14 October 2011

Guitar Solos – Teach Your Guitar to Talk

Today I'm sharing a useful two-part lesson that will help you to learn to improvise better and improve your guitar solos.

In this two-part lesson on Language Based Soloing from the Guitar Noise blog teacher Tom Serb shows you a fun way to learn how to create solos that really speak. The lesson suggests you apply learn to play guitar solos by following the processes a young child follows when they learns to speak.

Learning to Improvise, the Usual Way

If you've already tried to learn the art of improvising guitar solos then the process below will probably be familiar to you:

  • Learn a scale fingering
  • Learn that you can use this fingering over certain chords
  • Struggle to play a solo with the fingering
  • Wonder how the scale pattern can ever sound like the real solos you hear
  • If you’re lucky, happen across a good-sounding series of notes... and wonder why it was right

After trying that for a while you might feel that you'll just never understand how to turn those scale patterns into real guitar solos. If you've ever felt this way then I'm confident you'll enjoy working with Tom's suggestions.

Teach Your Guitar to Talk

Tom's process shows you how to learn to improvise in the same way a young child learns to talk. By applying some of the steps two year olds go through as they learn to talk you can learn to create better sounding guitar solos.


You might think there's nothing a young child can teach you about playing guitar, but, as Tom puts it,

"I know you’re not two years old. You might have learned a scale fingering or two (or ten or twenty), but I can assure you that taking the big step back to the very beginning of language acquisition will change the way you solo: you’ll be more deliberate about it, and actually communicate in music."

Fluent Guitar Solos

Do you struggle to improvise guitar solos that really "speak"? Then try out the learning process described in Language Based Soloing Part 1 and Part 2. It looks like a great way to develop more fluent and meaningful guitar solos.


Photo by Mister Wilson.

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