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Glossary of Guitar Solos & Improvisation Techniques

Apr 5, 2008
If you are thinking of playing solo then you need to concentrate on the different guitar improvisation techniques. Guitar improvisation may tough but actually what you really need is a good grasp of guitar basics, speed, and lots of practice.

The one thing that you need to remember is that to achieve perfection in guitar improvisation, you need to be familiar and well versed with the music that you are going to play solo for. Another important aspect is that you should have the song stored in your memory, each line and word. This will help you to identify the structure that will enable the progression and you will know exactly what chords need to be played. Then it will be easier for you to select the scales that will compliment each of those chords. The last step would be to determine the specific notes within the chosen scales on which you will need to focus.

This is where the major scale comes into the picture, which is Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do. Any guitar improvisation technique follows the major scale to some extent. In fact, whether you play the guitar or the synth, any type of music always comes from the major scale. Hence to make your guitar improvisation technique more sound and effective follow the major scales.

Guitar Solo Improvisations

These are some of the guitar improvisation techniques that you can practice to get the solo right on target

1. Bend: You can start by playing the first note and then bend your guitar strings with your playing finger until you are able to hear the next note. There are different types of bends like 1/2, 1 1/2, 2 steps bends.

2. Bend & Release: You can start with a bend and then release back to the first note.

3. Pull-off: start by plucking the first note and then pull the second note at a lower fret.

4. Slide: You can fret a note or even multiple notes and then slowly slide to another fret without taking the pressure off your fingers while moving.

5. Hammer-on: start by plucking the first note and then hammer the second note at a higher fret.

6. Vibrato: a useful guitar improvisation technique, you can start by repeatedly bending the pitch slightly up and then bring the note back to its original pitch.

7. Tapping: You can tap with your index finger on a written fret.

8. Pinch Harmonic: Another useful guitar improvisation technique where you need to pick the string and then touch it using the edge of your right hand thumb.

9. Natural Harmonic: You can't really do without this. Start by touching the guitar string lightly just over the fret bar and then pluck it. Make sure not to press it down.

10. Palm Mute: This is one of the easiest guitar improvisation techniques. You need to touch the guitar strings slightly using the palm of your playing hand.
About the Author
E Walker is contributes regular to guitar publications worldwide. He is the founder of Planet of Rock. See how Guitar Backing Tracks makes guitar practice more enjoyable! Jam to over 1000 professional tracks including 100s of Blues Guitar Backing Tracks
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