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Watch the Building a Solo online guitar lesson by Mike Zito from Blues Americana

Let's talk about playing lead guitar in a musical setting. We might spend a lot of time on our own working on licks, techniques, etc. But in a musical setting, with a group, we probably won't be able to play just lead guitar the entire time. We will be playing rhythm, backing other soloists, playing songs with parts. We might only get a small solo section in a piece of music to actually play lead guitar. That's why considering the music you're playing and trying to build a solo will really bring out the music in your lead playing. You certainly do not want to just vomit as many notes and licks as possible in a short solo spot. But you do want to maybe keep the solo improvisational and loose. Using the band to help build a solo, using your techniques and ideas, can keep you in the moment and in the music. A simple melodic solo can get a lot more attention, than a noodley, notey, misunderstood solo.