#1
I've been playing rhythm for a few years, but I want to feel that feeling that guitarists seem to get when they play lead.

So, I've learnt the pentatonic scales and the harmonic minor scales.
I'm curious tho, I feel like I'm missing something.

So how did you learn to play lead? Was it simply about listening to a sample track in a particular key and just getting the feel to it before adding something? Is that it?

I've got a song that's in Am (and yes I know it's the relative minor of C), so I use the Am pentantic scale and all that. But still...meh...I don't get it.

No smart ass replies here. Tell me: how do you play lead?
#2
First you play over those scales until you get a really good feel, preferably all over the fret board. That process could take a while. After that it´s all about feeling the song and your creativity.

Also lead players usually have a role model guitarist whose work greatly influence their playing.
#3
how many lead parts have you learned how to play?

I know it might seem like a dumb question but the more leads and solos you learn the easier writing lead parts becomes.
Quote by Dirk Gently
Some pieces are only meant to be played by people with six fingers on their fretting hand. Sorry.
#5
Learning to improvise well took me a good few years. I can only recommend learning as many licks and solos as possible, in as many keys as possible. Eventually you'll just 'get' it. You just need to keep at it.

Also, for starting out, I recommend using your favourite parts your favourite solos. That way you know they sound good and you can build your lick vocabulary up from there.
Guitars:
EVH Wolfgang Special LH
Gibson Les Paul Studio 2013
Ibanez EW20LASE-NT LH

Effects:
BOSS GT-100

Amps:
Fender Hot Rod DeVille 410
Laney IRT Studio + 112 cab
#6
Best way in my opinion is to start by playing scales in the tuning of your guitar. Mines is in drop D and I usually play in a minor key so of course, dminor so learn all the notes of each scale in that key, them move onto the major key obviously, soon, (hopefully) after enough practice of all scales in each key, you should be able to look at the fretboard and play any scales from top to bottom in any key.
#7
You will not get good at soloing by playing scales.

You need to listen to artists you like and then STEAL their ideas. Figure out what they are doing and when they are doing it, listen for phrasing, chord tones, vibratio. Then, use it in your own playing.

Give me 5 notes in one octave and i will make an interesting solo, f#ck knowing millions of scales.
#8
I wouldn't necessarily recommend learning scales man, I remember that when I started out playing the guitar, my guitar teacher taught me some pentatonic scales and had me improvise in them. It was alright, but I felt caged you know? Very little freedom. Today, several years later if someone were to play some chords and tell me to solo over them, I definitively wouldn't use any pentatonic scales, I'd just solo in the key of the song all over the fretboard, and it sounds much better.

What you need to learn instead of running a scale up and down, learn every note on the fretboard and how those notes relate to each other in different keys!
#9
Ok, pentatonic scales are a good start, and also what mrbabo said about learning other solos, lead parts from songs you like, etc.

But most important (and I can't believe I'm gonna beat Hotspur and say it first): train your ear. Listen to how each note of the scale works with the chords in the song you are trying to solo over.
Quote by Xiaoxi
The Byzantine scale was useful until the Ottoman scale came around and totally annihilated it.
#10
Quote by SnowFox234
No smart ass replies here. Tell me: how do you play lead?


i hear shit in my head and play it. it's that simple -- any other way is inefficient to me. playing lick-based improvisation feels more like your fingers alone are playing the guitar. i prefer to let my mind and my ears do the work and let my fingers execute it.

listen to A LOT of music, train your ear, and learn your theory. put it into practice and eventually you'll have something superb on your hands.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#11
Quote by SnowFox234

No smart ass replies here. Tell me: how do you play lead?


First, you study lead lines from musicians you love. Learn how to play what they played.

Second, you develop your ear so that you can hear ideas in your head and instantly play them. (Download the functional ear trainer from Miles.Be and get a good book on ear training).

That one may take a little while.

Third, you listen to the music you want to play lead over, and you are quiet, still. You wait until you hear something in your head that sounds cool.

And you play that on your guitar.

The reason for using the pentatonic scale first - and I highly recommend that you do - is because it's easier to make the brain-fretboard connection with a pentatonic scale than with a diatonic one. The sounds of the pentatonic are already in your head. If you use a more complex scale (particularly if you learn it "all over the fretboard" right away) you're going to be focused on your fingers, and you really don't want to do that.

If you want to learn to improvise, you need to learn how to NOT focus on your fingers. So pick a simple scale, which your fingers can learn intuitively very quickly (this is why the minor pentatonic is so helpful!) and focus on the sounds. Your goal is to be able to THINK of a musical idea and then play it. And the better you get, the shorter the gap will be between thinking and playing.

Guys who learn, say, the minor scale all over the neck before they've learned good habits end up playign with their fingers. They don't have musical ideas, they have physical ones ("I'll put my finger there, then play that memorized lick, then play that memorized lick, then do my tapping thing.")

Every good improviser you've ever heard is playing with their brain, not their fingers. It is far far more important than speed or dexterity. (Somebody who can't play fast but is playing from their brain may make a beautiful solo. Somebody who can play fast but is playing with their fingers can't).
#12
Quote by SnowFox234
I've been playing rhythm for a few years, but I want to feel that feeling that guitarists seem to get when they play lead.

So, I've learnt the pentatonic scales and the harmonic minor scales.
I'm curious tho, I feel like I'm missing something.

So how did you learn to play lead? Was it simply about listening to a sample track in a particular key and just getting the feel to it before adding something? Is that it?

I've got a song that's in Am (and yes I know it's the relative minor of C), so I use the Am pentantic scale and all that. But still...meh...I don't get it.

No smart ass replies here. Tell me: how do you play lead?


get plenty of experience playing solos. Enjoy the hell of it and allow yourself the time it takes to develop.

I believe that is what your missing.
shred is gaudy music
#13
Quote by HotspurJr
First, you study lead lines from musicians you love. Learn how to play what they played.

Second, you develop your ear so that you can hear ideas in your head and instantly play them. (Download the functional ear trainer from Miles.Be and get a good book on ear training).

That one may take a little while.

Third, you listen to the music you want to play lead over, and you are quiet, still. You wait until you hear something in your head that sounds cool.

And you play that on your guitar.

The reason for using the pentatonic scale first - and I highly recommend that you do - is because it's easier to make the brain-fretboard connection with a pentatonic scale than with a diatonic one. The sounds of the pentatonic are already in your head. If you use a more complex scale (particularly if you learn it "all over the fretboard" right away) you're going to be focused on your fingers, and you really don't want to do that.

If you want to learn to improvise, you need to learn how to NOT focus on your fingers. So pick a simple scale, which your fingers can learn intuitively very quickly (this is why the minor pentatonic is so helpful!) and focus on the sounds. Your goal is to be able to THINK of a musical idea and then play it. And the better you get, the shorter the gap will be between thinking and playing.

Guys who learn, say, the minor scale all over the neck before they've learned good habits end up playign with their fingers. They don't have musical ideas, they have physical ones ("I'll put my finger there, then play that memorized lick, then play that memorized lick, then do my tapping thing.")

Every good improviser you've ever heard is playing with their brain, not their fingers. It is far far more important than speed or dexterity. (Somebody who can't play fast but is playing from their brain may make a beautiful solo. Somebody who can play fast but is playing with their fingers can't).


Good post dude, but let's not completely write off the value of licks and memorized patterns etc.
Every player I've heard has trademark sounds, licks, patterns, ideas, whatever you want to call it, that they use frequently in their improvisations.
Everyone relies on an extensive selection of memorised stuff they can access when required - nothing wrong with that so long as you use it musically/tastefully.

TS - as already discussed - the biggest part of learning to play lead is to LISTEN TO AS MUCH MUSIC AS POSSIBLE.

This will open your ears up to the sounds you want to make - provided you're listening to the music you want to be playing. Although you should listen to stuff you might not want to play, as inspiration can come from anywhere!
#14
Quote by Matt.Guitar
Good post dude, but let's not completely write off the value of licks and memorized patterns etc.
Every player I've heard has trademark sounds, licks, patterns, ideas, whatever you want to call it, that they use frequently in their improvisations.


No disagreement.

My feeling is that pretty much every player develops those things automatically, without trying, if you study a lot of leads (which was part of my advice, remember) and play a lot.

On the other hand, I don't think people develop a sense of how to play with their heads rather than their fingers unless they make a point on working on that.

As you said above every player has trademark licks. I've never heard someone who didn't have a few, either. Even the crappy ones. The ability to play licks doesn't differentiate the good players from the bad ones.

On the other hand, there are thousands of mediocre players who don't play with their brains, but rather with their fingers. The ability to do that DOES differentiate the good players from bad ones.

Therefore, I think a player should focus on developing that skill, and trust that the licks, etc, will come together on their own.
#16
Quote by HotspurJr
No disagreement.

My feeling is that pretty much every player develops those things automatically, without trying, if you study a lot of leads (which was part of my advice, remember) and play a lot.

On the other hand, I don't think people develop a sense of how to play with their heads rather than their fingers unless they make a point on working on that.

As you said above every player has trademark licks. I've never heard someone who didn't have a few, either. Even the crappy ones. The ability to play licks doesn't differentiate the good players from the bad ones.

On the other hand, there are thousands of mediocre players who don't play with their brains, but rather with their fingers. The ability to do that DOES differentiate the good players from bad ones.

Therefore, I think a player should focus on developing that skill, and trust that the licks, etc, will come together on their own.


boom. +1.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.