How To Play Cool Guitar Solos That Sound Unique

by Tom Hess

Ever notice how some guitar players are able to play amazing solos while other players (with great skills) struggle to play expressive music?

This happens frequently.


Let me tell you:

Some guitar players learn how to develop excellent guitar phrasing while others overlook this critical skill.

“Tom Hess, what exactly is guitar phrasing and how does this help me play cool solos?”

Answer: Guitar phrasing refers to the way you play notes on guitar in order to make them express emotion.

Solos that lack good phrasing often sound like the player is simply picking through memorized exercises or trying to force memorized licks together regardless of the musical context.

Don't do this!

Use this simple approach to get started playing more unique and expressive ideas on guitar:

Make it your goal to make your guitar licks as voice-like as possible (like the melodies of a singer).

Make your guitar licks memorable.

Check out this video to learn how to do it:

Now that you know how to make your guitar solos sound more unique and creative, avoid this common pitfalls:

Pitfall #1 –Learning Too Many Patterns (Without Practicing Phrasing)

Learning tons of new scales and patterns on guitar is fun, but doesn’t automatically help you play more creatively.

It merely gives you more potential options. However, this only applies if you have at least some basic phrasing skill.

Make it your goal to learn how to play creatively with the things you already know. Build from this foundation, but be weary of overwhelming yourself with too much information at once.

Pitfall #2 – Always Using The Same Licks During Solos

Many guitar players think that memorizing a ton of cool licks from their favorite players helps them become more creative.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work out this way.

Instead, doing this causes you to become dependent on these licks rather than thinking creatively in the moment to come up with interesting an unique ideas (while improving this skill).

This ideas is explained in more detail in the following video:

Pitfall #3 – Learning Everything In Isolation

It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to perfect one or two things in your guitar playing before moving on. Don't fall for this!

For example, tons of lead guitarists have developed awesome technical skills but never took the time or knew to work on their phrasing. This creates the robotic, exercise-like guitar soloing mentioned earlier.

Instead of practicing your skills in isolation from each other, constantly integrate new ideas with old ones.

This keeps your guitar playing balanced and removes any major weaknesses that could prevent you from playing how you want to.

Next step:

Apply the concepts you learned together with the 5th mode of melodic minor on guitar.

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.

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