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Joined new band, will have a 3-5 minute guitar solo spot, what do I play???

Phrygiandom

Member
Messages
291
Recently I was fortunate enough to snag a sweet gig with a popular local band. Very professional outfit, and I feel blessed to have been chosen to join them.

In previous bands I've only had very brief solo spots, never more than like 30 seconds or so. This time it will be between 3-5 minutes, while rest of band takes a break.

In theory, very cool, but what do I play for that long? I'm not one to just stand there and noodle on some repetitive licks. I'm thinking more of maybe going with a backing track, or is that "taking the easy way out?"

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

BMX

Member
Messages
3,543
If it was me I’d start off with a long delay, then add another one so I was stacking two delays. Maybe get a delay with an effects loop so you can add a flanger in and out on the repeats. Effects are you’re friend in these situations- the last thing you want is to just be you and a simple guitar sound- after 30 seconds you (and the crowd) will be thinking- yikes, now what?!?!

Also, have a few things you can jump to- do something for a minute or two, let it die out and start the next idea etc.

Last- have a couple of go to cues that people will recognize (depending on the crowd), Van Halen, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Lady A, whatever. Something that will perk everyone up. Also if you can make it work, when you’re finishing up have the band come up and go right into you next song. So depending on what kind of band you’re in you could break into like an Edge lick and all of a sudden the band kicks into Still Haven’t Found What I’m lookin for.
 

Dave Shoop

Member
Messages
11,317
The sax solo in Jungleland is two minutes. I think it is an excellent composition written in context of the song.

3 to 5 minute guitar solo I’m guessing would appeal to a small demographic. Seems like a strange thing to arbitrarily do.

I love guitar but wouldn’t stay in the room for a 5 minute solo.

congrats on the band !
just me though
 
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Chronic Fatigue

Senior Member
Messages
132
The sax solo in Jungleland is two minutes. I think it is an excellent composition written in context of the song.

3 to 5 minute guitar solo I’m guessing would appeal to a small demographic. Seems like a strange thing to arbitrarily do.

I love guitar but wouldn’t stay in the room for a 5 minute solo.

just me though
Five minutes is a bit much. It would really have to be some type of solo composition to hold my attention that long. And I love solo guitar spots. Even three minutes, I'd be trying to work in some harmonic and melodic structure.
 

twoheadedboy

Member
Messages
11,990
Recently I was fortunate enough to snag a sweet gig with a popular local band. Very professional outfit, and I feel blessed to have been chosen to join them.

In previous bands I've only had very brief solo spots, never more than like 30 seconds or so. This time it will be between 3-5 minutes, while rest of band takes a break.

In theory, very cool, but what do I play for that long? I'm not one to just stand there and noodle on some repetitive licks. I'm thinking more of maybe going with a backing track, or is that "taking the easy way out?"

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
What kind of music does your band play? That will set some limits on what would be appropriate for you to play.

If I were you, I'd be looking at playing a guitar based instrumental with the full band. Most audiences are not into 3-5 minute long solo guitar tunes, especially in the context of a full band show. Unless you are a mindblowing player, you will lose them if there is nothing but guitar for 3-5 minutes.
 
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Phrygiandom

Member
Messages
291
What kind of music does your band play? If I were you, I would ask the band if we could do a guitar based instrumental tune for my solo spot. An 80s style flashy solo guitar section is not what most audience want to hear these days.
The band plays a mix of country/pop/rock. I agree with some of the above comments regarding the length of the solo spot. I may end up doing something a LOT shorter, and something "composed," because I certainly don't wanna lose the crowd.

Another thing I considered was having the band participate in recreating "Butler's Bag" from the Crossroads movie. Maybe add an extra 12 bars and call it a day. Bluesy, flashy, and over before they realize what happened.
 




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