When most people first start playing electric guitar all they want to do is learn those awesome guitar solos of Slash, Hendrix, Clapton, Stevie Ray and the other great legends. There's no doubt playing a solo is fun, but more than fun, learning a guitar solo will teach players many additional music skills...
Once a guitarist learns the basic neck theory of open position, the string names, how to fret clean notes and how to play a few of the most popular strumming chords, the obvious "next step" (to becoming a better guitar player) is to start learning single-note phrases, a.k.a, "Lead Guitar."
Most often, this will involve the practice of scales, sequences, licks, arpeggios, intervals, and just about anything else that expands a players ability to work on single note line improvisation skills. Freedom on the fret-board is the ultimate goal.
1). FRET-BOARD FREEDOM:
Having this ability allows the guitarist to start playing in bands doing originals and /or covers, as well as, creating and performing original music. With band experience and especially with stage experience, the player gains a lot more through gigging than almost any other method of study.
Playing live will help develop a players own style of playing the guitar. And, by learning songs, a lot of new skills will occur with that. The other positive side is when we are playing lead guitar (playing lead live on stage) it also helps tremendously with building and expanding a guitarists overall guitar vocabulary.
2). BUILDING A GUITAR VOCABULARY:
The background work of playing a solo with smooth precise skill, requires many hours invested in learning a solo so you are competent. This brings in the art of doing transcribing and practicing solos by other guitar legends.
Learning another guitar players solos is both refreshing as well as inspiring. The study of a solo can open up new worlds. Plus, it will take your knowledge of the neck to other places and improve your guitar playing in ways you can't even realize.
3). GUITAR EDUCATION BY THE LEGENDS:
There are countless benefits derived from learning how to play like another guitarist. learning a lead by Clapton or a riff of Jimmy Page can teach you a number of beneficial ideas about the neck.
Plus, there's an importance involved with continuously educating yourself about how another musician tackles the notes of the neck. We know how vital it is to keep practicing, studying and memorizing guitar concepts regularly. It’s like reading a new book or watching a brilliant movie to fuel your inspiration.But, learning how another player used a scale or arpeggio to manipulate a melodic passage can really open new doors for you.
There are also other important reasons and benefits to learning lead guitar.
Solos contain all the techniques that you need to acquire for lead playing like bending notes, doing hammer-ons, pull offs, slides, tapping, vibrato, whammy, etc. These techniques are essential for developing coordination and will develop and improve with every new guitar solo you learn. You'll also encounter new techniques and guitar tricks every now and then that will keep you on top of your game. Remember, learning anything that makes your fingers stumble will always push your skills to the next level.
Learning solos will train your memorization skills, (which you need to be able to recall licks, scales, arpeggios and many more soloing ideas). Recall ability will help to create a larger and larger guitar vocabulary that you will want to build up and expand within your playing.
Solos are full of melody, licks and creative moves. The more solos you learn and memorize the bigger your vocabulary becomes. Your solo vocabulary is the source where you draw from. The bigger it becomes, the more freedom you attain. Automatically, you will adopt pieces of all those different styles into your playing, which will make you a much more interesting guitar player to listen to.
It feels great to have a bunch of solos, licks and lines up your sleeve that you can call upon whenever you need to. Whether it’s to just have fun when your jamming with a band or when people come up to you and ask you to play something. Having a collection of well developed phrases and ideas to play gives you confidence and peace of mind. Being ready is the primary attribute of a real pro-guitarist.
As you try to copy the feel, emotion and temperament of other people's guitar solos - do so as accurately as possible. This way you will also learn what their unique style of phrasing is. This is a critical skill since it is one of the most important skills for any guitar player.
Lead guitar solos can sometimes be quite challenging, but that’s when you grow in your skills. You’ve got to do the work, be focused, dedicated, passionate and practice daily to get a solo that you're learning under your belt. When you’ve taken your guitar chops to the next level, that feeling of accomplishment can't be beat.
Learning new solos is also incredible fun. The enjoyment of playing and mastering your favorite solos is absolutely gratifying. Let alone accurately performing your favorite lead solo in a band, live on stage - it’s the best thing ever!
– Learn solos from different guitar players.
– Try different styles and musical genres.
– Transcribe the solos yourself. Use music transcription software if needed.
– Learn new solos regularly.
– Memorize your new learned solos thoroughly.
– Steal licks from solos, twist them around and incorporate them as your own.
– Enjoy the process of learning and improving your abilities.
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