How to Solo on Just One String


There are several benefits to be gained from playing solo on just one string. Doing so will undoubtedly help you enhance your guitar scales ability. Playing solo on just one string will help you create melodies along the entire neck, helping you break out of box patterns. Since you will be moving along the neck, you will excel in playing the guitar horizontally. Soloing on a single string can help the guitar player approach interval and melody playing differently, in turn, helping him/her become creative and masters of improvisation. And, if you are looking to solo on just one string, here´s what you need to do.

  • Choose a string

You should first choose a string you would like to solo on. If you are a newbie at playing the guitar, we would advise you to start with the familiar outer two E strings. However, if you have prior experience and would love a challenge, you can take on the less familiar strings such as the B, G, and D strings. However, it doesn´t matter much which string you pick as you will have to work on all the strings eventually.

  • Choose a key and scale

Now, you should proceed to select a scale or key for you to solo with. If you are new to the guitar, we would suggest you to start with the A minor pentatonic scale; you can even select the C major scale. As you get better, you can solo with the other aspects of the major scale. You can even solo with melodic minor and symmetrical scales. There is definitely a lot that can be explored with even one-string soloing.

  • Practice and revise the notes

After you have selected the string, scale and key, there might be a need for you to practice and revise the notes by going up and down the string, especially if you are a novice guitar player. While revising the notes, it would be better for you to say the notes out loud too. This would undoubtedly help you retain information on the notes of the key, scale and fretboard. A famous Bruce Lee quote springs to mind when we think about the importance of practicing, ¨I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced 1 kick 10,000 times!¨

  • Start soloing

You may face a creative block after soloing for a good period. You may think that you have exhausted your options but you should know that there are other techniques you can use to add effects to your single string solo including hammer-ons, pull-offs, bends, and slides. It would also help you tremendously if you recorded your sessions. Doing so will allow you to identify the subtle mistakes you make during your sessions.  After you believe that you have mastered that particular string, you can move forward to other strings, keys, and scales.

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