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#1151707 - 03/19/19 11:27 PM Playing Lead  
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 11
CFD Offline
Casual Observer
CFD  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 11
Hi folks:

I have always been a songwriter, and that has been my first love. I wrote most of my songs on an acoustic guitar.

However, about a year ago, I set my mind to learning how to play lead guitar. I never thought I could. It seemed like I was always stumbling into the wrong notes whenever I attempted a lead. More often than not, it was a very frustrating experience.

But little by little, I began learning some of the techniques of playing lead . I am posting a sample of my lead playing. It's a bit sloppy in places, but it just shows how you could go from not having a clue how to play lead, to figuring it out.

Many people spent a lot of time answering questions and giving me tips. If you are looking to start playing lead, it is never too late and I'd be happy to give you a tip or two, free of charge.

Here is a sample (I ran out of music at the end of it. I was so into playing the licks that i didn't notice the music had stopped ,,;-))

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1B3agSr-U6isdwcjJDUHd6VaVBZQSEao-/view?usp=sharing

I am sorry if this gets posted twice. Im not sure if my first attempt worked.

#1151712 - 03/20/19 10:08 AM Re: Playing Lead [Re: CFD]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,248
Ray E. Strode Online content
Top 30 Poster
Ray E. Strode  Online Content
Top 30 Poster

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,248
Brunswick, Ga. USA
Well,
I can play a bit of lead on my songs. However going up the fret board I never practiced enough to accomplish. You can do a lot in the key of C and changing to another key perhaps a Capo is needed. I have a couple of Hank Thompson Song Books with the sheet music. I decided, some time ago I was going to learn all those chords Hank supposedly used. Alas! My fingers would not reach! So I went back to my 3 chords and the occasional 7 th.


Ray E. Strode
#1151717 - 03/20/19 11:59 AM Re: Playing Lead [Re: CFD]  
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,289
Fdemetrio Offline
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Fdemetrio  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,289
It sounds pretty good. Does sound a bit inhibited, and a bit scaley, but you do have some nice runs in there though. Take a page from Eric Clapton, make it singable. Singable solos are best received by a listener.

Blues is fun aint it?

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 03/20/19 02:41 PM.
#1151732 - 03/20/19 05:29 PM Re: Playing Lead [Re: CFD]  
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 11
CFD Offline
Casual Observer
CFD  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 11
Thank-you for your comments. It's not as musical as it could have been, but you're listening to someone who about a year ago couldn't play a note of lead ';)

#1151733 - 03/20/19 05:30 PM Re: Playing Lead [Re: CFD]  
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 11
CFD Offline
Casual Observer
CFD  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 11
Here's an email I recently sent to a friend who is also learning guitar:
Iíd like to share a few things that I found helpful in my guitar journey, understanding that I donít claim to be a fantastic guitarist and knowing that you likely know most, if not all of what I am about to share.

I think many guitar players learn chords and barre chords, and perhaps venture a little into lead guitar while believing that they have learned most of what they need to know. I thought the same way for a long time. I discovered that chords and barre chords were more like 60% or less of what a well rounded guitarist needs to know. The other stuff I picked up on, which I strongly recommend, is the following:

1. There is a whole world to be discovered on the high E, B and G strings of a guitar. There are some shapes that can be played down there, that would be very familiar, that can be useful in the following ways:

a) as another way of playing chords, that emphasizes the higher sounding end.
b) typically used in funk, disco and modern music to produce some pretty nifty progressions/sounds.
c) sonically, as an alternative to playing a full chord, whose lower end, will sometimes collide- compete sonically, with a bass guitar. This is particularly important in recording music where you want to carve out frequencies positionally within the sonic landscape. Where sonic overlaps and collisions occur, it muddies the clarity of certain instruments. Thus, using the higher register as an alternative, with a bass guitar looking after the lower foundation, is often a good mix. Again, more important in recording although there are also benefits in playing live.

2. The Penatatonic scale, and itís various positions along the neck is probably the biggest bang for your time spent, in terms of its immediate usefulness in blues and rock. Once the various positions of the pentatonic are learned, it can easily be applied to blues music or rock. A neat little trick occurs when you move the position 3 frets back. When doing so, you switch from a bluesy sounding solo, to a happy sounding solo simply by moving the position back three frets, while remaining in key.

3. Learning the modes is also a very good investment. It is initially a mind twister as it runs somewhat contrary to other approaches to learning other aspects of the guitar. But once the concept and payload of modes clicks, it is well worth it. If you have not used modes and wish to revisit them, I strongly suggest you learn all the positions of the major scale (also known as the Ionian mode). Once that is learned and one is fluid with it, it can be used to play virtually any other mode. The beauty of it, is that you can easily solo to almost any genre including music by AC/DC (typically mixolydian), Santana (often times Dorian) and the like.

I hope some of this is helpful. Again, I am no virtuoso and I had to give up playing for some time due to my health. But these are some of the things I learned in an effort to try to improve the breadth of my playing.

#1151755 - 03/21/19 03:26 PM Re: Playing Lead [Re: CFD]  
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,289
Fdemetrio Offline
Top 200 Poster
Fdemetrio  Offline
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Posts: 1,289
I havent done a jam over a blues track like that in a LONG time, so my chops are not up to par either.

They mention the Pentatonic scale. There's no rock n roll with out it, no Chuck Berry. If you master the pentatonic scale, you can be really, really good at rock and blues. The trick is, when the songs are not of the I IV V variety, it gets harder.

Jazz uses more modes, i never really learned modes. Im a feel player all the way. Cant read music very well either

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 03/21/19 03:27 PM.
#1151759 - 03/21/19 08:54 PM Re: Playing Lead [Re: CFD]  
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 11
CFD Offline
Casual Observer
CFD  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 11
I am a big fan of playing by feel and it is probably the most authentic way to play.

However, I found that I was spending too much time stumbling around. It was perfectly fine playing by feel for me, when i was recording an original song. If I screwed up, I simply did it again, punched in or tried something else.

However, I always wanted to be able to play with other musicians and spontaneously kick out a solo to a jam. To do that, I needed to learn some basic "rules" or guides. This was akin to having a flashlight in a dark alley, rather than walking through it and bumping into things (at least, for me it was).

Once I did that, I was able to get musical again and use what I learned as a guide, rather than as a map.

The reason why I think modes are important, is that they are the piece that helped me to move beyond relying on the pentatonic scale. Nothing beats the pentatonic for true blues, but when you are playing to AC DC, Santana, Old time Rock and roll and the like, modes can be invaluable.

I strongly recommend learning them, although I had a very difficult time initially, getting my head around them. Worse still, I found there was no consistency in the youtube world. Modes were taught and spoken about very differently by various teachers, and it just added to my confusion and led me down some paths that were hard to unlearn.

But I am pretty confident in my ability to teach modes in a way that a guitarist would understand. Maybe I should make a video on it someday.



Last edited by CFD; 03/21/19 08:58 PM.
#1151771 - 03/22/19 10:37 AM Re: Playing Lead [Re: CFD]  
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,289
Fdemetrio Offline
Top 200 Poster
Fdemetrio  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,289
Originally Posted by CFD
I am a big fan of playing by feel and it is probably the most authentic way to play.

However, I found that I was spending too much time stumbling around. It was perfectly fine playing by feel for me, when i was recording an original song. If I screwed up, I simply did it again, punched in or tried something else.

However, I always wanted to be able to play with other musicians and spontaneously kick out a solo to a jam. To do that, I needed to learn some basic "rules" or guides. This was akin to having a flashlight in a dark alley, rather than walking through it and bumping into things (at least, for me it was).

Once I did that, I was able to get musical again and use what I learned as a guide, rather than as a map.

The reason why I think modes are important, is that they are the piece that helped me to move beyond relying on the pentatonic scale. Nothing beats the pentatonic for true blues, but when you are playing to AC DC, Santana, Old time Rock and roll and the like, modes can be invaluable.

I strongly recommend learning them, although I had a very difficult time initially, getting my head around them. Worse still, I found there was no consistency in the youtube world. Modes were taught and spoken about very differently by various teachers, and it just added to my confusion and led me down some paths that were hard to unlearn.

But I am pretty confident in my ability to teach modes in a way that a guitarist would understand. Maybe I should make a video on it someday.




I used to be alot better at guitar. My first bands, i was forced into the lead singer role because usually no one else could, not that i could either at the time, but i was in front holding the guitar so it was me who had to suffer the growing pains lol.

My voice improved by doing, it got stronger and i had more confidence.

So my guitar playing was left untapped, and then when i got into writing, i found i couldnt do everything, todays home recording boom, everybody thinks they are everything. writer, singer, band, engineer, producer, agent, pr person.

#1153687 - 06/01/19 09:14 AM Re: Playing Lead [Re: CFD]  
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 363
Sue Rarick Offline
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Sue Rarick  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 363
Oak Grove, KY
Although probably not worth the ROI today, when I was young my Mom was a concert pianist and a Jazz pianist. I learned playing scales up and down the fretboard. I learned intervals which led to some unique comping and basic chords which for the most part once you know the fretboard you can create any chord you want anyplace on it. As far as lead playing goes... The Clarinet is written in the same register as the Guitar so grab some clarinet books and learn to read and play what is written. I loved some of Bach's music because it really made you work. It also means that when you start cranking up the volume you will sound like yourself and not a copy of anyone else (but now have the skill set to do that if asked)




#1153691 - 06/01/19 12:55 PM Re: Playing Lead [Re: CFD]  
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 675
Gavin Sinclair Online content
Top 500 Poster
Gavin Sinclair  Online Content
Top 500 Poster

Joined: May 2017
Posts: 675
Conover, North Carolina, USA
I used to play the clarinet a little. What I found frustrating was the fact that it is pitched in B flat, so when everyone else is playing a C, you have to transpose or you are actually playing a B flat. That's just too much hard work for me, especially as I often would learn tunes on the recorder or tin whistle and instinctively want to use the same fingering on the clarinet. No problem with that until someone on a different instrument joins in! It's also what put me off the sax, which I love.

#1153708 - 06/02/19 03:23 AM Re: Playing Lead [Re: CFD]  
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 230
Cheyenne Offline
Serious Contributor
Cheyenne  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 230
Florida U.S.A.
Acoustic guitar ?? Thats all you need to write a song

If you wanna play wind riffs and the like you can easily use a key board

for your recording

iI is a great asset learning all the various Scales and Modes

on Guitar and keyboards

Writing a lyric with no melody in your head is something I never do

my best results are doing both lyrics and melody together,

An understanding of repetition in songs is a must if you want to write

competitive finished songs However if its just trying to impress your buddies

with what you class as Clever Lyrics ; I dont see the point, unless its

to feed your own EGO

If you have only been playing a year ?? you have done well, keep at it the skys the limit

Last edited by Cheyenne; 06/21/19 05:51 AM.

One of the most important principles of songwriting is to remember that a good song is a partnership of many different components, all working together to produce a satisfying musical experience.

In that respect, song components are either enhancing or compromising their combined effects.
#1154834 - 07/03/19 11:56 AM Re: Playing Lead [Re: CFD]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,905
Colin Ward Offline
Colin Ward  Offline


Top 30 Poster

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,905
Saint Petersburg. FL
I listened to your blues lead. I suggest you end each phrase of your pentatonic runs on a significant beat such as the end of a measure or the first note of the next measure, especially when the chord changes. Draw the final note out like you mean it and and put some vibrato on it. The blues is about feeling and expression, much like singing. Also, move from one note of the scale to one that is not adjacent to it....even skipping over a string. Otherwise it sounds like going up a ladder and back down it. And down be afraid to put some skinny strings on your guitar so you can bend them up a half or even a whole step. Good Luck.


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/



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