If you have never played lead guitar, you are missing out on some serious fun! Regardless of your musical taste, your goals or your current level of playing, learning to play lead guitar will expand your understanding of the music you play, your command of the fretboard and your all-around enjoyment. If you feel that playing lead is currently beyond your reach, you might be surprised at how easily you can gain the knowledge you need to begin creating your own solos.
Many people approach lead playing by learning other guitarist’s solos or licks from tablature or from direct instruction by a teacher or friend. It can be fun to learn solo lines from other guitarists and it is definitely an important and beneficial part of learning to play lead guitar, but it’s not the whole picture. To go beyond copying (or to enhance your ability to copy!), you will need to develop a variety of skills both on and off the fretboard and gather some specific information about music.
I love to teach these skills in workshops, but since not everyone who would like to learn them is able to come to Texas, I have written a book that addresses the topic in the same comprehensive way that I present the material in person. Learning to Play lead Guitar includes not only scales, arpeggios and explanations of how to use them, but also a wide range of relevant topics, such as how to learn the material quickly or how to cultivate creativity.
You will find Learning to Play Lead Guitar to be clear, straightforward and easy to follow, but in order to get the most from it, you will need to know the basics of guitar playing and the musical language. If you can play first position chords and understand how to find barre chords, you will have the necessary playing skills. A basic knowledge of scales and chord construction will serve you in your study of soloing over changing harmonies. If you haven’t yet been introduced to the musical language, you can fill in any gaps in your knowledge by using A Guitar Player’s Guide to Music Theory as a companion manual to Learning to Play Lead Guitar. (Of course, I think every guitarist should have a copy of A Guitar Player’s Guide to Music Theory on hand, anyway!)
Topics covered in to Learning to Play Lead Guitar:
Technique and Style
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