Saturday, December 13, 2008

Basics of soloing.

Anyone who wants to play the guitar has always dreamed of becoming a lead guitarist. Singing along while strumming the chords is good and gives us pleasure, however playing a melodious solo over some chord progressions is something else.

In this post, I will be talking about the basics of playing a solo. Before anyone reads this post, one should be aware of making chords and also about chords in C major.

If you are aware of these concepts, then it will be easy for you understand this guitar lesson. I will be covering the most basic thing about playing solos.

I will be talking about the C Major scale but this lesson is applicable in all the keys. We should also know that a solo sounds good only when there is some nice rhythm guitar playing in the background.

Some of you may wonder, What is the 'nice rhythm guitar playing'? It's the chord progressions that are played by the rhythm guitarist.

All the songs have a chord progression. This can be a simple one or a complicated one.

Just for convenience, we will stick to a simple chord progression. Lets take the following three major chords which are in the key of C:

G Major.
F Major.
C Major.

If someone is playing these chords and you want to play a solo over it, you can play the C major scale

It may not sound completely right but the solo will fit with these chord progressions. The reason is because these chords are derived from the C Major scale. We have harmonized the C Major scale to get these chords.

As this a basic lesson, you can play the basic C scale and try to come out with a true original solo. This may be difficult in the start but some of you may be able to pull this off immediately.

One thing important in music according to me is experimentation. You have to experiment for years to come out with your own sound.

One problem may arise is that you may not have another guitarist friend who can play the guitar chords, so that you can play the solo.

To get around this road block, you can use the sound recorder option in your computer if you are using a Windows computer. You can play the chords mentioned above and can record it on your computer. When you have done this, you can play the recorded chord progressions and then play your solo over it. You will then experience the joy of making your first guitar solo.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One Man Band.

There was time when I always wanted to make a band. I started playing the guitar and it was difficult for me to make a band. As I stay in India, rock scene is not that good. Me being a rock fan, it's very difficult for me to find a drummer and make a band. It's still fun to be a part of a band. What I am trying to explain is that what do you do when you can't find someone who can play with you. The first thing that comes on everyone's mind is to quit, give up or throw the towel. Or maybe even better, to play alone or wait for a miracle.

Miracles do happen in life however it's stupid for us to wait for something when you want something very badly.

I started talking to my brother who is in the United States and also a very good composer. He came to my rescue and told me that as I can't find a drummer, I can buy a software which is called Sony Acid Pro and can start making my own music.

I bought this software and I also bought the drum loops CD and suddenly I felt that I am jamming with an invisible drummer. There were different grooves or beats that I could choose.

If anyone who is in a similar crisis that I was in, I would recommend to buy a Sony Acid Pro software and drum loops CD. You can search for these products on a search engine that you like and you will get information about them.

If you have a drummer friend then buying all these products will not be necessary. As I have used the subject 'One Man Band' for this post, I need to share one more thing with you.

I would like to share something about the midi keyboard. A midi keyboard is a device that you can use with your computer and you just have plug in to your computer's USB port. You also need a software which will help you to create different sounds.

You can play bass notes using the keyboard and can also create other sounds. I don't have this instrument. I will be buying it soon after saving some money.

When you have drum loops CD, Acid Pro software, midi keyboard, then one can be a 'One Man Band'.