Lead guitar techniques
While it's true that the best guitarists on Earth have honed their lead guitar skills for decades, you will be glad to know that by learning the basic soloing skills, you'll be able to play 85% of the solos you hear.
Below you'll find the most important lead guitar techniques you'll need to learn and make your own. Once you do, you'll combine them, build upon them, and be able to use them at any time, without even thinking about them. This all takes practice and time, so let's get to it, shall we?
Here are 2 video lessons on using these techniques:
- 1st lead guitar lesson on hammer-on, pull-offs and scales
- 2nd lead guitar lesson on vibrato, sliding, bending, palm muting, power chords
You'll also want to practice these techniques with our video lessons on lead guitar songs.
And now let's have a detailed look at the specific techniques you'll be using with solo guitar.
Mastering hammer-ons is a vital element of playing lead guitar and solos. A hammer-on is basically what it sounds like. You use a fretting finger to hammer onto a string at a given fret, and if you do it hard and fast enough, you will sound that given note.
Just like a hammer on, a pull off is way of sounding a note without having to pick at it, which can speed up your riff. Pull offs are carried out on strings that are already vibrating (giving off sound). As it’s the opposite of the hammer on, the pull off will sound a note lower on the given string, either a fretted note, or the open string itself.
Palm muting involves the dampening of the strings on your guitar with the edge of your picking hand. Palm muting is a technique used by rock and heavy metal guitarists, since doing palm muted plucks with high gain (distortion) brings out a thick, rhythmic punch sound, to the extent of making it sound percussive.
Using slides effectively adds texture to lead guitar solos. This, just like with other lead guitar techniques, such works best when combined with other techniques, such as vibrato, bends, etc.
String bending is an essential part of playing lead guitar, and is a must know if you want to play great solos. It gives added texture and color, and gives more freedom ont he fretboard.
Vibrato is a musical effect, produced in singing and on musical instruments (like the guitar 🙂 ) by a regular pulsating change of pitch. It’s basically a sound effect which makes a note oscillate up and down.
Read More on Vibrato >>