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Watch the Phrasing An 8 Bar Solo online guitar lesson by Robbie Calvo from Power Phrasing

There are an infinite number of solos I could play over this laid back R&B groove but I thought I would demonstrate one approach to give you an idea of melody, pace, dynamics and crescendo. The track itself was structured to be a solo section and you can hear the drums and harmony supporting a build towards the end of the 8 bar section. Even the chords are changing on every beat of the last bar. Let me show you the progression so that you can hear where the chords have space, where they lay down and hang out and where they move forward with purpose.

We want our solo to have the same feeling as the track so listening intently to the underlying rhythmic and harmonic structure is going to be very important as to how we build and phrase our solo. I like to think of solos as four 2 bar phrases, so let’s take a look at how that might work for you.

I chose to enter the solo with a 16th note pick-up on the 2 bars before the solo section. Let’s take a look at that.

My first 2 bars of the solo are very sparse, sustained melodic lines with a double stop on the end of the phrase, very R&B

Bars 3 and 4 are very melodic and simple, replicating the first 2 bars with a couple of variations.

Bars 6 and 7 start out with a triad lick and a cheeky little bend to the root of the D chord. I then pick it up a bit and play a couple of 16th note flourishes over the Emi9 to the C#mi7b5.

Bar 7 is a 2/4 bar so we only have 2 beats here before we head into the final measure with the fast changing chord sequence. I wanted to build with the track here so decided to play a couple of simple 16th note lines that ascend in pitch too. My final phrase including a high bend before the final resolution on the G.