How Marty Friedman came up with Megadeth’s Tornado of Souls solo: “I literally just wing it”

“I just like, try to feel what the song makes me feel like, and just go.”

Marty Friedman

Image: Terry Wyatt / Getty Images

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There are guitar players, and then there are guitar players like Marty Friedman who creates solos like the one in Megadeth’s Tornado of Souls just by ‘winging it’.

The guitar legend recently spoke to Ultimate Guitar, where he discussed the creative process behind what’s arguably the greatest solo in heavy metal history.

“As far as the process of doing it, it’s literally exactly the same as any other solo I’ve done in Megadeth, or any other solo I’ve done on my music, or any solo that I’ve done for any artist,” Friedman said.

“I literally just wing it. I just like, try to feel what the song makes me feel like, and just go. And sometimes I get it right away and sometimes I’ll take a 100 takes to get something that I like.”

“As far as Tornado Of Souls goes… the only thing I can think of is that it’s long. And if you look at the solos that people consider, you know, the big solos — the Pink Floyd thing, Led Zeppelin, and Layla I guess, Free Bird, all these big famous guitar solos — they’re long. They’re very, very long.”

Adding that a long solo “gives the soloist enough rope to hang themselves”, Friedman explained, “If it’s long, if you shoot your wad in the first eight bars, there’s no place to go for the next thirty-six bars”.

“I don’t know how many bars Tornado Of Souls is, but if you have a long solo like that, you got to tell a story,” he said. “You got to go on a journey. And some guys can plan that stuff, but I kind of just wing it and hope that my intuition takes me where I want to go. And I guess it was lucky that time, but I feel that any solo of mine is going to do pretty much the same thing structurally, as that one does.”

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