Many aspiring guitarists want to learn how to play lead guitar only to discover that it looks much easier than it actually is. You can’t blame them though, just watch somebody who makes it look almost effortless, as if they always knew how to play guitar like that.
In reality, you can quickly learn basic scales to get you started and you discover the fun of creating cool and creative leads.
Knowing how to play lead guitar might help you get a date
It’s true, playing guitar is a great way to get a date, after all, what is more romantic than playing awesome music on the guitar to the date of your dream? There is something especially attractive when you can play lead guitar and sing to your sweetheart.
I’ve played with many teenagers and most boys are eager to play like one of their heroes, maybe Kirk Hammett from Metallica, or Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton. There are hundreds of great lead guitarists out there, it just depends on what you like personally.
You need to understand that this takes practice, lots of practice to learn to play lead guitar. Sure, anybody can play the intro to Smoke On The Waters or some Nirvana song, but these little snippets don’t get you very far. Eventually you discover that you need to make music and actually be able to play a song.
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Mark Knopfler, from Dire Straits made a statement that the best way to learn to play lead guitar is to learn to play ragtime music on the piano! I think what he meant was that you need to get this rhythm and boogie-woogie into your soul first. Rock and roll is, after all, based on the blues.
Here is how most people seem to start out
Take a song such as Black Magic Woman, either by Fleetwood Mac or Santana. This is a great song to learn on because it is so recognizable and has such a strong rhythm. Practice learning the chords first, the strum, the feel of the song. If you can sing, hum or whistle the song you can learn it.
One good way to learn to play lead guitar is to get some tablature to find out the chords. You can also buy sheet music to learn the entire song, but make sure that you do not get hung up in the written music. Use it as a help, not some kind of rigid note by note process.
Play along with the CD or DVD or Youtube. Play it hundreds of times until it is in your blood. Once you know the song, or whatever song you choose, then you can start playing the lead. If you go about this in the reverse order, you almost certainly will not sound like music, at least not for a long time.
Personally, I love the method at ArtistWorks. For a very reasonable payment you get your own personal guitar instructor who provides you with everything you need to learn how to play guitar. Once you are ready you submit a video to the instructor and he will respond with a personalized video that offers suggestions and ways to improve.
Don’t waste your time
There are many excellent courses available, both on DVD and online. Some are free, some cost a little and some are rather expensive. Try different approaches, you might discover your own personal learning style and take off.
Private lessons are also a great way to learn to play lead guitar. This has several big advantages: you are paying for it, so you probably will take it more seriously. Online guitar lessons are a favorite method because you have the ability to play the lesson over and over again, slowing it down and playing it at various speeds.
The regimen of regular practice also will enable you to progress much faster than if you have to figure out everything on your own. Plus, obviously, a good teacher will correct bad habits from the outset, so you don’t have to unlearn them later on.
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There is no shame in being a beginner, in fact, once you accept that fact, you can be taught how to play lead guitar. Personally, I’ve had to go back numerous times and learn some basics that I jumped over in my haste to learn how to play guitar.
It is much better to play a little bit every day than a lot once in a while. The best is to set goals and stick with it by regular, steady practice. Jumping from song to song, style to style and genre to genre will only make you into a shallow player.
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