Tag Archives for " Guitar Solo "


The Three-Note Super Weapon Riff

There’s one particular riff I taught in my Secrets of Tasty Riffs & Solos course that I half-jokingly call my super weapon riff (maybe that’s a little over the top). You might laugh that I call it that, because honestly, it’s only a few notes. It’s not some machine gun blazing glory riff, not by any means.

Interestingly, I first picked it up from a country song somewhere (and I don’t listen to that much country!). Then, I heard Joe Bonamassa using it… and as my ear has become attuned to this particular interval, I start hearing it more places.

Today, I heard Eric Clapton using it in his solos in While My Guitar Gently Weeps. (Video posted below for your viewing pleasure). Side note – this song has an awesome chord progression worthy of studying… another time!

As I mentioned, it’s not a particularly difficult riff, it’s just an extremely tasty and well placed minor third when used at just the right place over a chord progression. It’s the kind of thing that when you nail it, you just feel that gratifying rush that says YES! This is why I love soloing on guitar! And all it is is this simple little string bend that pops to a minor third.

In fact, I just dug up a tabbed version for you from the Secrets of Tasty Riffs & Solos course. The riff I’m referring to is simply the first few notes of this bar – you can precede it or follow it with anything you please. This example is played over an Em, in the key of Am. The first note is a D, you stretch a full tone to an E, then pop to that G, which is a minor third up from the E. Simple right? But in context – amazing. There’s your lesson for today – it’s ALL ABOUT CONTEXT.

You can hear variations of this in Clapton’s solos at 2:20 and 5:05 to 5:07, and probably elsewhere as well. He’s got some cool solos in this song that aren’t particularly fast, but they are quite tasty, and I bet if you go looking, you find more examples of the “tasty” interval in here as well. If you do, let us know in the comments below.

PS – Clapton’s solo is in A minor as well, so this tab is in the correct key for video, bonus! He’s soloing a lot out of the Root 5 Minor Scale. I should mention that the whole super weapon thing is a bit more effective if you make this the feature… in Clapton’s solo, he passes through it pretty quick. Sounds amazing, but probably not something you’d consider super weapon status in this context. Nevertheless, worth learning!

Check it out:

Cool Cat Guitar Solo

crazy-catSometimes animals do the funniest things. There’s a good reason why those cute puppy videos get bazillions of views on Youtube.

Anyway, the other day my cat found herself cornered on the stairs. I was above her, and my dog was below her. In her mind (apparently), this was a high level red alert that required immediate action!

Her choices were to run between my dog’s legs, between my legs, or to jump through the spindles of the bannister beside her.

She chose the spindles.

She goes through those spindles several times on any given day, so the choice was probably logical.

But she dove into it in such a hurry this time, that she got stuck around her hips… and her back legs were wildly trying to push her through, but they were just kicking the air!

Eventually she squeezed through, but needless to say, it was pretty hilarious.

If I had a video of it, I could probably get rich on Youtube.

There’s a lesson here for guitar players too.

You ever watch someone soloing?

You can usually tell if they’re relaxed and enjoying themselves, or if they’re caught off guard and wildly scrambling to come up with something.

The cool cats come in on time, the notes they choose sound great and melodic, and when their slot for soloing comes to a close, they slip right out of their solo and back into rhythm with nary a hiccup.

With a simple nod “it’s your turn” you can drop a cool cat into a solo at anytime, and they’ll always land on their feet, notes a’blazing.

The transitions are seamless – into solo, out of solo.

The startled cat soloists on the other hand, are caught seemingly unawares and off guard, and dive into the solo a bit late and too fast, and often get caught at the hips with a lack of ideas for getting out of their bind.

Their hind legs kick the air for a bit while they repeat a familiar default riff over and over, madly thinking of another good spot to move to, until they get some traction and start to get into things properly.

When they finally end their solo, they get that indignant “no one saw that!” look on their face and slink away into the background…

I should know, because I’ve been there myself.

But there’s one trick that REALLY helps your confidence, giving you that “cool cat” advantage… Jam tracks.

Practice with jam tracks, and you’ll become far more familiar with soloing: what sounds good coming in, going out, and in between.

If you’d like to gain that extra edge in your playing, I recommend adding some jam time into your practice routine.


How to Structure a Guitar Solo

A good lead guitar player must, and I’ll repeat that – MUST – pay attention to the rhythm.
That means knowing the rhythm part intimately yourself, even if you’re not the one playing it. Know the guitar chords and the various changes, because ideally, you should be working off of those changes in your solo.

As you’ll see in the video, a safe place to end each phrase is to end up on the root note for the chord that is being played… So it becomes important to know your notes, or a least a quick way of finding them. If you need a brush up on your notes, checkout one of my lessons on guitar scales.

If you’re really struggling with how to structure a guitar solo, this video should give you a few tips that will help point you on the right path. Another great way of improving your guitar solos is to find some backing tracks that you can practice with. These will really help you improve your solo rhythm, letting you really practice “feeling” the rhythm of the band.

Anyways, let’s get down to business – go on and hit play!

How To Structure A Guitar Solo: Some Tips

Watch the lesson on Youtube