I want to start getting into lead stuff instead of chord progressions all the time I tried learning the intro to anastacia and it's so much harder than it sounds. Where's the best place to start scales and stuff like that?

The only solo lead stuf I can play is easy nirvana stuff.
beats me whats best, but i did some great lessons on this site worth a look, maybe start there?
I hope your progression is better than mine. After a year, I still find the simplest fills and lead riffs to be difficult. Reality has set in and know I'm not the next Jimi Hendrix. I'll be happy if I can just become good enough chord strummer to play campfire songs for my friends and family. I'd say the finger dexterity excersises that most instructors tell you to do in your daily practice is as good way to start. I always skipped them because I found them to be tedious, boring and difficult.
Well, I found out that I wasn't going to be the next Jimi Hendrix, while Jimi was still alive...So, you two aren't alone..

So, I strummed along with another player, (Pete Townshend), who has one of the most expansive and elaborate sense of rhythms around. Plus, he tends to be rooted in traditional music, classical, military, ceremonial, anthem, and a big helping of folk for good measure.

Besides, I didn't "get" Hendrix, Blue Cheer, and to some extent, Led Zeppelin anyway.

One lead player I do get, is Mark Knopfler, and that's because of his consummate grasp of melody.

Now, this topic comes up again and again in "Musician Talk", and generally ends with the conclusion that, "if you learn to play lead by wanking on scales, your lead guitar will sound like someone wanking pointlessly away on scales".

Improvisation simply doesn't work without a rhythm, and when you stop strumming, the volume goes from that of 6 strings, to 1. Big problem. So, the "looper", is the biggest boon to the solo guitarist ever. You tape a few measures, then solo over it. I actually have a amp & pedal system (Peavey "Vypyr"), capable of doing that, but am too lazy to hook it up and play with it.

Anyway, the first thing you should do along the lines of "learning lead guitar", is learn how to sing. Virtually very guitar hero to come along, knows how to sing. (Yes, even Jimi).

Remember, you can play, "Riannon", note for note, and still boor people to death, if no one is singing.

The second thing, is learn to read music. That which we call "chromatic exercises", just make you better and faster at playing the same set of notes over and over. They're good for speed, they're good for conditioning, but little more.

But, learning to read music, hear and transcribe melody, can be a great help.

Left alone, people develop habit patterns, in that, they put their fingers where they've been putting them for years.

But, learning to read and time melodies, is an entirely different situation. You're forced to put your fingers where someone ELSE thinks they should go, thereby breaking you out of your self made rut. Even exercise books for violin can serve as practice material.

Take a couple of the most played songs in the world, "Amazing Grace", and, "To Anacreon in Heaven", ("The Star Spangled Banner"). They both have melodies that go up and down the tones of the chord being played. So, why can't your solos have arpeggios in them? Listen to the steel guitar. Most often, it's playing the chords of the song, it's just not "strumming" them. The pedals and bar slides are offering "legato" transitions within the chord progression.

But perhaps most importantly, don't try to force your will on your audience. Don't try to dominate them, or show them how fast you can play. Draw them in, as if every session is a campfire, and let them "play lead", while you play rhythm for them.

I don't know that that's all I have to say, but I am typed out ATM. Tell me if any of that resonated with you.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jan 23, 2015,
Yeah I understand I will give that stuff a go minus the singing because I can't sing my voice doesn't do singing. I just don't know what type of songs are a good place to start most stuff I like is way to hard but I've played for 2 years now and I want to move onto lead stuff.
I'm a bit like Cranky, I realized I wouldn't be the next Eric Clapton before Clapton recorded Layla...

My best advise is this - Start naming names. Clapton, Knopfler, Hendrix, Gibbons...and the list goes on and on, all of them have one thing in common. They are all tremendously fabulous rhythm players. I can't come up with enough superlatives to describe those guys as rhythm players. I can keep naming names...Johnny Winter, Jeff Beck, Derek Trucks, John Mayer, Joe Walsh, and so on. All of them can play circles around most amateur guitar players without ever picking a note of lead.

Sorry if this pops your bubble, but if you want to be a lead player you need to be the best rhythm player you can first, you need to know where the band is going before they get there.

Once you're the best rhythm player in town, start on easy stuff and work your way up. I was a dummy, the first lead I ever tried to learn was Stairway to Heaven. Not exactly the easiest one I can think of...but it was still working its way up the charts, and I wanted to play it. Keep in mind though, I was already playing just about every song on the radio at the time. But just the rhythm parts...CCR, Cat Stevens, America, Harry Chapin, a lot of other stuff, I was already playing the rhythm parts to just about everything I heard on top 40 radio, Stairway just happened to be the song that pushed me into lead...but I was already a very good rhythm player and I knew where the songs were going from doing it for several years. Second one I learned was Clapton's Bell Bottom Blues. From there it got crazy...
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
Quote by BassBen93
I want to start getting into lead stuff instead of chord progressions all the time I tried learning the intro to anastacia and it's so much harder than it sounds. Where's the best place to start scales and stuff like that?

The only solo lead stuf I can play is easy nirvana stuff.

You need to find slow tempo songs with solos that are slow and easy to hear. You should pick something that you actually like so that you're more motivated to learn it.

If you're on electric, old metal such as Black Sabbath is pretty accessible and a good place to start - see paranoid Album.

If you're on acoustic, you may want to look into players like Neil Young, he incorporates more fills in his tunes ( see needle and the damage done) and his solos are low difficulty. Eric Clapton's unplugged version of Layla has a pretty easy solo, but it might be too difficult to start with.

"Wish you were here" from pink floyd is the quintessential easy beginner lead acoustic tune.
I took a little different path... 40+ years in and I still don't read music. I play a variety of music including fingerstyle chord-melody jazz... I figure out the melody either from tabs or by ear and then work up chord arrangements based on a general knowledge of chords and progressions.

Anyway... "Lead" guitar is actually several different things. We usually think of the lead guitarist as playing a solo somewhere during the song. In between, the guy is usually playing rhythm.... As the other guys note.

However, depending on how your band is set up, you may also play "fills", "riffs", and other short figures that don't amount to a full solo but which add color and even a signature to the song. Where would "Layla" be without that signature riff?
I have nothing against copying other people's recorded solos with an eye to learning how such things are constructed, but be aware of the pitfall of "you sound just like so-and-so!"

I generally learn the bare bones of a song and then try to construct something that's my own, including the solo if one is needed. You can solos "over the melody".... Using the melodic content of the song to inform your choice of notes, or "over the changes"... To construct a solo from the notes used in the various chords in the tune.
Both are popular... Jazz guys use both extensively.
Thanks for all the help I'm just gonna give different things a try and see how it goes most stuff I play is acoustic but rock songs but I want to be able to add fills and licks and stuff but find them hard to get.

I can play some electric stuff I learned r u mine? By the arctic monkeys I know the solo is easy but it's a start.

As I'm mainly acoustic I just want to learn how to spice up things with fills between and amongst my chord strumming. I'd love to learn to song but I think it's something you're born with. My voice is like cardboard and if I try it's more like scraping a knife across a plate
Oh, a good song with an easy little solo riff that you can throw in between strumming chords is Peter Frampton "Show me the Way". Even I can play that one but I mess it up half the time. Badfinger Baby Blue is another that has a little fill between chords.