I want to become a more proficient all-around lead player, and I know that a lot of people get there by internalizing a big collection of licks that they can whip out during solos or improvisation, either in full or in fragments.

Does anyone have any recommendations for the best way to go about doing this? Maybe some particular songs to transcribe, or resources online to start with, or whatever. I'm just looking for a good way to get a decent collection of even 10-20 solid, usable licks under my belt that I can practice with every day until they're down to reflex.

After so many decades of people learning rock guitar, I'm sure there are a lot of good go-to ideas for getting this particular ball rolling.

I'd say just listen to a lot of stuff and take what you like, that's what i do. There is no point learning stuff you don't like just cause you want to be more all-around, you have to be more all-around in musical taste as well then. 'Cause as said, if you don't like it's stupid to learn it.

Check out as many styles of music as possible and see if you like them, or any sub-genres of them and then build from there. Listen to Rock (Classic, Modern, Hard rock, all styles of metal etc), Country, Blues (Bluegrass, Chicago, Delta, Electric, Modern, Jazzblues), Jazz (Bebop, Gypsy, Swing, hard bop, Jazz Ballads, Latin jazz), Fusion, Funk, Soul, Classical, Opera etc etc.

Listen to the styles, see what you enjoy, learn from the players you like within that style. Doesn't even have to be guitarists. You can learn vocal lines on guitar, bass lines, piano parts etc.

Just so i am more helpful i will share some of my favorites you can explore.

Country: Brad Paisley, Brent Mason, Danny Gatton, Jerry Reed, Merle Travis, Joe Maphis, Chet Atkins and Albert Lee.

Blues: Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, BB King, Albert King, Buddy Guy, John Mayer Trio, Robert Cray, Joe Bonamassa.

Jazz: Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, Pat Martino, Pat Metheny, Jim Hall, Grant Green, Joe Henderson, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, Jody Fisher, Andreas Öberg.

Fusion: Allen Hinds, Mike Stern, Allan Holdsworth, The Aristocrats, Cosmosquad, Planet X, CAB, Guthrie Govan, Alex Hutchings, Bill Connors, Al Di Meola, Scott Henderson, Greg Howe, Frank Gambale, Steve Khan, Chad Wackerman, Alex Machacek, Larry Carlton, John Scofield.

Those are the styles i mainly play and study nowadays, so therefor i shared my main influences from those. But my point still stands, search music and steal everything you like, even if it's only one phrase.

Hope that was to any help.
Best Regards
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”

Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
I like to use Marty Friedmans "99 secret lead guitar phrases" whenever I want to exand my own phrasing habits. heres the tab to the entire 99 phrases on the dvd:


really, where better to look for phrasing ideas than the MAN himself?
Marty Friedman is GOD!

curently in a SEX MACHINEGUNS and X JAPAN phase AND Galneryus AND Anthem phase

damn J-Metal, why you so awesome

My Gear:

Schecter Hellraiser V-1 fr
Ibanez RG321mh
Fender GDC-200sce
Peavey Vypyr 30 w/ sanpera 1
the guitar lick factory (book) is pretty good

the whole lotta love (led zep) solo is a good one, too, pretty short and has a bunch of very common licks in there.
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I buy a tab book. Recently did it for Free. I put all the songs in a playlist and read the book while listening to the songs. When a link came up I liked the sound of, I circle it. Then I get a 12 bar blues backing track and play it all over the chords to find where it fits best. Then I find another backing track and work it into my improvisation.