Time for a Solo…Maybe

Last week I started a two part series on how you should try to play with a band. Well, according to me that is. So, we will hit the 2nd part to that series and I will go over my advice on how, as a guitarist, you should try to play in a band. Once again, I am not a professional, I just like to give tips and advice on how I think you should try to play with your band.

The first question you must ask yourself is, what type of guitarist am I? Am I the one who loves solos? Maybe I just like to lay low and jam out with some power chords. Whether you are wanting to be the spotlight, or just there to jam, picking your role and “on-stage persona” is super important to being a great guitarist. Me personally, I am in the middle. I love to rip into some solos and play some crazy lead parts, but at the same time, I like to stay humble and try not to take away from our bands message. That leads to the next topic. Your bands style, genre, and lead instruments. After you determine what type of guitarist you will be, or maybe you are having trouble deciding, you should figure out what your role will be with your band, and where they want you to be. Sometimes you have to share the stage with another guitarist, so do you both want to share the lead? Or does he want to be the main solo driven guy? It just takes communication.

Now that you have decided your personal, and band role, its time to critique your playing style. I will discuss how I am used in my band, and how I have to critique myself. This will give you a better understanding. Being in a Christian Rock/Worship band, I have to change my style up. For our harder songs, I am crunching out some hard chords to give our mix a full rock driven sound. I can’t be doing a crazy solo for 3 minutes. The worship style can be a little bit more challenging. I have to player high lead parts while at the same time being able to switch back to simple chords to give the song the most dynamic mix it can have. This involves lots of communication with my drummer. Which I will note, being on your drummers good side is a very important thing. Our drummer knows when to build, and I have to be ready to follow that as a guitarist. One tip that I have, is to never let your music die in the middle of a performance. What I mean is that you have to keep the flow going as a lead guitarist, even if there is a quite moment in the song.

This is just a small portion of some of the tips I have for playing in a band. The topic is extremely broad, and you could almost write a book about all the different things you can do to improve yourself as a guitarist in a band. My best advice to you is to always be looking to move forward and not back. Learn new tricks, and implement them to your guitar. Communicate with your band mates and always focus on being the best you can be.

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