Exodus and Slayer guitarist Gary Holt spoke in a recent interview with Music Radar and explained his key to writing a great solo. He said:

“Just practise, that is the main thing. You need to develop some soul in your playing. Some people try to play like Yngwie before they can play like Angus.

I’d rather play like Angus, anyways… [laughs] Ted Nugent was a big influence to me early on, Ritchie Blackmore, Gary Moore, John Sykes, the list guys on.

“For me it’s mostly hard-rock guys. I love Ritchie Blackmore’s tone, his songwriting, his vibrato, his subtle rhythm playing that you don’t even notice there sometimes, but he will be doing this cool stuff to layer in with the keyboard line with Ronnie singing over it.

I’m glad to see Ritchie back now. I think his new singer is really good. I wish he had called some of the older guys from his bands. I think the rhythm section wasn’t up to the standards of guys like Cozy Powell and Ian Paice.

He also talked about what makes a great solo:

“The solos that I love playing are more about what is going on behind it rather than anything that I’m doing. Live, if the band behind me is ripping then that is really inspiring.

On things like Show No Mercy, there is some melody going on so that gives me the opportunity to bring out some melodic stuff in the leads that I might not be able to do on something like Hell Awaits. I get to stretch out, as long as it doesn’t clash with what else is going on in the band.”

Click here to entire interview.