Electric Guitar Solos - Suggestions needed!

Registered User
Joined: 07/31/13
Posts: 5

Hi Everyone,

I have played guitar all my life, but until recently only acoustic. I am 59 years old. I have a new stratocaster, and have been learning mainly rhythm parts so far. Can anyone suggest songs in the Guitar Tricks repertoire for me to try out playing my first guitar solos? The only real "solo" I have played is in "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton, which is pretty simple.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!


# 1
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Joined: 11/23/19
Posts: 428

From what I've seen the songs are broken down to their individual guitar parts. For instance, a song might contain two rythym players and one solo guitarist or visa versa, so the instructors do individual lessons on each part. In the lesson structure you'll see guitar 1 and guitar 2 and Lead 1 or Lead 2, So just pick out a song you like and play the part you wanna learn.

Hope that helps,,


# 2
Registered User
Joined: 07/31/13
Posts: 5

Thanks, Moe, but i guess what I was after was specific song suggestions from others who are maybe in the same boat as me. My RH technique is pretty good, and I'm getting fairly decent at bends, and vibrato; I just haven't learned any solos yet! And most of the ones I've looked at are still too hard for me (like Sweet home Alabama, or Hotel California!!).

I guess to be more specific, I'm looking for something not too technically demanding or blazing fast; rock or country, either would be great.

# 3
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Joined: 11/23/19
Posts: 428

Ah well I might not be much help to ya then as I've only been at it a year myself, but one lead I have attempted and it may be within your grasp since you have more expeirience and you mentioned country is Folsom Prison by Johhny Cash. It starts off pretty easy but the Triads with arppegio kinda get me. Give it a shot, if not maybe the experts will have better recommendations.

Good Luck


# 4
Registered User
Joined: 07/31/13
Posts: 5

That's a GREAT suggestion, thanks! That would sound great on my strat.

# 5
Registered User
Joined: 12/04/19
Posts: 318

I started learning solo's in my younger days by learning songs of the Shadows, most are pretty easy and tabs can be found on the net. Don't understand why you wanted to tackle Sweet home Alabama or Hotel California? took me a long time to learn even after years of playing solo in rock bands.

One other that comes to mind is Alright now from the band Free, pretty easy to.


# 6
Registered User
Joined: 04/02/13
Posts: 555

The guitar solo in Ace of Spades by Motorhead is a fairly easy solo to start with and the lesson is on this site if you want to give it a try.

# 7
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Joined: 08/11/17
Posts: 357

Maybe go to the Songs List? Sort it by "ability/skill level", whatever it is called. That description is identified by number of guitars.

Pick out some songs in what you consider your skill level. Maybe there is a solo lesson there calling your name?

[u]Guitars:[/u] 2014 PRS Santana, 2013 PRS Paul's, 2009 PRS Hollowbody, 1972 Gibson ES-325, 2012 Fender Strat American Standard, 2012 Yamaha Pacifica, Martin M-36, Martin 000-15M, Seagull S6 Classic[br][u]Amps:[/u] Fender Blues Junior III, Boss Eband JS-10, Line 6 POD 500X, Quilter Microblock 45

# 8
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Joined: 10/07/08
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Originally Posted by: dsaydak

Hi Everyone,

I have played guitar all my life, but until recently only acoustic. I am 59 years old. I have a new stratocaster, and have been learning mainly rhythm parts so far. Can anyone suggest songs in the Guitar Tricks repertoire for me to try out playing my first guitar solos? The only real "solo" I have played is in "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton, which is pretty simple.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!


Have you been looking through the Guitar Tricks scales lessons? A great place to start is learning the Major scale. You may already know this but a little refresher might not hurt. You'll want to know this scale as it's part of the overall scale world. For rock playing, get to know the pentatonic scale too.

Below, I'm stealing from a post I made some time back but what it really means to do is to give a simple explanation of how solo/leads work. If you really want to dig in, start with Lisa's major scale lessons as well as a great number of lessons by Chris that go in to this and all scales with a better understanding than I could possibly give you here.

With that, you'll need to know the structural stuff. If you play mostly rock/pop music, the pentatonic below is really the majority of what you'll need. It's the springboard for expanding outward with other scales when that time arises. However, for rock, the pentatonic is the meat and potatos. Knowing this will help you understand that when you take on a solo, where it's core is likely at. It's like a roadmap.

So here's a brief primer on how to use pantatonic scales. Overwhelmingly, the pentatonic scale will be central to your lead playing. Get comfortable with this the rest opens up for you.

You may know the pentatonic shape, but how do you use them? Major versus Minor? All that stuff.

When I was learning this a long time ago, I found that everything I was being fed had overcomplicated the key/scale question. I knew the pentatonic shape but nobody really gave me a simple explanation on how to use it. I had to guess my way through.

Like, if I'm playing in the key of C, what is 'in bounds' to play and why?

The simplest 'cheat' to wrap your head around it: It's the 'pinky versus index (pointer) finger'.

What does that mean?

You'll see below but assume that:

--The 'song' is in the key of C.

--The root note on the 6th string of the 'song' is the 8th fret (C).

--That 8th fret is like an anchor from which either (major/minor) scale can spring.

So, the pinky v. index?

If you're in the key of C and what to play -

Key of C (Major) - Your root note is the 6th string 'pinky' (8th fret) of the pentatonic scale

---I----O----I----------I----------I----O----I--- 1

---I----O----I----------I----------I----O----I--- 2

---I----O----I----------I----O----I----------I--- 3

---I----O----I----------I----O----I----------I--- 4

---I----O----I----------I----O----I----------I--- 5

---I----O----I----------I----------I----O----I--- 6

Fret 5 (A) ---- 6 (A#) ---- 7 (B) ---- 8 (C) Root

Key of C (minor) - Your root note is the 6th string 'index finger' (8th fret) of the pentatonic scale

---I----O----I----------I----------I----O----I--- 1

---I----O----I----------I----------I----O----I--- 2

---I----O----I----------I----O----I----------I--- 3

---I----O----I----------I----O----I----------I--- 4

---I----O----I----------I----O----I----------I--- 5

---I----O----I----------I----------I----O----I--- 6

Fret 8 (C) ---- 9 (C#) ---- 10 (D) --- 11 (D#)


You'll note that your root is the same (C + 6th string = 8th fret) but it's actually your hand placement that moves.

If you want to be in C Major; your root is still that 8th fret but you're really just playing a pentatonic with your index finger starting on the 5th fret. If in C minor; your index finger starts on the 8th fret.

So what's the difference between major and minor?

The simplest explanation is happy versus mean/dark. That's a way oversimplification but it helps. When you hear a solo and it sound very pleasant and 'up', it's more likely being played as a major. If it sounds darker or more agressive, it's more likely in minor.

This is just a very simple rule of thumb. Lot's of hard rock is in minor scales. Why you use one of the other depends on the vibe of the song (though there is more theory on this subject, I'm only giving you a mental starting point). If the song is a happier progression of strummy open chords, then it's likely a major scale will fit better. An agressive metal song? Minor.

Though the actual pentatonic scale is above in my examples, the useable pentatonic has more notes (below). This is what's used for all that rock lead playing:

---I----O----I----------I----O----I----O----I--- 1

---I----O----I----------I----O----I----O----I--- 2

---I----O----I----------I----O----I---(O)----I--- 3

---I----O----I----------I----O----I----------I--- 4

---I----O----I----O----I----O----I----------I--- 5

---I----O----I----------I----O----I----O----I--- 6

Note: the '(O)' (3rd string) is a note not within the pentatonic scale but is often added in to lots of blues based leads.

Given all that information above, what this does is help lay a foundation. When you're being taught a lead and the instructor or tool you're using says it's an 'A minor pentatonic', you'll have an idea what that actually means.

As for the physical skill? Take your time and don't hurry. Most folks learning leads have to do it over and over. At GT, you can loop a section and choose the speed. Use those tools. Just learn a section and get that going. Move to the next and so on. Don't take on a whole lead in one bite. You'll feel like you'll never there. It takes a bit of work.

# 9
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Joined: 04/17/13
Posts: 684

Dan....I learned patterns long before I understood what I was doing. I tend to be a jump in and see what happens kind of player. What Jeff just told you is the key to making those patterns work for you, without getting overwhelmed with theory.

Get that Pentatonic scale burned into you fingers. It will give you some immediate freedom to start exploring lead guitar. If you like to learn by jumping in and playing around, Pentatonic it the way to get started. Pay close attention to the Index/ pinky explanation! That will really open the world of major and minor. You will eventually want to learn all the theory behind it the music. But if, like me, you prefer jumping in and playing around.... Listen to Jeff! He knows, where of he speaks.

Jeff... GT really should put you on the payroll!

Captcha is a total pain in the........

# 10
Registered User
Joined: 07/31/13
Posts: 5

Thanks everyone for your replies. Especially jeff; that must have taken a long time to type out, and for a complete stranger!

I was getting so stale playing acoustic; my whole world is opening up now that I have an electric. i should have gotten one years ago!!

# 11
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,017

Hey & welcome! Congrats on your new Strat!

Originally Posted by: dsaydakCan anyone suggest songs in the Guitar Tricks repertoire for me to try out playing my first guitar solos?

Some of these might require that you gain some basic lead playing skills. And I can point you to tutorials to help with that. But to directly answer your question, here is a list of songs in a wide vareity of styles with some pretty basic solos, licks & fills.

Bad Moon Rising


Proud Mary


Up Around The Bend


Looking Out My Back Door


There's a Fool Such As I


I Saw Here Standing There


I Wanna Be Your Man


Wooly Bully


Baby Scratch My Back


Skinny Jim


Ain't That Lovin' You Baby


Bright Lights, Big City


Killing Floor


Show Me The Way


I Wanna Rock


Heart of Stone


It's All Over Now


Hope that helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 12
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Joined: 11/17/19
Posts: 52

What you can do is find a genre you like for example rock then go to songs and filter ,from here pick out artist and skill level If you choose beginner or easy the lead should not be that difficult That is the system i use after guitar fundamentals 2 and while learning rock 1

# 13
Todd Thomson
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Joined: 04/28/12
Posts: 3

Hi Dan,

There is a very tasty and pretty strightforward solo on the Willi Nelson verison of GEORGIA.

The solo is laid out in a very detailed and easy to follow manner.


There is also a more difficult solo on BLACKWATER by the DOOBIE BROTHERS....it is generally played on acoustic, but it sounds great on electric as well...


Hope this helps....

# 14

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