#1
Well, my buddy an I play guitar together a lot, but he's got a lot more experience, so I've been playng rythm guitar for the last year. My problem is, I'm leaving for college so I wanted to start playing lead. The transtion is killing me. Any tips?

My most advanced songs that I can play lead for are "Careful" by Paramore and "Polyamorous" by Breaking Benjamin.

I figure it's just practice, practice, practice, but I thought I'd see what y'all had to say on it. Thanks!
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#2
practice scales and arpegios and stuff like that
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#3
first off you kinda wanna figure out what kind of lead you wanna play, from the songs you listed you wanna go for something not to techniqually advanced but melodic in terms of driving the song forward. I have an idea of where to take you but honestly pick up a hendrix cd and slowly build your way up with blues leads, kinda like a basic skills before you move on to crazier stuff. once you get a feel for playing a bit of blues (learning and mastering the traditional licks we lead guitarist tend to learn first) you can try to slowly familiarize yourself with other licks from different genres.

its gunna be a bit of a repetitive licks until your 100% comfortable with other stuff, playing easy riffs and licks are gunna give your hands the muscle memory that really makes a good lead guitarist. As easy as you can change chords with your eyes closed you'll be able to play a lick in the key of A.

thats pretty much the way I learned, listened to a band i really liked, figured out the stuff, repeat solos note for note, apply said solo ideas (licks in this case) to original songs, progression of guitarist to lead guitarist.

its a long road but it'll go by fast if you play songs you really like so you don't have to start with the blues if you don't want to, its just an easy scale to learn and master. (aside from the pentatonic)

oh and couldn't forget about this but get in the habit of learning keys and scales, thats religious material for the asipiring lead guitarist
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#4
Practicing lead parts is a great way just to get your hands moving and your head in the game. Studying arpeggios and scales will help you understand why you're playing what you're playing. There's a ton of videos on creating riffs/solos/improvising on youtube also that should help you.
#5
Just play a solo.
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#6
I've always kind of improv'd over scales so i don't really know what to say except do the same. listen to the fall of troy a lot and see what you can pick up.
#7
I always find rhythm to be more difficult then lead. Just practice lead stuff, you'll get there eventually
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#8
You don't need to learn all the scales to start, and you shouldn't copy other band solos if you want to get good at lead. Learn the pentatonic scale, and learn the major pentatonic too, then you can mix em together to get a cool sound. Steal little solo riffs of other guitars, not whole solos, and mix stuff together and make some of your own little licks up, after a while, you'll learn how to blend your licks together into your own style. To practice, play along to songs but use your own solo. Then after you've mastered the basics, you can start to learn more advanced scales and when to use them. After this, just work on different aspects, like your speed and you can learn other techniques like sweeping and tapping etc.
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#9
Someone above already said it, but it's worth reiterating: shift focus from strumming and chords to scales, arps, and picking.

Think of the scales and arpeggios as your vocabulary. The more you really know, the more you'll be able to say. Start by getting to know the major scale and its modes inside and out. Once you know that, you'll find melodic minor and harmonic minor way easier, plus if you know the diatonic you'll already know the pentatonic.

Next, articulation techniques, i.e. string bending, tapping, legato, harmonics, etc. Best way to learn these is a combination of practice exercises to target weak areas and learning other people's leads. A good procedure - pick a solo to learn and give it a go. If you find a specific area in said solo that trips you up, practice that part and practice other exercises that'll help you play that part. Always target your weak link.

Last, time to learn theory, specifically harmony and melody. You gotta be able to know what modes you can play over what chords. Developing your ear plays a big role too.

Also, make sure you practice everything really slow to a metronome. Take multiple clicks per note if you have to because the slower you start, the faster you will learn.