Lead Guitar Lessons Made Easy for Beginners

Welcome to a lesson…great for beginners who want to learn lead!


First, download the backing track.CLICK HERE
















Hey, it’s Claude Johnson here and I’ve got a video
lesson for you today for the beginners for lead guitar.
Now, I put out a lot of videos, so if you’re not a
beginner, I’ve got plenty of other stuff; check it out.
If you’re a beginner, this is perfect for you. We’re
going to be covering how to play leads and even if
you’ve never played guitar before, you can get started
with this lesson.

One of the most fun ways to practice is just to put
on a backing track and try improvising your own leads
and solos, because the backing track is going to
provide the rhythm and it’s going to provide the
harmony and all you have to do is play the melody.
Okay? So go ahead and download the backing track for
this lesson and let’s get started.

So in this lesson I’m going to do things a little
bit differently. We’re going to go very easy.
Instead of even showing you a basic scale, like
the pentatonic scale, we’re just going to start
with like one or two notes and build on from there.
So forget about scales; we’re going to go super simple.

But, before we get into the notes, I just want to
show you a couple of basic techniques. The first
one is called alternate picking. With my pick, I’m
going to pick this note on the D string. I’m going
to pick down, so my pick is going to start above
the string and then go down and then I’m going to
go up. Down, up; down, up. You can either pivot
from your wrist or more from your elbow, whatever
is more comfortable for you. Just start out down, up;
down, up; and repeat. It’s called alternate picking
because we’re alternating between down and up.

The next technique I want to show you is the slide.
So here I’m playing this note, which is the A note
on the 7th fret of the D string. I can play it and
then I can also slide into it. And because we’re only
going to be starting on one or two notes, you’re going
to have to add a little bit of expressiveness to your
note. And one way you do this is with slides. You want
to do that, slide into the note.

The third technique is vibrato. You just want to kind
of shake the note a little bit. Just take your wrist
and give it a shake like you’re shaking a can of soda.

Now you know alternate picking, slides and vibrato.
Let’s get started. I’m going to put on the backing
track and show you some different things you can do.
Just starting out, one note, your A; G chord. That’s
the rhythm. The backing track will take care of that.
Then lead. Really feel that root. Notice I’m hitting
it on the down beat, right? Just try that at first.
Feel that down beat. We hit the A.

Now, let’s try adding in more notes. It’s still just
one note, but let’s repeat the A. Here we go. Just
try that rhythm: one, two, three, with some vibrato.
One, two, three; one, two, three; one, two, three.


Let’s try it a little bit faster. One, two, three,
four, five. Each time we’re starting that phrase on
the down beat of the A. A; G. Here’s the down beat.
One, two, three, four, five.

Now, let’s try more notes at the same speed. These
are really 8th notes. One and two and three and four.
Just keep it going; alternate picking. This will
really build on your technique, too. You want to hit
it a little bit harder on that down beat. Let’s try
accenting both the A and the G, but still playing 8th
notes, like this. So every 8th note, like that. Then
we can go ever four notes. You hear that one’s louder?
So we’re just getting really into the pulse of it,
into the feel of it.

Now, what if we combine some shorter notes and some
longer notes? How about something like this? Now, this
I’m not doing strict alternate picking; I’m kind of
going down and then down, up. It doesn’t matter; you
can do it any way that feels comfortable.

Let’s try it backwards, two 8ths and a 1/4. And then
just try mixing it up; just try your own rhythm. Okay,
this beat would be 16th notes. We can try this. Now,
if you can do this, you’re really well on your way.
What’s beyond that? We can go even faster, like 16th
note triplets. We can even go 32nd notes, really fast.
Let me try it here. All right.

Again, just feel it out; hit that down beat and then
just get creative with it. You can also throw in some
rests. It’s all up to you. Try to get as creative as
you can with one note and next time we’ll add in another
note and we’ll keep expanding. All righty.

All right, now let’s add in another note. Remember last
time we were just doing this with the A note? Now, let’s
add in the C, which is our 5th fret G string.

So let’s start out establishing that root tonality. Okay?
Do your A on the down beat. We’ll add in the C. One, two,
three, four; one, two, three, four. Try this one with me.
Some vibrato there. Okay? It’s just one count on this C
and then three counts on the A.

Let’s try it backwards.

How about a little back-and-forth?

You can also try hitting one note twice and then the
other one just once. I’ll go the other way.

There’s just a zillion combinations even with just two
notes. Let’s just try creating some right now. Just two
notes, back and forth, maybe different patterns and
different rhythms. Here we go.

This one here, a little bit fast, 16th notes. Basically
I’m hitting one note here and two here. This will be a
little bit challenging for you’re alternate picking.
Remember, just try to go down and up.

All right, now we’re on to three notes. We’re going to
add this note here, which is the D. It’s on the 7th
fret of the G string.

So we already have these two. We have this one here.
So there are all different kinds of patterns, again,
and all kind of different rhythms.

Let’s just go up three notes. Let’s just try different
rhythms, but the same thing, repeating. Quarter notes.
Now, to make this work I make sure I’m still hitting
the A on the down beat, right? Then we’ll start the
quarter notes. And we can end at any time I want on that A.

Let’s go to 8th notes. How about 16ths? Now this, I’m
actually not using the alternate picking. I’m kind of
using a little bit of what I call economy picking,
because we’re going down, down. Down, right? Watch
my hand. Down, down then up.

How about try backwards; down three notes. Again,
I’m using that economy picking. Down, down, up.
Just emphasizing different notes. Emphasize the A.
Emphasizing it by holding it a little longer, right?
Of course, when I do this all the notes are the same
length. It’s just a strict, repeating pattern. Then,
I can also hold the A longer.

How about emphasize the C? So I’m emphasizing it by
holding it longer and also vibratoing it, right?

How about emphasize the D? We get a great effect by
first emphasizing the D and then emphasizing the A,
like this.

We can also, instead of going either down or up, we
can just go back and forth. So I’ll start out real
slow. A little faster. Quarter notes. Eighth notes.
Sixteenth. Just mix it up, right?

There’s another little move; you can alternate: A, C, A, D.

Back and forth between two notes and two other notes.

Hey, it’s Clause Johnson and I’m back again with another
lead guitar lesson for beginners. Now, in our last lesson
we saw that we could take a couple of basic notes and
start playing a lead just from a few notes.

So we were working in the key of A and I’m here on the
7th fret of the D string. So we started just with one
note. And then we added our C with our A to get two notes.
And then we added our D with the other two notes, so we
have D, C and A.

Now, let’s try adding-in a couple more notes. I’m going
to show you the G, which is two frets down, the 5th fret
of the D string and then we’ll also use our E, which is on
the 7th fret of the A string, right here.

So let’s, again, so one note at a time and then after that
I’ll show you some more concepts that you can use to expand
on these simple ideas.

Let’s run the same backing track that we played with last
time. It’s basically A-major to G-major, back and forth.
I’ll show you how to add in these notes. Here we go.

Again, let’s start on one note with just the A. Don’t forget
to hit it on the down beat, right? One, two, three, four;
one, two, three, four; one, two, three, four. Notice I got
the vibrato going. Shake your hand, right?

Okay, now let’s add in that G. Fifth fret, 7th fret. One,
two, three, four; one, two, three, four. I’m actually
hitting the G over the A chord and the A over the G chord.
Again, one, two, three, four; one, two, three, four. I think
you can use one finger or two fingers. At this point it’s
slow enough, it doesn’t really matter. But now, let’s
speed it up. I’m going to use my first finger on the 5th
fret and my ring finger on the 7th fret. I’m going to use
my up and down, alternate picking, like this.

Now, let’s go even faster, double the speed. You can try
to change the dynamics by picking softer or louder, let’s
try pulling back and forth a little bit. A little softer
picking with the louder. Here we go. We can even go,
double the speed one more time, right? So that’s your G.

We can also add that in with our other notes, remember
like just doing like C to A. Try adding that G in. So we
have like these three notes. Remember before, the first
lesson, we were using these three notes. Now, we’ve got Es.

Okay, now, let’s tackle the E note, which is on the A string,
7th fret. Now, let’s to right to a three note pattern.
We’ll do these three. I’m going back and forth, up and down.
Again, you can always do just like straight down repeating,
straight up repeating, we’re back and forth. So for example
just down these three notes repeating; down and just repeat.
Or up. Or back and forth.

So let’s look at all the three note patterns that we’ve
done so far. We’ve got A, C and D. We’ve got C, A and G.
We’ve got A, G and E.

Now, let’s get really crazy and try to add four notes
all at the same time. So let’s use our A, our C, D
and our G. So we’ve got these four. Again, you can
do the sane concept: straight up, straight down or
back and forth. So let’s try that. Straight up…
Down… Now back and forth.

So that last example we had these four notes: G, A,
C and D. Now notice how this forms like a little box,
a little rectangle shape on the neck. As you start
getting more and more into the guitar, you’re going
to want to pay attention to the shapes and patterns
on the fret board. So this one of the simplest ones,
this little box.

Now, let’s try something. Let’s move this little
four-note pattern down one set of strings so we
have this… Now, this firt note here, 5th fret of
the A string, we haven’t worked with this note before.
However, this note is actually one octave down from
the D. Remember, we played the D here. So you take
that one octave down and you have that D. It’s still
a D, but now it’s on the 5th fret of the A string,
and that becomes a part of this little rectangle shape.
So we have this shape and we have this shape.

Now, if you start on the low E string, 5th fret, which
is an A, and you play two notes per string, you’re
going to get a complete A pentatonic scale. Now,
most teachers start with this scale, including myself,
but in this series of lessons I sort of went about it
a different way and just showed you how to solo starting
with one note, starting with the A up here. And then we
went and added more notes, but now we’re kind of back,
bringing it full circle, showing you how this complete
scale is constructed.

Again, if you start on this low E string, on the 5th
fret with the A, and just add two notes a string,
you’re going to get the same notes that we’re been
working with, which is A, C, D, E and G. With the
frets, we have 5, 8, 5, 7, 5, 7, 5, 7, 5, 8, 5, 8.
Once you get comfortable playing with these basic
two and three note patterns, feel free to extend
it out to the whole pentatonic shape.

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