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Master Solo Guitar Improvisation in 5 Minutes

Author: Guitar Mastery MethodTime: 2024-01-07 10:35:00

Table of Contents

Find the Root Note to Harmonize with the Chord

An important first step when trying to solo or improvise over a chord progression on guitar is to identify the root note of each chord. As explained in the video, the root note is the lowest note in any chord voicing. For example, if you are playing an A power chord, the open A string is the root note.

You can discover the root note even if you don't know what key a song or chord progression is in. The video teaches a simple lick to slide up and down the D string while drones out the chord, listening for when the notes sound consonant. When you find that 'aha' moment where the notes mesh perfectly, you've found the root note.

Use a Slide Lick to Discover the Root Note

The video demonstrates the lick, sliding up and down the D string in two fret intervals while playing an A power chord shape. When the note on the 7th fret rings clearly with the droning A chord, the root note A has been discovered. This lick can be used whenever trying to identify the root note and key center of any chord or progression.

Play 6 Core Soloing Notes

After identifying the root note, the next step is targeting 6 notes to build your solo or lead lines around. Go up 5 frets from the root note, play 3 notes, back down 2 frets, play 3 more notes. This covers an octave and outlines a major pentatonic scale.

For the A chord example, after finding the A note on the 7th fret of the D string, go up 5 frets and play the notes on frets 12, 14 and 15. Then back down 2 frets and play notes on frets 10, 12 and 14. These A major pentatonic scale notes will sound great against an A chord.

Go Up the Neck to Hit Crucial Soloing Notes

An important thing to know about guitar soloing and improvisation is that many expressive techniques like bends and vibrato are easiest higher up the guitar neck. So venturing up the neck to play these crucial 6 notes opens up more options. The 12-15th frets is a prime spot for guitar solos on many rock and blues songs.

Get Creative with Phrasing and Techniques

After nailing down the root note and 6 go-to scale degrees, it's time to get creative. The video talks about implementing advanced techniques like hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, bends and vibrato when playing these notes. Combining techniques is key for interesting guitar licks and solos.

Phrasing also plays a huge role in crafting musical solo lines. You can experiment with different rhythms by varying note lengths, including rests, playing staccato notes next to long sustained notes. Listening to saxophone players is great inspiration for phrasing ideas.

Vary Note Lengths

A good trick for phrasing highlighted in the video is to play long notes after several short, staccato picked notes. The contrast makes that sustained note pop out more. Rhythmically syncopating certain notes is also an ear-catching technique, surprising the listener by playing on the 'and' of a beat rather than the downbeat.

Conclusion and Additional Resources

In summary, discovering the root note of whatever chord or key center you want to solo over is crucial. Building lines from the major pentatonic scale starting 5 frets up from the root covers all the most useful soloing notes. And using advanced techniques combined with creative phrasing is how to take your guitar improvisation to the next level.

The video also mentions an additional free soloing resource called "How to Instantly Solo in Any Key" which expands on these concepts. Working through that will help reinforce this core framework for improvising and also provide some nice guitar licks to try out.


Q: What are the 3 steps to soloing on guitar?
A: The 3 steps are: 1) Find the root note that harmonizes with the chord by sliding on the D string, 2) Play the 6 core soloing notes up the guitar neck, 3) Get creative by varying phrasing and using techniques like hammer ons and pull offs.

Q: How do I find the right notes to solo over a chord?
A: Use a slide lick on the D string to discover which note harmonizes nicely with the chord. This will likely be the root note of the chord.

Q: What notes should I focus my guitar solos around?
A: It's good to center your licks around the root note lick on the D string that you discover in the first step. This helps tie everything together.

Q: What guitar techniques can make my solos more creative?
A: Try techniques like hammer ons, pull offs, slides, bends, and vibrato. Also experiment with phrasing by using different note lengths and leaving space between licks.

Q: How long does it take to learn to solo on guitar?
A: With focused practice using this 3-step method, you can get started with basic guitar soloing very quickly, even within 5 minutes. But mastering the craft takes continued practice over longer periods of time.

Q: What if I don't know what key the song is in?
A: Use the slide lick method to find the root note that harmonizes over the chord. This will tell you what key you're playing in.

Q: Should my guitar solos be long?
A: Not necessarily. Effective phrasing includes both long notes and phrases as well as short bursts and spaces between licks. Leave room for the music to breathe.

Q: How can I take my soloing to the next level?
A: Be sure to check out the free bonus lesson on soloing in any key. Combining that material with this 5-minute method will expand your soloing capabilities.

Q: What if these soloing concepts don't make sense to me?
A: Be patient with yourself as you learn. Break the method down step-by-step and don't forget the core concepts. With regular practice, soloing will begin to click and make sense.

Q: Where can I get more soloing tips?
A: Check out Guitar Mastery Method on YouTube for additional soloing lessons. Also be sure to download the free bonus PDF on soloing in any key for more great material.