You’ve probably heard a shredder in action, and you know how cool they can be. With their hands flying around the strings and making noises that you never imagined that a guitar could make. If you have some grounding in solo guitar and you’ve tried to play shred at home, then you know how hard it is. It requires a mixture of speed and technique that is particularly tricky to master.
When Jimi Hendrix was playing his very first gig, Jeff Beck was on his way out of the club. When he got outside, he ran into Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend. He was so amazed by Jimi’s riffs that he told them “I think we’re in trouble here!”. Jimi developed some amazing riffs.
The tune Heartbreaker from Led Zeppelin is what Steve Vai first remembers when his sister brought it home. That was the magic that got it all started. “When I heard “Heartbreaker” and that solo…I knew I wanted to play guitar!”. Yeah… He plays. But wait a minute, did he take lessons? I have no idea, but even if he didn’t, he must have been motivated to teach himself.
The position of first heavy metal artist belongs to Alice Cooper when he was with a band called The Spiders in 1965. Now its nothing to hear bunches of metal guitarists. A few are VanHalen, Slash and Kirk Hammett.
Bet you didn’t know that Eric Clapton plays the solo on the Beatles song “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. I think it’s one of the most memorable solos in rock. There’s really no way around it; if you want to learn guitar solos like that, then you have to practice your scales. And while learning chords will enable you to begin playing songs at once, you really have to master scales if you want to play solo like your guitar heroes.
If you’ve ever heard Michael Jacksons “Beat It”, guess who plays the guitar solo? Eddie Van Halen. While it may seem glamorous to be able to play lead guitar solos in a band, it is important to know what function you’re actually playing in order to effectively contribute to the performance of your group. In this case, Eddie was contributing to Michaels’ project with his solos.
Want to hear someone who knows their scales? Listen to Steve Morse from the Dixie Dregs or even Paul Gilbert. You’ll definitely respect their guitar skills after just one listen. But you know what? It all starts with their scales. Now learning scales can at times be a bit tedious. But its very important for you to practice them… that is… if you want to master them. And once you’ve gotten your scales down pat, you can pick up just about any solo you can think of.