In this article we will look at some
simple reggae guitar solo tips you can employ when you are jamming by yourself, with a friend or at a
gig. I will also give you some practicing techniques, which should
help improve your reggae guitar solos - I need to practice them as well. The embedded video shows a simple reggae solo using some of the techniques I have
Before we get technical, you must
remember that reggae in not on the beat, it's off. Keeping this
concept in mind is important when trying to play reggae guitar solos. It will make it easier for you to solo and your reggae guitar sound will be more
What must I do to develop my timing
you asked? Just one thing, find as many easy reggae guitar solos as
you can, and learn them, all of them. Practice playing them along with
the track. Trust me on this, it always works and all the greats have
It has a way of developing your tone
and feel to a very high standard - and again I should be doing more of it. Remember the guitar solos
don't have to be complicated; in fact the easier they are the better.
The two most popular scales used by
reggae guitarist for soloing are the minor and major pentatonic, so
learn them well. There are loads more scales that can be used but for now we will keep it simple
When you learning your scales,
practice playing them up and down the fret board in a musical way, and one more thing, make sure that you do not
play any of the scales fast. Go as slowly as you can, 40 bpm. No
more! If you do, it will ruin your technique. Playing slow is the secret to playing fast. You were warned!
They say that melody is king and it
is. So if you want your reggae guitar solo to sound right all the
time, listen carefully to the melodic structure of the song.It's your interpretation of what you are hearing that matters, since everyone hears different
melodies in a song.Use what you hear as the basis of your reggae solo compositions.
Reggae guitar soloing is not
dissimilar to other genres. So make sure you include techniques such
as hammer-ons, slides, bends, pull-offs, double stops, vibrato, string skipping... etc.The video shows many of these techniques, its starts off with
some double stops. So take a look at it to get some ideas.
Playing reggae is not complicated,
irrespective of what you hear. The key is to work on the feel and
timing. Great reggae guitarists know this intuitively and it is for
this reason they keep their playing simple, but when you hear it, it sounds amazing. And so it should, they are playing naturally. Don't copy what others play note for note, be yourself, develop you, your own personal
voice and soon others will want to play like you.
The instruments in reggae music leaves
room for the other reggae instruments to breath and you should too when you are playing your reggae guitar
solos. It will take pressure off you and the other musicians will love you for
it. Remember, reggae is about peace and love.
It's largely cultural the reason
reggae musicians play the way they do. It will do you no harm to
learn as much as you can about the reggae culture or even the Jamaican culture, and no am not talking about
puffing on that stuff!
Two of the greatest reggae
guitarists, Al Anderson (Bob Marley) and Donald Kinsey (Bob Marley and Peter Tosh) are Americans and they can
play reggae guitar solos very well if you ask me. Even singers have
learnt a lot by immersing themselves in reggae culture; look at Gentleman from Germany and Alborosie from
Italy. I rest my case.
Some reggae guitarist you may want to
check are Earl "Chinna" Smith (he has played for everyone), Cat Coore (Third World), Ernest Ranglin (he has
played for everyone), Eugene Grey, Maurice Gordon (Jimmy Cliff), Al Anderson, Donald Kinsey, Kenroy Mullings
(Beenie Man), Audley Chisholm (Maxi Priest), Andrew Simpson (Morgan's Heritage), Mitchum Chin (Tarrus Riley),
Clinton Fearon and Robert Angus (Beres Hammond).
If you want to learn how to play reggae guitar, these secrets are a
must. So, make sure you practice, practice and more practice. That's it, have fun!