Watch the Modern Equivalent: Solo 2 online guitar lesson by Trey Alexander from Quantum Rock
This solo is played with a Radial Tone Bone Classic and a Mesa/Boogie Lone Star amp.
I also use a mute that is really nice for some of those tricky two handed tapping parts! Guys to check out that utilize these same techniques are Greg Howe, Guthrie Govan, and Bumble Foot!
To start this solo I wrote a theme or melody. This helped me to have something to tie everything together. It is nice to think of a melody before really digging into anything else. I took the progression and played off of it trying to create small melodic lines that sounded unique. I think the best way of doing this is to set up a mini disc recorder or even a cheap hand held recorder that you would find at Radio Shack and record the jam. Then you compile all the takes. I like to then take some time away from it so that when I hear it again it is a bit more fresh to the ears. You’ll notice that the main melody uses some of the blue tones of the minor pentatonic scale. It also follows the exact note of the chords walking up. This helps to set up your solo and helps to lock you in with what the bassist is doing.
The next part is a two handed tapping technique. This follows the chords exactly. This is where knowing how to make an arpeggio comes in very handy. You will notice that I am playing the 1-3-5 of each chord. In the first arpeggio we outline a C minor chord then we go to a Bb major chord then to an Ab major chord and then all the way down to the G. The next section goes from C minor to Bb major and the walk up goes Ab major, Bb Major, B major and Db Major. It is really important that you learn where all of these arpeggios exist. Tied with the higher root of each of the chords this makes quite a cool sound. The other thing I will start talking about is the tap from nowhere. This is where your left hand finger slams down to sound a note on a string that has not been played. Guys like Greg Howe are so good at these techniques that you really can’t tell the difference between his picking and his taps from nowhere. Pretty awesome! Imagine all of the new ideas you can come up with simply using the Minor and Minor Pentatonic shapes. Imagine if you knew all of the chord tones that were passing by as well. This thought always starts to make my head explode. There is just so much to learn on the guitar and I think that is one of the reasons why I love it so much. Even with the information that we know now we could reapply it to different parts of the fret board and learn it in all of the keys as well. Really milk these ideas for everything they are worth. Once we go through that series of arpeggios we then move back to the C minor then to the Bb major and this is where it gets a bit tricky. Here we outline the walk up with a neat tapping sequence. The chords to outline are Ab major, Bb Major, B major and Db Major. This is one of those taps from nowhere so really take your time and read the tabs very closely. Think (Left Tap, Right Tap)LT RT LT RT and so on. Don’t be afraid to really experiment with this and move it around through all kinds of different shapes.