Guitar Essentials: How to Jump into a Guitar Solo

Two techniques you can use to move fluidly from open chords to soloing or lead playing.
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Whenever you switch from playing open chords to soloing or playing a lead part, you risk making an abrupt change in the song’s dynamics as the full-sounding chords drop out and the lead work begins. This can sound both clumsy and unprofessional, and it can be distracting for your audience.

In this video, Sean Daniel demonstrates two techniques you can use to move fluidly from open chords to soloing or lead playing, specifically—for this lesson—a minor pentatonic or a minor scale lead part.

“We’re going to take three chords from the key of D—D major, A major and G major—and find out how we can get into the minor pentatonic spot—how we can fluidly get into there instead of just going from chords into soloing,” Sean says.

Sean uses the B minor scale—the relative minor of D major—for soloing and demonstrates how to connect your chord playing to the solo by:

1. Linking with an arpeggio out of the chord and into the solo. (Sean offers an excellent illustration of this at the 3:11 mark in the video.)
2. Alternative chord voicing that lets you work your way into the solo. (He demonstrates this at 4:40, but be sure to watch the explanation that precedes it.)

As always, Sean walks you through each step to make the techniques clear and easy to apply in your own playing. Remember that these techniques can be valuable for improving your overall fretboard knowledge and technique. “I think once we start combining chords, scales and arpeggios and just knowing the notes,” Sean offers, “you might find that you find a more fluid playing style developing.”

Take a look, and be sure to check out Sean’s YouTube channel for more of his great instructional videos.