Let’s get this straight:
I never imagined that learning how to play my first guitar solo would be easy.
But I didn’t imagine that it would be so difficult either!
I’m not going to lie to you guys:
Learning how to play a guitar solo is not something simple.
That being said, the process of learning can be made much, much simpler if you use the right tricks.
I found a way to learn how to play guitar solos that made complicated concepts simpler, that saved me time and money, and that was actually fun!
Today, I’d like to share my story with you, as well as the 7 steps that I took to learn how to play my first guitar solo.
I Learned The Essential Tricks To Soloing More Than 2.5x Faster For 87.5% Of The Cost!
Learning the guitar was always a dream to me.
I wanted to be able to play my favorite songs with ease, jam to the classic rock songs I loved, or even improvise my own solos.
I had no idea how difficult it would be to learn these things when I picked up a guitar for the first time.
Back in college, I suppose I felt like all young people do:
Invincible, as if I could accomplish anything I set my mind to.
So, encouraged by a buddy of mine, I decided to buy a guitar and see what happened.
Unfortunately, what followed could hardly be considered music.
I tried to learn, and my college buddy tried to teach me, but neither of us proved to be very successful.
After college, I simply ran out of time, and I started to lose what little skill I ever had on the guitar.
For A Long Time, I Thought I Just Wasn’t Capable Of Playing Guitar Solos
Even after my wife and I got married and the girls were born, and even while trying to run my own business, I tried to stay in tune with my musical dreams.
Every once in a while, I would dust off my guitar and start again in my efforts to learn how to play it.
But even then, my play was choppy and uncoordinated.
My chords were sloppy and I had a remarkable lack of rhythm.
Even as I was struggling to remember the things I had learned years ago and trying to play, I could hear how awful I sounded.
And I remember thinking to myself:
I’m never going to really learn how to play the guitar.
I mean, if I couldn’t even master simple chord progressions, how was I ever supposed to learn guitar solos and the classic rock songs I had dreamed of playing so long ago?
At The Age Of 40, I Decided It Was Time To Dive In The Deep End And Learn The Guitar Right
Unfortunately, I thought that meant taking in-person guitar lessons.
I started guitar lessons thinking that this would be the answer to my problems.
I don’t know if I was expecting some sort of miracle to happen, that my guitar teacher would simply put his hands on me and I would magically be given the ability to play guitar solos.
I probably don’t need to tell you, that’s not exactly how it went.
Instead, I found myself dumping and replacing one guitar teacher after the other, without finding anyone that truly understood me, my level of guitar playing, or what I wanted to learn.
My Fingers Still Felt Clumsy, And Learning Music Theory Seemed Beyond Me
When I finally found someone who was willing to teach me how to play a guitar solo, I dreamed that maybe this one would be different, that I had finally found the person who would guide me towards my dreams.
But even then, I found myself disappointed.
He started talking about music theory, complicated scales, and chords and notes with difficult names. Worst of all, he explained everything as a brief summary, and just expected me to keep up.
I left those lessons discouraged, feeling like I was simply incapable of playing the guitar well.
But I Found A Better Way To Learn How To Play A Guitar Solo, And Now I Can Solo Over Nearly Any Song
It was nearly a year after I had started taking guitar lessons, and I felt that I was no closer to learning the guitar than I had been before.
Honestly, I was about ready to give up on the guitar and my dreams of playing the guitar well.
I thought that maybe I just wasn’t meant to play, or that I was too old to learn.
But thankfully, that wasn’t my problem.
It was my wife who introduced me to the fantastic tool I’ve been using to learn guitar. This tool helped me to learn how to play guitar solos in just 60 days!
I learned all of the essentials to playing guitar solos, and I’ve actually gotten reasonably good at it.
The dream that I thought had been crushed was given new life.
But before I tell you about the tool I used to learn guitar, I’d like to show you the steps I took to learn how to play my first solo:
7 Steps Towards Playing Your First Guitar Solo
Follow this same path and you’ll be playing your first guitar solo in no time!
- Step 1: Practice Your Scales, And Increase Your Speed
I mentioned above that trying to wrap my head around music theory made me feel like giving up on the guitar.
However, it doesn’t have to be like that.
Learning just a few simple parts of music theory can actually be all the ammunition you need to start playing guitar solos.
For example, I recommend learning two different types of scales to start:
The major pentatonic scale is a set of 5 notes within an octave. Typically, if you’re playing anything that’s ‘major’, the sound produced will be a sort of pleasant, happier tone.
The minor pentatonic scale is also a set of 5 notes within an octave, but instead of that pleasant, nice sound, a minor scale has a tendency to sound sad or upset.
Learning these scales for different notes on the guitar is beneficial for two different reasons:
- Since the notes within a certain scale all sound good together, many popular guitar solos are based on pentatonic scales. So once you know the scale, it’ll be easier to play the whole solo, or even improvise!
- Practicing your scales is also a fantastic way to build up your finger speed. The more you practice these scales, the faster you’ll get at moving around the fretboard.
- Step 2: Learn Basic Picking Techniques
Once you know what your left hand is doing, it’s time to start working on your right hand.
This is the hand that you use to pick and pluck strings, and using the right techniques for this hand will also help you build up speed and play guitar solos more fluidly.
For starters, take the guitar pick between your thumb and first finger. It’s important to make sure that your hand is loose, allowing you to pick naturally.
Remember: the up and down motion of picking is mostly done with your wrist, so make sure not to lock your wrist or strum from your elbow.
- Step 3: Hammer-On, Pull-Off, Or Slide
Picking is not the only way to make strings produce sound.
For example, let’s say you’ve already hit a note on an open string. Use a finger on your left hand to hit that string on the note you want to produce. Think of your finger as a small hammer: when you hit that string and hold it on the fretboard, you’ll change the note that’s playing. Thus, this is called a hammer-on.
A pull-off is the opposite. Start by playing any note on the fretboard. Then, using the finger on your left hand that is holding down the note, pull the string as you lift your finger off from the fretboard. This also results in changing the note being played.
By this point, you can probably guess what a slide is. After picking a note, use the finger you have on the fretboard to slide either up or down, thus reaching a different note without lifting your finger. (If you find hammer-ons difficult, this is an easier alternative.)
These techniques allow you to play faster since you don’t have to pick any extra notes.
- Step 4: Bend Notes And Create Vibrato
These two techniques are extremely popular in guitar solos.
To bend a note, start by playing any note on the fretboard. Then, use your finger to bend the string up or down. This is different from a slide, because you won’t be moving out of the fret you started in.
Using this same idea, you can also create vibrato with the notes. In this case, you would use your finger to wobble the string back and forth, giving the note a bit of extra character.
- Step 5: Pay Attention To The Base Chord Progression
Now that we’ve got the basic techniques out of the way, it’s time to figure out what notes to use. We’re going to take our knowledge of pentatonic scales and use it to our advantage.
First, it’s good to find out what the chord progression is throughout the song. In some cases, you might also listen to the notes that the bass is playing. Then, use the pentatonic scales for those chords to play your first guitar solo!
For example: let’s say a certain song has the base chords of G, D, Em, C. For each of these chords, there is a corresponding pentatonic scale (either major or minor). Using the corresponding scale for each chord, you can find the perfect notes to fit with the song!
- Step 6: Experiment With Licks And Riffs In Your Preferred Genre
Each genre of music has its own particular methods and tricks.
So, make sure that you’re getting into your particular genre, and learn the unique techniques that the pros use!
The tool I mentioned above helped me to learn, not just the basics, but specific methods and riffs that are common in my favorite genre of music. And it can help you do the same.
For more on riffs, check out this article: 40 Easy Guitar Riffs To Turn Beginners Into Rock Stars
- Step 7: Practice Until You’ve Got It Right!
The saying ‘practice makes perfect’ might be something that we tell our kids a lot. However, sometimes we need a reminder that this saying also applies to us!
Try taking everything that we talked about above and put it together. Practice going up and down the scales using regular picking and other techniques, like hammer-ons or slides. Then, try adding vibrato to the notes, or experimenting with methods specific to your genre.
It is true, however, that practice can be made easier if we have a guide that can lead us through.
It’s time to introduce the secret tool that I used to learn how to play guitar solos:
Online Guitar Lessons Allowed Me To Learn How To Play Guitar Solos In Just 60 Days, While Saving Money!
My secret tool to guitar solo success is online guitar lessons!
Some online lesson websites that we recommend have over 160 courses related to guitar soloing:
But you might be wondering:
How did online lessons help me learn faster while spending less money?
I already mentioned that I started learning guitar with in-person lessons. For each 1-hour lesson (which I had once a week), I was paying $40.
With online guitar lessons, however, I was able to pick and choose my own schedule. Personally, I was practicing 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
That’s a total of 2.5 hours a week, or 10 hours per month of instruction that I was getting online, compared to 4 hours per month with in-person lessons.
And as I already mentioned, I was able to play guitar solos in just 60 days of practice.
That means I had roughly 20 hours of instruction between two months.
To get the same amount of instruction with in-person classes, it would have cost me $800!
And even then, the quality of the in-person classes that I had wasn’t very good.
In contrast, online classes gave me the flexibility to learn at my own pace, with my own schedule. I received instruction from professional teachers who actually enjoyed teaching! And I was able to learn techniques and tricks with ease.
In short, online lessons made learning the guitar easy and fun.
All of this, at 87.5% cheaper than in-person lessons!
Claim Your Free Trial Today And You Could Be Playing Your First Guitar Solo In A Matter Of Weeks
So what about you?
How would you like to be playing your favorite guitar solos in less than 60 days?
Online guitar lessons will give you that ability.
My first recommendation for you is a website called JamPlay.
In fact, there’s a specific mini-course on JamPlay's website which is designed to help you learn your first guitar solo.
It’s called Solo Over Any Song.
The instructor goes through many of the ideas that we mentioned above, helping you to learn not only how to play a specific solo, but how to create your own solos as well.
More than that, the JamPlay program teaches you specific tips and tricks that will help you in playing your first guitar solo.
You’ll learn about the techniques we mentioned above, along with others that are specific to certain genres of music.
And you’ll also see music theory made easy and practical for your guitar playing.
The best part?
You can begin right now for free!
If you’re ready to start the journey towards learning your first guitar solo, hit the button below.
Take my word for it: you won’t be disappointed.
My second recommendation for you is a website called True Fire.
True Fire has over 160 online video courses related to guitar soloing.
You can find lessons on Blues Soloing, Jazz Soloing and there's also more technical courses as well such as Chord Tone Soloing.
I recently noticed a brand new course that was created called Solo Revolution with Robben Ford.
There's a huge collection of online video lessons in regards to guitar soloing,
The best part is: You can access them all with True Fire's 30 day free trial!
Just hit the big yellow button to try True Fire lessons for free: