I always feel "dirty" after attempting to solo.

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by rockdoctor42, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. rockdoctor42

    rockdoctor42 Member

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    /begin whining

    Because I am relatively fleet of finger, people come up to me and ask me to play leads over their riffs (be it a bandmate or a random guy in a guitar center who heard me playing an Yngwie tune). However, my soloing always sounds pretty much the same, it feels very random, and I get a horrible dirty frustrated guilty feeling every time I do it.

    It's a great source of frustration for me.

    end whining/
     
  2. mertas

    mertas Member

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    speed or interesting phrasing. slow down and listen to the song ;-)
     
  3. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Member

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    Don't play anything you can't sing. Take a riff and sit there and write out the perfect solo. Take as long as you need to do it. Then write another.
     
  4. JonnyQ

    JonnyQ Member

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    Well, first, pay no attention to the random guy at the Guitar Center, no good can come of that.

    As far as your bandmate, understand fully what he/she is playing, especially how it functions in the context of the song. If there is a vocal melody, try incorporating phrases in your solo, harmonize with the riff, create compelling counterpoint, etc. Randomness suggests not having a firm handle of what is occurring musically whether harmonically, melodically or perhaps rhythmically. Dig deeper.
     
  5. ZeyerGTR

    ZeyerGTR Member

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    If you're feeling like you're just playing the same stuff over and over or "noodling" randomly, you probably are.

    How are your bends and vibrato? How are your dynamics? How is your rhythm (within the solo) - just a stream of 16th notes or more varied, and is every note placed in time "correctly" for the given genre? When you solo, can you start slow and build up to a climax? Does it go somewhere? Remember, there are a lot of aspects of music beyond just the notes.

    +1.
     
  6. GLB98

    GLB98 Member

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    That's a really interesting observation and way of putting it. I have sort of the same feeling, and I'm not even fleet of finger. I feel like 'here are people playing music to back ME up, even if its for only 30 seconds, and that's all that I can serve up'. It's like I invited people to my house for a for a barnraising party (you know, like the Amish do) and served them some doritos and milk as a thank you.
     
  7. Manicstarseed

    Manicstarseed Member

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    See my "Baby Steps" thread. You are not alone, but I know it can be "fixed."

    I suspect it is combination of attitude (confidence/fear), comfort (known muscle memory), ear, patience and knowledge.

    Grow any one of these and things will simply change, most likely for the better.

    The frustration you feel is self judgement and impairs confidence - it grows from impatience with yourself. You fall back to comfort. Your ear tells you WTF dude this is not exciting (hits confidence). Your knowledge says... what do I do now?

    In the heat of the moment, it is A LOT to take in on the emotional level.
    Breath and be calm. Perhaps think about what you want to do next.

    I define "talent" as being strong in all those (and other) areas. Some work of it (me), some are born with it. The knowledge is the only real teachable thing. We come equipped with the the ear thing or learn it some way.
    The rest is learned by experience.
     
  8. Hotspur

    Hotspur Member

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    I think most people feel like their solos all sound the same because they're playing "by finger" - relying on basic muscle memory, just sort of moving their fingers around the scale without their brain doing anything other than telling them what shape to use on the fretboard.

    The solution to this is to play by ear. That is to say, know what you want to play before you play it.

    One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard was that before you can play a solo, you have to be able to play a melody. Start with melodies. Heck, a mildly embellished melody can be a solid solo (eg, take a listen to "Madness" by Muse, which is a good example of song-melody-as-solo).

    So just practice playing melodies. Listen to songs you like, and play the vocal melody on your guitar. You want to get a place to where you can hear the melody once and play it quickly and easily, without having to hunt and peck. (This will take practice and some dedicated ear work).

    Then you can start embellishing it. Change up the emphasis. Throw in licks (licks aren't ends to themselves; they are, rather, an interesting way to get from note to note in a melody, or a way to punctuate your melody) to add dynamism and interest.

    And then, when you're jamming, the secret is NOT to play, until you have a melody. Listen. Let a melody come to you, and start with that.
     
  9. Phletch

    Phletch Member

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    My ex-wife used to stop by for a bootie calls - after our divorce. I always felt dirty. Then I got over it.

    Seriously, though, I agree with the advice given thus far. I think we all feel like we get stale now and then. That's when it's time for some new inspiration, be it a new song, exploring different styles, ear training, learning melodies...
     
  10. The bear

    The bear Member

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    Lol!
     
  11. Manicstarseed

    Manicstarseed Member

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    Jerry Garcia, at his most basic simply sang a tune, played the melody, rinse and repeat, each time adding more and more embellishment until the listener is wondering how the hell they got to where they were.

    This has been the biggest influence on me from the perspective of my general approach.

    I am a melody hound so yeah there are literally thousands of great melodies to hone your ear on.
     
  12. Swain

    Swain Member

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    Lots of great advice so far. And playing Melodies is what I was going to say.

    But since it's already been mentioned, here's a physical way to find some new things:

    Limits

    Try limiting or avoiding something you commonly do, and see where that leads you.
    It will help with breaking you out of that comfort zone, and force you to come up with something new.

    Ideas for Limits?

    Here's some:

    Stop using a Pick.
    Using your fingers only will make things change.

    Use a Slide.

    Don't Fret any Notes with your Index Finger.
    Chris Poland style. Without using your Fretting Hand's Index Finger, I bet things will change.

    Change your Tuning away from Standard.

    Remove a String or Two.

    Any of these Limits should help you to jump start into a new life of self-respect and decency....... ;)


    HTH.
     
  13. rockdoctor42

    rockdoctor42 Member

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    Bends: pretty good, I can bend up to 3 semitones with accuracy.

    Vibrato: Also not bad, although it's a bit shaky on the high e string.

    Dynamics: Tricky when doing metal, but I can control them fairly well when playing clean, could probably use some improvement.

    Rhythm: I have to really work for this one, I can groove fairly well when I'm playing something written (can't do 16th note syncopation too well though) but rhythm is one of my weakest points.


    I think my first limit is going to be "don't resolve anything on the root" because I do that way too much.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2014

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