How To Play Better Guitar Solos Without Tons Of Speed

by Tom Hess

Do you wish your guitar solos sounded amazing and impressive, but don't have the speed to do it?

Good news:

You don't need tons of speed to do it.

This is actually a common mistake many guitar players make while trying to play solos.

They think that more speed, playing tons of note or using highly technical playing makes it better. These are only individual pieces of the guitar soloing puzzle though.


What is the easy thing that makes playing better guitar solos a breeze?


Practice the art of giving yourself more time to choose how to play notes in between each note you play.

This is easy to do as well:

Just add silence into your guitar licks and phrases at random times.

This creates a tons of tension that makes people sit on the edge of their seat waiting to hear what comes next. The added benefit is that it gives you more time to think of what you want to play for the next phrase.

Remember when I said you don't need to use tons of notes to play great solos?

This video demonstration explains why:

Avoid common guitar soloing and creativity mistakes to play lead guitar better than ever:

Guitar Soloing Mistake #1. Focusing Too Much On Which Notes Are Being Used

As I said already, it’s commonly thought that playing guitar solos that sound awesome is all about structuring a bunch of pre-made licks together the right way, using licks from solos, playing fast or many other ideas…

Problem is:

These things mostly have to do with which notes you play, and nothing to do with how to actually play those notes.

This general idea of “how” is guitar phrasing.

Improving your guitar phrasing technique is fundamental to making guitar solos sound like music instead of musical exercises.

Get started developing your phrasing by improvising a short 3-4 note licks over a backing track.

Try to think as many ways as you can to repeat the phrase without changing the original pitch of the notes for 1 minute.

For example: by using vibrato, bends, legato, etc.

Guitar Soloing Mistake #2. Not Creating Real Emotion During Guitar Solos

Simply soloing by matching the right notes to the right chords isn't enough to play truly expressive phrases.

You make your guitar solos sound emotional by learning the emotions that certain notes produce while played above certain chords.

For example:

The first note in a C5 power chord (C) feels relaxed when played over it.

C5 means a power chord containing the notes C and G.

However, playing a major 7th (B) over it creates a feeling of tension that has to be resolved.

How would you described that emotion?

Think about it for yourself. Then go through and try out other notes such as D (a 9th) and see how they sound as well.

Guitar Soloing Mistake #3. Overlooking Vibrato

Vibrato technique is essential for making your guitar playing emotional.

Use these tips to improve your vibrato and use it to express yourself better during your solos:

  • Keep your vibrato in-tune by always bending up to the target pitch you want to match and releasing the bend down to the original pitch. Don't release it in the middle.
  • Practice with a metronome to keep your vibrato in control. How? Try this: Bend the string up on the first beat and release it down on the second. Keep this pattern going make your vibrato easier to control.

The more you practice this simple idea, the more time you give yourself to think of cool phrases before you play them/during your guitar solos.

This makes your guitar solos sound seamless and musically expressive.

Learn another cool way to play guitar expressively using the idea in this cool guitar soloing video.

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 quickly become a better lead guitarist by taking electric guitar internet lessons.

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