Lead Guitar - Online Lessons

What is the role of the lead guitar player? This is the first question that I always get asked. The second question is; how to you play lead? Let’s answer the first question by saying that the main role is that the guitarist does exactly what the word means.

The guitarist takes on the role that stands out from the rhythm guitar and any other instrument. Playing lead often includes solos only and solos during the break of the verses in a song. Sometimes bands just have instrumental music instead of songs.

There is one thing to keep in mind and that is playing the head role doesn’t always mean on the electric guitar. Lead can be played on the acoustic and sometimes the bass player takes on this role. We could even throw in the drums. Many drummers stand out by playing drum solos.

Since this is article is about lead guitar we will stick with the guitars, but even so the role of the head guitarist is to stand out with their solos and riffs and all of the other instruments sort of plays more softly in the background. Then again the other instruments keep their same sound and the lead guitarist kicks his volume up.

You get the idea, lead means taking on the head role, or being heard above all other players in the band and that is why I threw the drums in the equation because of many drumming solos that can stand out as well.

To answer the next question it could be better explained or shown through some videos which I will post later on. To play lead guitar you need to know a few scales because all of the notes being played is in the particular scale, and there are many types of scales.

The most famous scale is the pentatonic scale which most rock and blues guitarist use, primarily the minor pentatonic scale. More than not the whole scale is not always used as the guitarist that plays lead will use only three to five notes within the scale being played.

You must learn the scales first but then after you learn them you must learn how to improvise. Improvise means to play your own style and in a sense there is no wrong way to play any scale. The only rule is that you must play the notes that go with the root notes or key of the song being played.

You can refer to my scales page to see what a pentatonic scale looks like. Later on I will add some videos to show you just how easy it is to play a few notes of the scale and use some string bending techniques to add more flavors to the music.

All and all this is a quick overview of each question that is typically asked and I hope you have a better understanding of the role of the lead guitarist and how to play it.

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