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How to Make Your Guitar Solos Stand Out

Richard is a hobbyist programmer who loves writing novels and articles. He also loves playing the guitar as music brings him peace.

We all love solos

One thing I know about guitarists and fans of rock music is that we all love good solos. Sultans of Swing, Stairway to Heaven, Comfortably Numb are all good examples of songs with solos that sound unreal, though these are good solos, we all hope to make that great solo that'll make our band or name stand out when being talked about and today I'm going to show you some secrets that'll make your solo stand out amongst other solos.


Enough With the A min Pentatonic

One thing that all solos are based on are scales and you can't go on using the most popular scale; the A minor Pentatonic and expect to sound different or stand out, there are tons of scales out there for example the major scales can be created with the formula WWHWWWH. Where W means whole step that is two frets (notes) forward and H means half step that is just one box forward. You can use this to create any major scale with the 12 notes e.g D major scale is D E F# G A B C# D. Learn more scales and show the world that a new player is in town.

Mark Knopfler

Mark Knopfler

No such thing as too much Vibrato

If you listen to players like Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, you'd always hear that sweet alluring shaky sound at the end of licks or even in the middle of his licks and solos. It's the beauty of vibratos of course. You can't have too much of this in your solos and you should use them more often mostly at the end of licks to make your solos sound more like something from another world.

A7 chord

A7 chord

Mess with some Chords

And I do not mean using only double stops, try out shell chords (movable Gmaj and movable Cmaj), use 7th shell chords too if you want but if you still prefer the normal one note melodies, use arpeggios. You can experiment with this and practise and you'll see that you can use them at some points in your solos to not only beautify them but make them sound like something new.

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Rock is not the only Genre

Of course we all love rock. It could be loud and rebellious but could be soft and beautiful, but it won't be bad to meddle with some other genres; country, jazz, classical, flamenco, Arabian Folk, Turkish folk, whatever it is you name it. Learn some songs from another genre and practise them, you'll start to realise the beauty and incorporate these patterns into your style of playing and before you know it, you'll sound bigger and better than before.

A Bit of Stealing is OK but too much...

As musicians we all know that from time to time our we steal from others which isn't really bad. We take licks out of songs, chord progressions and all that, but we all have to know our limit because it can get out of hand quickly. If you want more originality that is, if you truly want to stand out, stop stealing totally or minimise it as much as you can. You can't stand out if you're a rip off.

Spice up your rhythm

This is sort of tricky because the rhythm of the solo depends heavily on the rhythm section that is whatever the drummer, bassist and/or rhythm guitarist are playing at the moment. Even if you play off beat use it as some sort of rubato to add emotion and don't use too much of it. You should practise this with your mates to prevent making mistakes live.


Be a Rock and Don't Roll

One thing I believe all artists must possess to find their own identities is confidence. You must believe in your abilities and your self as this will make you more daring to try out new stuff. If you aren't confident, none of this will work because you'll go back to trying to sound like others, so be a rock. If you make a mistake when playing your solo, you either shrug it off or you make that mistake your success. Be confident because no one else will be confident for you.

That's it, use this as a guide to improve your solos and stand out. Remember to practise too.

© 2021 Emekaej123

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