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Arranging guitar solos for solo acoustic guitar?

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Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 152
Topic starter  

I rarely have opportunity to play with other musicians, so when I come to the guitar solos in various songs I know, I don't know what to do. Just playing the solo without any backing sounds too 'thin' and loses the feel of the song. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can come up with bridges that manage to keep the feel of the song and the solo for when I'm playing on my own?


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Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 108

What I try to do is rather than play the entire solo without backing I try to incorporate little pieces of the riff in with the chords. This breaks things up and adds interest to me. I've also started using Audacity (freeware) on my PC to lay down the chords then play the solo over that.

Active Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 8

There are numerous sources for instruction on how to integrate melody and rhythm in solo guitar. Here's one I like:

Basic Country Flatpicking Guitar on DVD
Taught by Dix Bruce

It is old country/bluegrass-oriented, but even if you are not into that style, it will give you a basis on how to go about doing what you want to do.

Listen to Neil Young's acoustic playing. He throws alot of licks in amongst his rhythm chords. These licks can be carefully chosen to play melody while playing chords simultaneously.

For more advanced styles, look for any instructional material that is described, "Chord-melody."

Alternatively, you can (and should) learn fingerstyle, which is ideal for simultaneous melody/backup playing. I enjoy flatpicking a little more than fingerstyle, because I get to bang on my guitar, but some songs are more suited to fingerstyle.

IMO, playing rhythm, chords, and melody at the same time is WAY more satisfying than recording a backing loop and playing melody on top of it.

Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 5342

I have the Boss Micro BR too - excellent little gadget.

There are plenty of sites which will help you with chord melody work - that's probably going to be more relevant than backing tracks or anything like that. We even have a couple of lessons on this site.


A :-)

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Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 30

I give a big thumbs up for Aucacity

Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 108

I have the Boss Micro as well but thought someone might not want to spring for the dollars to buy one. One advantage of it is its portability. In any case, I had a good laugh about the income tax comment....