3 Ways To Make Any Lead Guitar Solo Sound Better
by Tom Hess
Wish your guitar solos sounded better?
There is one common mistake people make while playing a lead guitar solo that results in repetitive, boring phrases that sound more like exercises than music.
What is it?
(No, it’s not a lack of technique or speed…)
It’s wasting too many notes.
Here’s what I mean:
Lead guitar solos become boring and repetitive when notes are not chosen for creative or expressive reasons, but rather just to fill in space or show off a technical skill.
You hear this a lot when guitarists play flashy techniques with speed but their solo doesn’t really sound interesting.
What is the solution that makes your guitar solos sound better?
Learning to squeeze emotion out of every note like juice from an orange.
Developing this skill helps you play more creatively and expressively, leading to awesome solos that sound truly memorable.
This is done by practicing guitar phrasing.
Guitar phrasing means focusing on how you play notes instead of just the notes themselves.
One simple approach for making your phrasing better is to make your guitar solos more singable (like vocalist’s melody). This means playing guitar phrases that are easy for a listener to recognize and remember.
Keep in mind that you don't have to sacrifice technique or speed to do this.
However, there is one even more simple way to make your lead guitar solos more expressive:
Focus on making ONE note in a given lead guitar solo sound totally amazing.
Practicing this skill gives you the ability to transform any lead guitar solo into something that sounds memorable and impressive fast.
1. Make Every Note In A Lead Guitar Solo Sound Amazing:
1. Choose a backing track.
2. Select any scale or lick you can play well, then choose just a single note from it. Play freely with this note for 2 minutes over the track.
During this time, play the note with as much variation as you can using techniques like vibrato, bends, harmonics or tremolo picking and different note rhythms.
3. Then add one more note and repeat step 2. Continue the process using a couple notes this time instead of just one.
4. Repeat until you’ve made every note sound great. This helps you make any lead guitar solo sound amazing by starting from note and working your way through every note in the solo.
2. Remove Your Creative Limitations While Soloing
A lot of guitar players think creativity cannot be practiced and improved – “You're either born with or you're not”, they say.
Fortunately, they are wrong and this skill CAN be practice and improved by anyone!
Your goal while playing a lead guitar solo is ultimately to not need to think about what you are playing and perform everything naturally.
For example: not needing to think about what notes to play, what techniques to use, how to phrase, etc.
When you practice playing creatively, your guitar solos flow effortlessly and you do not have to think about any of these things. This is what it feels like to play guitar solos without creative limitations!
Apply this idea into your guitar playing by doing this:
Improvise over a backing track for 5 minutes.
When you're done, think about all the times you paused, made mistakes or had specific things going through your mind as you played. These are the limitations you need to remove in order to play creatively as a lead guitarist.
3. Give Yourself More Time To Think About What Comes Next
It’s definitely frustrating when your guitar solos sound like extended scale runs, robotic exercises or licks that wander aimlessly.
Another way to avoid this is to apply the following idea into your soloing:
Give yourself more time to think between notes by playing notes that you hold for longer than the others and inserting silence into your phrases.
This helps to build musical tension making people feel anticipation for the next note. It also gives you time to think about which notes you want to play next, so you aren’t constantly playing a stream of endless scale runs.
Want to learn even more ways to play lead guitar solos that sound impressive?
Improve your guitar soloing options using this guitar soloing advice.
About Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He teaches rock guitar lessons online to students from all over the world and conducts instructional live guitar training events attended by musicians from over 50 countries.Learn how to reach your lead guitar goals fully by taking electric guitar lessons online.