Welcome to our blog series, “Jamming with the Legends.” If you’ve ever dreamed of recreating the jaw-dropping electric guitar solos that have defined generations, this is the series for you. We’ll be diving into iconic solos from legendary musicians, dissecting them step-by-step, and guiding you toward mastering these timeless sounds. So, grab your guitar, buckle up, and let’s embark on a musical journey as we learn how to play renowned guitar solos!
To get the sound of these legendary Solos, you will get close with certain Guitar brands like Fender and Gibson. But really the tone truly comes from the player and their fingers.
Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin (Jimmy Page),
So you’ve got the Guitar and Amp and maybe an effect pedal or two? Great!
Let’s kick things off with one of the most legendary guitar solos of all time. Jimmy Page’s solo on “Stairway to Heaven” is a masterclass in melodic storytelling. Start by memorizing the scales used (A minor and A minor pentatonic) and focus on phrasing and dynamics. The solo progresses from delicate arpeggios to fiery climaxes, so pay close attention to the nuances in Page’s playing.
Pro Tip: Practice the solo in sections, gradually building up speed and accuracy. I highly recommend using tools like slow-down software like the amazing slow-downer or Anytune . Years ago, I spent over $500 on software like this and it wasn’t nearly as good as these affordable apps.
Hotel California – Eagles (Don Felder and Joe Walsh)
Next up, we have the iconic guitar duet from “Hotel California.” Don Felder and Joe Walsh’s harmonized solo is a showcase of impeccable technique and feel. Start by understanding the A minor key and the mix of major and minor pentatonic scales in the solo. Concentrate on nailing the harmony parts and experimenting with bending, vibrato, and slides for that authentic sound.
Pro Tip: Use backing tracks to practice the solo, gradually increasing your speed and fluency. When mastering the harmonized parts, record yourself playing both guitar lines to hear how they blend.
Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd (David Gilmour)
No list of iconic guitar solos would be complete without mentioning David Gilmour’s mesmerizing solo on “Comfortably Numb.” Known for his soulful playing, Gilmour weaves an emotional tapestry through bending, vibrato, and expressive note choices. Focus on capturing the melancholic mood and refining your bending technique to emulate Gilmour’s signature sound.
Pro Tip: Experiment with different effects like delay and reverb to enhance the ethereal quality of the solo. Take your time, listen to the song carefully, and let your emotions guide your playing.
Congratulations, fellow guitar enthusiasts! By exploring these iconic guitar solos, you’re venturing into the territory of the legends who shaped the history of music. Remember, though, that while recreating these solos is an incredible achievement, it’s equally important to infuse them with your creativity and style. Make the songs your own, adapting and personalizing the solos to add your unique touch.
Stay tuned for our next installment in this blog series, where we’ll delve into more timeless guitar solos and break them down step-by-step. Until then, keep practicing, keep exploring, and let the magic of legendary guitar solos inspire you to reach new heights with your playing.
Rock on, and let’s jam with the legends!
Noel Wentworth offers online and in-person Guitar Lessons at the Upbeat Music Academy Kelowna