How To Play A Better Lead Guitar Solo Starting With A Single Note

by Tom Hess

What mistake turns a potentially amazing lead guitar solo into a repetitive, uninspiring one?

No, it’s not lacking the ability to play lead guitar techniques super fast or knowing too few scale patterns.

It’s this:

Throwing away way too many notes!


This means not playing every note with as much expression as possible - instead simply repeating a bunch of the same old lead guitar licks and flashy technical playing.

Don't get me wrong.

There is nothing wrong with playing lead guitar fast or with complex technique.

However, not learning to squeeze emotion out of every note like juice from an orange will keep you from playing with a high level of lead guitar playing creativity.

Want to know one simple way to make a lead guitar solo more expressive?


Just focus on making ONE note in a given lead guitar solo sounds absolutely amazing.

This skill gives you the ability to transform any lead guitar solo into something that sounds memorable and impressive.

Watch this lead guitar solo demonstration to learn more about it:


How To Practice Making Every Note In A Lead Guitar Solo Sound Great:

  • Pick a basic track to practicing improvising lead guitar ideas over.
  • Choose any scale or lick you have mastered, then select just a single note from it. Solo freely with it for 2 minutes..

    During this time, play the note with as much variation as you can using different rhythms, vibrato, bends, harmonics, speed picking, etc.

Make it sound as emotional as possible like you saw in the video!

  • Then add one more note and continue the process using 2 notes this time.

This helps you instill tons of emotion into a lead guitar solo starting from note and working your way up to as many as you want.

If you need help with improving your lead guitar technique and speed, try these steps:

Step One: Pinpoint Your Top Lead Guitar Playing Speed With A Given Exercise

Recognize your current top speed using a metronome to work your way up to the tempo at which you can rarely play a phrase multiple times without making errors.

Here are cases of how to pinpoint your top speed using various guitar techniques:.
Sweep picking-- Identify the fastest speed at which every note of the pattern sounds precisely, without fusing together while keeping a constant rhythm.

Scales - Watch for the fastest speed at which every note sounds with articulation, and both hands stay flawlessly in sync while shifting spots on the fretboard.

Certain guitar patterns - Search for the fastest tempo at which every note sounds precisely, and you are able to play the pattern without falling out of rhythm.

After ascertaining your current fastest speed, try this:.

Step Two: Create Particular Lead Guitar Solo Speed Goals.

The more clear-cut your guitar goals are, the higher the chances you will achieve them. Many guitarists aren't able to become shredder types of players because they practice for guitar speed without any objectives.
Here are a few thoughts for guitar speed objectives you can consider for yourself:.
Play at a precise speed.

This is a popular goal for certain patterns, exercises or solo parts. If you merely want to play a technique a lot quicker, take a look at the goals below.

Play at a speed set on the metronome 10 times without problems.

This is a more accurate goal that helps you develop great skill at something by working on consistency as opposed to only being able to perform something accurately here and there.

Improvise quality ideas at a defined speed.

It's commonplace for players to want to play "shred", but practicing to improvise without problems at distinct speeds helps you assess your complete guitar speed in a more precise fashion.

Jot down your goal and figure out just how much time you want to invest practicing every week to realize it. If this is a very significant goal, give yourself large amount of your time and don't practice less crucial things in its place.

Step Three: Track Your Progress Regularly Until Your Goals Are Achieved.

It's not enough to only have goals and practice with a routine centered around them (although this is still good).

Monitoring your progress helps you detect the mistakes that are important to fix, so you strengthen your weaknesses and become a speedier guitar player in less time.

As you practice the particular item to head towards your goals, pay very close attention to the missteps you are making. To track your mistakes as closely as you can, record yourself while practicing.

Type down which mistakes are giving you the most difficulty and how many times you made those mistakes during a particular session.

Listed below is an example of what you could jot down while monitoring your results:.

Practice pattern = 3 string B minor arpeggio pattern in eighth notes at 125 beats per minute.
Amount of time practiced in this session = 2 minutes.

Problems noticed = Note of the second string and adjacent string blend too much. This mistake appeared regularly while practicing. There were also six instances where the first note of the pattern was sloppy.

Note: The more tightly you track your mistakes, the faster you can resolve them and play guitar at the speed you want.

Step Four: Set Brand-new Lead Guitar Speed Objectives.

Your lead guitar speed targets will transform over time as you meet them or contemplate new ones. Don't make the usual mistake other people make of not updating your goals (altering the way you practice).

Review your guitar playing and upgrade your lead guitar speed goals every few practice sessions or so to keep getting better.

Want to learn more ways to play lead guitar solos that sound impressive? Improve your phrasing options using this blues guitar advice.

Tom HessAbout 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.

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