Rock 1 Solo A

Animated Rock 1 Solo A tab by ActionTab on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

This solo is from the Jamzone, and uses notes from the A natural minor scale: A - B - C - D - E - F - G - A

This solo is at a moderate speed. Start off by following the powerchords in the backing music (A5 - B5 - C5 - D5). Do this by just playing the single notes along the G string (A - B - C - D). We are simply emphasizing the root notes of the background chords as they progress. Then, as the background chord returns to the low A powerchord again, strike the top two strings at the 5th fret very hard!

This is a nice little trick. You should be able to hear that those two notes are loud and that there is a nice wavering effect (you may be able to hear it better in the Normal Speed Audio). That isn't vibrato. That is caused by striking those strings hard and fast so that they vibrate more than usual. This gives a nice wavering sustain. A useful thing to know! Just be careful not to break your strings - a brisk, strong stroke is all you need.

Another interesting thing about hitting those 2 notes is that they totally complement the background A5 powerchord. The powerchord notes are: A E A. The two notes struck hard in the solo at that point are E and A. Although the powerchord went low again, the solo notes went higher. This 'hints' to the listener that we are about to diversify now from just following the background chords. It builds tension and implies something different is about to happen.

Sure enough, that's exactly what happens next. A nice long blues bend leads us into the rest of the melody!

Another important part of the melody is about halfway through the ActionTab, where we start using the ascending scale notes in triplets along the high E string. Remember that a triplet is 3 notes played in the same time as one normal note. So they are quite fast. Here we play each triplet 5 times, then 1 normal note (or hold the last triplet note) before moving to the next triplet. This is seen most clearly in the tablature.

The notes for that part are:

D5 powerchord in Background : E - G - A (*5) hold the last A
A5 powerchord in Background : E - G - A (*5) - E
B5 powerchord in Background : E - A - B (*5) - E
C5 powerchord in Background : E - B - C (*5) - E
D5 powerchord in Background : E - C - D *5 hold the D, slide to E

Pay careful attention to the picking here. Use alternate picking, and remember that the open E string is struck twice between triplet changes.

Triplets are played again (this time using hammer ons and pull offs) towards the end of the solo. By now we have reached the final climax of the solo. The background chords constantly cycle through an ascending chord progression, and we've moved from following them directly at the start of the solo - to now playing high up on the 12th fret! The height in pitch of the notes here are one of the things that indicate that we are at the climax and there is only one place to go from here - and that's home: to the root note A. This returns us to the tonic root of the A minor scale. Apply light vibrato to draw attention to this important root / home note.

The solo ends with another hard strike on the E and A notes again - the same thing that we did earlier (when we were first indicating a break in direction of the melody). Now we've come full circle and end with this strike once more. The A and E notes struck here provide an A5 powerchord, which perfectly complements the low A5 powerchord in the background music...A suitable finale!

Remember to use the vibrato and other techniques shown in the ActionTab too - little touches of vibrato etc can really sweeten up a melody!

This solo is just one example of the myriad of possibilities open to you. Once you can play along with the ActionTab at Normal speed - go back to the previous Backing ActionTab and try playing it without assistance of the audio from this ActionTab. Learning to hear something in your head, and then making it happen is a very important skill for a guitarist. The more you jam over rhythm tracks like that, the more your skills will improve. Solos are trickier than rhythm guitar for most people to remember and perform. They are faster and more complex, but stick at it. The only way to do it is to push out of your comfort zones!

Also, familiarise yourself with the A natural minor scale (here it is using the CAGED positions) and start working out your own melodies. Try them out with the backing ActionTab. Loop it and experiment! Trial and error are a big part of learning. Forming your own musical ideas is an essential step for every guitarist. The sooner you step out, the better you will get! You'll find a lot of good ideas and useful things in this section to help you develop faster. Our next ActionTab will show you another set of great solo techniques and tips, so keep practicing!

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