Guitar solos that end with a fade out

redhouse_ca

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I was debating a guitar player with my nephew yesterday (he’s a fan, I’m not) and I pointed out that said guitar player had, on multiple occasions, had his solos brought to an and with the song fade out. I brought this up as part of my case for not liking said guitar player, and my nephew, bring a millennial and all, pulled out his phone and found a list of songs (there’s a whole thread about this on another forum) that I like where the guitar solo ends this way and I never really realized it. Now that I do, I’m not sure I like the idea. It seems to me, either the solo is too long or the song is too short, but to fade a solo seems, I dunno, suboptimal.

So my question is this: should a solo ever end in a fade out?
 

IMMusicRulz

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I kinda dislike when a guitar solo fades out, but at the same time, I find it kinda cool.

The guitar solo on Goodbye Stranger by Supertramp is one such example. The guitar solo was a Strat played by Roger Hodgson through a Music Man amp and Boss Chorus pedal. Just listen to that solo, it really adds a psychedelic overtone before eventually fading out.

 

CV Jee Beez

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Yes. There are times when a solo can and should end in fadeout.

My favorite example is Night Train by Guns and Roses.

To me, it gives the feeling of something going in perpetuity. Like a train that just keeps going with no end in sight.

To say no, would be stifling or limiting. It's like saying, "don't express yourself in that way."
 

RoscoeElegante

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Several of Dylan's fade on a solo: Sweetheart Like You, Precious Angel, I Believe in You, Where Are You Tonight? (Journey through Dark Heat), Dignity, Duquesne Whistle, Most of the Time....

Moody Blues' Driftwood, Pink Floyd's High Hopes....
 
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JDB2

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To my ears, fading out a song/tune/guitar solo should be part of the arrangement, with an artistic purpose, not an easy way to end with just the right amount of time...
Or a convenient way to end right before the guitar breaks a string or goes wildly out of tune. That’s my guess for what happened to Hendrix at the end of Voodoo Chile SL where he’s bearing down on that wang bar during the fade out.
 

rdjones

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I was debating a guitar player with my nephew yesterday (he’s a fan, I’m not) and I pointed out that said guitar player had, on multiple occasions, had his solos brought to an and with the song fade out. I brought this up as part of my case for not liking said guitar player, and my nephew, bring a millennial and all, pulled out his phone and found a list of songs (there’s a whole thread about this on another forum) that I like where the guitar solo ends this way and I never really realized it. Now that I do, I’m not sure I like the idea. It seems to me, either the solo is too long or the song is too short, but to fade a solo seems, I dunno, suboptimal.

So my question is this: should a solo ever end in a fade out?
My answer to the question is no, except in rare or unusual cases.

I think it's a cop-out or shortcut to a song that doesn't have a good ending.
As an engineer and occasional producer I'd cringe when a session would end in a fade because either:
1) the soloist couldn't create a logical end to the solo
2) the writer couldn't effectively arrange a return to a bridge, chorus or ending phrase
3) the artist ran out of time or money to properly complete the sessions..

However, there are instances where a fade is the best way out.
It might be archival material, turd polishing, "ran out of tape", impractical to finish ...?
There's plenty of examples of Hendrix jams run off the end of the reel, outtakes, etc. . .
 

Tele-Meister

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I never ever liked guitar solos that faded out right when you, the listener, was feeling that the guitarist was just "getting started." It feels a bit like a slap in the face! Your adrenaline cut short, you excitement down the drain. Engineer "oh well its just the guitarist, no one these days listens to the solos, let's just cut him short to save on run time". Hogwash, blasphemy! Got a whole forum here who'd listen to it!

Anyways moving on, I think fade outs are best used "after" the solo is "done"-- when the soloist focuses on a musical line, and repeats it after playing his melodic solo-- fading out on those repeated lines is the best place to fade out. Freebird and Hotel California do it perfectly for me. I honestly think if they ended with a note after those repeated lines it would sound worse than the fade out... but who knows maybe I'm just conditioned and thus biased to the versions we are blessed to have today.
 

willietheweirdo

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It's really annoying when it fades out over the best notes and you have to turn the volume all the way up and squint your ears to hear it.
I could have listened to his solo for another 5 minutes and got the sense that he was just getting started but...


Steely Dan did this a lot... peg and my old school off the top of my head. Al Di Meola comes to mind, but I'm not gonna check!
 




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