Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” Solo Tutorial, Part One

04 Nov Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” Solo Tutorial, Part One

Welcome to solodallas.com Tutorials!

Today, I feel I can say a new era begins for solodallas.com: tutorials. I.e., what this place was born to make.

Tutorial Video, Part One

intro2720 from SoloDallas on Vimeo.

Four tutorials will be released in total for this solo, one of the most classic, classic-rock-lick-rich solos in the history of rock and roll. One Tutorial per week for the next four weeks.

Part one is intended to introduce the first steps (and notes) into the solo, predominantly Gm Pentatonic.

Beginners note: playing minor licks over a major backing is what gives blues it’s characteristic weepy, deeply emotional feeling. See how the solo starts with bending the F at the 18th fret B string up to the (root) G at the 20th immediately creating tension and drama.

Note at 1:50, I need to clarify the chords. Not G, A# and C Major 7th, but G7, A#7 and C7. i.e All Dominant 7th’s of the Major family.

A single camera view is provided here, however, it is in high definition, 1280×720 footage of my guitar right in your face, try it full screen.

Audio was recorded professionally using two Audio Technica AT4047 condenser microphones, placed on a 1960B Marshall cabinet with 1977 Celestion G12Ms (25 watts) inside.

The guitar used in this first part is a 1968/1958 Gibson Les Paul called “The Husk“, loaded with real, 1959 Gibson PAFs.

Guitar was plugged into a 1976, original, Marshall Super Lead (100 watts) attenuated with a professional attenuator.

Enjoy yourself. Now it’s YOUR turn.

Thank you,


Introduction (spoken):

fbt1-2-720 from SoloDallas on Vimeo.

Some Technical information:

Settings on the Marshall Head: Presence 0, Bass 0, mids 6, treble 4, volume 8

[singlepic id=413 w=1024 h=768 float=]

Settings on the guitar: treble volume: 9, tone: 6

Microphone placement:

[singlepic id=412 w=1024 h=768 float=]

One microphone on the left edge of the Celestion cone, the other one, slightly off center, on the right.

Microphone positioning, equalization, gear and performance will all dramatically add to your recorded and live work.


For questions, comments, critiques, suggestions, anything, please be welcome to post in the comments section below.


For your reference, I am adding here my previous performance videos of Free Bird solos, so that you can follow as you learn.

fb2 from SoloDallas on Vimeo.

fb2-720 from SoloDallas on Vimeo.

fb3-2 from SoloDallas on Vimeo.

Fil "SoloDallas" Olivieri

We Are Rock 'N Roll People.

  • avatar
    Posted at 14:06h, 04 December

    Fil, Ive been a Skynyrd fan since they came out in the early 70’s. This is an awesome interpretation of Allen’s “baby” I know he would be so proud of you showing the world how its done. There’s 30 yrs of Skynyrd music to be explored and learned and will look forward to more tutorials. Thank you and keep up the great work!!!!

    • avatar
      Posted at 14:47h, 04 December

      So nice to see this one appreciated – thank you, kind Sir 🙂

      • avatar
        Posted at 19:11h, 25 October

        I am a beginner. I love these tutorials. Is there anyway I could download the tabs for your version if this solo.
        Thanks. I am having a hard time learning to use this site.

        • avatar
          Posted at 20:36h, 25 October

          Hi Donnie, and welcome! Sorry you are having trouble. It takes a bit to get used to this, but I hope you will. I usually never base myself on tabs, because I have always found them to be non accurate enough for me. So I went by ear, and what you hear here should be pretty accurate to the original track. Hope you’ll find it useful!

          • avatar
            Posted at 01:03h, 26 October

            Thank you so much for replying! I am taking lessons and I am comfortable with the tabs. I’m having a hard time watching your fingers in the video to tell where the notes are on the fret board. I have downloaded a tab on a site with your video on it. Maybe that will help me.
            Thanks, God bless.

  • avatar
    Posted at 21:44h, 04 October

    Excellent work! Just what I was looking for.

  • avatar
    Posted at 05:48h, 10 February

    I just want to say: Thank you!! Thank you so much for taking your time to put this all together and explain it so well with this level of detail. Your efforts are much appreciated. I have had a great time watching your tutorials.



  • avatar
    Posted at 18:55h, 22 April

    This has helped alot, thanks 😀

  • avatar
    Posted at 01:39h, 16 January

    i still have the 12″ picture disc of this,lol back in the day me and 5 mates all headbanging in a circle to this. good work. ps i want a solodalas T shirt..

  • avatar
    Posted at 17:28h, 14 November

    Hey Fil!
    Your order is on its way 🙂
    Fixed some mistakes (How I am distracted! XD) 😛
    Created the HD file (720p)
    But,…. My internet is…. not that fast, you know… and… It’s gonna take 12 hours (???) to upload O.o
    Well… 1,4 GB… What could I expect? lol
    I hope I didn’t miss any other flaw on the video…. or else I’ll have to do it all over again… >.<

  • avatar
    Posted at 02:42h, 08 November

    lol i had all three of your videos of frree birds going at once and i had them in sync haha. it was awesome!

  • avatar
    Posted at 06:55h, 07 November

    I learned this back when you posted it on you tube:) haha just when i was about to buy the jmp 1977 i found a 1978 is the 78 better? also one more question do you still like the angus young signature pick up because you haven’t used in a while and you seemed pretty happy when you got it? thx Fil much appreciated

  • avatar
    Posted at 06:54h, 07 November

    I learned this back when you posted it on you tube:) haha just when i was about to buy the jmp 1977 i found a 1978 is the 78 better? also one more question do you still like the angus young signature pick up because you haven’t used in a while and you seemed pretty happy when you got it thx Fil

  • avatar
    Posted at 00:30h, 07 November

    God created Man.

    Man created Guitar solo.

    God thanked man.

    … amen 😉

  • avatar
    Posted at 10:57h, 06 November

    Great tutorial. You explain it in a way that makes it so easy to learn the licks.

  • avatar
    Posted at 19:19h, 05 November

    I loced this tutorial. im way excited for t\next video. Oh just curious but when are you gonna be selling the shirts?

    • avatar
      Posted at 19:19h, 05 November

      i meant loved the tutorial and for the next video.

  • avatar
    Posted at 16:26h, 05 November

    hey fil
    here solodallasfan from youtube (:

    u have a lot more amps right? : )

    i own now an ealry ’76 JMP do u have an 76 Marshall too?

    i love the sound, u too?

  • avatar
    Posted at 15:18h, 05 November

    Great tutorial! Can’t wait to get started on this solo. I absolutely love it and I can see that that is also the case with you, Fil. Your true passion for the music really shines, especially when you start interpreting on the individual notes, saying which message they are supposed to convey 😉
    Collins would be proud to see his masterpiece played like this. Never let your spirit drop and let the Free Bird fly high!

  • avatar
    Posted at 13:22h, 05 November

    This style of tutorial is excellent for players of all levels as beginners can learn the licks then put them together as a song when they’re ready (don’t worry if it’s months! it was for me at one time) and those who already know them can commit them to memory and get the emotion into them ready for jamming with you, or the song, next time.
    Great audio and video, this is what they wanted!

  • avatar
    Posted at 01:43h, 05 November

    Im so glad we got something so big and good to work with from your silence! Im excited to work this out.

    And I love your words like “slowly-er”, they add some of that solodallas character that I had missed. 🙂

    I have to ask though, how often do your fingers wear out? I play my guitar for a while every day, but even after like the first two parts of your tutorial I had to put it down because my fingers were BURNT OUT.

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