Video: How To Play Impressive Guitar Licks & Solos On One String
Want to learn a fun and easy way to play guitar licks for solos that sound really cool?
You don't need advanced techniques or incredibly fast runs to play something that sounds impressive and captivating for anyone listening.
...all you need is a single string.
Using single string guitar licks gives you the power to play great licks that people will love.
The only catch:
You must make sure they sound clean at any speed.
Let me show you what I mean.
Check out this video to find out how to play great guitar solo licks on a single string:
Click on the video to begin watching it.
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Now you know how to play great guitar licks that sound great without learning any advanced techniques. Read the following tips to improve your licks and play solos that sound expressive:
How To Play Lead Guitar Solos And Licks That Effortlessly Flow Across The Fretboard
Ever feel like your lead guitar solo licks don't seem to go anywhere or you just get lost on the fretboard and start making mistakes?
Working on fretboard memorization is important for playing guitar licks that flow from note to note.
This is incredibly fun and much more satisfying.
How do you do it?
Start by visualizing the scale shape you are about to move into before you physically move your hand to play there. To practice this skill, work on using scale shapes that are close to each other at first.
For example, improvise freely by playing with the a 3 note per string A minor scale beginning on the 12th fret of the A string. Stay within an octave for now. Do this for several minutes to get used to it while creating as much variety as you can using many different techniques.
Then do the exact same thing except using the G Mixolydian scale that begins on the 10th fret (2 frets away).
Note: This scale uses the same notes as the A minor scale.
After playing each scale seperately for a few minutes, spend another few minutes combining them together freely.
This is a great way to start visualizing more of the fretboard, and eventually you are able to add more notes from the same mode in this manner.
This gives you the idea for what you need to do to expand your lead guitar licks outside of your comfort zone while helping your to train your phrasing at the same time.
How To Easily Make Your Lead Guitar Licks Sound Better
Make your guitar tone sound better making these simple adjustments:
1. While playing notes that are higher on the fretboard, select the neck pick up by switching the selector all the way to the top position. While playing notes that are lower on the fretboard, select the bridge pickup.
This has the effect of making higher notes sound smoother and keeps lower, guitar rhythm riffs from sounding muddy.
2. Pay attention to perfecting your rhythmic timing.
It’s common that lead guitar players play solos with notes that aren't quite perfectly on beat or timed well. This can ruin even the most impressive guitar licks.
How do you avoid this problem?
Make it a top priority to play rhythmically tight whenever you play - whether you are playing rhythm guitar or lead guitar.
Use a metronome, then try to split up your focus between playing the notes and being ready for when the next beat comes. If you have it, use recording software so you are able to see and hear your mistakes.
3. Practice using warm ups that have a purpose.
It can be very easy to fall into the trap of using generic chromatic exercises to warm up in a mindless way since it is a popular/conventional approach.
You rarely play chromatic lead guitar licks like this in music.
Working on this mostly just improves your ability to play these types of chromatic lead guitar licks in isolation, but doesn't achieve much else.
Instead, work on small segments of your usualy guitar practice items or simply items that actually can be applied into music and help you reach your musical goals.
4. Develop excellent muting technique.
To make your lead guitar solos and licks sound clean every time, use the pointer finger of the fretting hand to mute the strings that are higher than the one you are currently playing on.
How To Get Better At Lead Guitar If You Want Serious Results:
You make enormous improvement in your lead guitar playing by taking lessons with an excellent guitar instructor who has already helped loads of other players achieve your exact same musical goals.
What is it about working with a guitar teacher that makes improving a lot easier than doing everything by yourself?
There exist plenty of reasons why, but among the most essential is that a guitar instructor takes away all the uncertainty involved in becoming a much better guitar player.
Not exactly sure what to work on to get faster? Wondering why you are unable to play that one guitar lick just like your favorite guitarist plays it?
Your guitar teacher will help you learn these things, so you can immediately improve upon them.
That's not all:
Your guitar teacher also helps you improve your playing in subtle ways you just never would've considered by yourself (or found online) because of their expertise.
Don't wait to begin taking guitar lessons. The longer you wait, the longer it takes to attain your musical goals and become the guitarist you wish to be.
Begin today and make a breakthrough in your guitar playing like never before, just like these excellent players have:
“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 lead 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 lead 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 lead guitar licks 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 lead guitar licks 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 lead 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
Ready to learn more about playing lead guitar licks and solos that sound totally pro? Let me teach you all about playing creatively on guitar. Get started with electric guitar internet lessons.