How do you play a guitar solo perfectly?

Does it just take a lot of practice and my hands need to be more disciplined? I taught myself how to play the guitar solo in Smells Like Teen Spirit (by Nirvana), and sometimes I hear the other strings buzzing. I think it’s because either my pick is touching the strings of the guitar, or my fingers on my fretting hand is touching the other strings sometimes. Do I need to practice palm muting more?

Chosen Answer:

Hey B.J., GTARCZAR here. You have essentially answered your own question. Practice is the key. But, more important than practicing is practicing effectively.
You ask a lot of questions on here (some very good ones too!) and I am left with one overall thought regarding your questions; You could really benefit from having a good teacher! You show a thirst for knowledge about the guitar far more than the average person. I can only come to the conclusion that you would make an excellent student!
I have been teaching for a very long time and have a pretty good idea as to who are going to be great students and who aren’t. Judging by the caliber and frequency of your questions I can tell that you would be an exceptional student.
I strongly encourage you to seek out a good qualified local instructor as soon as possible. Be sure that it is someone who is proficient in the style of music that you are into and who has a lot of experience in playing and teaching that style. (rock and related styles)
Ask around at your local music stores about who the best rock teacher is in your area. Try a month or 2 of lessons and if you are satisfied that this is the right person than keep going. If you are not satisfied than find another teacher that you like.
I know of students who would study with multiple teachers to learn as much as possible about different aspects of playing. (some teachers are better at technique and others excel at theory.)
The reason that I am mentioning this to you is that I have seen a pattern from some of your latest questions that leads me to believe that you might be developing some bad habits. Bad habits, once they are established, are extremely difficult to break. A good teacher can help you identify these bad habits and correct them for you. It is so much easier to learn the “right” way to play now, than it is to try and go back later and “unlearn” the “wrong” way to play.
By studying with a qualified instructor you will also learn at a much faster rate. I have seen students learn more in one month of lessons, than they did in a YEAR of trying to teach themselves!
Good luck and keep those questions coming!
by: gtarczar
on: 13th March 10

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4 Responses to How do you play a guitar solo perfectly?

  1. Sparker says:

    To play a solo expertly, you must find the tab and memorize it. Then, play through it very slowly and many times. While not practicing, it helps to listen to the song you are trying to play over and over again. This gives you an idea of how it will sound. Lastly, when you can play the song slowly by memory, start on your speed. Start on a section of it and play that certain part until it sounds like the song. Do this until you have the solo down pat. Also, for the buzzing, make sure you’re not hitting strings that you aren’t supposed to. If you are playing chords in the solo, make sure that there aren’t any strings that are muted. Please rate best answer.

  2. OnTheRock says:

    Practice, practice, practice. But if you’re having trouble playing it cleanly, practice it a little slower so you can get the right notes and play it cleanly before you speed it back up. I was playing Black Dog (Led Zeppelin) last night and messing it all up (hadn’t played in in years), so I slowed it way down making sure I hit each note clean, then sped it up gradually until I was playing it cleanly at full speed. Practicing isn’t just playing the song over and over, you have to work on method and control as well.

  3. gtarczar says:

    Hey B.J., GTARCZAR here. You have essentially answered your own question. Practice is the key. But, more important than practicing is practicing effectively.
    You ask a lot of questions on here (some very good ones too!) and I am left with one overall thought regarding your questions; You could really benefit from having a good teacher! You show a thirst for knowledge about the guitar far more than the average person. I can only come to the conclusion that you would make an excellent student!
    I have been teaching for a very long time and have a pretty good idea as to who are going to be great students and who aren’t. Judging by the caliber and frequency of your questions I can tell that you would be an exceptional student.
    I strongly encourage you to seek out a good qualified local instructor as soon as possible. Be sure that it is someone who is proficient in the style of music that you are into and who has a lot of experience in playing and teaching that style. (rock and related styles)
    Ask around at your local music stores about who the best rock teacher is in your area. Try a month or 2 of lessons and if you are satisfied that this is the right person than keep going. If you are not satisfied than find another teacher that you like.
    I know of students who would study with multiple teachers to learn as much as possible about different aspects of playing. (some teachers are better at technique and others excel at theory.)
    The reason that I am mentioning this to you is that I have seen a pattern from some of your latest questions that leads me to believe that you might be developing some bad habits. Bad habits, once they are established, are extremely difficult to break. A good teacher can help you identify these bad habits and correct them for you. It is so much easier to learn the “right” way to play now, than it is to try and go back later and “unlearn” the “wrong” way to play.
    By studying with a qualified instructor you will also learn at a much faster rate. I have seen students learn more in one month of lessons, than they did in a YEAR of trying to teach themselves!
    Good luck and keep those questions coming!

  4. 1 Finger Willy says:

    Yup the Czar is correct again, he’s on a roll today take his advice, your ready for an instructor, at this point anything else will be a waste of time trying to get to the caliber you wish to achieve. yea you need to keep practicing but YOU need a direction to go in also. a fresh or shall we say more experienced view will help you immensely. got a dollar says the Czar finds his best students hanging around the guitar shop looking for lessons.

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