Right, I've been playing guitar for a while now. It's hard to put an exact amount of time on it because at the start it was very on and off. I've owned an acoustic guitar for about 5 years, and electric for about 2 and a half. However, before I got the electric I'd never really taken it seriously. I feel I've learnt a fairly decent amount of stuff. My rhythm playing is never really an issue, but then I don't think I'm challenging enough.

I say this because if I sit down I can easily play rhythm guitar along to anything along the lines of RHCP, Stereophonics, Libertines etc.. I know enough about chord construction to make up my own progressions, I definitely feel like this is the strongest aspect of my playing.

Anyway, I say all this because this morning, I sat down to learn Soul To Squeeze by RHCP. I look at the tab and all seems alright, but it just took me ages to learn. Now I don't know why this is, it doesn't seem like a hard song to play, maybe my lead guitar skills have just not been built up. I know major/minor/harmonic minor/blues shapes pretty well, and know the intervals. I have no trouble playing them on the fretboard at a fairly quick tempo. So why do riffs in songs take me ages to learn. Plug in Baby didn't take me long to learn, and that was about a year ago. So I think I've become less good at learning tabs. I don't even know if this is possible.

Any advice on how to improve the lead guitar aspect of my playing?

Thanks in advance everyone, input greatly appreciated!

Video/ audio would be nice, otherwise we have no way of knowing what you're doing right/ wrong. And I think the Technique forum would be a better place for this.
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Just play more lead guitar. Enjoy it and don't worry about how "good"you are or how long it takes you to learn things. Just play! alot
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Just play more lead guitar. Enjoy it and don't worry about how "good"you are or how long it takes you to learn things. Just play! alot

Soul to Squeeze is a weird song to learn, took me a while to get to grips with the timings. The actual notes and chords are fairly simple but the song is heavily driven by the drums and most of all the bass line, more so than most other songs. At times this makes the guitar feel slightly out of time with the rest, sometimes it feels a bit off beat then it falls back into line with the bass and drums, then stays out again. I wouldn't worry too much. Some songs cause issues to different people.
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just keep working on that song your never gonna get better if you put yourself down because you cant play one song. the only way to improve your lead playing is to play!