#1
I have been playing guitar for probably 5 years or so now and i mostly play rhythm, but i can learn just about any song i want to, everything short of sweep picking. But i have been interested in music theory lately and want to learn how to play lead. I'd like to learn how to improvise, thats my main goal. I want to learn scales, and how to sweep pick and things like that. But i don't know where to start. What is the first thing i should do? There are a million and one dvds and such on the marketplace, but i want to know what is the best way to start learning lead guitar.
#2
To be really good at lead guitar, you have to have a good command of theory, NOT JUST scales but also chords, and how everything works together. (what I did AFTER I learned the basic scales/modes/chords, I found some songs I liked and studied how ALL of the instruments react with each other, and what notes are going over each chord/note). also, while you are learning some theory, you can also work on your sweeping technique. Sweeping isnt as hard as most people say, but it does take a LOT of practice. My advice is to watch people who are great at sweeping sweep and mimic there technique. And practice SLOW!

EDIT: ALSO, this is very important. listen to a TON of different styles of music. and if you want a unique style, try to copy someones playing WHILE you also play and study a ton of different music too. idk why this works, but for me it did. For a long time I wanted to play like yngwie, or jason becker, or for awhile srv but also while studying there styles for maybe an hour a day id study something completely different after. and after a long time you will have your own style. My suggestion is to look into jazz (I LOVE JAZZ IMPROV!) and blues. Blues has great phrasing.
Also after that, fusion is fun too. And slide. lol anyways, just be open music wise.
Last edited by awesomo41894 at Aug 19, 2011,
#3
I started playing guitar hero then I thought this music is cool so I went out, bought a guitar hero songbook and learned the song i liked on real guitar. So you should get songbooks from the bamds you like and teach yourself how to play them
#4
While your major scale will be the foundation for everything the best way to get good at something is to practice it.

Find some backing tracks and try to improv to those, Youtube is full of em. Just search for backing tracks in the key of whatever you fee like playing in.

There is no practical use to running through scales over and over.

Try to play in a different key everyday or even every week to get familiar with the notes of each scale. Your ears will tell you how you're doing.

There is no wrong way to play lead and you don't have to stick to the notes in your scale. Accidentals can be your best friend if you figure out how to use them against the chords of a progression.

Make no mistake, theory has nothing to do with playing good lead guitar. Hendrix didn't have intimate theory knowledge but rather the knowledge of how notes contrasted one another when played together.

Essentially it's all about knowing the sounds of your intervals, and what better way to learn about that then by playing with them.

If you are interested in furthering your knowledge of theory, musictheory.net has some great lessons to help you get a firm grasp on your basics.

As for sweep picking.. It's just a technique, work on how you would do anything else. Slowly, properly and with a metronome. Never sacrifice cleanliness for speed. It will come along for you before you know it.

Hope some of this was of use to you man, good luck!

#5
The best way to start is by learning the notes on the fretboard, major and minor scales and how to play them in different keys.

The next obvious step is to learn how to find the key of the song. This can be done by harmonising the major and minor scales to create chords, but this should be done with using your ear to simply hear where a song resolves to. Instead of backing tracks (I always found them pretty boring) I used to turn on the radio and jam along with whatever song came on next. You'd have no control over what key the dong was in, you just have 3-4 mins to figure it out (the song ends after that).
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#6
Quote by PHaZE7486
I have been playing guitar for probably 5 years or so now and i mostly play rhythm, but i can learn just about any song i want to, everything short of sweep picking. But i have been interested in music theory lately and want to learn how to play lead. I'd like to learn how to improvise, thats my main goal. I want to learn scales, and how to sweep pick and things like that. But i don't know where to start. What is the first thing i should do? There are a million and one dvds and such on the marketplace, but i want to know what is the best way to start learning lead guitar.



Learn theory and just practice improvising, that's it. It helps to create some backing chords yourself and know what is going in the background so you can really make your melodies stand out and so you can apply the theory you know. There are many backing tracks on youtube where you can practice along with. The goal is not to sound like a mess of pointless wanking off. Becoming a GOOD improviser ( notice I said good ) requires a lot of effort just like the effort required for other guitar skills. When you improvise you are essentially singing in your head or sort of feeling what you want to play on the spot and it is much different from pointless wanking off in a scale aimlessly hoping to sound good aka ( a crappy improver).

DVD's can only take you so far and you will soon notice that. It all comes down to YOU. If you are looking for some dvd's to get your feet wet though I recommend Doug Mark's Metal Method guitar course. The old version is great and you can get it for cheap. Also pick up the updated level 6 course on theory.
#7
Hey Phase,

You're right and there are a million videos and DVDs out there - the thing is they all teach the same thing in maybe a slightly different way, in general, after playing for 26 years now I have found them to be a restating of the exact same thing found in traditional teaching. The first thing Id propose (as would our students) is that the "way its always been done" is terribly inefficient and unnecessary, and does a questionable job of teaching...but its all you are going to get out there in every single option that you have before you.

What we teach and how we teach it are unique and are not "how its always been done". The emphasis is also upon teaching, fleshing things out and making sure the understanding is there (as opposed to assuming its going to be there).

While I know that you have a lot of options, what we teach online specifically addresses the needs that you have stated. It starts out with teaching the Notes on the Neck of the guitar so that you can actually apply lead guitar and theory improv concepts in real time in a tangible way. Immediately following that course is our Lead guitar 1 course which will greatly improve your improv knowledge as well as entire fretboard navigation without any seams.

You have a lot of options, however in case you weren't aware of us, I wanted to give you one other possibility to consider. Our entire Academy is constructed around the theoretical side of music applied specifically to the guitar, while also transcending it so that you arent limited by the constructs of 6 strings, in applying it to something like piano or another instrument in the future if you wanted to, or an area like song writing, chords and basic to advanced composition (in a non-classical rooted form).

As I said, you have a lot of options out there, but your post and expressed needs are very much in line with the core areas we teach. If you have any questions click on my name and send me a PM - Include your email and I'll be happy to get you a catalog out. If we can help you out please let me know.


Best,

Sean


Quote by PHaZE7486
I have been playing guitar for probably 5 years or so now and i mostly play rhythm, but i can learn just about any song i want to, everything short of sweep picking. But i have been interested in music theory lately and want to learn how to play lead. I'd like to learn how to improvise, thats my main goal. I want to learn scales, and how to sweep pick and things like that. But i don't know where to start. What is the first thing i should do? There are a million and one dvds and such on the marketplace, but i want to know what is the best way to start learning lead guitar.
#8
Quote by army3611
I started playing guitar hero then I thought this music is cool so I went out, bought a guitar hero songbook and learned the song i liked on real guitar. So you should get songbooks from the bamds you like and teach yourself how to play them

Sounds really great!