How To Improvise Guitar Solos With Greater Artistic Expression
Being able to improvise guitar solos that sound expressive and creative requires mastering various steps. Many guitar players never learn the next step to master and their potential for playing creative solos becomes extremely limited. Once you understand how to eliminate the barriers that stand in your way of total artistic freedom, you begin playing solos that sound amazing.
Watch this video to learn what you need to do in order to improvise guitar solos with tons of expression:
Click on the video to begin watching it.
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The main lesson of this video runs contrary to a big guitar playing assumption. The assumption is that great players think about a lot of things when they improvise… and they think fast.
Great guitar players think very little about anything except the music they want to play. As they develop their skills, they stop having to think about much of what of amateur guitar players have to think about.
For example: they don’t think about where the notes are, where the scale shapes are or what notes are in the chords they are soloing over.
They’ve internalized this while practicing and now they are able to think about the music.
This is why improvising and playing guitar solos feels easy for them.
The big lesson for you here is:
You need to give yourself more time to think when you play guitar solos.
Here are a few simple ways to buy yourself more time to think as you play and improvise guitar licks:
Lead Guitar Solo Tip #1: Use Backslides.
What are backslides?
A backslide is a guitar solo phrasing trick that consists of 3 steps:
1. You play a note in your guitar solo
2. You slide away from that note (up or down), to add guitar phrasing to it.
3. You slide back to the note you started from and continue playing your guitar solo.
And no, backslides are NOT the same guitar solo phrasing element as "descending slides". A descending slide happens when you slide to any note from a higher pitch.
Descending slides don't have 3 parts like backslides do.
And because backslides take a few moments to complete – they give you time to think of what to play next.
This means: the better you are at adding phrasing ornaments to guitar licks you are playing, the more time you have to create better guitar licks… and the guitar licks you create sound even better due to better phrasing.
It also doesn't really matter how far you slide when you do a backslide. (Nobody can hear where you slide to, because the backslide happens so fast. All people notice is the effect of the technique.)
Another great slide variation (that sounds great with backslides) is a “rearticulation slide”.
“Rearticulation” is simply a fancy word for: “playing something again”.
In the case of lead guitar slides, what you do is play the note you want to hear. Then you slide into that note from any other note (higher or lower). You rearticulate the note with the slide.
Pretty simple and sounds great!
Lead Guitar Solo Tip #2: Use Syncopation.
Here is the story:
When I was learning to play lead guitar, I developed good guitar technique and learned many scales.
When I tried to play guitar solos, my guitar licks seemed to lack fire and emotion.
No matter what I tried, I couldn’t seem to express emotion when I played guitar.
This went on for while, until my lead guitar teacher heard one of my guitar solos and asked:
“Do you always play your guitar licks starting on the downbeat?”
This question helped me uncover the reason my guitar solos lacked feeling and why I struggled to express emotion.
And today, I teach you one of the best lead guitar tools for injecting emotion into your guitar playing: Syncopation
It’s a very simple lead guitar technique that you can use to express emotion in your guitar licks even if you are not an advanced lead guitar player yet.
This lead guitar article shows how to add syncopation to your guitar licks and solos.
Now that you know how to play better guitar licks and solos, the next step is to refine the rest of your musical skills, so you can finally become the guitar player you always wished you could be.
I can help you do just that in my Breakthrough Guitar Lessons.
Here is how:
First, you tell me all about your guitar playing, your musical background, your previous guitar lesson experience (if any) and your strengths and weaknesses as a musician.
(You do it by filling out an in-depth evaluation from where I ask you questions about this.)
Then, I go to work for you.
I study your answers to my evaluation from and lay out your lesson strategy for the next 3-6 months.
From there, I create your first set of guitar lesson materials that help you develop the skills you need to play guitar the way you want.
Then I send you the lesson and you begin to practice.
Your lessons consist of exercises, drills, concepts and techniques and that break down your goals into bite-sized steps that improve your playing.
As you follow these steps – you become a better guitar player. Same way you follow the navigation system in your car.
Just follow the directions, make all the right turns and you will get where you want to go. It’s almost literally that simple.
As you practice – you won’t be alone.
Here is how I help you in between your lessons:
- You can show me your playing every single day if you want – just post a recording of your playing on my student forum.
- You can also send me recordings separately for in-depth feedback on your playing and practicing on a regular basis.
- You can ask me questions and show me your playing every week in live video Office Hours. I hop on Zoom for an hour to help you with whatever you feel stuck on. You show me your playing (and ask about your guitar playing challenges) during this time and I help you.
- Every week I do live video training classes where I can see you play guitar as well and give you more personal help with your playing.
- Depending on what you write in your feedback form about each lesson (I ask you to leave me feedback about each part of what I teach you) I sometimes may ask you to send me a yet another recording of your playing. This way I get to see you play whatever you struggle with and can adjust your lesson strategy (if needed) to help you improve faster.
All you have to do is practice what I tell you to do at least 30 minutes per day 5 times per week.
If you can practice more – that’s great. But if you practice the lessons I give you just 30 minutes per day, it becomes almost impossible for you not to improve.
Check out the results my guitar students are achieving:
Want to get similar results in your guitar playing too? Click the "Start Now" button below to learn more.