Power Up Your Ballad Soloing

Power Up Your Ballad Soloing

There are dozens of “Best Power Ballads” lists published online and in print.  But of course, no two are identical. “One man’s floor is another man’s ceiling” and all that, however, everyone agrees that power ballads are one of the most important sub-genres of rock – every notable band has at least one that made the top of the charts.

That being the case, guitarists need to develop their technical and harmonic skill set accordingly, and that’s not always easy. Tony Smotherman to the rescue! His Power Ballad Soloing course focuses on the tools you need to craft power ballad solos over a wide range of popular chord progressions and two-chord vamps.

“I’ve prepared 10 performance studies that focus on the techniques, creative approaches, and soloing skills that you’ll need command of to perform searing, inspiring power ballad solos. We’ll focus on whole, half, and unison bends, slides, arpeggiated lines, open string applications, and targeting specific scale tones to get a really memorable effect. We’ll make use of double stops to add a chordal feel to break up the use of the scales. Most importantly, you’ll learn to breathe musically – when playing ballads it’s just as important to breathe between notes as it is in faster-paced solos.”

Here’s a couple of lesson sets from Tony to help you get a jump-start on your own power ballad bag of tricks…

Exotic Tension

“Exotic Tension makes use of a melodic chord progression common in many forms of classical music. These types of progressions are really great for creating memorable solos over because of their interesting harmonic changes. This chord progression in the key of C minor, and the tempo is in 6/8. The chords are Cmin – Abmaj – Bbmaj – Ebmaj – Abmaj – Ddim – Gsus4 – Gmaj. Making use of special target notes over chords can create a really musical effect. There are so many options to choose from. On this track, you’re targeting major and minor 3rd intervals. You’ll notice lots of bending, from half step, whole step, and whole step and a half bends to reach the target notes.”

Overview

Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this power ballad etude.

Breakdown

Double Stops for Hendrix

“Our next ballad study is in E major. The chords are Emaj – Dmaj – Amaj. With the use of three major chords in this ballad, we can really explore lots of major 3rd bends to emphasize the major chord tones of each chord. Making use of the relative minor of E major, we can use the C# minor pentatonic scale to get the major scale sound, but we also have use of the all too familiar minor pentatonic scale to bend notes and ad plenty of vibrato to make the notes sing. Adding double stops helps break up the soloing sound by adding a different type of texture to the overall effect of the ballad.”

Overview

Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this power ballad etude.

Breakdown


If you’re ready for more ballads, make sure to check out the full course on TrueFire. There, Tony Smotherman will take you through eight more power ballad etudes that include tab, notation, and jam tracks for each. Check it out now!