T Nation

Solo Guitar Songs Worth Learning?

So I’ve been playing the guitar for some time now, and have recently hit a rut in regards to good songs to learn for some solo playing.

What I’m looking for- and hoping some of you can help me with- are some interesting, chill songs that a guy can play all by his lonesome and still sound somewhat “full” even without any vocals (think Classical Gas). I’m definitely not much of a singer, but I won’t complain either way.

Right now I’m working on Nothing Else Matters, but after that, I don’t quite know.

Electric or acoustic - doesn’t really matter.

Any thoughts?

anything from jimi hendrix.

but, honestly, if you can guitar solo on the computer keyboard and play like a pro, why even learn the guitar?

i never knew i sounded this awesome:

http://www.guitarshredshow.com/

f

A few off the top of my head:

Always with me, always with you- Joe Satriani

Neon- John Mayer(interesting slap technique)

For the love of God- Steve Vai

Little Wing- Stevie Ray Vaughan

[quote]MikeyKBiatch wrote:
A few off the top of my head:

Always with me, always with you- Joe Satriani

Neon- John Mayer(interesting slap technique)

For the love of God- Steve Vai

Little Wing- Stevie Ray Vaughan

[/quote]

Neon does sound like an song worth learning. I wouldn’t consider myself much of a John Mayer fan, but I definitely liked the guitar work there.

Little Wing has actually been on my “To Do” list for some time, but it keeps getting shuffled around behind some other tabs I have on my computer, but I really should get on that one.

Now, as far as Vai is concerned…don’t let the avatar fool you, though I am a fan of his music, I’m not much of a shredder. If I could play like him or Buckethead, I’d probably consider myself on the wrong career path right about now.

Thanks for the suggestions though, I appreciate it.

[quote]florianopolis wrote:
but, honestly, if you can guitar solo on the computer keyboard and play like a pro, why even learn the guitar?

f[/quote]

Umm…isn’t it obvious?

I’d much rather join an Internet forum, hang around for 8 months or so, posting every so often, and then, out of the blue, start a seemingly innocuous thread about an imaginary talent of mine.

I mean, it just seemed so much easier than Google Imaging a picture of some jacked guy to post as myself looking for advice.

Little did I realize someone would catch on to my act (ie, completely misinterpret my post, because no one is allowed to play guitar but you, I’m guessing) and call me out on it.

Of course, I could argue right now that I can’t seem to find where in my post I was e-masturbating. Nor can I seem to find where, exactly, I said I could play like a pro. Nor can I find any part where I said I was looking for guitar solos to learn. I was looking for - solo guitar pieces - hence my reference to Classical Gas (and, yes, I know there was an original orchestral backing - I own the record -, but it illustrates what I’m looking for).

I could ALSO argue that if you are the type of person who would consider Classical Gas or Nothing Else Matters to be songs relegated solely to professional guitarists in terms of skill, and you’ve been playing for more than a few years, you should probably consider a different hobby- like shutting the fuck up instead of trying to be clever.

If you have an acoustic, Little Martha by the Allman Brothers sounds real nice and is fairly easy to nail.

The Tea Party - Winter Solstice

The Tea Party - The Badger

great instrumentals. solo acoustic. You will need to change tuning though.

for vocals as well, I am more than a little partial to Kristin Hersh’s solo work. Very different guitar work.

Good to see where the other guitar players are at on here. Nice Buckethead avitar. I’ve been playing over 20 years with a shit load of practice. I’m also presently getting my music degree and working as a teaching assistant playing guitar for the other students. I just had to say that to let you know I’m not your average joe in guitar center. Playing guitar is my life.
I’m not sure where your skill level is at or what you like so I’m not sure what I could recommend. If you can you read music (not tab) I would recomend you go here.

http://www.gspguitar.com/

My guess is you haven’t had years of classical training and solo jazz guitar might be out of the question so I highly recommend Pumping Nylon by Scott Tennent. I got the book and the DVD. This will help you develop your technique. It will also help out your electric playing. I’d start out with some etudes at first.

BTW the ladies love it when you play them some classical guitar. Here’s some inspiration from one of the best.

All along the watchtower by Bob Dylan.
Theres lots of good covers noteably by Hendrix and Michael Hedges. U2 have covered it as well but IMO hedges version is the best.

Pretty much any RHCP song.

I play bass, and I really enjoy Under the Bridge a lot, sounds good either way.

Witchy Woman by The Eagles.

Barracuda by Heart.

Wonderwall by Oasis

Surf’s up, Bro’…I’ve been forcing myself to sing and play at the same time as this is a weakness for me and found that surf music is not only great for this, but sounds very cool too, so amaze your friends and get the attention of chicks and learn a few tunes by Paul Revere and the Raiders, Zombies, Beach Boys, Buddy Holly, Elvis, Rockabilly, the Monkees (Mike Nesmith is God/:wink: etc; but bewarned, those chord changes will tear up your fingers, (those 50/early 60’s players were good) but this is OK too, strengthens your hands and makes you a better player in the long run…Let me know how you make out and such (PM)…

omgzx leaenrz likeszzz erRUPTIONZZ cuz eddie van halen is LIEK so AWEOMSOMEZZZZ youre bez liek best keytarzz PLAYA evaaaa!!!1111111!

blackbird by the beatles is a tune like that. it’s simple enough you can figure it out without reading music, but it’s challenging enough and takes some practice to make it sing. once you get it though it sounds great and it’s a really fun tune to PLAY. it also sounds great all by itself, whether or not you sing. thanks paul mccartney.

“Fuel To The Fire” by Rory Gallagher
“Red Alert” by Allan Holdsworth
“Where Were You” by Jeff Beck
“Crossroad Blues” by Robert Johnson
“Out of Love Again.” by Eddie Van Halen
“Superwoman” by Buzzy Feiten (from Stevie Wonder’s band)

Some of my favorites, from all genres, both acoustic and electric. Have fun!

If you like classical style acoustic guitar, you should check out Phil Keaggy. That Rolen Dyens song was interesting, but Phil’s stuff is more melodic, and easier to listen to for most people. This was the first classic guitar song I learned to play, it’s surprisingly easy.

If the link doesn’t work, just go to youtube and type in Phil Keaggy County Down.

Another reason Phil is awesome is that he plays like that and he’s missing a finger on his picking hand (me too).

The tapping stuff at the end is heavily influenced by Micheal Hedges.

Before you went off on that very long and waaaaay too thought out rant about his comment maybe you should have put some effort into reading his post.

His link was to a website that you can play riffs in a flash program. So when he typed that he was referring to the link and making a JOKE. Yes, a JOKE.

[quote]conner wrote:
florianopolis wrote:
but, honestly, if you can guitar solo on the computer keyboard and play like a pro, why even learn the guitar?

f

Umm…isn’t it obvious?

I’d much rather join an Internet forum, hang around for 8 months or so, posting every so often, and then, out of the blue, start a seemingly innocuous thread about an imaginary talent of mine.

I mean, it just seemed so much easier than Google Imaging a picture of some jacked guy to post as myself looking for advice.

Little did I realize someone would catch on to my act (ie, completely misinterpret my post, because no one is allowed to play guitar but you, I’m guessing) and call me out on it.

Of course, I could argue right now that I can’t seem to find where in my post I was e-masturbating. Nor can I seem to find where, exactly, I said I could play like a pro. Nor can I find any part where I said I was looking for guitar solos to learn. I was looking for - solo guitar pieces - hence my reference to Classical Gas (and, yes, I know there was an original orchestral backing - I own the record -, but it illustrates what I’m looking for).

I could ALSO argue that if you are the type of person who would consider Classical Gas or Nothing Else Matters to be songs relegated solely to professional guitarists in terms of skill, and you’ve been playing for more than a few years, you should probably consider a different hobby- like shutting the fuck up instead of trying to be clever.[/quote]

i’m at work now and can’t access my youtube favorites on here, but there is a version of livin on a prayer on youtube that sounds amazing on acoustic guitar (bass and melody). search for it on there if you get a chance

[quote]scrooge wrote:
The Tea Party - Winter Solstice

The Tea Party - The Badger

great instrumentals. solo acoustic. You will need to change tuning though.

for vocals as well, I am more than a little partial to Kristin Hersh’s solo work. Very different guitar work.
[/quote]

Wow, those two pieces are pretty awesome. Thanks, dude.

[quote]xb100 wrote:
Pretty much any RHCP song.

I play bass, and I really enjoy Under the Bridge a lot, sounds good either way.

Witchy Woman by The Eagles.

Barracuda by Heart.[/quote]

Yeah, I’m a pretty big RHCP fan, as well. I already got a few of their songs under my belt (Under the Bridge was the first- everyone loves that song).

The Eagles are one of those bands that I never really listen to on my own time, but if they happen to come on the radio or whatever I think it as being a treat.

[quote]JamesA wrote:
Wonderwall by Oasis[/quote]

Well, I know Wonderwall, it was actually one of the first songs I learned (I went into learning guitar with that song in mind, amongst a few others). But, alas, as I don’t (read: can’t) sing it gets kinda stale after the first few chords and the “hey, it’s Wonderwall!” reaction.

[quote]detazathoth wrote:
omgzx leaenrz likeszzz erRUPTIONZZ cuz eddie van halen is LIEK so AWEOMSOMEZZZZ youre bez liek best keytarzz PLAYA evaaaa!!!1111111![/quote]

My confession for this thread is that I’m not much of an Eruption fan.

[quote]scottiscool wrote:
If you have an acoustic, Little Martha by the Allman Brothers sounds real nice and is fairly easy to nail.[/quote]

Sounds real good, thanks, man.

[quote]Blacksnake wrote:
Surf’s up, Bro’…I’ve been forcing myself to sing and play at the same time as this is a weakness for me and found that surf music is not only great for this, but sounds very cool too, so amaze your friends and get the attention of chicks and learn a few tunes by Paul Revere and the Raiders, Zombies, Beach Boys, Buddy Holly, Elvis, Rockabilly, the Monkees (Mike Nesmith is God/:wink: etc; but bewarned, those chord changes will tear up your fingers, (those 50/early 60’s players were good) but this is OK too, strengthens your hands and makes you a better player in the long run…Let me know how you make out and such (PM)…[/quote]

I’ll check into that stuff- thanks, man.

And, yeah, singing while playing was definitely something that surprised me in terms of difficulty- people who CAN do it make it seem so damn natural and second nature (practice, practice). Of course, my voice sounds like a slit-throated cat getting mauled by a dog, do I try not to lose sleep over it.

[quote]swivel wrote:
blackbird by the beatles is a tune like that. it’s simple enough you can figure it out without reading music, but it’s challenging enough and takes some practice to make it sing. once you get it though it sounds great and it’s a really fun tune to PLAY. it also sounds great all by itself, whether or not you sing. thanks paul mccartney.[/quote]

Blackbird was one of the first songs I learned, as well (outside of the standard Smoke on the Water intro, naturally). It was showed to me by a friend’s dad, and, though I wouldn’t consider myself a “fan” of the Beatles (they’re not on my iPod or anything), I definitely do enjoy that song.