How To Make A Guitar Sing Like Your Favorite Singer

by Tom Hess

If you are like many guitar players, you have felt frustrated when your guitar solos don't sound how you want them to sound. By using the voice of your favorite singer, you can transform your currently "okay" solos into highly melodic and passionate guitar passages. This will set you apart from the masses of average players, and put you on a new level in your musical skills. Here is how I began developing this ability:

Early in my musical career I was trying out to become the lead guitar player in a band. Overall, the experience didn't go so well, and I didn't make it into the band. However, I will always remember the parting comment that was made to me as I was leaving the audition: As I packed up my guitar and amp to leave, one of the band members said "We don't want you back here until you know how to make that guitar sing." Although I didn't really understand the meaning of this at the time, I was curious to find out how to "make the guitar sing."

As the next few months went by, I became interested in learning all about the singers I listened to. I started to examine the way in which they sang their vocal phrases, the rhythms they used, the techniques they applied, and other subtle distinctions of their styles. Once I began to understand the characteristics specific to a singer's style, I would learn to play their vocal lines on my guitar. I found that I could identify the specific notes of their phrases without much difficulty, but bringing out the subtle parts of the singer's style in my guitar playing was a much larger task.

In the later 90's I came across something that would totally change the way I played guitar. This was the time when I started listening to Rhapsody Of Fire. As I was listening to them, I was totally impressed by the incredible vocals of their singer (Fabio Lione). In fact, I was so impressed that I decided to really focus on learning as many vocal melodies from the band as possible. Eventually, I became familiar with almost every small subtlety in the vocal melodies of their music.

This is the most valuable thing I discovered:

It didn't really matter what notes (or words) the singer was singing. What made a certain singer stand out were the subtle nuances of 'how' each note was sung. For instance, why so many fantastic vocalists use different levels of volume in their voice for a certain phrase, why they ornament some notes within a melody in a particular way and why they sing with heavy vibrato at the ends of some phrases. At the moment when I truly began to see these subtleties, I started to make massive progress with my guitar soloing ability.

A lot of you know that I was contacted in 2011 by Rhapsody Of Fire and asked to play guitar in the band. Due to my unique ability to play guitar solos with "singing" guitar phrasing, the band took a great interest in adding my guitar playing style to their music.

Now, what can you learn from all of this?

The ability to make your guitar solos have a "singing" style is a highly valuable concept to learn. Understanding how singer's think to create their melodies will help you to become much stronger in your own musical expression. Another great part of this is that when you combine the mindset of a guitarist and a singer, you create a totally new method of creating guitar solos. This will set you apart from the other players out there who all use the same ideas.

As an exercise, take a vocal line from a singer you really like. Next, make sure you fully understand the subtle parts of that person's technique. Once you have done this, use those ideas to create your own guitar solo.

Watch this give your guitar solos a singer voice video guitar lesson, and I'll show you how to use the ideas covered in this article.

Author's Bio: 

About The Author:
Tom Hess is a professional touring musician and the guitarist for the epic metal band Rhapsody Of Fire. He also teaches and trains guitarists from all over the world in his online guitar lessons. On his website, tomhess.net, you can get additional free tips about guitar playing, guitar playing resources, mini courses and surveys.