How To Play Better Guitar Solos By Improving Them One Lick At A Time
Playing better guitar solos is easier than you might think. To transform your guitar solos from 'average' to KILLER you only need to make a few simple (yet highly creative) adjustments to your licks using techniques such as vibrato and bends. Once you understand how this is done, you will be able to play great guitar solos any time you want.
Start playing killer guitar solos right away by watching the video below:
Click on the video to begin watching it.
See my other guitar playing videos, available to my YouTube subscribers - follow my channel by clicking the button below:
Here are a few more ways to make your guitar solos better:
Lead Guitar Solo Tip #1: Add Rubato To Your Guitar Licks And Guitar Solos.
Rubato is a little-known (and simple) technique that makes your guitar solos almost as unique to you as your fingerprints.
It has nothing to do with playing fast.
It has nothing to do with knowing a lot of scales.
(Or knowing a lot about music theory.)
It has nothing to do with your vibrato.
(As cool as vibrato is, it’s pretty easy to match someone’s vibrato… not so with this little-known technique.)
Yngwie, Jason Becker, Eddie Van Halen, Paul Gilbert, Steve Vai and others all use it in their solos.
And although it is simple, it’s very hard to do this technique the same way as someone else.
That’s why, when you start using it, you may hear others say:
“This totally sounds like you”
...the moment they hear your solos.
How does it work? It’s based around expanding and contracting the timing of your licks.
Instead of playing in strict note values (like 8th notes, 16th notes or triplets)… you speed up or slow down in unexpected ways.
This makes your licks unpredictable and help you build musical tension.
Check out this rubato tutorial that shows how to do this technique.
Lead Guitar Solo Tip #2: Listen To Singers And Copy Their Phrasing
By far the best influence on my guitar phrasing have been great singers.
Here is why:
Singers can only sing so many notes on a single breath. And they cannot sing nearly as fast as guitar players can play.
This means: they are forced to make every note count and pack as much phrasing (drama, emotion and musical tension) as possible into every pitch.
Guitar players can learn a lot from this. Here is your assignment:
Make a list of 10 of your favorite vocal parts.
Then transcribe them on your guitar. But focus on matching not just the notes… but all the phrasing nuances of each note.
This not only helps you refine your guitar phrasing…
… but also gives you many new lead guitar lick ideas for your next guitar solo.
Lead Guitar Solo Tip #3: Use Delayed Resolution In Your Guitar Licks.
Delayed resolution happens anytime a listener expects something to happen in a solo…
… and you either avoid or delay that event.
Here is an easy example of using delayed resolution in a guitar solo:
Play the first 7 notes of a D major scale (D E F# G A B C#).
Notice how your ear craves to hear the next note? (D).
That’s an example of building tension.
To delay the resolution of that tension, simply hold off on playing the D note.
It can be as simple as that.
Another great example of delayed resolution can happen during string bends.
Simply delay the release of the bend. Slow it down and don’t give your listeners the satisfaction of hearing the bent note come down all the way.
Now that you know how to make your guitar solos sound better, the next step is to improve all your other musical skills and transform your playing into something you can feel proud of.
I can help you with this in my Breakthrough Guitar Lessons.
Here is how it works:
First, you tell me all about your guitar playing, your musical skills and your goals in a detailed evaluation form.
Then, I go to work for you. I create your lesson strategy and lesson materials that develop the skills you need to play guitar the way you want.
As you practice your lessons, I'm there for you to answer your questions, give you feedback on your playing and support you in any way.
And if you do what I tell you for at least 30 minutes per day, you will very likely be highly pleased with the results.
Here is the progress my other guitar students are making:
“I found Tom Hess on the net through articles, and I read quite a few of those before I went to Tom’s website. Even though I’m not a metal player at all, and Tom is obviously a metal player, I could still see that his ideas and way of teaching could really benefit me. So I pretty much signed up for online guitar lessons with Tom straight away once I’d gone through the website, and it’s just been a real eye opener with the way he teaches…”
... the integration of concepts that he’ll give you and having a really structured strategy… not just week to week lessons, but things that - you can see from one lesson to the next - really develop and continue to work on your technique and your theory and aural skills and those types of things. So I’d played a long time… 20 years before I really caught onto Tom, and I’d had a lot of lessons, and I’d taught and played but I can really see improvements in my technique, sweeping, and picking which weren’t strong parts of my playing.
I feel like Tom has a good gauge of where you’re at as a guitar player and what you need, and there just seemed to be so much more stuff in the lessons week to week than what you’d ever get in an hour or so in a one on one lesson… way more. So yeah I think that and the forum. I think, I’d pay the money just for the forum. That alone would be fine… I wouldn’t have a problem with that at all. So that alone is massive!
The price for the lessons, that’s nothing... nothing. You know, I think it’s, pretty cheap to be honest. I don’t mean that in a bad way, cheap. Cheap is not a good word, but I just think it’s great value… awesome value. I mean, you know, you could pay that for one-to-one lessons and you just don’t get the same results and support of the forum and the content and the strategies.
Other teachers I’ve had have been good players, and some have become good friends too. But when I’ve started lessons with Tom I’ve got something to compare that to and a lot of it is just sort of teaching songs from week to week… a lot of the lesson will be left up to you… you’ll go to your lesson and they’ll be like what do you want to do today? At the time I said, oh do this song or that song, but with Tom you start to realize that you know, there’s more to it… the goals and you know he’s sort of more in contact with what you want to be able to do as a player, because he’s asking you the questions and then setting up the strategies, so I find that really good.
Yeah I can see more results in 18 months in a lot of areas in my playing than you know 20 years. So it’s sort of, you know, would’ve been great 20 years ago to have met Tom.
Simon Candy, Melbourne, Australia
"When I came to Tom for online guitar lessons, I already had a decent overall level of technique and understood the basics of music theory pretty well. I had taken lessons with other teachers before, and went through several guitar method books that promised to teach me how to become a great lead guitar player. I learned all the materials in these books and courses and picked up some useful tips and knowledge along the way. Yet for some reason I still wasn't feeling like a musician. I struggled very much with writing my own songs, creating my own solos and pushing my guitar technique and speed to a higher level (especially sweep picking, alternate picking, and playing clean at high speeds).
When I started learning from Tom, the main thing that made him different from other teachers was that he was showing me how to excel in all aspects of my guitar playing by applying the skills that I already knew together with the new material that I was learning from him.
He made me aware of both strengths and weaknesses in my playing that I did not even know I had. From there he gave me the knowledge, tools and guidance to literally transform my guitar playing by enabling me to overcome things that were preventing me from becoming a truly creative and self-expressive guitar player. These were the kinds of things that none of my previous guitar teachers and books I studied were able to do for me.
After Tom made me aware of all the things I was missing in my guitar playing and provided me with the strategy and tools for solving them, I began to make very fast progress in all areas of my guitar playing.
I can now write my own music and can create lead guitar solos that I am happy and fulfilled with. I also have the technical skills to confidently and easily play anything that I want to express. I have overcome all of the lead guitar challenges that I struggled with before, and increased my guitar speed to virtuoso levels. More importantly, I have the knowledge and understanding of how to continually improve my guitar playing and musical skills to higher and higher levels to continue expressing myself with my music. Overall, I have definitely transformed in a huge way as a musician and as a person through my lessons with Tom Hess. I am grateful to him for guiding me towards becoming the guitarist I always wanted to be!"
Mike Philippov, Indiana, USA
“When I first heard about Tom Hess, I saw that he was a teacher that was very dedicated and serious about it, and that drew me in immediately. That this is a guy that has a plan, has a goal and really if you’re serious about learning guitar, this guy is equally as serious in a way. So it resonated with me straight away.”
I started out just learning by myself and as many others I got stuck. I had a few issues I wanted to get by, but when I met Tom and talked with him and started lessons with him, he opened up a whole new world of possibilities of what guitar playing can be.
I feel very grateful that I found lessons from Tom since I then did what worked from the very beginning. Many guitarists I see that played way longer than I did, they have build up many bad habits. That from the very start, there was clear instruction of how to practice correctly. You build the ability for high speed and whatever you want from the very beginning and you don’t waste time doing inefficient things. So I’m very grateful that I did that, and now I really feel I am able to reach whatever level I want.
The reasons why I think I feel so motivated all the time is because I know that the thing I’m working on is relevant for me and it’s exactly the direct thing I need to get.
The forum just kicks ass. The people in the forum - it’s just like unconditional help all the time. They love to help out, and you also get very inspired by seeing someone just really getting speed really quick and then you say if he can do it, I can do it. It works on the mental side of being a guitarist and that of course that’s the most important thing. Just being around other musicians like that, is just you learn so much faster, is so much less frustration when you can see that all the people are having the same issues that you do, not anything special or anything. It’s just part of learning process, so it kicks ass.
Magnus Gautestad, Norway
“You’re dealing with one of the best guitar teachers in the world, maybe the best and you can’t get that just anywhere in the world.”
I wanted to really focus much more on getting the technique down, with the integration Tom has of bringing in the other aspects such as theory, improvisation or songwriting so it all integrates and ties together. You get a comprehensive package so that you not only learn the technique, you’re really applying it in many different ways... in ways that are going to be much more useful, rather than your average internet lesson where the guy just explains something or shows you how to do it. Tom tells you how to do something and how to apply and use it in many different ways.
Tom is so goal focused, and I hadn’t even thought of that, it changed the way I thought of things. Tom makes you come up with musical goals and works towards fulfilling those goals. You have something to focus on, the lessons are based on meeting those goals. You’re getting better, you can see how you’re getting better and then you build new goals after that. You see the growth and development as opposed to just getting a little better at a certain technique. You’re actually developing.
Mike Larson, Milwaukee, USA
Want to get the same results in your guitar playing too? Click the “start now” button on the banner below to learn more.