Guitar Soloing Solutions: Use The Power Of Your Favorite Singer’s Voice To Turbo Charge Your Lead Guitar Playing

by Tom Hess

Do your guitar solos sound very similar to each other? Are you frustrated by your lack of ability to come up with fresh and inspiring lead guitar phrases? If so, then you are not alone. It is common for many guitarists to get into the habit of using similar melodies and musical ideas when creating guitar solos. Some of this difficulty comes from the habit of listening to the same guitar players on a daily basis and emulating their particular lead guitar soloing style. However, the biggest reason why guitar players tend to play solos that sound alike is due to continuously using the same process for creating lead guitar parts.

If you are like most guitarists, then you probably approach your guitar solos in the following way: you listen to the chords or riffs that you will play over, and then improvise some melodies until something feels right. This process continues until you have built a completed guitar solo.

Although this approach is a legitimate way to approach soloing on guitar, you need to realize that every time you use it, you are relying on the same guitar soloing process as most other guitarists. As a result, the guitar solos you create will have the same (or very similar) sound to other musicians you know.

Before I explain a new and very innovative way for you to solo, I’d like to further illustrate my point above with an example of a popular guitar player by the name of Yngwie Malmsteen. Yngwie has a career spanning several decades, which he has built on his reputation as an incredible lead guitar player. I bring this up to point out that he is an example of a guitarist who frequently uses the exact same approach to his guitar solos. I am not saying this in order to criticize him (in fact I love his guitar playing myself), but rather to point out what I have observed. The fact is, Yngwie is very content with his guitar playing, and his approach to creating music obviously works for him. However, if you find yourself frequently unhappy with the way your guitar solos sound similar to one another then a change needs to be made.

So what is a good way to solve this issue? Here is one of the methods for creating great guitar solos that I have found to work with great success.

Take a listen to all of the singers that you enjoy and choose one. For this exercise, you are going to compose a guitar solo based on the way your favorite singer sings his/her melodies. There exist many ways to go about doing this, and I’m going to outline one of them for you below. I’ve also provided you with a video to watch which gives a guitar demonstration of this.

There are 5 steps you need to do:

Step #1: Pick one of the vocal lines that your chosen singer sings in a song.

Step #2: Using your guitar, play this melody. Spend some time to really understand how the vocal melody works. Articulate the specific style that the singer uses as closely as you can (don’t simply ‘play the same pitches’).

Step #3: Once you can play the melody in a very articulate manner, pick out the notes which seem to be the strongest points of the melody. Write this down in some form.

Step #4: Cut out all of the ‘non essential’ pitches, leaving only the most important notes of the melody.

Step #5: Now that you have created a foundation for your new guitar solo, you can start to get creative. Keep the main pitches that you’ve selected, and fill the space in between them with new guitar licks centered around those notes.

Watch the video below to see and hear how this all works. Oh, by the way, I brought Fabio Lione (Rhapsody Of Fire’s singer) all the way from Italy to Chicago to sing the vocal melody for this 2-hour guitar solo master class (here is a short excerpt of it).


The more you practice the method described in this article, the better you will get at playing melodic guitar solos whenever you want. You will see great improvement as your guitar solos stop sounding like all the other solos you’ve already heard, and start to take on their own distinct sound.


When you practice using the information in this article, you will start to develop some seriously melodic guitar solos. By combining the power of your favorite singer’s vocals with your guitar playing, you can stop making guitar solos that sound like every other solo, and start making highly unique guitar phrasing that really stands out.

About The Author: Tom Hess is a successful professional guitar player, composer and the guitarist of the band Rhapsody Of Fire. He also trains musicians to reach their guitar playing goals in his rock guitar lessons online. Visit his website, to read more articles about guitar playing, get free guitar tips and guitar playing resources.

How To Make Your Own Rock And Metal Guitar Riffs

Do you wish you could write cool rhythm guitar riffs for rock and metal? If you are like many rock guitarists, you have much stronger lead guitar skills than rhythm guitar skills. In most cases, guitar players only learn the basic power chords, open chords, or barre chords when learning to play rhythm guitar. As a result, they have great difficulty coming up with cool rhythm guitar riffs because they do not truly understand how to play rhythm guitar in a creative way. For the rest of this article, I will talk about how you can by use creative rhythm guitar practice methods to write your own rock and metal guitar riffs.

First, it is important to understand that being able to play interesting rhythm guitar ideas means focusing more on HOW you play what you play than WHAT specific notes you are using. The truth is that you can make any basic guitar chord sound great without adding in many new notes. In fact, you can probably already start writing good rhythm guitar ideas with just a fundamental understanding of power chords and open chords. However, in order to truly master the ability to play great rhythm guitar riffs, you will need to learn new guitar skills that you probably haven’t thought of before.

You probably already know that to truly master rhythm guitar playing, you must work on improving a variety of different skills and you may even know what some of those skills are. However, if you are still having a hard time writing rhythm guitar riffs that you are happy with, most likely your approach to practicing this area of guitar playing could use additional help (even if you aren’t aware specifically of “what” skills need to be improved). If you would like to understand exactly what needs to be done in order to improve all areas in your guitar playing, I recommend that you seek out a great guitar teacher who has already helped many other guitarists make significant progress toward their musical goals. In the meantime, there are 5 essential ideas that you can use to make great rhythm guitar riffs regardless of your current skill level. Once you have become comfortable with using these ideas in your rhythm guitar playing, you will be able to make creative guitar riffs any time you pick up the guitar:

  1. Create multiple guitar riffs by using the rhythm of just one. Find an interesting rhythmic pattern that contains no actual pitches and apply it using any number of different sets of chords, notes, or chord progressions. By doing this, you will MASSIVELY improve your rhythm guitar creativity. Also you can do this the other way around: Take one chord, note, or chord progression and play guitar using a variety of different rhythmic patterns. This will give you a lot of material to use when coming up with new guitar riffs.
  2. Think about the way the actual rhythms you play work together to make the guitar riff as a whole. Similar to lead guitar, many guitarists ‘overdo it’ when playing rhythm guitar riffs. That said, in order to make awesome rhythm guitar riffs, you only really need a few notes at most. Although it is fun to learn new ideas to use in your rhythm guitar playing, keep in mind that your number one focus is to play something with an interesting ‘rhythm’!

By stripping your guitar riffs of any excess notes, you will force yourself to think more about the actual rhythms being played. To practice this, start by writing down four measures worth of 8th notes on a piece of paper. Then remove 6 of these notes at random and replace them with rests. After doing this, play the rhythm you have just created using only a single note or chord on guitar. Once you give this exercise a try, you will quickly notice that you can create nearly endless rhythm ideas for your guitar riffs. Additionally, you can make things more interesting by using various time signatures or alternate note durations.

  1. Practice making your rhythm guitar playing as clean and TIGHT as you can. Being able to do this is necessary for playing great sounding guitar riffs. The majority of guitarists know that you must be able to play consistently in time in order to play good rhythm guitar, however few guitarists know what it sounds like when someone is playing TIGHT rhythm guitar that locks in with the metronome. If you can’t consistently play in time, your rhythm guitar ideas will not sound good even if they are really cool ideas.

A good way to test your ability to play rhythm guitar ‘in time’ is to record yourself playing a row of quarter notes using any basic chord (that uses 3 strings or less). Record yourself over a quarter note drum track or metronome. If you can play with perfect rhythmic timing, you will notice that the beat seems to become silent as it matches up in unison with your guitar playing. If you are not playing tight, you will easily hear yourself falling behind or getting ahead of the beat.

Aside from having great timing when playing guitar to a beat, it is important to improve other areas in rhythm guitar playing such as palm muting control and pick attack articulation. Having the ability to play well in these areas will not only help improve your overall rhythm guitar skills, but it will save you A LOT of cash in the studio if you ever record an album. Learn how to master these aspects of rhythm guitar by checking out this free guide about learning how to record guitar.

  1. Work to improve your pinch harmonics and vibrato skills. These two guitar techniques can make your guitar riffs sound very intense (especially in rock or metal guitar playing). Vibrato is useful for giving your guitar a voice-like quality, and when you combine it with pinch harmonics, the end result is a powerful guitar riff that is sure to get the attention of your audience. If you have not fully mastered these techniques, start by using them separately. Once you are more comfortable with each one, combine them both together at the end of your guitar riffs for an extra strong finish!
  2. Learn creative ways to combine guitar chords together. This will enable you to think of many cool sounding groups of chords to use in your rhythm guitar riffs. If you are familiar with the idea of ‘keys’ when using chords, this will be much easier for you. However, if you don’t know about this yet, simply combine different major and minor chords together with power chords. For instance, if you are playing a guitar riff that contains an A power chord, you can add in the notes of an A minor chord to get a different sound. Experiment with this idea to expand power chords into full major or minor chords.

Mastering the ability to play creative rhythm guitar riffs does not happen overnight. However, as you have read, there are many things you can work on right now to make good progress in this area of your guitar playing. When you learn how to write your own rhythm guitar riffs, you will have a great time coming up with cool ideas on guitar with little effort. By practicing your rhythm guitar skills you will become a much better musician overall. On top of that, if you would like to become a professional guitarist, these skills will be very useful while performing live shows on stage and recording songs in the studio.

To learn more about becoming a really TIGHT rhythm guitar player, read this free guide about learning how to record guitar.

Get professional advice to help you improve your guitar playing on this page with tips on how to play guitar better.



About The Author: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher online, composer and a touring musician. He plays guitar in the epic metal band Rhapsody Of Fire. He teaches guitar players in his rock guitar lessons online.  Go to to get more guitar playing resources , guitar playing eBooks, and to read more guitar playing articles.

4 Ways You May Be Hurting Your Own Guitar Playing Progress

Do you want to improve the efficiency of your practice time? Virtually every guitar player would answer “Yes” to this question and yet many musicians face painfully slow progress in their guitar playing year after year. It may appear that many guitar players may simply be unable to progress as quickly as others despite their best guitar practice efforts. Fortunately, it IS quite possible for anyone (including you) to drastically improve the results obtained from practicing guitar, and the best part is that you can do so without increasing the total amount of time you spend learning to play your instrument.

The reality is such that the world’s best guitar players have various things in common in the ways they approach the process of practicing their instrument. (Watch this video about learning to play the guitar to find out what these things are.) Likewise, guitarists who practice for years and never seem to get any better ALSO have things that are in common in their guitar practice methods. These common flaws are some of the reasons why many guitar players never become the great musicians they have the potential to be.

As you keep reading below, I will explain a few of the more common mistakes guitar players make in their approaches to practicing. If you have a hard time getting better on guitar despite practicing regularly, be honest with yourself and ask if any of the issues you will read about are true in your own guitar playing. If you can identify with even one of the guitar practice mistakes listed in this article, you will have taken a big step towards overcoming an important obstacle that stands in the way of you becoming a better musician.

Guitar Practice Mistake 1: Paralyzing Yourself With Too Many Choices Guitar players today have a very easy time with finding lots of guitar playing exercises, tab lessons and videos. Everything is only a click away. However, the irony of the situation is such that the number of truly great guitar players in the world (and the rate at which musicians progress) has NOT gone up, despite the advancements in technology. Why is this so?

The reason why the above problem exists is because this overabundance of information leads to one of 2 outcomes:

  1. Guitar players start to move from one set of guitar playing materials to another with no idea whatsoever about how doing so will help them to advance their guitar skills.
  2. Guitar players become paralyzed by the overload of choices and different guitar learning paths to take and are unable to come to a decision about ‘what’ steps to take next to move forward in their guitar playing. In each of the situations described, your guitar playing will improve much slower than it could otherwise.

Top guitar masters know how to prevent the above issues by staying with a consistent approach to developing their musical skills and know how to filter out all but the most essential guitar practice materials that are needed to overcome their musical challenges. This is the key that helps them to avoid this common mistake.

To learn how you can do the same in your musical training and become a much better guitarist more quickly, watch this free lesson (on video) on learning to play the guitar.

Guitar Practice Mistake 2: Obsessing About ‘How Long’ It Takes To Become A Better Guitarist

A lot of musicians (especially those who began studying with a teacher recently) spend a great deal time asking questions similar to the following: “How long does it take to develop into a great musician?”

Even though it is normal to be preoccupied with this issue in the beginning of your guitar playing life, investing too much time into this question will only slow your rate of improvement as a musician and will make you miss the exact steps you need to take to get the result you want. This happens because the process of learning to play guitar depends NOT on the length of time that has transpired since you started to practice your instrument but rather on how well you used that time. The maxim: “It’s not the time you spend, it’s HOW you spend the time” applies to this issue perfectly.

Obsessing over “the amount of time” it takes for you to develop a set of guitar playing skills will often – without you realizing it – move your attention from focusing on making your guitar practice sessions more productive to simply ‘waiting’ for a certain date on the calendar to arrive, hoping to reach your goals by that time.

Instead of making the mistake above, your energy should be directed on making every moment you practicing guitar become highly productive. It’s only AFTER your guitar practice sessions become extremely effective that time you spend with your instrument will begin to matter.

Guitar Practice Mistake 3: Not Being Patient After you discover the secrets to effective guitar practicing, it will get easier to progress more quickly as a musician. Nonetheless, it is equally important to realize that at some point there is no way to speed up the rate of your progress to a level faster than is natural.

This is exactly the same as the process a gardener goes through when placing a seed into the ground in the hopes of someday seeing it develop into a fruit tree. No matter how much the gardener attempts to speed up the process of the seed blossoming into a tree, there are some stages of growth that cannot be sped up past a certain point. This analogy applies perfectly to becoming a better guitar player.

Sadly, too many guitarists do not realize the true importance of patience in the process of improving their musical skills. As a result, many become frustrated too quickly and start doubting their potential to improve if they do not see results by some arbitrarily set deadline. When the unrealistic results are not achieved quickly, this leads to even more negative mindsets that will only discourage you from practicing guitar.

To overcome this problem, realize that the journey to becoming a great guitar player is a never-ending process and you have your entire life to develop your musical skills. This is the first step to clearing your mind enough to have the energy needed to practice guitar effectively.

Guitar Practice Mistake 3: Not Relying On Yourself Enough The first 3 mistakes mentioned earlier often apply to guitarists who are self-taught.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, lack of “self-sufficiency” is very widespread among musicians who take guitar lessons with a teacher. This concept means understanding the very obvious fact that only YOU are the person in charge of your own guitar playing progress (or lack of it). Although having a guitar teacher is a great way to make faster progress in your playing, it is not a replacement for the fact that “you” must take the actions needed to get to where you want to be as a musician.

All of that being said, “relying on yourself” does NOT mean to be skeptical of everything your guitar teacher says or believe that you know more about playing guitar than your teacher. Obviously if “did” know more than your teacher, you wouldn’t be the one taking guitar lessons, would you? However, taking responsibility for your own guitar playing progress DOES mean to take your own initiative with getting the most out of whatever resource you use to improve your guitar playing. It also implies making an honest effort at discovering the answer to your musical questions by thinking about the issue before asking for extra help. The idea is to “balance” relying on yourself with knowing when to ask for help if you are truly stuck. If you do this on a regular basis, you will achieve the best of both worlds: you will progress more quickly in your guitar playing and you will also avoid developing a feeling of dependency on any single guitar learning resource.

If you want more advice on how to practice guitar like the best guitarists do, start by watching this free video on learning to play the guitar. This video will help you to understand the ideas from this article on a deeper level and will enable you to know with greater clarity what steps you need to take right now to greatly improve your skills on guitar. By taking advantage of the guitar practice approaches that great guitarists have in common, while avoiding the mistakes that the majority of musicians typically make you will move towards your goals much faster than you ever thought possible.

About The Author: Mike Philippov is a guitar instructional author, professional guitar player and composer. He writes articles about the best ways to practice guitar that are studied by many musicians worldwide. To get more help with becoming a better guitar player, visit his website: