Let’s talk about neoclassical soloing.⁠

For those who don’t know – neoclassical rock and metal is a style of guitar playing that borrows musical concepts from the classical, romantic and baroque period.⁠

Guitarists like Ritchie Blackmore, Uli Jon Roth, Randy Rhoads and Yngwie Malmsteen are known as some of the most notable players in the history of this style.⁠

If you’d like to play neoclassical guitar well, here are some things you’ll need to work on.⁠


Vibrato is an integral part of neoclassical guitar playing. Guitarists like Yngwie Malmsteen and Uli Jon Roth are renowned for their operatic, violin like vibrato. ⁠

Harmonic Minor⁠

Neoclassical rock and metal is largely minor based. As a result, the most commonly used scales within this style are minor scales – most notably, the harmonic minor scale.⁠

If you’d like to be able to play neoclassical rock and metal, the harmonic minor scale should become your new best friend.⁠


Along with the harmonic minor scale, arpeggios are a staple of neoclassical electric guitar.⁠

Sweep picking is the approach most commonly associated with the use of arpeggios in neoclassical guitar. Though they are also played using tapping and string skipping.⁠

A variety of arpeggios are used in this genre but the most common are major, minor and diminished.⁠

Classical Motifs⁠ ⁠

The use of classical motifs, or “things that sound like classical music” are what defines neoclassical electric guitar playing.⁠

Pedal tone licks, diminished runs, arpeggios, 4 note ascending and descending patterns, violin style phrases, these are all things an aspiring neoclassical electric guitarist needs to become familiar with. ⁠

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