This guest post on guitar solos is written by David Osborne, Founder and Managing Director of Oia Music. David created Oia Music to share his love for music, tips to help musicians perform better, and choices of good music instruments for their playing. 

Learning how to play the guitar is a musical dream for aspiring guitarists. Listening to acoustic guitar instrumentals or classic rock songs may inspire someone to learn how to play this stringed instrument.

For example, watching Rocío Márquez perform her repertoire together with other Iberian musicians may motivate you to learn guitar-playing due to the allure of Spanish music.

Playing guitar solos is a wonder for first-timers. Some would feel daunted and curious about how to perform. Others would be enthusiastic to learn right away.

It can be challenging; however, nothing is impossible. If you are determined and inspired to learn, then nothing can stop you from accomplishing your goal.

Here are seven techniques on how you can succeed in playing guitar solos:


1) Practice Scales and Gather Momentum on Speed

Learning the scales and practicing them are part of the fundamentals of playing guitar solos. Warming up with these two distinct kinds of scales is helpful:

– The major pentatonic scale is a group of five notes within an octave. The sound of this scale is often described as “optimistic and happy.”

– The minor pentatonic scale is also a group of five notes within an octave. The sound of this scale may sound pessimistic or of “doom and gloom.”

It is advantageous to learn these two scales for different notes on the guitar. Plenty of famous guitar solos are based on pentatonic scales, because the notes within them sound pleasant together. Knowing the scale makes it effortless to play guitar solos and even to improvise.

Practicing the scales is also a recommended technique to increase your finger speed. The more you practice the major and minor pentatonic scales, the quicker you’ll get at using the fretboard.


2) Educate Yourself on Fundamental Picking Techniques

Working on your hand that plucks and picks strings is next, which enables you to play guitar solos fluidly and increase your speed in playing the guitar.

This hand should be free, facilitating the natural picking of the guitar strings. You should take the guitar pick between your first finger and thumb at the beginning.

You should neither strum from your elbow nor lock your wrist. The wrist mostly makes the up and down motion of picking.


3) Learn the Guitar Techniques: Pull-off, Slide, and Hammer-On

There are several ways to make the guitar strings produce sound, besides picking. A hammer-on is a technique that uses the finger like a small hammer. It involves changing the note that is played by hitting the string and holding it on the fretboard.

The opposite of the hammer-on is the pull-off. A pull-off begins with you playing any note on the fretboard. Then, use the finger which is holding down the note. As you lift your finger off from the fretboard, you pull the string, which leads to altering the played note.

If you find hammer-ons challenging, a slide is an easier option. To do a slide, use the finger you have on the fretboard to slide either up or down after picking a note; hence, a different note is reached without lifting a finger. These three techniques facilitate faster playing since it is not necessary to pick any additional notes.


4) Understand How to Create Vibrato and Bend Notes

Bending notes and creating vibrato are quite popular, especially when you’re playing guitar solos. To bend a note, begin by playing any note on the fretboard. Next, use your finger to bend the string up or down.

Creating vibrato with the notes involves using the finger to wobble the string back and forth. Vibrato gives the note a tinge of additional personality and character. For example, this technique is used in flamenco music.


5) Educate Yourself on Base Chord Progression

It is beneficial to know the chord progression used throughout the song. Listening to the played notes by the bass is also advantageous. You can employ the pentatonic scales for those chords to play your guitar solo.


6) Explore Riffs and Licks in Your Chosen Genre

Every musical genre has its specific tricks and methods. You should make sure that you’re getting into your particular musical genre. Also, you should learn the unique techniques professional guitarists use.


7) Keep Practicing

“Practice makes perfect” when it comes to playing guitar solos and performing overall. Follow all of these steps and apply them to your practice sessions.

Gaining insights into the concepts will help you with playing guitar solos and more. Playing the guitar can be very exciting and fulfilling if you give it your time, hard work, and dedication.

Visit Oia Music’s official website. Follow Oia Music on Facebook.

Looking to get your music and performances out to the world? Check out Music Promotion is Not That Tough As You Think, written by guest author Curtis Dean.

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