Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lead Guitar - Part 1

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Steve Vai is certainly a master supremo of Guitar Solos, but how does he produce such fretboard magic?

Playing guitar solos is a matter of using a scale (or set of specific notes) that matches up with the chords being played at the time. These scales are often called "Blues Scales" or "Pentatonic Scales".

Certain groups of notes from the scale sound good together, and these

little groups are often called "Licks" or "Riffs". To make the solo expressive, there also needs to be plenty of string bends, as well as Pull Offs and Hammer Ons.

The following web page gives a great overview of Lead Guitar Soloing, and also has some great links to other sites that complement this information. This Guitar Guide by Dan Cross at is excellent, and we really recommend that people use it:

The Guitar Guide by Dan Cross

First up a quick overview of the five positions of the A minor Pentatonic Scale.

(We will cover the pentatonic scale in an upcoming post, and probably should have done it before this
post (oops). Research it yourself on Google and YouTube, because there are endless videos and guitar tabs about it that will show you exactly what to do).

Here is a great little 5 minute guitar lesson that shows how to do three basic licks in the A minor blues scale, and then link them together to form part of a solo.

Here is a great video from Marty from Next Level Guitar, who is a favourite online guitar teacher of ours here at Passy World.

And here is Part 2 of Marty's great intro to playing Lead Guitar.
Part 1 is the previous video we watched just above this one in the post.

The next few videos are not great picture quality, but are of Korean girls punching out some pretty amazing solos on Lead Guitar.

This first one is very jazzy, and has a great setup for the sound on the guitar.
(Obviously classic Larry Carlton music, and played brilliantly).

This next one might be the same Korean girl, (it is hard to tell, but we do know her name is "Su", and guys on YouTube have proposed marriage to her), but the funk playing and soloing is nothing short of perfect. Again, just love the tone of the guitar sound, classic strat funk style).

And here is that same girl Su playing a Dame's Mind 700 guitar in a classic Blues style, that personifies laid back blues guitar soloing to a T.

Finally here is an awesome video that has had over 1 million views on YouTube where Brodie Cumming links together 100 famous guitar riffs. This is great to see how versatile and endless the world of guitar playing is. He has chosen each riff so well, and how he can remember them all and play them so fluently in the correct order without any mistakes is utterly amazing.

If you want to see a song list of these 100 Riffs then go to this page on Brodie's website:

(So if you want the neighbours to think that you are a regular guitar virtuoso then open up your window and play Brodie's YouTube video as loud as you can. That will amaze the socks off them! Too bad when they ask you to come up with the real goods later on!).

Hope the information in this post starts leading you towards some great lead guitar soloing.

Big Passy Wasabi

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