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How to create solos

Music Theory
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mused  
21 Sep 2010 17:04 | Quote
Joined: 27 Jan 2010
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I know the pentatonic scale and where the roots are and all that, but the problem I am having is to actually create a solo, (or a long piece of music). If I know a scale what am i supposed to do to create something? Thats my main problem I can learn scales and all but I have no way or method to create something of my own.
case211  
21 Sep 2010 17:19 | Quote
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My best advice to create your own music would be to throw theory out the window and start messing around with some different chords and progressions. It doesn't matter if it fits into any specific key that you know; if you like it, then it's good. Same with solos, just jam a little bit and really let YOU come out in your playing, don't worry too much about following the progression closely or any of that, just jam and let everything come to you.
Domigan_Lefty  
21 Sep 2010 20:01 | Quote
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What do i do for solos?
Its actually 99% random.

Trial and Error
EMB5490  
21 Sep 2010 21:28 | Quote
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Domigan_Lefty says:
What do i do for solos?
Its actually 99% random.

Trial and Error


Disagree.

Unless you refer to randomness in an organized fashion... FOr randomness alone and unorganized is nothing but the fact, randomness in and amoung itself. However when its organized its perfectly fitting. Take saucerful of secrets, The beginning of it, is essentially, random. However it breaks down organized and fits at the end.

Now onto what your saying:

I had this very problem a while ago...

It can be cured by theory knowledge, I proudly say im very educated in theory to a point where i know what to do when to do it and in a way how. HOwever ijm no where near what id like. I still dont know the COF as well as i should, and thus the keys and the context as well as i would like.

What i recommend is theory. Study it, learn it, know it back and forth, if someone asks you how many accidentals and what kind are in the key of g? you should immediatly say AH "F is #, why? because its the leading tone into "g" and thus must be a semi tone lower then the tonic to be a diatonic leading tone. Making the "f" sharp... IF you didnt understand that... id study theory...

When i say generally what does a dominant chord resolve to and in what context, for example, say the notes in an e7 chord, and what chord does it resolve to, and what chord is it in comparison to the resolving chord (the I) Yeah id learn this...

THis will allow you to know what to do how to do it and when to do it, 100% garenteed to make your music that much better money back garentee.

Solos even when sounding random will have (mostly) a hidden organization that fits it together.

The KEY is to figuring out how to make simple scales sound like music and not scales. THe key is to having the ideas in your head and the ability to transfer them in music, whether theyre ideas you have lyrics, or idea wise, or musicallly in your head...

SO... Learn theory, scales, chords, blah blah blah.
Ozzfan486  
21 Sep 2010 22:06 | Quote
Joined: 01 Oct 2008
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I just listen to my favorite players, cop some licks, get a feel for them, and learned as I went. I was never really taught to solo. I just picked it up from listening to other players and emulating what I liked.
EMB5490  
22 Sep 2010 05:35 | Quote
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^^ Thats also very common and a good way to do it
BodomBeachTerror  
22 Sep 2010 11:57 | Quote
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ROCK OUT!
tinyskateboard  
22 Sep 2010 14:05 | Quote
Joined: 28 Apr 2010
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Domigan_Lefty says:
What do i do for solos?
Its actually 99% random.

Trial and Error


The greatest improvisers have your attitude. I don't think Jimi was trained to play music.
Ozzfan486  
22 Sep 2010 14:51 | Quote
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I heard he was very advanced in music theory actually. I could be wrong though.
MoshZilla1016  
22 Sep 2010 14:54 | Quote
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I heard the same thing. Jimi knew theory. I also heard Allen Holdsworth does not.
case211  
22 Sep 2010 15:32 | Quote
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I heard the same.

But I don't think that theory(although it can be very helpful) is the most important piece of the puzzle that is the solo. Knowing theory and applying will make things easier to fit something into a solo, but I feel that the most important part of making the solo is being able to know what you want it to sound like and being able to transfer that to the fretboard. When you can do that, it doesn't matter so much about knowing theory or not.
JazzMaverick  
22 Sep 2010 20:34 | Quote
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tinyskateboard says:
The greatest improvisers have your attitude. I don't think Jimi was trained to play music.


Jimi was fcuked on Acid... there was no need for anything more... it wasn't him doing anything, it was him tripping out - he was musically telling us his tripping out adventures.

He is over rated. He's good, but he's not THAT good. (I don't care to start any arguements with anyone who disagrees, it's my opinion - I'm honestly never going to change this opinion - it's my opinion alone - not fact.)

TO THE POINT!

It's not Trial and Error, I honestly mean no offense with Lefty, but that's a very ignorant and inexperienced opinion!

Like I say to others - the second you learn something theoretical - APPLY IT TO YOUR PLAYING!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously; if you don't learn physically what you're learning mentally then you'll fall behind and honestly you can fall too far into theory if you're not careful - make sure it's always even.

Also remember that theory is only a set of guidelines - they're there to help you, they're very important in my opinion, but not necessary.

Music is for the ears - don't forget that! :)
MoshZilla1016  
22 Sep 2010 22:25 | Quote
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JazzMaverick says:
He is over rated. He's good, but he's not THAT good.

+1
JazzMaverick says:
It's not Trial and Error

+2
JazzMaverick says:
Music is for the ears

+3
shredguitar17  
23 Sep 2010 02:33 | Quote
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Listen and learn... for instance, listen to you favorite artist's solos and get the tabs and chords for the song, and piece together what he/she is doing. Knowing your scales is great, but knowing which notes of the scale fits is even better.

Jazz is a great genre to learn some soloing... mainly because it is heavy on knowing theory as rules, then learning to "break" the rules. A good solo (although very personal and the term "good" solo shouldn't be thrown around sparatically) will usually stay within the bounds of the key, but also use some chromatics to "step out of bounds" look up greg howe on youtube, and he tells you some of what I am talking about. Hope it helps.
tinyskateboard  
23 Sep 2010 10:58 | Quote
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I like Domigan_Lefty's mindset. Everybody comes at music from their own perspective, but I have seen so many great improvisors who are master's of theory who do not use theory to improvise. Maybe my perspective on solos I like to listen to is skewed, but Jimi played some pretty together riffs and some kooky solos. If the acid screwed up his solos, why did his melodies work?

Take Greg Ginn of Black Flag. Well schooled in music, but he thought a solo should be a departure, not a re-hash of the molody of the song.
John Zorn also consistently fights against his theoretical musical structure knowlegde. Look him up if interested.

So basically I like Avant Garde solos within conventional music (sorry..too much jazz). I have read nothing that makes it seem like Jimi had any formal music training. He was dedicated and copied the great masters, and then innovated. Maybe the more versed in theory I become, the more I will switch my opinion of whether knowledge of it makes a better solo. I am already convinced that it (music theory) will allow you to make the better songs in general.

JazzMaverick says:
He is over rated. He's good, but he's not THAT good.

Agreed, he is just my example of a No Formal Theory guy why can play some great stuff.



Black Flag is too out there for some people, but listen for 60 seconds if you can.

case211  
23 Sep 2010 17:42 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
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Well, I mean you certainly don't NEED to know theory, but it does help A LOT. It's kind of like, when you don't know theory you can eventually get there, but theory is really the road map to help you on your long arduous journey.
Biggest thing I think though, is to learn theory and lots of it, but be able to bend and even break all those "rules", like so many amazing musicians have.
harleyofdoom  
26 Sep 2010 16:39 | Quote
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Here's one of the ways i create a solo or fill for a chord progression:

1. record your chord progression (preferably with a metronome)
2. loop the song with a loop pedal or or mixing program
3. figure out what scale the song is in
4. learn the scale (play it forwards, backwards and all over the neck)
5. find the root notes from each chord in the progression and figure out where they fit into the scale.
6. walk back and forth through the scale as the loop of your chord progression plays
7. by now you should have a good feel for how the scale and the chord progression fit together so just play around with the scale changing your speed, skipping notes or adding accents here n there whilst keeping an ear out for weather or not it sounds right

Note: this may or may not be helpful. just keep in mind it can take a long time to train your ear to know when something sounds right or wrong and even longer to train your hands to cooperate with your ears
Domigan_Lefty  
26 Sep 2010 20:20 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
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I probably should have explained more.
Its mostly "organized" randomness.
I basically take a Major scale and break it into pieces, throw in some occasional sharps/flats, bends, harmonics, whammy, etc.

The "trial and error" is what sounds good with what. Just because it sounds good "on paper" doesnt always mean it will sound good when YOU play it.

But, yea, its mostly improv. But with some structure.
nullnaught  
26 Sep 2010 21:13 | Quote
Joined: 05 Jun 2010
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Once you learn different techniques from a lot of players it sort of comes natural to improvise a solo. Theory really helps also. And knowing when your modulating helps.
JustJeff  
27 Sep 2010 08:40 | Quote
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One of my foolproof techniques for solos is to take melodies that have already been introduced and expanding on them. A solo is not a time for randomness, it's a time to go into more detail on a feeling you've tried to portray.

It's the explain part of a question.
smug_Banter  
15 Dec 2010 17:01 | Quote
Joined: 15 Dec 2010
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Just follow the way of GISM. Randy Uchiha uses both randomness and his expanding on the melody(i guess noise) at times it seems like he has no idea what he's playing then it smacks you in the face again with sweetness. also Randy Uchiha Orchestra is awesome...a band built around his solos ha.
Domigan_Lefty  
15 Dec 2010 17:43 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
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alot has changed since my last post.
Recently I use effects pedals alot more (especially the wh-4)
and I've gone less improv and more running up and down scales.
But scale running gets boring fast, so I don't think what I play now has a key... It's just getting into the music and letting it flow like lightning!!! 

edit: Did I just contradict myself?
E.Koreman  
22 Jan 2011 14:51 | Quote
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Funny to read some comments here stating that you don't really need theory. Long ago I thought so too.

Music theory explains fairly simple things and puts them in an rather easy to understand framework. If you have difficulties understanding music theory than you should read more. Read things over, you may have missed some important points. Basic music theory is not that hard.

Anything you do on your guitar is music theory. If you don't have a clue what you are doing or why the guitar looks the way it looks: do not expect to see major progress or anything that comes close to artistic freedom. And yes, maybe you are fine with some stupid tricks that sound impressive to people who don't play guitar. I played like that for years. A waste of time.

Music theory is not a dictated law book that tells you what chords and scales there are and how they relate, it tells you how chords and scales are constructed. It shows you this with loads of examples, which appears to be an end station for quite some people learning music. And why not? We have to practice all those chords and scales over and over, isn't it? Well.. As you work your way trying to grasp all those scary things like modes and scales and chords you are learning your guitar. Win-win.

However. The end station is not Lick City or I-know-100-chords, the end station is a construction site where you will be able to build any chord, any lick or any solo on the fly. You won't think in chords or scales, you will think with your guitar and you will think in music logic. If you are serious and dedicated enough and have the 'ears' you will hear this music logic and guitar logic on records and you will be able to play along quite accurately. Even with songs you've never heard before.

For the solos question: get some old blues and jazz records. Tune your guitar and play along. Just as much as possible. You'll probably develop a feeling for it and that's how you actually play guitar. You will use this feeling for blues/jazz solos in any music you'll play.
Domigan_Lefty  
22 Jan 2011 18:40 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
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Damn, alot more has changed again.
I use effects alot less.

I have put so much theory back into my playing it's not funny.
I find now that just four notes from the soul is a million times better than heartless shredding and fx chaos.

Edit: I find the C and G major and minor keys very soulfull.
Find your key(s), find your soul, learn some(alot) of theory, and you are set for soloing/riffs
AlexB  
22 Jan 2011 21:45 | Quote
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I donīt know theory,and i have never needed it before.

EVH once said: If it sounds good,its good

Do whatever sounds good,if learning theory and applying it to your playing makes you sound good,do it,if you dont need it.well... :)
E.Koreman  
23 Jan 2011 09:12 | Quote
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@AlexB: if you play decent you already know quite some of music theory.

The "if it sounds good it is good" statement has nothing to do with music theory and is way out of context here. To play decent and consistent you must know what you are doing. If you know your guitar well you wouldn't have a single problem understanding music theory. You could write a great deal yourself. Study would improve your skills. MT is not really rocket science and the layout of many instruments -including the guitar- is based on it.

The pentatonic minor scale is a set of typical note progressions you'll find anywhere. In many solos you'll use it as a base. You may invoke anything 'that sounds good' then, but you'll never discard the basics. Never. So when you're novice you should use it as a base and try, try, try. If it doesn't sound good you're doing something wrong or your physical and/or listening skills have not yet developed completely. You'll get there eventually and this is the shortest way. There are no shortcuts. In any way, playing random notes and schemes in the hope 'it sounds good' is completely useless. Waste of time. I've been there for years. Do not do that if you are serious.

Once I learned the pentatonic minor scale from a book and found myself trapped in circles. This seemed like ages. Anything I played sounded exactly the same. This was something I recognized from playing sets of chords, which also always sounded the same. Very frustrating. Since professional musicians were using the same chords and scales I slowly began to realize I was doing something fundamentally wrong. It happened to be my attitude towards things. The pentatonic minor was not a trick out of many, it was made of blocks. Intervals. This slowly pushed me in the direction of music theory. Nowadays I know several things I did do wrong.

An important thing in learning (guitar) is being able to filter out crappy statements, quotes taken out of context, wrong directions, plain errors and misunderstandings. Including your own. Music is not difficult. Music theory and your guitar neither. But to play you'll need practice and understanding. If you are serious about music and like it the fastest way to make progress is to seriously study it.
Empirism  
23 Jan 2011 10:47 | Quote
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Oh man... how many times this must be go through?... You can apply your playing to music theory as well as you can apply music theory to your playing, while im improvising on gig im honestly not thinkin that hey, next comin to C9 so I throw here some G mixolydian... oh gosh... I think I just let it go and use my "experience" of playing to make it sounds (sound it good or not) to what it sound.

Ofcourse you may have a theory knowledge of fancy scales to do some wicked phrasing there, but you also could have figured the "lick" out while messing around with your guitar knowing not much of any theory, but some who know the theory can apply that "lick" to some "scale" that is theory, so In my opinion whole thing is pointless when it comes to soloing or... I think I should say written or composed solos.

In live playing or "improvising", you more can use a different approach, you can use "question and answer" forexample. Its cool way to build up the improvised solo, you "short lick" for question and "short lick" for answer if you want think about that way...

but I agree that learning music theory IS fastest way to make progress for sure.

If someday they find theory for "talent"
Emp
case211  
23 Jan 2011 20:18 | Quote
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E.Koreman says:
if you play decent you already know quite some of music theory.


that's quite untrue of Allan Holdsworth.

Theory is good to learning more about how to get what you hear in your head to transfer to creating it more easily, but it is certainly not absolutely vital.

I'm done ranting(...for now...muahahaha)

Everyone will have different views on this, and everyone is right in their own way
btimm  
24 Jan 2011 07:37 | Quote
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JustJeff says:
A solo is not a time for randomness, it's a time to go into more detail on a feeling you've tried to portray.


I love this Jeff. It's great because of what it embodies, why I love music. It is very logical in a sense that most music really does fit a certain structure, but at the same time, it must have feeling and passion and I think you hit the nail right on the head here!
tinyskateboard  
24 Jan 2011 12:30 | Quote
Joined: 28 Apr 2010
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I have no idea about Hockey Theory but I can stop 94% of the shots when I'm playing goalie.

Ooops, wrong sport.
AlexB  
24 Jan 2011 13:03 | Quote
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Theory = No Fail
No Theory = Fail

Theory + No Theory = No Fail + Fail

(No + 1) Theory = (No + 1) Fail

Theory = Fail

Talent = Success
No talent = No Success

Talent + No talent = success + no success
(no + 1) Talent = (no + 1) Success

Talent = Success

Talent = Success
Theory = Fail. (Fail = [-succes])

Talent + theory = success -[- succes]
talent + Theory = 2Success

;)


I hope someone gets the fail


Empirism  
24 Jan 2011 13:54 | Quote
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It depends the point of view, if you look at it through boundary point, we cant describe fail because of desargues theorem, BUT... its possible 1st, because it cant be second or third as shown in non-euclidean geometries.

But if look talent +1 = success - (success x fail + theory) from point of protractor postulate, we come to conclusion that there are no success with fail on sequential coalition because of reflective properties of parabola.

just my 2 cents XD
Emp
AlexB  
24 Jan 2011 14:12 | Quote
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Hope this image helps clean the situation assuming the 2 main variables (succes,fail) defined in a pair of intersecting planes derived from the original ecuation


BodomBeachTerror  
24 Jan 2011 14:16 | Quote
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Frick i have a math diploma tomorrow! stop confusing me haha
case211  
24 Jan 2011 21:19 | Quote
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E=Fb

;) hehehe
nullnaught  
24 Jan 2011 23:39 | Quote
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@AlexB... Isnt that the model for a 3 dimentional graph?
AlexB  
25 Jan 2011 00:01 | Quote
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Yeah,but given the equation (x + xy = z + zy) what comes out of it is that,2 intersecting planes.

I should leave school now,it just melts my brain with no sense
nullnaught  
25 Jan 2011 03:51 | Quote
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@AlexB....Now you lost me.
AlexB  
25 Jan 2011 06:52 | Quote
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Thats from my Maths for losers class, i dont want to imagine what im going to learn on maths 4 :s
Phip  
25 Jan 2011 07:08 | Quote
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Moderator
If Alex's brain leaves the train station at 4Pm heading west at 45mph, when will his brain arrive in the key of G if he stops to change strings twice and breaks into a 4/8 three minute solo?
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