You see, my friend wants me play lead guitar in her band. And while I'm all for it, I have no idea how to play lead. I play acoustic...so that might help, maybe? But I decided to bring my problem here, because where else can you find a gitar website like this? So...help me please xD Tips, techniques, advice, anything. Thanks.
~Kassie :-D
Learn scales or at least one scale,And how they work..In other words learn theory

Mabye listen to lead guitariests or something :S
You play the melody over the percussion and harmony...

I really don't know where to go from there. Know your scales, modes and most importantly the key the song is in. Have good improvisational skills and experiment with different techniques like tapping or sweeping.

An easy way to play decent lead is to harmonise / imitate the vocal melody.
1. Learn the Pentatonic scale in every key, every position (it is actually very easy, i was able to memorise the patterns in a day.)
2. Learn to improvise with said scales
3. ???

but on a more serious note, the pentatonics scales are a godsend to beginners. they are a very simple scale and can be used to solo in almost any song. you just have to work on listening for the key of the song, so your solo sounds right.

the pentatonic scale in E minor is:

now, that scale can also be seen a G major pentatonic. Confusing? well look at it this way:

the "Front" of the box (I.E., the 15th fret) is the Major, and the back of the box (the 12th fret) is the Minor.

you can use this to move this position anywhere on the neck. there are also different positions you can put it in, like:






notice how they all link together? try and commit these patterns to memory, and try changing the key, then memorizing the patterns in that key too. a sliod day or two of practicing can have these patterns memorized.
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Last edited by Jhachey22 at Mar 21, 2009,
what kind of band is it? If it's a metal band then it'll take months and months and by the time you can play even half as good as you need to the band'll have fallen through, if it's a bluesy band then you can do it pretty quickly just by practicing lots of pentatonic scales, if it's rock then you've got a fair way to go, I've been doing scales for 3 months and I'm only just moving on from slow blues solos to some fasterish stuff, if it's a pop band then you don't need lead guitar, just learn your chords instead, which you'd already know from acoustic guitar. Aaah your gonna need an electric guitar to practice on too, if you dont have one, even if she's lending you one for when your playing together, you're gonna have to have it with you all the time for months. Learn pentatonic scales (search for that in lessons maybe) and theory which you probably already know
If you're mostly used to playing acoustic at the moment and you've not played lead before, I don't think you should be worrying about any advanced techniques just yet.

The first thing to do is make sure your friend realises this isn't what you're used to doing so she shouldn't expect Hendrix-like results from you right away. It's not fair on either you, her nor anyone who listens to you if you're expected to be the next Eddie Van Halen when actually you're still starting out. It puts unrealistic expectations on everyone and that always spells disaster.

Second thing to do, as far as actually learning to play lead goes, is get a few scales under your belt. The key ones are the Major, Minor and Blues Minor. A lot of people will say the Minor Pentatonic, but the Blues Minor is the Minor Pentatonic but with one more note jammed in, if you play any kind of rock music (no matter how hard or soft), it's better to learn the Blues Minor scale than the Minor Pentatonic. The Major and Minor scales are also pretty much the same pattern so they're easy to learn and you can use them in every song, just select one depending on what key the song is in.

The third thing to do is get used to working out quickly what key any given song is in. Usually if you know the chord of the song this is very easy; if the first chord in a song is a G Major then the song is almost certainly in the key of G (you do get the occasional really odd exception, but you'll get the hang of it). Once you know what key a song is in then you can easily know what scale(s) to use and where on the fretboard to play them.

Fourth thing is to practise your basic technique. I would classify this as clean picking, accurate bends, slides, hammer-ons and pull-offs. Leave things like arpeggio tapping and sweep picking alone until you've got these basics down really well.
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Depends what your trying to do. Here's how I'd break it down ->

A) Improvision - First learn a simple scale (I recommend pentatonic. that's what I learned first), and practice playing it over simple songs. When I first learned, I used to put on zeppelin, ccr, floyd, whatever and just play the entirety of the song as a solo so that I could learn how to fit the tempo and develop little licks. It's important to screw around a lot with different combinations so that you get some unique little riffs of your own.

B) "Cover Band" - Start learning simple solos. I recommend something like Pink Floyd (like Mother) or simpler zeppelin (like Tangerine) and just work your way up. Learn them at maybe half or 3/4 speed and work your way to normal speed.

C) Super technical Satriani/Vai **** - Go learn Music Theory (scales and how they relate to chords) and then shred super fast after many years of training. Caution: You need to be Ub3R 1337 to take this route and be successful.

I kinda leaned a combination of A + B (mostly A) and I'm going to college to study C, but yeah, take it slow. Don't try to learn Avenged Sevenfold and Metallica solos when you first start out. Wait until your comfortable and can move your hands fluidly along the fretboard.
yay thanks so much everyone!!!
I just added this to my favorites. When we get the band going and famous and stuff, I'm thanking everyone one of you who helped me!
I've been taking guitar lessons for the past 2 months and I another 1 1/2 coming up, plus private lessons, so, that should help some too, I suppose.
Last edited by Kassiebby1124 at Mar 21, 2009,
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