Table of Contents
Welcome to a lesson…great for beginners who want to learn lead!
First, download the backing track.CLICK HERE
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. Okay? 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.