Question: I'm a very serious musician and I'm always striving to get better every passing day. I aspire to be a lead guitarist someday. When I hear my favorite guitarists play, I'm attracted to their amazing, melodic guitar solos. When I'm trying to create my own solos, what is the best way to go about creating insane, but SOULFULL solos and what are some techniques that I can use to play melodic guitar solos? (I'm referring to metal/heavy metal solos)

Tom Hess's Answer: You need to begin working on your guitar phrasing. Phrasing refers to HOW you play notes (instead of WHAT notes you are using). By improving your phrasing, you will be able to use the technical skills you have now to create highly expressive, emotional and melodic guitar solos.

To get started improving your guitar phrasing, create a small, simple lick and play it several times until it becomes very easy. Then, use different guitar techniques to try to make this lick sound as creative as possible (while keeping the pitches the same). Try to make every note sound AMAZING! After you practice this for a while, you will see a HUGE difference in your soloing. Read this guitar phrasing article to see a perfect example of how this idea can be used in your playing.

Additionally, you can make your guitar solos sound very melodic by modeling them from the vocal lines of your favorite singers. This is done by using the long notes (the ones sustained for the longest) of the vocal melody as “sign posts” for your guitar phrase, then inserting faster licks in between each of these notes to connect them together. See a demonstration of this process by watching this guitar soloing video.


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