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Learning Solo's

Crusher

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Feb 6, 2004
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Is it "normal" to take a week or longer to learn a solo? I'm not even talking up to speed either, just knowing all the notes and playing it somewhat decent?
 

sinner

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Jul 23, 2004
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What ya talking about there, Crusher? Are you "transcribing" by hear from a CD, or learning from some tab or lead sheet?

Some solos are very difficult while others you may get almost immediately, if they are in the realm of what you already know (i. e. standard licks in a pentatonic box). You may already recognize the components of the lick, hearing the root, fifth, etc. or zoom in on it with fretboard visual association.

For instance, I'm learning some Robben Ford licks right now, and begin my transcribing by hear to the guitar, to writting them out as tab to hone it down. It's hard for me because he plays fast and does things "outside" the box (using a mix of major and minor pentatonic scales, mixolydian, blues notes, and other chromatic notes not in the scales). So, a week or more you say? Man, it may take me the rest of my life to play the way Robben does!
 

LostDog

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Mar 16, 2005
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Agree to sinner. It all depends on the type of player you are and on the type of solo you want learn. I know a 14 year old kid who just needs to listen to an early Clapton/ Cream a few times and can duplicate it almost perfectly - I have been working on the Crossroads Solo for 3 weeks now without real lot of progress. And I do not think that I will ever be able to duplicate e.g. Hendrix' Red House, even I will have 30 years to learn. But what really helps imo is to understand how the solo is build first and not to stick to every single note that the original player had played.
 

Thwap

Formerly LPdonkey
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Nov 4, 2005
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The more you do it the easier it will be...like anything else I suppose. The good thing is that you're sticking with it. I remember struggling my ass of with Skynard and Molly hatchett leads, and they're pretty simple. :2lol

I'd say yeah, if you're at the point of asking this question, it's normal. Everyone goes through the frustration phase. It'll get better, the more you do, you'll "see in your head" what the guy is doing, while listening, because at some point, you've been there before.

What kind of leads are you working on...and how long have you been seriously trying to figure out leads. I mean is this your 1st serious attempt? Or have you been working on leads for 6 mos. a year?
 

mmcquain

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Sep 21, 2005
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LPdonkey said:
I remember struggling my ass of with Skynard and Molly hatchett leads, and they're pretty simple.

Nice to hear somebody mention the Hatchet boys. Everybody talks about Skynyrd (whom I love dearly) but Dave Hlubek, Duane Roland and Steve Holland are hardly even mentioned in these forums. You're right, their stuff was pretty standard blues bends and pentatonic stuff but they could play leads for hours on end and still make it fun! I've been listening to some of their old stuff lately and I still love it after 25+ years. And it's nice to know they still have the chops... I saw Gator Country (with Steve and Duane and Jimmy Farrar doing vocals since Danny Joe Brown is gone) last fall and stood about 8 feet in front of Duane all night and he just tore it up on guitar!
 

blauserk

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Mar 12, 2002
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1,770
I agree it just depends. There are some solos that I was able to pick up quite quickly. There are some that, even with the Amazing Slowdowner (which is a great piece of software, by the way), take me a while, just to figure out where on the neck it's being played. Some things are played so fast that, even at 20% of normal speed, it's STILL hard to discern every individual note. I will NEVER be able to play some things, like Jimi's "Southbound" note for note. I'll be content to be "close enough.
 

Crusher

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Feb 6, 2004
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1,199
Thanks guys! I'm at the phase where I know a couple of intro solo's here and there, and several "rhythm" parts/riffs from a few songs. I know how to play maybe 7 or 8 songs from start to finish, but just the rhythm parts. Now I want to learn the solo's for those songs. I am getting a little better, it's work, but fun at the same time.
 

rul8agn

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Sep 4, 2004
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84
I too would love to learn a few solos. The only solo I know fairly well is The Beatles - And I Love Her. It is actually pretty easy, but I want to learn stuff like The Allman Bros., ZZ Top(Blue Jean Blues) I just don't know where to start. I've been playing less than 2 years and am mostly a strummer. I have learned alot of theory but not alot of actual "on the guitar" stuff. I know my Pentatonic scales, but only "machine like" doing each box down and up then move up to the next box, down and up. I want to learn how to connect them. I tried just playing a couple notes from one box then moving to the next for a couple notes and so on, but it just didn't sound like anything that flowed. Any recommendations are greatly appreciated.
 

Bluestar

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Feb 28, 2006
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FWIW, Tascam has a nifty play along with a CD device - you can blend your guitar into the song you are trying to learn - and hear it through either your music system or headphones - so it "really" sounds like you are playing along - and you can slow down the speed of the song/solo without a loss in pitch (http://www.tascam.com/Products/CD-GT1/CD-GT1.html).
 

boroczky

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Mar 31, 2006
Messages
2
I have that Tascam and it's worked out for me quite a few times. I can't always get the exact mix I want and I can't get quite the output I want but it has a bunch of effects you can use. I use it alot with headphones and a Blues Trax CD late at night so I can jam when the kids are in bed :)
 
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