So when is a guitar solo NOT a guitar solo?
Guitarists are often under the misconception that they are just the good time guys/ gals in the musical unit. Are they the show ponies that get all the girls/guys and tear out some amazing improv… Well sometimes they can be, but sometimes not too. On that thought, how often have we seen them go into the studio drunk or high, lay down their tracks in one take ( probably not) and swagger out of the studio leaving everyone wondering what just happened? Or running out to have a smoke/drink before the next pass… Its probably not just the guitarists we can blame for that.
Enter the moment of composition…All too often we find that when it comes to bands working out their songs that the guitarist can have some issues.
Put simply, an improvisational piece, commonly referred to as “The Guitar Solo” generally is a musical passage that can vary upon each performance. BUT when it becomes melodic, or repetitive and is played the same way EACH time becomes not a Guitar Solo anymore but a whole new musical passage. These are generally well though out melodic pieces that take a journey of themselves and often provide the Verse and Chorus of a song some reprieve for the listener. It can take the sometimes mundane Verse Chorus structure to a much more interesting and enjoyable place for the listener .
So enough of the Bullshit and the widdley widdley guitar solo. Become masterful and selective with the choice and amount of notes in it. If you are creating music for the guitarist, it is often impressive to a much smaller circle of listeners than something that can be easily caught on to, and can become the anthem of many lives.
A perfect example of this is the song “Sweet Child Of Mine” by the amazing songwriters of Guns N Roses. Axl came up with the lyric idea and some structure, and Slash the guitarist didn’t like the direction of the song. Often the way when people are presented an almost complete song. So, upon going into the studio he (Slash) created a memorable masterpiece that went skyrocketing to the top of the charts after the song was released. And yes, you guessed it. The song writers (everyone who included a musical part) were included in the royalty of the song, and every time you hear that melodic piece of art…. you know what the song is and who performed it. Well done to a creative team that recognised each others talent.
So people. Be creative, be memorable and above all else make sure you’re thoughtful in the approach to creating something that would be an anthem to you and your listener. It will make the world of difference. xS