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In Deep: Broaden Your Soloing Horizons by Improvising on Only One, Two or Three Strings

The following content is related to the March 2013 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now, or in our online store.

Over the years, students and fellow guitar players have often asked me how they can break out of their old licks and discover new territory for musical exploration. Like most of us, they want to play solos that sound creatively and emotionally inspired.

If this is your goal as well, there are two things you need to do. First, stop allowing your fingers to follow the patterns ingrained over the years through muscle memory and familiarity. Second, force yourself to see the fretboard in new and different ways that you have not yet investigated.

Sounds easy, right? In truth, it’s much harder to put into action than it may seem. In this edition of In Deep, I’ll show you a few practice techniques that I’ve used to help me break out of my patterns and phrases. These exercises have helped me discover fresh licks and sounds, and fortified my fretboard knowledge and soloing facility.