Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sultans of Swing Guitar Solo's 1 and 2

The second and third solo's I have learned this summer are the two solos in Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits. These solos are real fun to play because they are very melodic. The rifs are not that hard by themselves, the hard part is that they are played lightning fast. I was able to get the first solo down pretty quick, the hardest part was trying to get the fast part at the end of the second solo.
I tried a couple different picking methods. I saw a Dire Straits video where Mark Knopfler plays it using finger picking. I guess that it how he plays pretty much everything. So I tried that for a while, it seems like it works pretty good, but I still could not get the coordination between my three fingers on my picking hand and my fretting hand fast enough. So I just kept practicing the flat picking method that I am used to. After all that, I still can't play it perfectly. I will give it a little more practice and see if I can get it.
When ever I try to learn something really fast, one thing I have noticed is that some days I can do it pretty good, other days I am totally off and cant coordinate my two hands. If I have been up to sppe before, usually with a half hour of practice or so I can get up to speed again. But if I practice too much, the pendulum swings the other way and I am back to the land of sausage fingers.
I used the computer program Guitar Pro to slow down all the licks, I played them at a slow speed, then gradually got faster. Guitar Pro is a great tool for learning the guitar. If I would have had it when I was younger, learning guitar would have been so much easier. You can download a free trial of it online. Just Google it. Any song you want to learn is available on line for free, so you just have to buy the software.
I think for my next blogs I need to keep track of the amount of time it takes me to learn a solo. Im not sure how much time I spent on these. Two weeks probably about an hour a day.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summer of Solos, Hotel California, The Eagles

This blog is a project I came up with to motivate me to practice my guitar. I have played the guitar for a long time and would say that I am pretty good at it. I teach guitar lessons and play in an awesome band (The Hard Hearted). But I still find it hard to get my regular personal practice in each day.

For that reason I have decided to choose a guitar solo each week to learn, then I will post the video on Youtube and this blog. I will also post the TABs so you can learn the solo if you want. Or if you don't play the guitar, you can just come back here and watch me get better each week.

You could also suggest solo's I should learn. The hardest part of this is thinking of good melodic solo's that aren't just wiggling fingers aimlessly.

This first one is Hotel California by the Eagles. It is not too hard, but its really fun and melodic. There are some really fun riffs that you can use in a million other solos. You can download the TAB and watch my video if you get stuck somewhere.