A Message About Solos

In this Facebook thread kicked off by a friend and co-conspirator from the Peterborough days, Clifford Maynes, much is said about guitar solos, from people who know. Starting with:

A message about solos and fills for all guitar players, myself included:

  • play fewer notes — mix in some long slow notes and bends — make it sing
  • play melodic solos — the tune is a good place for inspiration — talk to the people — say something that needs saying
  • don’t rush to go nuts in upper register in  the second verse — build slowly, keep something in reserve\

I appreciate the comment from Richard Connolly: “Stop chasing notes. The right notes in the right place are what works best. That is the quest.” It mirrors what Laurie Murphy tells us all the time when crafting improv scenes: the answer is right there.


Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on January 25, 2023 - 14:27 Permalink

I just came across some guitar players talking about this same idea. In their context, they talked about how adding reverb makes people play better, because it makes you less likely to play more:

From this YouTube video: https://youtu.be/gCbWSxHpwIQ?t=644

"Guitar players typically play best when there’s a little bit of reverb. I think it’s because most players play best when they’re leaving a little space […], being more deliberate […], and not trying to fill in every open space…"

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on January 25, 2023 - 14:30 Permalink

Transparent conversations about craft, whether “how much time to let the pizza dough rise” to “how much to shred or not shred” are fascinating to me.