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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Copying guitar solos

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walshb
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Manchester, TN

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Jun 19th, 2019 05:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've pretty much done this ever since I started playing guitar. I always thought the guitar solo was part of the song, and in order to learn the song and make it sound right, you learned the guitar solo, also.
I still do it, but usually only on recognizable songs that have had a lot of air play. In most cases, they're not exact, but as close as I can get them without using tab or nowadays, videos.

So, after the invent of the internet and all the discussion forums, I find out that's sort of a no-no, to many guitarists anyway. It's kind of frowned upon, it's not being creative, or whatever.

So what are your thoughts on this? Why do so many guitarists seem to feel that it's wrong to copy someone else solo?



littleuch
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Florida

Jun 19th, 2019 06:02 AM   Edit   Profile  

If someone can do an admirable copy of the solo, then why not. Unless the band is changing the song up to make it their own, I think it's the safest way to go for a cover band serving as entertainment to a group of people looking for familiarity.

That said I rarely worked hard to copy a solo, opting to start off with a reasonable facsimile then wander off. Why? Sheer laziness on my part and I suspect a common thing among those who find it a "no-no".

5Strats
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Edmond/OKC

GospelBilly!
Jun 19th, 2019 08:50 AM   Edit   Profile  

If you play in a cover band, sorry kid you're gonna have to learn them solos.

Thank God I play original music!

Peegoo
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Planet Peegoo

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Jun 19th, 2019 08:54 AM   Edit   Profile  

Some tunes require the original melody in the fills and solos to work (e.g. Pink Floyd, The Cars, etc.). Other tunes, you can take some liberties...and on other tunes you can explore space at your discretion.

That's how I approach this stuff.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Jun 19th, 2019 10:17 AM   Edit   Profile  

It's a great way to learn, both to gain musical insight and technique. But it's not an end in itself, the ultimate goal is to find your own unique voice. jm2¢.

walshb
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Manchester, TN

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Jun 19th, 2019 11:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

"It's a great way to learn, both to gain musical insight and technique. But it's not an end in itself, the ultimate goal is to find your own unique voice."

That's pretty much what happened with me. I learned a lot of different styles, a lot of cool licks, eventually developing into my own style....when I'm not copying a solo. All my friends say I always sound like me, no matter what I'm playing through. Not really sure if that's good or bad, but I assume it's my "style" that's coming through.

mroulier
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Suburban MD.

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Jun 19th, 2019 01:18 PM   Edit   Profile  

Depends on the song...
There a bunch of 'signature' solos out there and it's pretty obvious which ones are which:
Sultans of Swing? If you don't play that ending riff, you're doing it wrong.
Comfortably Numb? Stay in the Gilmour Lane for at least 2 go rounds, then have fun!
Rock & Roll by Zep? Free form it, just make that lick when the band stops memorable(or pull the one from Heart's version).
American Girl? Needs to be accurate.

We play a few songs where I like the solo to be accurate, and then he can roam on the outro.

gdw3

LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Jun 20th, 2019 06:35 PM   Edit   Profile  

Also depends on what you're doing. If you're trying to do as-close-as-possible covers, then you need to cover the solo too. If you're doing your own interpretation of the song, then maybe not.

scott-s
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juneau ak.

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Jun 21st, 2019 07:26 AM   Edit   Profile  

I admire people that can pull off others solos, My friends band played the complete song list of Joe Satriani's Surfing with the Aliens, Wow! It was a great show and an extreme example of playing scripted solos.

If I have the time I try to do what the guitar player was doing on the song, not always successful at it though! I played in a band with a fine sax player for a while and played horn parts with him that was a challenge as well.

walshb
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Manchester, TN

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Jun 21st, 2019 04:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

"My friends band played the complete song list of Joe Satriani's Surfing with the Aliens..."

Years ago, I was in a band with a guy that could pull off the Satriani stuff, pretty much note for note. At least it sounded like it to me, and I have a pretty good ear for that stuff.

We did only one song off that album, "Back to Shalla-Bal", and I only played rhythm on it. But we killed that song, thanks to the other guitarist. Talk about copying a solo!

walshb
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Manchester, TN

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Jun 23rd, 2019 10:09 AM   Edit   Profile  

Someone above mentioned that laziness could be a factor, and I have always felt this is often the case. Yes, depending on the song, of course.
Saw a good band last night where the guitarist definitely seems to fit that category. The band could have been so much better, IMO.

ninworks
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Middle Tennessee

Guitar Slave
Jun 23rd, 2019 01:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

Playing the solo note for note is usually directly proportionate to how much the guitar player likes the song. There is a better chance it will be note-for-note if it's one of their favorites.

Agreed, there are certain songs that the solo is too recognizable not to copy it and they need to be done verbatim. Almost all of them are ones that were very popular and received lots of air-play.

BbendFender
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American Patriot

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Jun 23rd, 2019 05:47 PM   Edit   Profile  

I try to play as close to the original as possible. Now that I have tremors in my right hand, note picking is getting more difficult.

Juice Nichols
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Panama City, FL

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Jun 24th, 2019 07:10 AM   Edit   Profile  

I generally try to stick to the solo as written, but I definitely play any signature riffs in a song. Like many already stated, "It depends on the song". Some guitar solos, the artists themselves don't play it exactly the same way every time.

Leftee
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VA

The Escalator
Jun 24th, 2019 12:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

There are certain songs that pretty-much demand it. Sultans of Swing comes to mind.

If you’re going to get homegrown on that, you’d better outplay Mr. Knopfler.

Good luck with that. (-;

ZZ Top stuff can work with signature licks and some ad-lib.

IMO, etc.

Juice Nichols
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Panama City, FL

I'm just a dude, playing a dude...
Jun 24th, 2019 01:06 PM   Edit   Profile  

Spot on Leftee!

Leftee
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VA

The Escalator
Jun 24th, 2019 01:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

Even a blind squirrel finds a nut.


Or note 🎶

walshb
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Manchester, TN

Ask me how I know!?
Jun 25th, 2019 08:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

I enjoy attempting to learn solos that I think are just beyond my current ability. The type of solos that make me a better player just by working on them, even if I don't get them exact.

It's not always for the crowd, sometimes it's for personal satisfaction that will hopefully transmit to the crowd. ;)


Leftee
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VA

The Escalator
Jun 26th, 2019 12:24 AM   Edit   Profile  

They do stretch a fella for sure.

Peegoo
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Planet Peegoo

Rhythm & Lewd Guitarist
Jun 26th, 2019 08:43 AM   Edit   Profile  

"I enjoy attempting to learn solos that I think are just beyond my current ability."

That is exactly how I advance. I'll hear something cool (guitar, sax, piano, etc.) and come back to it on guitar. It always opens doors to other musical ideas too.

I'm not a fan of playing the same stuff all the time; I don't advance at all that way. If I never have to play Stormy Monday at a jam or OM ever again, I won't be too disappointed :o)

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FDP Forum / Performer's Corner / Copying guitar solos




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