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Basic guitar lead tips
Basic guitar lead tips

3 techniques to help you learn to play lead guitar: PART 1

Playing the lead guitar isn?t as easy so you think it might be. First of all, you got to have some knowledge of chords and scales. Next you have to at least know some basic techniques. Then you have to know how the band works and how to work with them.

Technique 1: String bending

String bending, as simple as it sounds, is done when you bend a string. The degree to how much you bend determines the sound of the next note. In other words, the more you bend, the higher the note will sound. One more thing, bending makes the note only higher. The more common bends are half bend and full bend. The half bend is done when you bend your string halfway up to your other string while a full bend is all the way up to the other string. A half bend gets you the note a fret higher while the full bend gets you 2 frets higher.

Technique 2: Vibrato

The guitar vibrato is done by vibrating the string with your left hand fingers to sustain or add depth to your notes. Vibrato is a slight fluctuation in pitch which creates more ?vocal? sounds in your notes. This is done by bending the string up and down slightly. The intensity of the vibrato is determined by the speed of bending the string up and down.

Technique 3: Slides

Sliding is just another technique that gives more interest and life to notes. The idea is that you are going to fret a note (or notes) and then move (slide) to another fret without taking the pressure off your finger (fingers) as you move. Sliding is a good way up build up your calluses as sliding is somewhat similar to rubbing, just that you don?t use so much pressure.

Technique 4: Hammer ons

Hammer ons and pull offs (the next technique which I am going to explain), done one after another are also known as slurs. Hammer ons involve two different notes. A note is plucked, then the second note is sounded by slamming or “hammering” another finger onto the same string at a higher fret. This can also be done using more fingers, for example hammering with more than just one finger.

Technique 5: Pull offs

As discussed earlier, pull offs work very well with hammer ons. A pull-off can be thought of as the opposite of a hammer-on. There are 2 notes involved. Before starting, you will need to have both left hand fingers that are involved already placed in their perspective frets. The first note is plucked, then a second note is sounded by pulling that finger off of the string with force. You are basically plucking the string with the left hand finger that you used for the 1st note first note. You will need to pull both towards the floor, and out away from the neck of the guitar.

Technique 6: Palm muting

Palm muting is done by placing your right hand lightly on the edge of the bridge and strum, most of the time the first 3 or 4 strings. If you move your hand too far forward away from the bridge, you will completely mute the strings and hear a click. I call this a “Palm Kill”. So it takes some practice before you will get used to it. Palm muting goes hand in hand with distortion to produce a heavy percussive sound.

If you feel that you are struggling even with these tips, don’t be shy to find a guitar teacher to guide you along. Don’t give up!

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