Playing Your First Guitar Solo – Lead Guitar Lesson #10

Published by Jan Heaney on

Playing Your First Guitar Solo – Lead Guitar Lesson #10


Hey! Welcome to video #10 of the Lead Guitar
Quick-Start Series. In this lesson I’m going to teach you a solo that incorporates everything
that we’ve learned up to this point. We’re going to keep it pretty simple. We’re just
going to use the three scales that we’ve been working with – the major scale, the major
pentatonic scale, and the minor pentatonic scale. If you’re just jumping into the series
on this video, I’d really recommend that you go back to the first lesson and start
from there because we’re going to be learning every single aspect we’ve learned about
music, techniques, scales, all that stuff to play through this solo.
So the three scale shapes that we’ve learned, the major scale – G major, the major pentatonic scale, the G major pentatonic scale in this case and the minor pentatonic scale, which
is going to be an E minor pentatonic scale in this case. We learned a G minor pentatonic scale, but we’re going to be moving that exact same shape up to where our index finger
is starting on an E note, so this becomes an E minor pentatonic scale. If you need to
work on that in this position, now is a good time to do that.
So I have a new jam track for you that you can play this solo over. It’s basically a 24-bar
phrase that you’re going to be playing this solo. The first 16 bars are just a G major
chord, then you’re going to have 2 bars of E minor, 2 more bars of G major, 2 bars
of E minor, and you’re going to finish off, measures 23 and 24 are just a G major again.
So right now I’d recommend you just pull up this jam track and listen to it just so you
can get a feel for what this jam track sounds like. The jam track, the 24 bars are repeated
4 times throughout this jam track, that way you can kind of loop it and work on a solo
over and over again. Here is what the solo sounds like by itself. This is where you’re
going to be learning. Once I play it for you, we’ll break down each little lick and each
phrase so you can learn the thing step-by-step So let’s take this solo and break it down just one phrase at a time. You’re going
to start off with a major scale lick and your third finger is going to be on the fourth
fret of the G string. What we’re going to do is bend that note up a half-step, so 1,
2, 3, 4. That’s the counting on it, so 1, 2, 3, 4, come back to the second fret of that
same string, the G string with your index finger, 1, 2, then for the 3 and 4 of that
measure come to the fifth fret of the D string with your pinky and then you’re going to
kind of roll your pinky over to the fifth fret of the A string and hold that out for
6 beats, 1 full measure, so 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2 and then you’re going to rest for beats
3 and 4. So that whole first little phrase is kind of our repeating theme that I was talking about in the last lesson. So here it is all together. That’s like the first phrase of our solo.
The next phrase starts out with the same bend, so 1, 2, 3, 4, but from there you’re going
to go up to the fifth fret of that same G string with your pinky for 1, 2 then 3 and
4 you’re going to go with your middle finger on the third fret of the B string and then
hit that note again for 6 beats, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2 then rest for beats 3 and 4. That’s
the second phrase of our solo. So it will sound like this. And those two phrases together make up kind of the first sentence of our solo, so here’s what it sounds like. So that’s the first sentence. The next sentence of our solo starts off with that exact same reoccurring theme that the last sentence did. This one. That’s the first phrase of the second sentence.
The next phrase starts off kind of the same but we end up with this sentence with a little
pentatonic run, so we’re going to start off kind of the same way, but from there we’re
going to just walk up the G major pentatonic scale starting with our first finger on the
second fret of the G string, then the fourth fret with your third finger. Go over to the
next string, G string, with your middle finger, fifth fret with your pinky, and then you’re
going to end on this G root note to finish off of that phrase and that sentence. So that last phrase of that sentence, then the pentatonic run So let me play the whole second sentence
of this solo for you. And one thing you’re going to want to do
is on the longer note, so you’re going to want to make sure to put some vibrato on those
just to give it a little more expression. Those whole first two sentences together of this solo, let me play them for you so you’ll get an idea of where this is kind of going. So far in this jam track we’ve been playing over a G major chord the entire time. That’s why we’ve been using a G major scale and a G major pentatonic scale, but the next two measures are going to switch to an E minor chord, so we’re going to adjust our playing
to use an E minor pentatonic scale. That way it just fits the whole sound better. So what
we’re going to do, I told you earlier, we’re going to use our G minor pentatonic skill
shape and move it up to where our root note is on an E up here on the twelfth fret of
the low E string. So the lick and measure 17 is basically just walking up an E minor pentatonic
scale which is perfect because we’re playing over an E minor chord. What we’re going
to do is pick the first note of that scale, hammer-on to the fifteenth fret, go over to
the next string, pick, hammer-on; next string, pick, hammer-on. And then you’re going to
go to this note on the twelfth fret of the G string and then come back to the E root
note right here on the fourteenth fret of the D string and that’s the whole kind of
first little phrase of this sentence, so. Don’t forget to put some vibrato in on that long
note. That lick covers and measures 17 and 18, which
are two measures of E minor. After that we have two measures of G and all we’re going to do to kind of adjust our playing to play over the changes is grab this G note right here
on the twelfth fret of the G string. It’s an octave higher than the open G string, so
you’re going to play that for a whole note, 1, 2, 3, 4, then another whole note, 1, 2,
3, 4 and that will take care of measures 19 and 20. Measures 21 and 22 go back to an E
minor chord, so we’re going to adjust our playing to use our E minor pentatonic scale
again. What we’re going to do is basically repeat this lick we just did on the first
E minor chord, but it’s going to be an octave higher. We’re going to start on the fourteenth
fret, this E root note right here on the fourteenth fret of the D string and play up just like
we did. And so just walk up that scale from that E root note. When you get to the highest note,
come back to the E root note right there on the twelfth fret of the high E string and
that’s your long note for that phrase. Measures 23 and 24 move back to a G major
chord. What we’re going to do is switch back to a G major scale but instead of playing
it down here, we’re basically just going to move that up one octave to this G note
right here on the fifteenth fret. This is going to be kind of our reference scale shape,
still G major scale but it’s one octave higher than we play down here. The lick is
really easy. You’re just going to put your pinky on the seventeenth fret right here,
bend it up a whole step, let it back down and then just play this G root note right
here on the fifteenth fret with your middle finger and just hold that out. So 1, 2, 3,
4, 1, 2, 3, 4. So this is a pretty simple solo but the cool thing about it is it literally
applies everything that we’ve talked about in this series so far. So once you get this down
and you have it learned, pull up the jam track and try to play this solo over the jam track.
Once you do that experiment with these scales over the jam track and just remember for the
first 16 bars, you’re going to be playing a G major or G major pentatonic scale and
then for the next 2 bars you can switch to an E minor pentatonic, switch back to a G
major for 2 more bars, back to an E minor for 2 bars and then the last 2 bars are going
to go back to a G for you. Don’t forget to use all the tips we learned
in the last lesson like phrasing, building your solos dynamically, all those types of
things. Try to emphasize the root notes, for example G root notes when you’re playing
over a G major chord and emphasize the E root notes in the E minor pentatonic scale when
you’re playing over the E minor chord. So I’m going to give you an example right now
just of what you can do with all the things we’ve learned if you really work hard at
it on a consistent basis. Here you go. So if you have any questions related to soloing
or this solo that I wrote off for you, you can leave them here and I’ll try to answer
you as best I can. Also you can email me [email protected] See you.


38 Comments

kev keelan · October 31, 2014 at 8:54 am

Brilliant lesson, Thank you very much.

Eliah Morris · November 17, 2014 at 3:41 am

wow, this is so rewarding. I kid you not. 2 weeks ago I didnt think I would be able to do all I can do now. Is there any way you could teach the solo that you played at the beginning of the 1st lesson? Thank you 😀

Bertram Blik · December 11, 2014 at 1:32 am

Man, I'm trying to figure out the fast arpeggio part around the end of your solo at the end of the video, but it's too fast, but I love it and I think I could do it with practice. 
Could you write down the tab for that part? I could send you the sound clip what I mean:)

Blake V · January 9, 2015 at 6:58 pm

Thank you so much this series on lead guitar has been such a help I'm already farther than friends who have taken months of lessons, this series helped me pace and structure my solos as well as develop my ability as a beginner

William Castleberry · January 19, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Why not make a video of playing a solo in a song ( lets say a 12 bar blues in the key of E or A ). Most songs consist of 3 chords so most solos consist of 3 chords also. So why not make your jam tracks like a song and use 3 chords in it and teach how to solo over a song

Sean Johnson · March 13, 2015 at 10:55 pm

So cool.  Thanks Nate.  One of the best YouTube guitar lessons I've been through. So much fun taking the scales and techniques I've learned so far and turning it into something that feels like music.  Love the sound of this set of licks too.

Aalok Bharadwaj · March 21, 2015 at 7:13 am

Hey, thanks a ton for your videos….i have one question. Isn't E Minor Pentatonic the same as the G Major Pentatonic scale? From your videos, it looks like the G Major Pentatonic is the E Minor pentatonic in position 2.I'm a bit confused. My assumption is that in this jam track you chose to play an octave higher only for a better sound. Technically the same notes can be played in the same position as the G Major scale you were playing for the first few bars. Am i wrong here?

Boogaloo · July 21, 2015 at 8:20 pm

Thank you so so much for this tutorial. I have really worked on my guitar techniques the last weeks and something I thought was very hard for me would be a guitar solo. But your tutorial showed me that it's possible even for a beginner like me. Thank you so very much! Man, I feel so good right now!

ashraff ikmal · December 8, 2015 at 3:12 am

can you do a lesson about arpeggio?

martin evans · December 20, 2015 at 9:24 pm

great lessons thanks

deddy kalala kalonji · February 19, 2016 at 2:00 pm

genial Nate, thank you

Chuks Igbo · February 22, 2016 at 6:36 am

where do I go next ? I love this

Kevin Ryan · February 27, 2016 at 11:08 pm

Is the string bending supposed to work on an acoustic also? I'm trying it and it doesn't really work

Alfred Salins · March 3, 2016 at 12:13 pm

i know only g major in 3 frets.. how to play further

Alfred Salins · March 4, 2016 at 1:44 am

I can see you playing g major in all the fret .. but it's not shown in video how to play in all frets and even the notes on all frets are not shown.

hitlar rajbhandari · March 8, 2016 at 9:47 pm

sorry..i just jumped from lesson 1.. 😉

Jimbo Kraut · March 16, 2016 at 12:22 pm

Hi Nate
Is it alright to play a minor scale as a lead solo even if the song is in a Major key? Will it sound dissonant if I played an Am scale over a jam track in C maj? This entire 10 part series was awesome! Thanks

Sarthak Gupta · May 22, 2016 at 9:17 am

Do you have the tabs for the solo you played in the end? Thank you Nate! 😀

Moksh Mahajan · July 11, 2016 at 8:41 am

I want to know how to play song melodies by ear?

Anurag Pratap · July 27, 2016 at 1:32 pm

Thank you sir!!
I'm finally working to make my own lead solo…
Thanks for the whole series….
Hope for more videos in future 🙂

Erik Tirkey · August 15, 2016 at 6:18 pm

best tut on soloing for beginners Thanks bro

jeff okchan · November 19, 2016 at 5:37 pm

is there rule that which scale can be switch to another

Tony Burgos · May 9, 2017 at 4:32 pm

When you solo at the end, it looks like you slide up to B minor pentatonic scale before the change from G chord to E minor chord? Is that correct? How is the B minor scale working with the G major key?

Xel Xis · May 14, 2017 at 6:03 am

SIr i would like to ask a question, in minor pentatonic scale, why is there a switch? example, from C to A minor pentatonic? pwede po pa clarrify medyo nalilito lang po ako e. salamat po sir. Mabuhay Pilipinas

Keshab Thapa · August 11, 2017 at 12:03 am

Thanks for the lesson. It helped me learning how I can best use scales in the chord progression.

GOGERBOGER · December 24, 2017 at 11:29 am

the fak

John Tesoriero · April 30, 2018 at 9:14 pm

do you have the tabs for these riffs?

Reiland Lapez · July 20, 2018 at 7:19 am

i so wanted to buy an electric guitar now…thanks i am so motivated now!!!!

GREENPEACE KUN · February 2, 2019 at 1:32 pm

Have you know what site i can download for backing track thanks

EDW4RD249 · February 8, 2019 at 3:41 am

I smiled while practicing this, amazing video!

Junnel Ramos · February 17, 2019 at 3:46 pm

it looks like im heard the notes of solo in sweet chilh whiahahaha

Vipul Sangode · February 28, 2019 at 9:48 am

The chord shape that you said to memorize is between 2nd to 4th fret….so how do we know what to play beyond these frets like you played in this video's last solo

James Tumarao · May 22, 2019 at 2:19 pm

I guess 17 people needs more dedication!

Thank you for this lesson! +1

Ron Darling · May 24, 2019 at 7:25 am

Hi, where’s the jam track?

Raymond Chikulu · June 2, 2019 at 8:22 am

Can this solo be played on an acoustic guitar?

Lanz Zoid · November 13, 2019 at 2:58 pm

if it is on the G major chord it means i must also use G major scale? and with that scale i can experiment each notes to make it sound great? or i must put more attention to the root notes?

Charles Oxley · November 14, 2019 at 6:25 am

Thank you for all of the lessons. This is really going to help me get to the next level in playing lead and improvising. One question; it would be very helpful to have the tab for the solo you're teaching in this lesson. Is that available?

SE IG · November 25, 2019 at 10:31 am

The tutorials of yours is all useless.

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