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Guitar Soloing for Beginners

I've been playing guitar for almost 20 years, and one of things that got me excited about guitar early was the great solos on so many of the songs fromt he 70s, 80s and 90s.  But, when I started playing, soloing was out of reach.  The best I could do was buy the tab books and learn note for note solos.  That was a lot of fun and a lot of work, but it was hard to translate into playing my own music without copying all the licks I had learned.  The issue was that I never really internalized how these solos were written.  It took about 6 years, and the pressure of being a lead guitarist in a band, before I had an epiphany that forever changed how I played music. 

My goal for this class is to boil everything down for you and demistify the guitar neck so you can play along confidently to just about any song, write solos, or even become a bona fide rock star with your own style :-).   Once you understand the basics and get them under your fingers I promise you that you'll never look at the guitar the same, just like I did.  

If you think soloing and improv is out of reach, please take this class.  I'll show how to find the key of just about any song by ear and then how to find the notes that will always sound good. We're going to crack the key and open up the fretboard so you can visualize it nice structured way.  Then, with practice, you'll be playing you're own music.  

Project Title: Create a Simple Solo

Your assignment will be to choose one of the following options, record and share a piece of music.  No matter what your skill level, one of these options should work for you.  

  1. Using a click track, play a 30 second improv using one of the five positions (modes).  It doesn't need to be melodic, or even musical.  The goal is to get the muscle memory and play along to the beat.  It is a great way to start building confidence.  Extra credit: record the other four positions too!
  2. Write a song, write a solo, do the whole thing!

There are several ways to record, so you can choose what works best for you.  If you have any trouble, please reach out to me and I will help you find a solution.

  1. Record with any recording software (I use Garageband), post to Soundcloud (you can set up a free account if you don't have one), and paste the link.  
  2. Play the backing track on your stereo/computer/etc, play along with it and record yourself on a portable recording device (your phone, DR-40, etc.)  I use Voice Memos on my iphone which sounds pretty good.
  3. Video yourself playing, upload to YouTube and paste your link.

I'll include some resources that will help you accomplish this assignment.  

Rock on!

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