All your favorite guitarists know how to lock into a groove with their leads – and learning to solo deep in the pocket will elevate your style immensely

Shuggie Otis plays a reversed Stratocaster onstage in 2015
(Image credit: Chris McKay/Getty Images)

An essential mindset when soloing is to strive to make your lines sit as deeply “in the pocket” and as “locked into the groove” as possible. All of our favorite players developed the ability to communicate a deep connection to the groove while soloing, which fortifies their playing with greater expressiveness and musicality.

A great way to start developing this attribute is to devise a vamp that has a nice, deep groove to it. Once you’ve got a rock-solid riff to play over, you can then experiment with different soloing approaches over it, striving to connect and tie the articulations and rhythmic syncopations of your phrases to the pocket of the vamp.

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Andy Aledort

Guitar World Associate Editor Andy Aledort is recognized worldwide for his vast contributions to guitar instruction, via his many best-selling instructional DVDs, transcription books and online lessons. Andy is a regular contributor to Guitar World and Truefire, and has toured with Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers, as well as participating in several Jimi Hendrix Tribute Tours.