One of the coolest things about playing the guitar is playing those super cool guitar solos.
But let’s be honest here. No one just picks up the guitar and plays killer guitar solos day one.
To learn and master your favourite guitar solos takes some effort, but boy is it ever worth it!
In my 20+ years of teaching guitarists of all levels, I’ve consistently found that most guitarists make learning new songs and guitar solos way harder than it needs to be. This of course means it takes most guitar players way too long to learn songs.
This is simply because most guitarists don’t take advantage of the most effective ways to learn songs.
Why Does This Happen?
It’s usually because most guitar players never been taught the most effective ways to learn songs.
I know for sure, that if I hadn’t of studied with some of the world’s top musicians at university, there is no way I would have stumbled across the many accelerated learning techniques for guitar.
Some Really Good News for You
The good news is you don’t have to spend four years at university and thousands of dollars on tuition, to learn some of the most powerful and effective ways to learn songs on guitar.
Learning songs doesn’t have to be as hard as most guitar players make it—once you know the most effective ways to learn and practice guitar songs and solos.
A Very Important Tip for Learning Guitar Solos Note-for-Note
Divide and Conquer
Break the guitar solo you want to learn into small manageable chunks. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL!
Most guitarists try to learn new songs in chunks that are way too big.
It’s only natural after all. As you start to work on the first part of the solo, you get excited and want to jump on to the next part, and then the next, and so on.
The problem is that most guitarists move on to the next part of the guitar solo before they have the previous part even partially committed to memory.
The result is that it will take way too long to learn the guitar solo.
Consider this: Imagine you need to memorize the script for an entire play. If you were to just read the script from beginning to end over and over, how long do you think it would take to memorize?
Compare that to repeating one small section at a time. Where only after you have one part down, do you move on to the next.
Obviously, by learning the script in small sections, you would be able to link them together to learn the entire play in much less time than if you were to try to memorize the entire thing at once.
We tend to forget this once we get a guitar in our hands. The tendency is to practice the first section of the guitar solo and jump to the next before we are ready. It’s just too fun and exciting to not jump to the next part! But if you want to learn the song fast, you need to focus on one small chunk at a time.
Something to Remember about Short-Term Memory
Here’s the bottom line for committing something into long-term memory—it must first be placed into short-term memory. If you try to learn something too big for short-term memory, you are actually just wasting your time. Short-term memory has a limited capacity. So the best approach is to learn the new guitar solo in tiny chunks of about 3-5 notes.
Depending on the piece of music, you may be able to do it in chunks larger than 3-5 notes. Also, if you’ve been playing for a while, you will find that the chunk size you can remember will increase. As you learn more music theory, you will also be able to learn guitar solos much faster because you will understand how they work and what’s really happening in them.
Regardless, when you divide up the guitar solo into memory friendly small chunks, you will learn songs much, much faster.
It takes a while to get used to learning things in tiny chunks.
Our natural tendency is to want to learn new songs in big huge chunks. Unfortunately that is not the fastest way to learn. It will always take you longer to learn a song if you try to learn it in chunks that are too big for your current level of skill on the guitar.
When you try to learn something in bigger chunks than your memory can handle, it means you simply won’t remember what you just played. This means way more repetition will be required, and therefore much more time.
Another Big Reason to Go Small
When you learn guitar solos in small chunks it allows you to look more closely at the fingerings you are using.
This will allow you to come up with better fingerings for the guitar solo.
Learning the actual notes that comprise the guitar solo is really just a small component of mastering the guitar solo. If you don’t have the best fingerings for it, it will be much more difficult to perform the solo at the appropriate speed.
Proper fingerings will also make it much easier to add in the appropriate performance nuances of vibrato, dynamics and phrasing.
After all, you could play all of the right notes in the guitar solo, but without proper phrasing, vibrato and dynamics, it won’t sound quite right.
In part 2 of Lead Guitar Basics – How to Learn Guitar Solos Fast, we will look at some ways to apply chunking to a technique building song.
This tutorial just scratched the surface of how to learn guitar solos and songs faster.
For a more in depth look at some powerful techniques that will allow you to learn 2, 3 or more guitar songs/solos in the time it usually takes you to learn just one, check out 21 Secrets to Learn Guitar Songs Super-Fast.
This course will show you the techniques the world’s elite musicians use to learn songs fast. It doesn’t have to take months and months to learn a new guitar song. Grab your copy of 21 Secrets to Learn Guitar Songs Super-Fast and start learning songs and guitar solos faster.