ihav been playing guitar for almost 2 and a half years now and am a solid rhythm guitarist.. i am entirely self taught and proud of it!! but i now want to progress into lead and am looking for advice..

1. where should i start?
2. what techniques should i learn first?
3. are scales REALLY nesscary and what 1s should i start with?

any other advice would really be appreciated.. thanks
I have only been playing for 1 and a half years and i am also a solid rhythm guitarist and i wanted to learn lead. The first thing u need to do if u already havnt is get a good understanding of theory this way u can improvise when u r more advanced.
After theory i learned all the techniques i could, hammers-pulls, tapping, sweeping, legato and all other stuff but u must learn theory, this way u can practice ure techniques because by goin up and down scales not only r u learning that certain scale but u r also practising ure picking. Then when u get ure pickin down u try something that u r not as good at say legato, spend time getting this down but also not forgetting the stuff u have already learned(a practise schedual is probaly in need here now) then go onto sweeping and do the same until u think u are satisfied enough with ure knowledge to do some of ure own stuff.

In order of what techniques to learn first i would do this;
1. practising picking(i dont know what style u play but i think if u want to play brilliant lead lik sweeping and stuff this will help)by going up and down scales or any exercises u can think of(this would apply to any style).
2. Legato, not much i can say here but to make this easier practise hammering and pulling-off.
3.Then sweeping i think sweeping is made easier or at least it was for me by doing the legato first because it made my hand more fluent and when there are hammer ons and stuff in the sweep legato helps.
4. I learned tapping last but u could learn tapping before sweeping if u want to. Legato helps piles when u r tapping i think and then u can add it into sweeping when u think ur good enough.

I think scales r theory in general is very important not so much to play good lead but to make up ure own leads like knowing where intervals and stuff are. U shud start i think with one from of the major scale and completely take it apart until u know everything about it, then move on to the other forms. I done this because if u know say the E form/shape or 5th form/shape of the major scale(caged system) Then from that u can find all ure other standard scales that u should know like major pentatonic-taking away 4th and 7ths from the major scale, minor pentatonic- moving down to the relative minor of the major(3 frets) in this case c#/ d flat and playing the e form of the minor pentatonic then playing the blues scale in which u just add the flattened 5th to the minor pentatonic. Confusing yes but i had a supperb guitar teacher.

If u have a good understanding of theory or u cudnt be bothered with it for now(fine but it'll bite ya in the ass) then there are many methods to learning these if u dont know them, u can buy a good book showing u these9 i would recommend 1 by troy stetina called speed mechanics it is very good and touches on theory too. alternativly u could buy total guitar or guitar techniues( i would recommend g.t) or possibly even dvds.

Hope this helped u man,
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1. Your couch?
2. The basics, hammer ons, bends, alternate picking. I'm sure some lessons on this site will be useful.
3. Pentatonics, major, minor, etc. Then you should learn modes, and 3 note per string patterns.
i've been playing for 2 years and some months now, and i started playing rythm and lead both. well i learnt everything from guitar pro.(don't know if that's self-taught)...if you want to start with lead, try 'duets'. u know , be a rythm guitarist. play some lead along with your lead guitarist, and also show your incredible rythm skills. but don't turn into a lead guitarist..that's a bad choice, really.