4 soloing ideas you can learn from Leslie West

Leslie West
(Image credit: Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)

It’s hard to imagine what it must have been like hearing Leslie West tear into his set with Mountain at Woodstock in 1969. The most enduring image today is West playing his Les Paul Junior with a driven tone and sustain – which still sounds great, even at a time when such sounds have become easier to achieve and are relatively mainstream. 

Rolling Stone’s suggestion back then that Mountain were a “louder version of Cream” wasn’t entirely without merit, but Mountain definitely brought their own take on blues and rock to the mix – and played through stacks of Sunn amplifiers modified for higher gain, which was pioneering thinking in itself! 

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Richard Barrett

As well as a longtime contributor to Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, Richard is Tony Hadley’s longstanding guitarist, and has worked with everyone from Roger Daltrey to Ronan Keating.