Toolkit For Soloing – Guitar with Steve Postell

I have taught the guitar for almost as long as I have played, and I think the question I am asked the most by students is whether I can teach them to solo, to improvise. A lot of people who play the guitar feel intimidated by the idea of ripping off a solo. But if you are musical at all, and have ever hummed or sang a melody, it is much easier than you think. Although my creative home base is the writing and singing of a song, I find there is nothing as freeing and expansive as closing my eyes and soloing over 8 or 16 bars to lift up the middle of a song. With some basic guitar skills and a little knowledge of chord structure, you can use the tools I have created to unlock your inner Hendrix. Once you start implementing them you will hear these same patterns and melodic shapes in classic solos from Clapton to B.B. King to Jimmy Page and Jimmy Hendrix. The idea is to see the entire neck in shapes and patterns so that regardless of where you go you will not play that “wrong” note. (Some artists like Miles Davis contend there is no such thing as a wrong note, but that is another story) With even just a few of these tools in your toolkit you can begin to jam along with other players, and the more you implement the deeper you can get. In addition to the scale and arpeggio patterns, we will look at the various expressive techniques that ultimately make the solo more voice-like in quality. These include vibrato, bends, slides, trills etc. By the end of these classes you may not be able to solo over Thelonius Monk changes, but you will have a path to solo over traditional music and begin to develop your own individual style.