8 December 2008

How to Never Lose Your Place In a Guitar Solo

Singing to keep your place while you play a song is a simple and easy way to avoid getting lost. It is much more fun and easier than counting beats and bars which is why I think you should learn the words to the songs you learn to play.

I discovered this tip recently when I had to learn a solo for the song Why Did You Do It? by Stretch. The solo basically involves playing a B minor pentatonic over a verse and chorus of the song. The verse is simply 8 bars of Bm with no chord changes. This made it difficult for me to keep my place as I had a hard time concentrating on my solo and counting the bars going by at the same time.

The other guitar player in the band said "Maybe you need to follow the words or something." Lights went off in my mind as I realized how easy and obvious this solution was.

We started the song again and when we got to the solo I sang the words of a verse and the chorus in my head. No error prone bar counting, that panicky feeling when I lost the count was gone. Instead I knew exactly when the chord change to the chorus was coming.

Now this tip seems really simple and obvious. I admit I felt dumb for not having thought of it before, but then I have never heard it before, so I guess it is worth sharing.

So now you know the secret of how to never get lost in a solo again. The wonderful thing about this tip is that it works for rhythm guitar too as well as if you are playing drums, bass, keyboards or something else. You can forget about counting bars and sing the words in your head instead.

Share this tip with the musicians you play with. It works for any instrument to help make your band sharper, everybody will just know when changes are coming up.

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