Lesson 5: Where To Go/What To Do Next

Welcome to the final lesson in this guide!

We have covered a lot of ground this week. Hopefully the theory hasn’t been overwhelming. If you have a question post it in the comments below.

The techniques you’ve learned are some of the core techniques for guitar soloing. To play fast and clean you need to master each of these and more.

Although this is the final lesson it doesn’t end here. I’m super excited to share my new course that will take your guitar soloing to a whole new level.

In my course you will learn:

  1. How to put it all of the techniques together in one seamless rocking solo
  2. How to play everywhere on the neck
  3. The scales to play for each song regardless of key
  4. The best way to approach theory so that it doesn’t slow you down
  5. The one scale you can use to solo for any song
  6. How to play clean and fast without extra string noise
  7. How to escape the “blues” box rut
  8. The secret to building up speed without getting in your own way
  9. How to add palm-muting to your playing
  10. The proper way to pick for speed
  11. Much, much, more

There is so much to learn. In my course I save you the hassle and hours of your time trying to figure out the best way to start shredding.

I’ve been shredding for over 25 years. Guess what? I still practice every day! I’m also constantly developing new methods to get my students shredding in the least amount of time.

I’ll share more on my course later.

Before we get into today’s lesson I want to share a quote from Jimi Hendrix that has motivated me to keep practicing more than once.

“Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you’ll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you’re gonna be rewarded.” -Jimi Hendrix

Warm-up Exercises

Warm-up exercises are not meant to be played for hours but rather to get your hands “warmed-up” and both hands working together. Before you know it you will be flying around on the guitar at warp speed. At that point, warm-up exercises will become even more important.

Think of your hands like a singer thinks of his vocal cords. Practice 5 minutes of slow to moderately paced warm-ups before you put start screaming at the top of your lungs. I personally start slow with warm-up exercises for a good 10-20 minutes before I start any serious shredding.

Instructions:

Play each exercise at 120 BPM (beats per minute). The (quarter-note) quarter note gets the beat. There are 4 beats in a measure. Count 1-2-3-4. Unless otherwise noted use alternate picking for each warm-up exercise.

Warm-up Exercise 1

warm-up-exercise-7

Warm-up Exercise 2

warm-up-exercise-8

Warm-up Exercise 3

warm-ups-exercise-9

Warm-up Exercise 4

warm-ups-exercise-10

 

Guitar Theory

For the most part we have been dealing with quarter notes. A quarter note gets one beat if you are in the time signature of 4/4. The top number represents the number of beats in the measure. The bottom number represents what gets the beat.

If the bottom number in the time signature is:

1 = whole note gets the beat

2 = half note gets the beat

4 = quarter note gets the beat

8 = eighth note gets the beat

That means for a time signature of 4/4 that the quarter note gets the beat and that there are 4 beats in a measure. Basically, when you see 4/4 just remember that there are 4 quarter notes in each measure.

Most of the time you won’t just have 4 quarter notes in a measure. Below is an image of how many of each note you can have in each measure.

Each line represents a 4 beat measure.

Whole note = 2 half notes = 4 quarter notes = 8 eighth notes = 16 sixteenth notes

note-values

The naming of the notes actually makes sense.

Whole Note = 4/4   (4 beats) the whole measure

Half Note = 2/4 (2 beats) half of the measure

Quarter Note = 1/4 (1 beat) a quarter of the measure

Eighth Note = 1/8 (1/2 of a beat) an eighth of the measure

Sixteenth Note = 1/16 (1/4 of a beat) a sixteenth of the measure

Don’t stress out about memorizing all of this. The most important part of playing is the sound you make with your guitar regardess of what key or time signature you are in.

Pinch Harmonic Technique

A pinch harmonic (or pick harmonic, squealy harmonic or squelch harmonic – call it what you want!) is a guitar technique that literally makes your guitar scream. In my opinion it’s one of the coolest techniques you can incorporate into your playing. It’s a very cool expression technique.

To generate a pinch harmonic you strike the string with the pick and a part of the flesh of the thumb. What is technically happening is the thumb is cancelling out the note struck by the pick and only allowing the harmonic overtone to sound.

Get started with pinch harmonics by doing this:

  1. Crank up the gain – you need some distortion
  2. Choose one note to practice on – 7th fret on the G string (3rd string) is perfect
  3. Pick as close to the bridge pickup as possible without picking over the top of it
  4. Use the bridge pickup

Think of the pinch harmonic as the icing on the cake. Like the high pitched scream the singer does when he just can’t hold his emotions in any longer.

I created a video to demonstrate this technique. You can check it out here.

Time To Shred

This guitar solo incorporates a lot of the guitar techniques that you’ve learned this week. I covered a lot of material and had to leave out a lot.

This guide was just the beginning. My course will teach how to solo over the entire neck automatically.

The guitar is the tool for you to express yourself. All of the techniques and exercises are designed to make that automatic. Each lesson is designed for easy learning so you don’t have to think too much.

This lick is in the key of A minor and uses the minor pentatonic scale. Play the first measure slowly until you can play each note evenly. Build up speed but don’t sacrifice tone. Take this solo slow and steady. Make sure you can hear every note clearly.

Played slowly:

Full speed:

Guitar Solo

Concluding thoughts

Let me be honest with you. Most people aren’t musicians and can’t tell if what you play is hard or easy. They just know what sounds good to their ear. Good tone and quality will win you more fans over speed and a bunch of sloppy technique.

Take your time, practice every day and have fun learning how to shred!

The 5-Step Plan to Guitar Soloing In 7 Days