How To Shred A Synth Solo Like A Guitar Hero

In his latest video, Jamiroquai keyboard guru Matt Johnson shares his take on how to shred a synth solo like a guitar hero.

Johnson starts by demonstrating how to create a shred-worthy synth lead. He uses the Sequential Prophet 6, but the patch concepts will work on many synths.

In the second half, he takes a look at how to use the pitch wheel and other keyboard controls to create an expressive solo.

He wraps it up by showing how he runs his synth through guitar pedals to get interesting lead effects.

Check it out and share your synth solo tips in the comments!

27 thoughts on “How To Shred A Synth Solo Like A Guitar Hero

    1. It’s good to learn ways of playing different styles of music and building different patches, even if you’re not going to be jamming this way every night.

    2. Musically, the last two decades have seen more influence drawn from the 1980’s than any other decade of music. If the 80’s have been calling – they’ve been calling collect

      1. hopefully its influenced by new wave and not stadium rock πŸ˜‰ ^^
        guitar solos are awful enough, please dont do that. laughs

        1. usually i don’t support your negativity about, well, everything, but this specific sound and way of playing does sucks

          1. and it’s easy to do on keys if you already play guitar; in fact it’s EASIER to do on a keyboard than a guitar; maybe because Im a lefty. I see nothing new or interesting here.

    3. How many times does Johnson mention that you need to find your own voice?

      The video’s about developing your technique. Every musician should understand that you build your technique and then tailor it to your style.

    1. I enjoyed this video. It is nice being walked through this style of soloing from an unit patch.

      Thank you Matt Johnson.

  1. Usually I find that the comments on synth forums are a bit more positive compared to guitarist forums (nothing against guitarists, on the contrary. It’s just an observation). This time however is the exception to the rule…
    Matt is trying here to explain some techniques. Maybe these are already known to some of us, maybe they aren’t. Fair enough if there is nothing now to learn for those people. But he doesn’t deserve to be criticized because he happens to have a different taste in music than the commenter does. None of us should be criticized for that.

    So thank you Matt for sharing playing styles and synthesis techniques with the rest of us. MUCH appreciated ! Keep it up!

    1. it’s not a question of if he “deserved to be criticized”, for some of us this kind of sound and playing really sucks and sounds bad, it’s a matter of taste, nothing against matt, i really like many of his other videos.
      so you saying there are more negative places? πŸ™‚

    2. The internet if full of people who can’t do, so they criticize those who can. It gives them an ego boost thinking they are impressing what is realistically other strangers they will never meet and who their opinions and lives will never matter to, with their “knowledgeable take” on whatever is at hand. This site is no exception. The same folks spread negativity round here the vast majority of the time. Rather than just think ‘hey, that isn’t for me..’ and let it go they feel a compulsion to crap on people far more creative than they are. It is sadly the only way they can feel important. Truly creative people don’t act this way. I just take it for what it is….meaningless noise.

      1. being negative about anything is a huge part of the internet, there are many reasons for that, one of them is that its fun, you seems to enjoy it too πŸ™‚

        1. Being negative isn’t a huge part of the internet. It is a huge part of how certain people who use the internet choose to interact within it. It is a reflection of what is deep down inside them, rather than a reflection on who or what it is they think they are critiquing.

          I personally don’t find it fun, and I don’t feel the need to do it to feed my own ego so I don’t do it. All of the truely creative people I have known and worked with are all the same way. You appear to be in the other camp. I don’t care that you are. That is for you to sort out and deal with in your life, not me. Best of luck to you.

          1. ^^^^this^^^

            Every time I see somebody criticizing the work of somebody as good as Matt Johnson, the immediate reaction is ‘small dick energy’.

            Nobody confident about themselves needs to whine and complain and denigrate things like that.

            It’s like guys who complain about service to justify leaving crappy tips. Not a good look!

          2. you see? just because i presented a different opinion of yours you choose to categorized me, you rushed to talked about my life and classically wished me “good luck” how positive of you!
            i’m not saying you are wrong, i just find it funny you just did what you so against, you can be negative about someone creation, or triggered about other commenters and talk trash about their life.
            you know, i may be sometime negative about things i don’t like but i will never talk about anyone’s attributes or your life…

            anyway, no matter what you think about it, you just contribute to the negativity of the internet. but go on, surprise me! write me back something nice and positive, i dare you! πŸ™‚

    1. yeah, I hate consumer computers Mr. Bergis, way too much sequential depth in the user interface. give me a command line any day!

  2. I rather listen to solos well played like this than “One button keyboard players” and their arpegiator boring crap Berlin school imitation (desguised of hip and intelectual musicianship) !
    Most of the actual music is spreading ignorance and it’s made for people with the concentration tolerance of 5 seconds and the taste of a 10 year old!
    Being a professional musician only 2 or 3 % is spent soloing in some songs! The musicians that I know that think solos are yuck and awful are usually the ones with poor technical ability, limited improvisational skills, lack of musical knowledge and the same musical “feeling” of a brick!
    Learning scales, harmony, melody and developing sense of timing and groove is in fact something only attainable to a very few!
    A great solo doesn’t have to be 5m long!
    To those criticising the musicians (guitars/keyboads/flute/violins/trumpets/ sax etc.) that know how to play a solo I say:

    “Go buy a pack of chords and melodies that are advertise on Youtube and donΒ΄t forget to push hard that Autotune on those “candy shop” lyrics!”

    1. pretty sharp criticism, but hard to fault any one point. I spend all my playing time practicing and playing anything but something someone else already recorded, programmed, or created a video of; it’s hard, but so rewarding to find something wonderful on your own.

    2. it’s a matter of taste, for me if somebody “pressed one button” and it sounds good, it is good, i don’t care about musician abilities or what you defined as “talent”, only the music count’s, only the end result. most of the music i like comes from people who don’t know how to play keyboards and don’t seems to care much about “music theory”. i will prefer a beginner musician with a taste that i like over any “professional talented keyboardist”

      1. gadi, I look at it like dance, it’s everything to have all your senses engaged; to be present at the performance; the recording is merely a visual reproduction of part of the event. I never record anymore, it’s not where I want to spend my time at all. although a recording *can* be part of a performance, if a computer is doing it, it’s programming not performance.

        plus – I only listen to music in the car. lol.

        1. i understand your view, like i said, its a matter of taste,
          i can like just one track from an album no matter how great the performer, music can be bigger than the people who made it, chance is a good part of it, i can also love something from someone i dislike with no much of talent. recording can capture a “magic”, it can be just a fluke that they can’t reproduce, it’s weird like that… this is why i don’t mind who or how, for me only the end result counts.
          its not cut and dry but lets put it like this, i don’t care much about “the winstons” drummers abilities.

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