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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lead guitar is a musical part for a guitar in which the guitarist plays melody lines, instrumental fill passages, guitar solos, and occasionally, some riffs within a song structure. The lead is the featured guitar, which usually plays single-note-based lines or double-stops.[1] In rock, heavy metal, blues, jazz, punk, fusion, some pop, and other music styles, lead guitar lines are usually supported by a second guitarist who plays rhythm guitar, which consists of accompaniment chords and riffs.

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  • ✪ Learn How To Play Lead Guitar - Lead Guitar Lesson #1
  • ✪ LEAD GUITAR: No Theory - No Thinking - Just Playing
  • ✪ Beginner Lead Guitar Lesson: The Ten Basic Lead Guitar Moves


Hi! I’m Nate Savage and welcome to video #1 of the Lead Guitar Quick-Start Series. This series is going to be perfect for two kinds of people. The first person is the kind of person that’s really wanting to get into lead guitar but just hasn’t done it yet. They don’t know how to get started. The second kind of person this is going to be awesome for is some who’s been playing lead guitar for a while but they really don’t have any direction and they don’t know what to practice next to get to where they want to be. Knowing exactly where to start with the lead guitar can be a little bit intimidating and frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s why I made the Lead Guitar Quick-Start Series. It’s going to help you know exactly where you need to start and it’s going to give you all the things that are most important for you to have success with lead guitar and playing your own solos. We’re going to go over things like basic technique for your left and right hands and then we’re going to learn some of the most important scales that you need to know as a lead guitar player. From there, I’m going to teach you some techniques that can bring those scales to life like legato technique, hammer-ons and pull-offs, bends and vibrato. Once you get all those things down, I’m going to give you some tips to make your solos sound really awesome and we’re going to go through and learn your first solo and that’s going to incorporate everything that we’ve learned throughout the entire series. The best part about this is all along the way we’re going to be applying everything to real music. I’m going to have some real loops for you, so instead of practicing your scales or whatever you’re working on in a particular lesson, with just a metronome you can have some real music to apply everything you learned to. And the rest of this first video, I wanted to give you some tips for your fretting hand so you can get started off on the right foot for your lead guitar technique and the first tip I have for you is really simple; it’s just relax. If you feel any tension creeping up when you’re playing, if your arm is getting sore, take some time, relax, shake it out, and then start again. With that in mind, let’s talk about just some hand posture for playing the guitar for playing some leads. To start out, just pretend like you’re holding a baseball or something in your hand, and that’s a really good position, a relaxed position to start in. Bring your hand up to the guitar, thumb on the back of the neck and just put your fingers down on the fret board. That’s a really good starting position. Finger posture is the next thing that I want to talk to you about when it comes to playing a lead guitar and this is going to change as we go along but a basic good finger posture is to just come down on the very tip of your finger, just like you would if you’re making chords or something like that. That is a good starting position. You’re also going to want to come right behind the fret. That’s going to help you avoid any buzzing or anything like that. For now you’re going to want to have your thumb right on the back of the neck like I said earlier. That’s going to change a bit when we get into bending and stuff like that but for now, that’s a good position. One thing that I want to cover with you quickly is something called the designated finger concept and this is going to apply to all the scales we’re going to be covering in the Lead Guitar Quick-Start Series, not all the scales we’ll ever learn but the three scales we’ll be covering here. The designated finger concept just says that you’re going to have one finger designated for any note that occurs on any particular fret. So for example if you’re playing a scale, a G major scale for example that we’re going to be learning, if you have any notes on the second fret your first finger is going to get all those notes. If you have any notes on the third fret on any of the strings, your second finger is going to get those notes. Any notes on the fourth fret your third finger will get and any notes on the fifth fret your pinky will get on any of the strings. This will be a lot clearer once we start learning scales. The last little tip I want to give you is really simple, and that’s just keep your fingernails short. When my fingernails start to grow out, it’s harder to get on the tips of my fingers and it digs into the fret board a little bit. These are just a few general guidelines that you’re going to want to keep in mind as we move through the lessons in this series. Let me just tell you you’re probably not going to sound like Stevie Ray Vaughan or Joe Satriani right away when you start to try to apply all of these things but the important thing is that you practice all of these stuff consistently and apply it to real music. That’s why I’ve supplied you with the mp3 jam tracks on all of these lessons. There’s no substitute for sitting down and spending time with your instrument and on a daily basis, really challenging yourself to come up with new things. Thanks for watching this video. In the next video we’re going to cover some basic technique for your picking hand. If you have any questions, there’s a commenting system below this video. Leave your question there. I’ll get back to you that way or you can just email me, See you in the next lesson.


Creating lead guitar lines

To create lead guitar lines, guitarists use scales, modes, arpeggios, licks, and riffs that are performed using a variety of techniques.[1] In rock, heavy metal, blues, jazz and fusion bands and some pop contexts as well as others, lead guitar lines often employ alternate picking, sweep picking, economy picking and legato (e.g., hammer ons, pull offs), which are used to maximize the speed of their solos or riffs. Such "tricks" can employ the picking hand used in the fret area (such as tapping), and even be augmented and embellished with devices such as bows, or separate electronic devices such as an EBow (electronic bow).

Some guitarists occasionally use skills that combine technique and showmanship, such as playing the guitar behind their head or picking with the front teeth. In a blues context, as well as others, guitarists sometimes create leads that use call and response-style riffs that they embellish with string bending, vibrato, and slides.

Jazz guitar soloing

Jazz guitarists integrate the basic building blocks of scales and arpeggio patterns into balanced rhythmic and melodic phrases that make up a cohesive solo. Jazz guitarists often try to imbue their melodic phrasing with the sense of natural breathing and legato phrasing used by horn players such as saxophone players. As well, a jazz guitarists' solo improvisations have to have a rhythmic drive and "timefeel" that creates a sense of "swing" and "groove." The most experienced jazz guitarists learn to play with different "timefeels" such as playing "ahead of the beat" or "behind the beat," to create or release tension.

Another aspect of the jazz guitar style is the use of stylistically appropriate ornaments, such as grace notes, slides, and muted notes. Each subgenre or era of jazz has different ornaments that are part of the style of that subgenre or era. Jazz guitarists usually learn the appropriate ornamenting styles by listening to prominent recordings from a given style or jazz era. Some jazz guitarists also borrow ornamentation techniques from other jazz instruments, such as Wes Montgomery's borrowing of playing melodies in parallel octaves, which is a jazz piano technique. Jazz guitarists also have to learn how to add in passing tones, use "guide tones" and chord tones from the chord progression to structure their improvisations.

In the 1970s and 1980s, with jazz-rock fusion guitar playing, jazz guitarists incorporated rock guitar soloing approaches, such as riff-based soloing and usage of pentatonic and blues scale patterns. Some guitarists used Jimi Hendrix-influenced distortion and wah-wah effects to get a sustained, heavy tone, or even used rapid-fire guitar shredding techniques, such as tapping and tremolo bar bending. Guitarist Al Di Meola, who started his career with Return to Forever in 1974, was one of the first guitarists to perform in a "shred" style, a technique later used in rock and heavy metal playing. Di Meola used alternate-picking to perform very rapid sequences of notes in his solos.

When jazz guitar players improvise, they use the scales, modes, and arpeggios associated with the chords in a tune's chord progression. The approach to improvising has changed since the earliest eras of jazz guitar. During the Swing era, many soloists improvised "by ear" by embellishing the melody with ornaments and passing notes. However, during the bebop era, the rapid tempo and complicated chord progressions made it increasingly harder to play "by ear." Along with other improvisers, such as saxes and piano players, bebop-era jazz guitarists began to improvise over the chord changes using scales (whole tone scale, chromatic scale, etc.) and arpeggios.[2] Jazz guitar players tend to improvise around chord/scale relationships, rather than reworking the melody, possibly due to their familiarity with chords resulting from their comping role. A source of melodic ideas for improvisation is transcribing improvised solos from recordings. This provides jazz guitarists with a source of "licks", melodic phrases and ideas they incorporate either intact or in variations, and is an established way of learning from the previous generations of players

Role in a band

In a band with two guitars, there can be a logical division between lead and rhythm guitars although that division may be unclear.[1] Two guitarists may perform as a guitar tandem, and trade off the lead guitar and rhythm guitar roles. Alternatively, two or more guitarists can share the lead and rhythm roles throughout the show, or both guitarists can play the same role ("dual lead guitars" or "dual rhythm guitars"). Often several guitarists playing individual notes may create chord patterns while mixing these "harmonies" with mixed unison passages creating unique sound effects with sound altering electronic special effects such as doublers or a "chorus" effect that over-pronounce the lead significantly sometimes to cut through to be heard in loud shows or throw its sound aesthetically both acoustically or electronically.

Effects and equipment

In rock, heavy metal, blues, jazz and fusion bands and some pop contexts as well as others, the lead guitar line often involves melodies (as well as power chords from the rhythm guitars) with a sustained, singing tone. To create this tone on the electric guitar, guitarists often select certain pickups and use electronic effects such as effects pedals and distortion pedals, or sound compressors, or doubler effects for a more sustained tone, and delay effects or an electronic "chorus" effect as well as electronic reverb and echo for a reverberant sound.

To attain this sustain effect guitarists often use tube amplifiers such as those from Marshall or Fender.[3] The tube effect comes from the way amplifying tubes distort when pushed to the limits of their amplification power. As the guitar signal's waveform reaches the amplifier's limits, amplification decreases—rounding off the top of the waveform. This amounts to compression of individual wave cycles, and is pleasing to the ear.

High volume can induce audio feedback, which a guitarist can control to dramatically increases sustain. By holding the guitar at a certain distance and angle from the amplifier speakers, a guitarist can create a continuous, undecaying sound. Electronic special effects that use effects loops can artificially reproduce this. Other effects that embellish lead guitar tone and pitch include the vibrato bar which physically alters string tension, slides, and wah-wah and univibe effects.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Chappell, John; Phillips, Mark; et al. (2009). Guitar All-in-One For Dummies. For Dummies. pp. 191–193. ISBN 978-0-470-48133-2.
  2. ^ Jazzology: The Encyclopedia of Jazz Theory for All Musicians, by Robert Rawlins, Nor Eddine Bahha, Barrett Tagliarino. Hal Leonard Corporation, 2005 ISBN 0-634-08678-2, ISBN 978-0-634-08678-6[1]. Page 141
  3. ^ Salter, Trent. "Marshall Amplification: Interview with Jim Marshall". Premier Guitar. Marion, Iowa: Gearhead Communications, LLC (April/May 2003). Archived from the original on 13 December 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
This page was last edited on 23 December 2018, at 09:58
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