Putting the Guitar Solo Philosophy into Your Designs

Ever have those moments where you want to really show off your design skills? To impress people with the cool effects you can pull off? Unfortunately, you usually can’t. Because that would make the design you’re working on self-indulgent. Your show-off-iness would come at the expense of your design’s usability and effectiveness.

However, there is a way to let loose with your design skills and keep your design intact: add guitar solos to your design.

man playing electrical guitar in black and yellow
Image Source: Playing Electrical Guitar via Shutterstock.

A Guitar Solo Explained

A guitar solo is a section of a tune where the guitarist can let loose. It’s usually 8 or 16 bars in length (for non-music people, a bar is a single “and-a-1-2-3-4” countdown or a “boom-dsh-boom-boom-dsh” beat). So it’s a fairly contained section in an otherwise 3-5 minute or longer tune.

Yet within that section, the guitarist can really impress the listener with his or her guitar chops. Whether that’s shredding, pulling of harmonics acrobatics, playing with effects, or simply performing a very intricate and expressive melody, it’s where the guitarist can show off his or her skills. For the rest of the tune, the guitarist plays a consistent melody or riff in each section.

Rockstar playing solo on guitar
Image Source: Rockstar Playing Solo via Shutterstock.

This way, the tune remains listenable and structured while still letting the musician show off his or her ability. If the guitarist was soloing throughout the entire time, the tune would be a mess – no repetition, order, or logical following of the music.

What a Design Guitar Solo Is and Why You Should Add Them

A design guitar solo is what it sounds like: the web and visual design equivalent to a guitarist’s solo in a tune.

In your otherwise usable and restrained design, there is a section or series of small sections where you can let loose with your design skills. Basically, where you show off your effects ability and technical prowess. But since it’s contained within a small space and is unobtrusive to the rest of the design, the usability is kept intact. This way, you can show off your skills and impress people while still having a non-self-congratulatory design.

Why would you want to add a guitar solo to your design? To show off your visual chops, which your restrained and usability-focused design won’t. A bit self-indulgent, yes, but it’s human nature to want to showcase your ability. It doesn’t matter if it’s your guitar playing ability, visual artistry, physical strength or acrobatic feats: it’s fun to show off in this way, and the audience or user can enjoy it as long as it doesn’t become too much.

So as long as your guitar solo doesn’t get in the way with the rest of the design, why not add a design guitar solo?

teenager girl jumping with electric guitar on a room
Image Source: Jumping with electric guitar via Shutterstock.

Plus, a guitar solo will make your design more unique. Notice how an iconic guitarist’s solo will add a stamp of uniqueness to a tune (like Eddie Van Halen in the band, um, Van Halen). The same goes for your web and visual designs.

You no doubt have some fairly special or unique style of effects that you enjoy creating – no matter how subtle it is. By adding it as a design guitar solo, you’ll be able to showcase it and add some uniqueness to your next design.

Why You Should Add guitar solos to Your Designs

Now that you know what a guitar solo is in relation to design, go ahead and try adding your own guitar solo to your next design. Find a small, contained space in your design and then let loose with your skills within it.

By keeping your showcase of skills to a specific place that’s unobtrusive to the rest of your design, you’ll be able to show off and impress people with your visual design ability. All the while keeping the usability and clarity of your design intact. And that’s why you should add guitar solos to your designs.

How about you: are there any other ways you’ve been able to show off while still keeping the usability and effectiveness of your designs intact?