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How to Approach Guitar Soloing on a Single String
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Learn a Scale Immediately
Learning to play a scale on a single string is the most visual way of seeing the interval makeup of a scale plus it is an effective way to improvise.
For example take the intervals of a Dorian minor scale:
If you wanted to play in A Dorian minor on the E string you would start at the 5th fret and play
5-7-8-10-12-14-15-17 (A B C D E F# G A)
This is a one octave scale. If you want to keep going higher repeat the interval pattern. If you go lower play the pattern in reverse:
This is useful on the B string since the A is at the 10th fret.
That would be:
10-8-7-5-3-1-0 descending and 10-12-13-15-17-19-20 ascending
The starting note A on all of the strings:
Single String Solo in A Dorian Minor
2 Measure Phrasing is the Secret
- The Secret To Lead Guitar Phrasing or How Not to Noodle Aimlessly
Most guitarists when they get to the point of knowing a few licks and scales find themselves rambling when they improvise. This article demonstrates how to create cohesive articulate solos.
Improvise Right Away
Start with the basic idea of different rhythms and pauses on one or two notes and work your way up and down the neck.
Apply these techniques
- hammer-on (HO)
- pull-off (PO)
- HO PO combinations
- sequential patterns
Slides on A Dorian
Sliding from one note to the next is a natural sound on fretted instruments. Not only should you slide from adjacent scale tones (2nd intervals) but also practice skipping notes. See intervals.
Sliding, Hammer-On, Pull-Off, Bending and just going there are ways to get from note to note. Regardless, going from one note to another is some kind of interval.
- 2nd - adjacent fret
- 3rd - skip 1 fret
- 4th - skip 2 frets
- 5th - skip 3 frets
- 6th - skip 4 frets
- 7th - skip 5 frets
- 8th - skip 6 frets (octave)
- Single String Guitar Solo: A Dorian, Hammer On and Pull Off: Beginner Lead Guitar Soloing Concepts -
Using hammer on and pull off in single string soloing. This is one of the most popular ways to move horizontally on one string and is fabulous way to get from different positions
Hammer-on or pull-off to adjacent notes as you move horizonatally across the finger board. Also try skipping a note (3rds) or, if you can reach skip 2 notes (4ths).
Try combinations like a hammer-on then pull-off in one pick. (5 hammer to 7 pull to 5)
A trill is when you hammer/pull many times in a row.
Playing notes in groups, for example 3 in a row, then moving horizontally is very easy when jamming on one string.
Frets 5 - 7 - 8, followed by 7 - 8 - 10 then 8 -10 - 12 etc.
Fret 5-7 slide to 8, then 7-8 slide to 10 etc
Fret 12-10-8, followed by 10-8-7, 8-7-5 etc
Adding in hammer ons, pull offs slides and vibrato as well as rhythmic variations makes this an easy way to sound good.
- Bending the Strings in Blues Guitar
About the nuances of bending strings on the guitar
Playing on one string you can see whether you have to bend a whole step or 1/2 step to get the right pitch.
If you are on fret 5 and the next note is fret 7 then you bend a whole step.
If you are on fret 7 and the next note is fret 8, then you bend a 1/2 step.
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