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I want to learn how to play lead

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by BigToeify, Apr 13, 2021.

  1. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    You can also use this pattern with open strings, replacing the bottom six notes straight across with the six open strings on your guitar, and then the other notes are on the 2nd fret on the A, D, and G strings, and 3rd fret on the low E, B, and high E strings.
    So, you would play the open string and the 3rd fret on the two E strings and the B string, and the open string and the 2nd fret on the A, D, and G strings.
    And, in that case it will be E minor pentatonic and G major pentatonic, the same as if it was on the 12th fret, except an octave lower.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
  2. johnDH

    johnDH Tele-Meister

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    That's what I think too! if you noodle around within the right pentatonic scale, you may not quite 'shine' but at least you won't ' suck' !
     
  3. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Great stuff. When I figured this out, my playing expanded dramatically. But it took a while and if I hadn't made the effort to learn, I'd still be playing that b3 over my major chords.
    Guitar playing has never come naturally to me. I just wanted it so bad, I put in the extra work to become proficient at it.

    The guitar solo I played in the above clip, "Back to the Rock," is mostly Am pentatonic over an Am progression. When the chords change to C, then D, I am playing as you describe here, using the same notes but shifting my root centers to reflect the chords I'm playing over.

    To me, learning the pentatonic minor first, and then having to backtrack to find the major origin of what I'm playing is a bit like submitting to the "dark side" of the force.

    I take the approach that C major is the center of all music and everything branches out from there. Gives me a place to go home to.
     
  4. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Not exactly true.

    As I'm fond of saying, "It's all about the dismount." LOL. Playing notes that aren't wrong is a far cry from playing those notes expressively.

    One of the best places to start is to learn where and when to resolve a phrase. When you can do that, it all starts to make a lot more sense.

    Learn where the root note is, and practice timing your riffs so they land in time on the root note. Then expand to landing on other harmonic notes to make things interesting.

    Most importantly though, don't noodle aimlessly without intention, hoping you manage a little luck to land in the right spot. It makes your playing sound pointless. Learn where to land and do it with authority. Luck will only get you so far.
     
  5. Jim622

    Jim622 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Listening helps.
     
  6. pypa

    pypa Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I am in your same boat. Have been for 30 years. Never could break out until I found Desi Serna a year ago.

    I think you should contact Desi Serna. He's the best teacher I have found online. His philosophy speaks to me: play songs as your exercises, but know the theory behind it.

    I'm about 1/3 into his "Fretboard Theory" course, which is pricey, but it's the only theory study that has made 100% practical sense to me. His lessons are well ordered.

    He in fact has shorter courses for less $$ and he will probably advise you to take one of those.

    To play lead - or at least to solo a bit and play licks, you need to get your fingers comfortable playing little portions of scales in a way that does not sound like portions of scales. That ability does not come naturally for most; it comes from copying and studying other people's solos and licks. That gives you the muscle memory. KNOWING where to apply them is where you need some theory.

    The beauty of Desi's approach is that it's not like Karate Kid where you need to practice technique; you'll feel incremental progress as you learn particular PARTS of songs.

    LMK if you need more info.
     
  7. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    Here's a good video, where he shows how you can use horizontal and diagonal motion too (what he calls the triangle and rectangle), up and down the neck, not just vertical motion across the strings. He also shows how, just by using simple phrasing, and emphasizing the right notes, you make really pleasing sounds, without being fast, flashy or complicated.

    Here's a couple more where he uses really simple shapes and phrasing that sounds great

     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2021
  8. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    if you want to play lead, ignore everything but the top strings of the guitar

    start with the top three strings, then add 4, 5, and 6 later

    play all the songs you know, including happy birthday, just with triads

    learn to change between near-neighbor triads

    do it with a metronome

    listen to the soprano notes as melody, and switch up triad positions to make those melodies nicer, for example by moving by step and by skips followed by steps in the opposite direction

    if you do this, you will become comfortable hearing and playing notes in the proper "lead" octave

    then you can see how the pentatonic and whatever other scales fall "around" these triads, giving you more notes to hear and grab
     
    MilwMark likes this.
  9. Cloodie

    Cloodie Tele-Meister

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    I subscribed to his site a few months ago and it was the 3rd video that you've posted there that pulled me in. Think I even commented on it on Youtube, which is very very rare for me.
     
    DougM likes this.
  10. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    WE all start with the minor first, at least I did, because it's so prevalent in the blues. But, like you, when I learned that the patterns I already knew were also major pentatonic patterns too, then it opened up the world to me, so I finally understood the licks that I heard Clapton, Joe Walsh, Duane, and others were using mixed with the minor pentatonic. I also have severely limited chops and so the way I get more melodic ideas to keep from repeating myself too much is by playing over the chords a lot. So, in your example of Am, C, and D, I'll use Am over all 3, but I'll also use C major over the C chord, and D major over the D chord.
     
    Telenator likes this.
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