure out what about the solo makes you love it and try to incorporate that feel into your own playing. Most importantly, just keep practicing, playing and writing or whatever, and eventually all the good shit you want will come pretty naturally to ya.
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  #56  
Old 08-18-2008, 03:33 PM
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  #57  
Old 08-18-2008, 03:49 PM
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  #58  
Old 08-19-2008, 10:18 AM
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That guy played guitar for DisasterPeace both times I saw them along with Pete Blakk from King Diamond.
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  #59  
Old 08-19-2008, 02:42 PM
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That guy played guitar for DisasterPeace both times I saw them along with Pete Blakk from King Diamond.
Awesome. I just knew about him because he played on a few of Rob Rock's albums.
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  #60  
Old 08-20-2008, 06:21 PM
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I've been working through Savatage's "Silk and Steel" off of Gutter Ballet... it's an acoustic piece and it's really helping to keep me on my toes, it's a lot of fun but a challenge at the same time.
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