So you finally got accustomed to the basics of the instrument and wish to explore further.
You can’t wait to have a Stratocaster and rip out solos with a crunchy overdrive...
Or you have been playing leads for some time and wish to master the craft.
Whichever situation you are in, here are some solid tips that will help you spice up your playing as a lead guitarist:
Master the Fretboard
Learning the A minor pentatonic from the 5th fret on the low E string, down to the high E string, sounds amazing for a couple of days...
But it doesn’t really get you anywhere musically.
To sound astounding, you need to move around the fretboard.
Learning the CAGED system can give you the initial boost. Move around and learn your scales at different places.
Once you are comfortable moving all around, you’ll have the freedom to play with notes whichever way you like.
Spice it up! Learn the fretboard!
Build on the basics
You need to master your basic major and minor scales. Once you know them, you’ll unlock a whole new world of music to yourself.
An easy way to go about this is to master the relative majors and minors.
Once you know them, you can experiment with notes and come up with unique melodies.
The majority of scales and melodies have majors and minors as their root.
With a solid grasp of the basics, you’ll have the freedom to explore more into the modes.
Once comfortable, you can always try out different modes to give exotic flavours to your playing.
Learn and use the technique
Lead guitar isn’t just about learning the scales and shredding them up and down the fretboard. It is so much more than that...
Using techniques such as vibrato, slides, bends, hammer-ons, and pull-offs, can really give a distinct flavour to your playing.
Almost all guitar maestros use them to induce emotions in their listeners.
Learn these techniques and blend them naturally in your playing style.
You can follow your idols and see how they incorporate these techniques to make an impactful melody.
Don’t hesitate to experiment
You are never bound to follow exactly what you learn.
That is the beauty of playing guitar...
It gives you the freedom to experiment and come up with something of your own.
Guitarists like Mateus Asato and Ichika Nito have created their own unique styles.
This shows that there’s always room for new musical dimensions to be explored.
Playing in the minor key? Try putting in the harmonic minor to spice the melody...
Or go overboard and make it a little Jazzy.
Honestly, as long as you sound good, there’s no boundary at all.
Play with backing tracks
This one can’t be emphasised enough; play with backing tracks.
Your melodies must gel in perfectly with the chords, and backing tracks give you that opportunity.
Also, it allows you to see whether you play in time or not.
There are numerous tracks available on YouTube of your favourite songs.
Take them up and see what you can do differently... It provides you a great opportunity to experiment and add your own flavour to the song.
Explore different genres
Sticking to one genre for a long time can make your playing monotonous and eventually bore you out.
Always try to explore different genres...
That’ll help you gather several options you could use to brighten up your playing.
You’ll see numerous examples of rock guitarists who always fall back to pentatonic and blues to make their playing flavourful.
All in all, never stick to just one thing and always keep experimenting.
The good thing about music is that there isn’t a right or wrong. You just got to play what feels right to the heart.
Just keep learning and experimenting, and you’ll be producing beautiful melodies in no time!