Playing lead guitar is the dream of almost anybody who hears a great guitar solo and picks up the guitar to learn how to play. Thankfully the Internet offers countless websites with lead guitar lessons free of charge. The lessons available range from scale and theory lessons to actual playing techniques and even note-for-note transcriptions of some of your favorite guitar solos. Websites featuring written or video lead guitar instruction make it possible for you to become a proficient lead guitar player in the comfort of your own home.
One of the most important things a lead guitar player needs is an understanding of the fretboard of the guitar (where the notes are) and how to play them fluidly. This requires some finger strength and a knowledge of patterns that comes without thinking. Playing scales can help develop both of these things. Scale exercises like the one in the example below can be particularly helpful in fingerboard memory and picking technique. The examples are in specific keys, which help you use scales in a real-world application. There’s nothing wrong with playing scales in note order, but practicing them as melodic exercises is a more practical approach.
Lead guitar lessons without a focus on playing technique are not very effective. Some of the techniques that you might consider are the basics, such as finger sliding, note bends, double stops, and arpeggio playing. These techniques are essential to almost any guitar player. Techniques like two-handed tapping, sweep picking, and whammy bar technique are techniques you may or may not approach, depending on the type of lead guitar you want to learn how to play.
Below is a lesson that focuses on actual technique. This particular lesson is a minor pentatonic lick with half step bends. You can find a lot of websites that focus on these basic techniques, whether in written form or through video examples.
Lead guitar lessons are essential to developing your skills as a player, but don’t overlook the importance of actually playing your favorite solos. There are plenty of TAB websites that offer transcriptions of just about any guitar solo you want to learn. Playing these solos and examining how they’re put together can be one of the best lead guitar lessons you’ll ever have. Give it a try and you’ll be amazed by what you can learn.