This series is going to be perfect for two kinds of people. The first person is the kind of person that’s really wanting to get into lead guitar but just hasn’t done it yet. They don’t know how to get started. The second kind of person this is going to be awesome for is some who’s been playing lead guitar for a while but they really don’t have any direction and they don’t know what to practice next to get to where they want to be.
Knowing exactly where to start with the lead guitar can be a little bit intimidating and frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s why I made the Lead Guitar Quick-Start Series. It’s going to help you know exactly where you need to start and it’s going to give you all the things that are most important for you to have success with lead guitar and playing your own solos. We’re going to go over things like basic technique for your left and right hands and then we’re going to learn some of the most important scales that you need to know as a lead guitar player. From there, I’m going to teach you some techniques that can bring those scales to life like legato technique, hammer-ons and pull-offs, bends and vibrato. Once you get all those things down, I’m going to give you some tips to make your solos sound really awesome and we’re going to go through and learn your first solo and that’s going to incorporate everything that we’ve learned throughout the entire series.
The best part about this is all along the way we’re going to be applying everything to real music. I’m going to have some real loops for you, so instead of practicing your scales or whatever you’re working on in a particular lesson, with just a metronome you can have some real music to apply everything you learned to. And the rest of this first post, I wanted to give you some tips for your fretting hand so you can get started off on the right foot for your lead guitar technique and the first tip I have for you is really simple; it’s just relax. If you feel any tension creeping up when you’re playing, if your arm is getting sore, take some time, relax, shake it out, and then start again.
With that in mind, let’s talk about just some hand posture for playing the guitar for playing some leads. To start out, just pretend like you’re holding a baseball or something in your hand, and that’s a really good position, a relaxed position to start in. Bring your hand up to the guitar, thumb on the back of the neck and just put your fingers down on the fret board. That’s a really good starting position.
Finger posture is the next thing that I want to talk to you about when it comes to playing a lead guitar and this is going to change as we go along but a basic good finger posture is to just come down on the very tip of your finger, just like you would if you’re making chords or something like that. That is a good starting position. You’re also going to want to come right behind the fret. That’s going to help you avoid any buzzing or anything like that. For now you’re going to want to have your thumb right on the back of the neck like I said earlier. That’s going to change a bit when we get into bending and stuff like that but for now, that’s a good position.
One thing that I want to cover with you quickly is something called the designated finger concept and this is going to apply to all the scales we’re going to be covering in the Lead Guitar Quick-Start Series, not all the scales we’ll ever learn but the three scales we’ll be covering here. The designated finger concept just says that you’re going to have one finger designated for any note that occurs on any particular fret. So for example if you’re playing a scale, a G major scale for example that we’re going to be learning, if you have any notes on the second fret your first finger is going to get all those notes. If you have any notes on the third fret on any of the strings, your second finger is going to get those notes. Any notes on the fourth fret your third finger will get and any notes on the fifth fret your pinky will get on any of the strings. This will be a lot clearer once we start learning scales.
The last little tip I want to give you is really simple, and that’s just keep your fingernails short. When my fingernails start to grow out, it’s harder to get on the tips of my fingers and it digs into the fret board a little bit. These are just a few general guidelines that you’re going to want to keep in mind as we move through the lessons in this series.
Let me just tell you you’re probably not going to sound like Stevie Ray Vaughan or Joe Satriani right away when you start to try to apply all of these things but the important thing is that you practice all of these stuff consistently and apply it to real music. That’s why I’ve supplied you with the mp3 jam tracks on all of these lessons.
There’s no substitute for sitting down and spending time with your instrument and on a daily basis, really challenging yourself to come up with new things.
Thanks for reading this post. In the next video we’re going to cover some basic technique for your picking hand. If you have any questions, there’s a commenting system below this post. Leave your question there. I’ll get back to you that way or you can just contact me.
See you in the next lesson.