Intro: What is Soloing?

‘Soloing’ generally refers to improvising instrumental solos on the fly; these can be short fills, or full-blown solo sections in a song. We’re going to expand the term a little to include ‘composing’ solos, as composing a solo simply means writing it down so you can do it again the same way the next time. Whether your mainly interested in improvising or composing solos, the tools you need are pretty similar:

  • Knowing where the notes are on the fretboard
  • Knowing about some scales (there are lots of scales, you’ll only need a handful)
  • Knowing how those scales work with chord progressions

Where improvisation and composing are different:

  • Improvisation requires a much deeper familiarity with the scales you’re choosing to work with, which requires spending quite a bit of time practicing those scales and ‘noodling’ (messing around) with them.
  • Composition requires knowing how to write a solo down, and then practicing the solo until it is mastered.

This section’s purpose is to help you develop this set of skills.