Soundsphere Guitar Lesson 23 – Solo

Okay, here’s a solo combining some of the ideas we’ve looked at this year. I’ve also uploaded the backing track separately for you to play along with and/or use to improvise your own solo’s on. The solo is mostly in E minor, with some dorian and blues notes thrown in for good measure. We will also be using a lot of legato, some alternate picking, string skipping and tapping.

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We begin with the A section, which is a riff based around E dorian, and starts with a bend and tap at the fifteenth fret of the B string, bending up a tone from D to E and tapping the twenty-second fret (so the resulting pitch is a B note). Then we release the tap and bend and play the B flat (our blues note) and G notes at the fifteenth and twelfth frets of the G string. We then repeat this phrasing but with a semitone bend from C# to D at the fourteenth fret, we tap the same fret but this time the resulting note is a B flat. We then play an A and G on the G string at the fourteenth and twelfth frets of the G string.

We then go into a pedal-tone lick using the E at the fourteenth fret of the D string. Starting at the B flat at the fifteenth fret of the G string, descend through A and G at the fourteenth and twelfth frets alternating between those and the E. We then bend the A at the fourteenth fret up a tone, and without lowering the bend, we slide into the A from the G with our first finger, then we slide back to the G, and hammer on to the A again before pulling off to the G and sliding back to the F# at the eleventh fret, then sliding back again down to the E at the ninth fret and hammering on the F# again.

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We then ascend the G major scale from the third fret on the low E string using three notes per string all the way from G up to D at the seventh fret of the G string. Then we start the same run starting at the G at the seventh fret of the D string. When we get o the D at the tenth fret of the high E string, we shift position so our first finger is on the C at the eighth fret, and ascend in groups of five up the scale along the high E. So we will hammer on from C, to D, to E then pull off again back down to C, then shift position up to D and repeat this through D, E and F#, then again slide up to the E and repeat using E, F# and G. This time however, we will add 3 notes to the end of the sequence to finish the lick. We will go down to D, but this time using the D at the fifteenth fret of the B string, then back up to the E and F# at the twelfth and fifteenth frets of the high E string before finally bending from D to E at the fifteenth fret of the B string.

Now we move on to some pentatonics with a bend up and down from G to A at the fifteenth fret of the high E string, and then using alternate picking descend from the E to through, D and B at the fifteenth and twelfth frets of the B string, and finally the A at the fourteenth fret of the G string. We then repeat this phrase starting with the D at the fifteenth fret of the B string, bending up and down to E, then descending down the scale to B at the twelfth fret, then A and G at the fourteenth and twelfth frets of the G string before finishing on the E at the fourteenth fret of the D string. We then alternate pick up from G to A to B flat at the twelfth, fourteenth and fifteenth frets of the G string, and then the B at the twelfth fret of the B string, back down to the B flat, up to the B and finish it off with a bend from D to E at the fifteenth fret of the B string.

Our next phrase is similar, but without the bends, descending in triplets from the G to the E at the fifteenth and twelfth frets of the high E, the D and B at the same frets on the B string, then the A and G notes at the fourteenth and fifteenth frets of the G string. We then re-descend from the D at the fifteenth frets through the same notes as before but adding the E and D at the fourteenth and twelfth frets of the D string, before finally performing a double stop quarter tone bend with our first finger using the G and B notes at the twelfth fret of the G and B string, then sliding down. We then repeat the double stop quarter tone bend at the twelfth fret, but then we descend down from the E to the D at the fourteenth and twelfth frets of the D string, down to the B at the fourteenth fret of the A string and back up to the D. We then repeat this whole phrase but add the E at the fourteenth fret of the D string.

We finish of this section with a legato run in seven-tuplets that runs through the same three frets over 3 string; the twelfth, fourteenth and fifteenth frets. We start at the G at the twelfth fret of the G string, and hammer on to A and then B flat, we then pick the B at the twelfth fret of the B string, and hammer on to C# (giving us a dorian feel) and then D. Now, we pick the E at the twelfth fret and hammer on to the F# and G and then back down to F#, E and D on the B string, back up to the E and F# before bending again from the D to E at the fifteenth fret of the B string.

Next, we move onto the B section, the focuses around two chords C and D major. We begin with some more legato with some string skipping and tapping, using the C major and D major scales over each if the chords. We begin by hammering on from E to F, to G at the ninth, tenth and twelfth frets of the G string, then skipping up to the high E string we hammer on from C to D, to E at the eighth, tenth and twelfth frets and then tap the G at the fifteenth fret before pulling off all the way back down to the C, then the same from G to F to E along the G string. We repeat this lick before sliding up a tone over the D chord using the same fingering two frets higher, so the notes on the G string are F#, G and A at frets eleven, twelve and fourteen, then D, E and F# at the tenth, twelfth and fourteenth of the high E string. We tap the A at the seventeenth fret of the high E string, and the second time through we finish on the tap, and slide up into nowhere.

Staying with the C and D chords, we then have some tapped arpeggios starting at the C at the twentieth fret of the high E string, pulling off to the G and E at the fifteenth and twelfth frets. We then hammer on from nowhere to the C at the thirteenth fret of the B string, tap the E at the seventeenth fret and pull off back to the C, then hammer on from nowhere to the G at the twelfth fret of the G string and tap the C at the seventeenth fret and pull off to the G again. Now hammer on from nowhere to the E at the fourteenth fret of the G string and tap the G at the seventeenth fret of the D string, and pull off to the E, and then the C at the tenth fret. We then repeat this same phrase a tone (2 frets) higher but with 2 lead in notes at the end of bar 22 that are the F# and A at the fourteenth and seventeenth frets of the G string.

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Next we bend from D to E at the fifteenth fret of the B string, then pick down through E at the twelfth fret of the high E string, down to D and B at the fifteenth and twelfth frets of the B string, repeat. Then bend up from G to A at the fifteenth fret of the high E string, then back down through E, D and B before finally bending back up to E from D. We then bend up to B from A at the seventeenth fret of the high E, hold the bend and then release it before picking G at the fifteenth fret then E to D at the seventeenth and fifteenth fret of the B string, then re-pick the two previous notes before heading down to the B at the sixteenth fret of the G string, before finally hammering on from D to E on the B string. The B section concludes with some alternate picking in E minor, picking in groups of 6 descending from G at the fifteenth fret of the high E string, down through F# and E down to D on the B string, then back up to E and F#, then repeating till we change chord to D. Now, we shift up a position so we are now picking A, G and F# on the high E string, and E on the B string. On the fourth repeat of this we bend up from A to B at the seventeenth fret of the high E string.

We then return to the A section with some more double stop bends on the G and B strings this time at the fourteenth fret, then at the twelfth as well, followed by a short bluesy pentatonic run from G at the twelfth fret up the scale to D and bend up to E. We finish off this solo with some more alternate picked pentatonics, starting with a pattern again in groups of 6 starting on the G at the fifteenth fret of the high E string down to E at the twelfth fret, then D and B on the B string finishing back on the E at the twelfth fret. We then repeat the lick but swap the first note (G) for the A at the seventh fret. We then repeat this whole sequence before we use the same descending sequence we used in bar 11 except this time we continue all the way down the scale before hammering on from D to E at the tenth fret of the low E string.

Here’s the backing track:

Harry Houghton

About Harry Houghton

Writer and music tutor.