How do you practice your guitar solos?
May 16, 2009 10:49 AM   Subscribe

How do you practice your guitar solos?

I remember having found a website that easily let you create music loops and change keys automatically so that you could solo along to them. I lost it now and I really want to have a tool like this to practice improvising guitar solos.

1 - Do you know of any website that can do this loop thing?

2 - Or, what do you use to practice guitar improvisation?

posted by theholotrope to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I've personally found it better to make my own loops to improvise with. A Boss RC-20 LoopStation does the trick for me, and is quite affordable. However, nothing beats having an actual band to back you up, of course.
posted by Zero Gravitas at 11:00 AM on May 16, 2009

theholotrope: Or, what do you use to practice guitar improvisation?

Well, I've never seen that web site, but I tend to practice by playing along to recorded music. I know this has some drawbacks—of course you're working against the musicians themselves a lot of the time, and it's not really dynamic—but, at the very least, I don't think there's any way to make practicing without other human beings dynamic. And there are kinds of music you can use that work better; personally, I tend to like to jam to Grateful Dead bootlegs I get here; I like their music, but it's also useful that they tend to play the same chord progression for half an hour at a time.

If you want to jam to live music, but you can't stand the Dead, well, look here—they have a very, very large collection of live shows by a huge number of bands, and all of them legal and free.
posted by koeselitz at 11:17 AM on May 16, 2009

By the way, if you're looking for sources of loops, and maybe even places to generate loops in the way you described, you'd probably do well to start here—they seem to list a hundred sites or so.
posted by koeselitz at 11:22 AM on May 16, 2009

Best answer: Try Jamstudio (formerly Chordstudio), as featured in this FPP
posted by chrisamiller at 11:35 AM on May 16, 2009 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks chrisamiller. That was exactly the website I was looking for.
posted by theholotrope at 11:38 AM on May 16, 2009

Audacity loops and is free, too.
posted by FauxScot at 12:33 PM on May 16, 2009

By the way, the best way to practice is play it as quickly as possible through the first time and don't worry about mistakes. Then play it through again going as slowly as you need to get the fingering and notes right. Then keep playing it over and over, slowly increasing the speed till you get it up to tempo. Stop if your hand or wrist starts to hurt and rest.
posted by jeffamaphone at 12:39 PM on May 16, 2009

I used to use my Boomerang Phrase Sampler. But, these days, I just lay down some tracks in Ableton Live and play over the top of that.
posted by wheat at 5:44 PM on May 16, 2009

If you're a mac user who's willing to shell out $40, Capo is a delightful desktop app designed expressly for this. I've been using it for a month or so (it was recently released as a 1.0 and I got to beta test it, avoiding the steep purchase price).

I'd previously used Audacity to break down mp3's, and this has a much nicer interface and an appropriately–restricted feature set. I'm not sure about the $40 though.
posted by kjell at 7:45 PM on May 16, 2009

What I do (for piano solos, YMMV):
  • I use BandInABox.
  • I transcribe! then learn note by note, phrase by phrase, just to a metronome
  • I record the comping (in eg Audacity) to a click, or metronome on headphones

  • posted by yoHighness at 5:58 AM on May 17, 2009

    Seconding Transcribe! It's a very powerful application. Definitely check out a demo of that one. There's a lot of buzz about Capo at the moment. I need to check that one out.
    posted by wheat at 9:48 AM on May 17, 2009

    « Older Verizon capable phone + cheap data plan + useable...   |   My grandmother had a stroke and I'm looking for... Newer »
    This thread is closed to new comments.