#1
Hi guys,

So I've been playing for nearly 6 years and have made some incredible strides in my guitar playing...I formed a metal band in college (not active- since we've graduated and moved on to other things) and have a natural talent for composing interesting riffs and rhythms. However, although I can play leads to a few songs and have done a few of my own I feel I always have to rely on the same tricks and eventually that'll lead to all my solos sounding the same.

I guess, what I wanted to find out here is how you guys taught yourselves to play lead guitar to a level where if you hear almost any rhythm you could play something out. Did you subscribe to lessons? Read up on music theory?

As you can tell, I'm not a guy who picked up an axe a week ago and wants to be the next Van Halen. I'm definitely willing to put in the work, I just don't know what I should be working on at the moment lol.

I'm not sure if it's appropriate to attach a sample of how I play, but I thought it might be helpful for you guys who reply to know where I am with my playing.

Train of Consquences - Megadeth (Solo Cover)
#2
Just expand your lead repertoire. Learn a ton of soli and absorb licks you like. Not everything you play has to be new, it just has to be in a new context.
#3
The thing i did, which applies universally to "rhythm guitar", "lead guitar" or any instrument for that matter is learning a lot of it by ear. If i found i had a weakness in playing solos, i would learn solos that i had a hard time by ear and just slow them down.

The way to learn music is very much like learning to speak, you listen and then you imitate. Eventually you will know enough through imitation to being able to instantly craft your own sentences, and over time your language becomes more and more sofisticated. Its not until later on you begin to analyze that "oh that word is a verb" and "this is an adjective". The sound comes first and the word to describe the sound comes later on if you need it.

If you wish to enhance your lead playing, study the players you enjoy and learn their material. Then see how you can use that in your own work. Phrase it differently, switch up the notes etc.

Hope that was helpful!

Best Regards,
Sickz
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."
#4
Just learn how to use melodic minor harmony and superimposition, as well as tritone substitutions, secondary dominants and counterpoint. For me I found learning to use legato with hammer-ons only gave me a lot of freedom. Just some suggestions
#5
Quote by rayven1lk
Hi guys,

So I've been playing for nearly 6 years and have made some incredible strides in my guitar playing...I formed a metal band in college (not active- since we've graduated and moved on to other things) and have a natural talent for composing interesting riffs and rhythms. However, although I can play leads to a few songs and have done a few of my own I feel I always have to rely on the same tricks and eventually that'll lead to all my solos sounding the same.

I guess, what I wanted to find out here is how you guys taught yourselves to play lead guitar to a level where if you hear almost any rhythm you could play something out. Did you subscribe to lessons? Read up on music theory?

As you can tell, I'm not a guy who picked up an axe a week ago and wants to be the next Van Halen. I'm definitely willing to put in the work, I just don't know what I should be working on at the moment lol.

I'm not sure if it's appropriate to attach a sample of how I play, but I thought it might be helpful for you guys who reply to know where I am with my playing.

Train of Consquences - Megadeth (Solo Cover)



I started out playing metal, so I can relate. The problem with metal is that the solos can be very structured and the phrases, which are very intricate, can be difficult to use in other settings without sounding like you're just using a bunch of pre-learned licks.

Some advice:

1) If you are interested in getting good at improvising and composing your own solos, go back to the roots of rock and roll. I would suggest you start with some blues. You're technically good enough to learn some Stevie Ray Vaughan - so start there, since it will be more interesting. The reason why blues is the best starting point is that you're almost always dealing with the same 3 chord progression, so it gives you an easy setting to practice improvising and to work on phrasing.

2) learn the major scale and how intervals are named in relation to it. Always be aware of where a note you are playing situates itself in relation to the root of the chord being played ( i.e. minor third, 5th, etc.).

3) learn the harmonized major scale and understand how chord progressions can be named in relation to it (i.e. II , V , I ).

4) practice your scale(s) ( pentatonic, major, minor etc.) with a metronome starting with whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, triplets etc. This feels a bit boring at first, but it will help you add more rhythmic variety to your improvisations.

5) always analyse the backing chords of any solo you learn and be aware of which chord is being played during each phrase. Being a good lead player means knowing how to lead the listener through the chord changes. It's all about the chords and the melody of the song!

6) Depending on the style of music, sometimes it helps to quickly learn the vocal melody on the guitar so that you can really grasp which notes are central to the tune.

7) start singing - this is painful for a lot of guitar players, but it will greatly improve your ability to improvise and compose.

8) Learn songs by ear.

9) start tapping quarter notes with your foot while you play.
Last edited by reverb66 at Apr 14, 2014,
#6
I was in the same boat as you for what felt like awhile now. Hell, I'm still in the process of enhancing my improvisational skills. I learnt theory a few years ago, and I always refresh myself on it. Knowing what kind of progression you're playing over (I IV V, ii V I, etc), and what the key of the song is is really beneficial.

I've been playing for almost 6 years, and I decided to work on ear training starting at the end of last summer. When I first started playing, I was always intimidated by working things out by ear. When I actually began to work things out, I found myself having fun with it and it wasn't as bad as I thought. Sure, it can be better, but it's something that has definitely improved my playing in general. If you haven't started already, work on ear training.
Skip the username, call me Billy
#7
Quote by Sickz
The thing i did, which applies universally to "rhythm guitar", "lead guitar" or any instrument for that matter is learning a lot of it by ear. If i found i had a weakness in playing solos, i would learn solos that i had a hard time by ear and just slow them down.

The way to learn music is very much like learning to speak, you listen and then you imitate. Eventually you will know enough through imitation to being able to instantly craft your own sentences, and over time your language becomes more and more sofisticated. Its not until later on you begin to analyze that "oh that word is a verb" and "this is an adjective". The sound comes first and the word to describe the sound comes later on if you need it.

If you wish to enhance your lead playing, study the players you enjoy and learn their material. Then see how you can use that in your own work. Phrase it differently, switch up the notes etc.

Hope that was helpful!


Sickz

this is something most beautiful I've ever seen on this site. Thank you! What a comparation! Spot on, really.
#9
Quote by Sickz
The thing i did, which applies universally to "rhythm guitar", "lead guitar" or any instrument for that matter is learning a lot of it by ear. If i found i had a weakness in playing solos, i would learn solos that i had a hard time by ear and just slow them down.

The way to learn music is very much like learning to speak, you listen and then you imitate. Eventually you will know enough through imitation to being able to instantly craft your own sentences, and over time your language becomes more and more sofisticated. Its not until later on you begin to analyze that "oh that word is a verb" and "this is an adjective". The sound comes first and the word to describe the sound comes later on if you need it.

If you wish to enhance your lead playing, study the players you enjoy and learn their material. Then see how you can use that in your own work. Phrase it differently, switch up the notes etc.

Hope that was helpful!

Best Regards,
Sickz



Meh I agree with Sickz playing figuring things out songs by ear develops your musical voice that's one of the main reasons why I can play things I hear in my head or hear something and instantly be able to figure it out.. This is the most important aspect in learning when it comes to music it's not about how great your chops are this isn't a sport this is music lol.


People want to hear beautiful compositions not mindless shredding in scales people seriously get a clue
Last edited by Black_devils at Apr 14, 2014,