How To Play Lead Guitar – Tips and Tricks
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The concept of playing Lead Guitar can be hard to wrap your head around at first.  How do they think that fast?  How do they move that fast?  How do they choose those notes?  Well, let me give you a few of the tools you’ll need to be a shred beast too…

Tip #1 – The notes you’ll play match with the chords you’re playing over.  So, if you’re soloing over a C major chord (spelled C  E  G), then those notes are going to work perfectly.  The other notes can be in there too, but your emphasis will be on the notes of the chord.

Tip #2 – Pick a scale that includes the notes from at least most of the chords you’ll be playing over.  Let’s say you have a chord progression that goes A  D  E  A. Spell those chords out first:
A – A  C#  E
D – D  F#  A
E – E  G#  B

Which scale includes those three sharp notes?  A major.  You can use an A major scale to solo over that whole progression and you’ll be just fine.  When you start to encounter progression that don’t all easily fit into one scale, you’ll simply pick another scale (in the same way) to play over the chords that don’t fit your original one.

Tip #3 – Start with small groups of notes.  When you see a player blazing all over the fretboard it looks like they’re playing a lot of notes all at once.  What is actually happening, and what you want to do, is take small groupings of 3-5 notes and create a phrase out of that.  Then create more of those little 3-5 note melodies.  When you string them together, they’ll appear to form much larger phrases.  But you’re still thinking of the small phrases linking one to the next.

Tip #4 – Think rhythmically.  Rhythm is the defining factor of a piece of music.  Think of something like Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.  Duh duh duh duuuuuuuuh.  Even if you play exactly the same notes, but with the wrong rhythm – duh duuuuh duh duh – It’s no longer the same melody.  So when you’re creating your 3-5 note melodies, work at creating the most interesting rhythms you can rather than the perfect combination of notes.  Your lines will have a lot more impact that way.

Tip #5 – Learn to ornament.  Notes and rhythms are nice, but it’s what you do to the notes that creates really great musical phrases.  Take the time to really learn about bending strings, hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, rakes, vibratos, palm muting, etc.  A line played straight is like a Christmas tree with nothing on it.  Add some of those decorations and you’ll start to realize your own voice as a player.

Tip #6 – To gain speed, slow down.  Take one of your 3-5 note phrases and work on it with a metronome at a slow speed.  Once you can play it perfectly 5 times in a row, bump your metronome up one notch.  That’s only a couple of beats per minute and your brain won’t realize you’ve gotten faster.  Get it solid the same way at that speed then bump it up again.  Eventually you’ll have it up to the speed you want it at.  It seems like it takes longer this way, but really you’re accomplishing much more in way less time.

The bottom line here is that some work has to be put in at the beginning.  And you may come back the next day and you’ve fallen a couple steps back.  Learning music (and anything else) is always “two steps forward, one step back”.  If you’re consistent in your practice your starting point each time will be closer to your goal.  So keep at it and be sure to grab my free report with more great guitar tips!title=”air lead guitar” src=”http://rlv.zcache.com/i_play_lead_guitar_in_my_air_band_tshirt-p235197724761708345cfho_400.jpg” alt=”" width=”143″ height=”143″ />The concept of playing Lead Guitar can be hard to wrap your head around at first.  How do they think that fast?  How do they move that fast?  How do they choose those notes?  Well, let me give you a few of the tools you’ll need to be a shred beast too…

Tip #1 – The notes you’ll play match with the chords you’re playing over.  So, if you’re soloing over a C major chord (spelled C  E  G), then those notes are going to work perfectly.  The other notes can be in there too, but your emphasis will be on the notes of the chord.

Tip #2 – Pick a scale that includes the notes from at least most of the chords you’ll be playing over.  Let’s say you have a chord progression that goes A  D  E  A. Spell those chords out first:
A – A  C#  E
D – D  F#  A
E – E  G#  B

Which scale includes those three sharp notes?  A major.  You can use an A major scale to solo over that whole progression and you’ll be just fine.  When you start to encounter progression that don’t all easily fit into one scale, you’ll simply pick another scale (in the same way) to play over the chords that don’t fit your original one.

Tip #3 – Start with small groups of notes.  When you see a player blazing all over the fretboard it looks like they’re playing a lot of notes all at once.  What is actually happening, and what you want to do, is take small groupings of 3-5 notes and create a phrase out of that.  Then create more of those little 3-5 note melodies.  When you string them together, they’ll appear to form much larger phrases.  But you’re still thinking of the small phrases linking one to the next.

Tip #4 – Think rhythmically.  Rhythm is the defining factor of a piece of music.  Think of something like Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.  Duh duh duh duuuuuuuuh.  Even if you play exactly the same notes, but with the wrong rhythm – duh duuuuh duh duh – It’s no longer the same melody.  So when you’re creating your 3-5 note melodies, work at creating the most interesting rhythms you can rather than the perfect combination of notes.  Your lines will have a lot more impact that way.

Tip #5 – Learn to ornament.  Notes and rhythms are nice, but it’s what you do to the notes that creates really great musical phrases.  Take the time to really learn about bending strings, hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, rakes, vibratos, palm muting, etc.  A line played straight is like a Christmas tree with nothing on it.  Add some of those decorations and you’ll start to realize your own voice as a player.

Tip #6 – To gain speed, slow down.  Take one of your 3-5 note phrases and work on it with a metronome at a slow speed.  Once you can play it perfectly 5 times in a row, bump your metronome up one notch.  That’s only a couple of beats per minute and your brain won’t realize you’ve gotten faster.  Get it solid the same way at that speed then bump it up again.  Eventually you’ll have it up to the speed you want it at.  It seems like it takes longer this way, but really you’re accomplishing much more in way less time.

The bottom line here is that some work has to be put in at the beginning.  And you may come back the next day and you’ve fallen a couple steps back.  Learning music (and anything else) is always “two steps forward, one step back”.  If you’re consistent in your practice your starting point each time will be closer to your goal.  So keep at it and be sure to grab my free report with more great guitar tips!

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