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Need to learn to play leads

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Lane 18 Aug 02 - 06:12 PM
truer sound 18 Aug 02 - 07:02 PM
Mark Cohen 18 Aug 02 - 07:21 PM
Mark Clark 18 Aug 02 - 08:26 PM
Steve in Idaho 19 Aug 02 - 02:30 PM
Lane 19 Aug 02 - 05:33 PM
GUEST,Fred Miller 19 Aug 02 - 05:45 PM
little john cameron 19 Aug 02 - 06:14 PM
Lane 19 Aug 02 - 06:42 PM
little john cameron 19 Aug 02 - 06:58 PM
GUEST,Van Lingle 19 Aug 02 - 08:07 PM
Willie-O 19 Aug 02 - 08:27 PM
Lane 19 Aug 02 - 10:29 PM
ddw 19 Aug 02 - 10:40 PM
Big Mick 19 Aug 02 - 10:53 PM
GUEST,Al 19 Aug 02 - 11:04 PM
Lane 19 Aug 02 - 11:20 PM
ddw 19 Aug 02 - 11:28 PM
GUEST,sorefingers 20 Aug 02 - 12:38 AM
C-flat 20 Aug 02 - 06:40 AM
GUEST,Davetnova 20 Aug 02 - 07:24 AM
GUEST,Fred Miller 20 Aug 02 - 10:27 AM
Lane 20 Aug 02 - 12:07 PM
Lane 20 Aug 02 - 01:41 PM
GUEST 20 Aug 02 - 10:02 PM
Steve in Idaho 20 Aug 02 - 10:25 PM
Lane 21 Aug 02 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,Fred Miller 21 Aug 02 - 09:58 AM
Mark Clark 21 Aug 02 - 12:48 PM
C-flat 21 Aug 02 - 02:21 PM
Lane 21 Aug 02 - 02:58 PM
Steve in Idaho 21 Aug 02 - 03:34 PM
Steve in Idaho 21 Aug 02 - 03:37 PM
GUEST,Fred Miller 21 Aug 02 - 04:58 PM
RichM 21 Aug 02 - 05:10 PM
Lane 21 Aug 02 - 06:11 PM
Steve in Idaho 21 Aug 02 - 09:26 PM
Lane 22 Aug 02 - 12:01 AM
GUEST,Fred Miller 22 Aug 02 - 09:49 AM
Lane 22 Aug 02 - 10:27 AM
Lane 22 Aug 02 - 07:01 PM
GUEST,Fred Miller 23 Aug 02 - 10:44 AM
C-flat 23 Aug 02 - 05:53 PM
Lane 23 Aug 02 - 07:43 PM
Lane 24 Aug 02 - 05:01 PM
C-flat 24 Aug 02 - 05:42 PM
C-flat 24 Aug 02 - 05:44 PM
Lane 24 Aug 02 - 07:25 PM
C-flat 24 Aug 02 - 07:45 PM
Lane 24 Aug 02 - 08:05 PM
C-flat 24 Aug 02 - 08:40 PM
GUEST,Fred Miller 24 Aug 02 - 09:47 PM
Lane 25 Aug 02 - 08:43 PM
GUEST,Fred Miller 26 Aug 02 - 03:33 PM
Lane 27 Aug 02 - 04:24 PM
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Subject: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Lane
Date: 18 Aug 02 - 06:12 PM

Hi, I've been playing for a long time, but have never learned how to pick out leads - well, I can find them fairly well within the chord shapes with a little variation, but it's the melodic leads, often found in those uncharted waters above teh 5th or 6th fret that have been elusive to me. Any ideas on how I can learn them? Maybe some instructional programs or? Or is it just magic?

Lane


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: truer sound
Date: 18 Aug 02 - 07:02 PM

Something I've been doing lately to get myself out of the ruts I've worn is putting on some records I admire, tuning close to them, and just imitating as much as I can as they're going. This is far from new advice, but it's an easy way to get yourself to push your musical limits.


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 18 Aug 02 - 07:21 PM

Thanks for asking the question, Lane. I'm eagerly awaiting more ideas on this. Unfortunately, I'm afraid they're all going to have one thing in common: PRACTICE! Grrrrrr....where is that magic wand when I really need it?

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Mark Clark
Date: 18 Aug 02 - 08:26 PM

Lane, there is literally a ton of stuff here on Mudcat to help you with learning to play leads. I was just commenting the other day over here that a good primer for learning bluegrass guitar, including leads, are the tunes recorded by the Stanley Brothers with Bill Napier on guitar around 1959.

Elsewhere on Mudcat we've talked about getting free software from the net that can be used to slow down complex passages while keeping the pitch the same. The Napier material is relatively easy and very easy to hear. You may not need to slow them down. Once you've mastered a few of Napier's leads, you'll see enough connections to start trying others or maybe even composing some of your own.

Good luck,

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 02:30 PM

I started by doing a bar F chord. Every note in that chord is OK to play when the F is the backup chord. Move it down the neck and you can have 6 notes already picked out for you for a particular chord.

Heh he heh he hee - and then PRACTICE!!!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Lane
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 05:33 PM

Good idea - I'll give that a try. Any other ideas?


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 05:45 PM

Sure, take that f-chord and start to step away from it, or pieces of it, to add notes this way and that--two-string bits and pieces--and you start to relate it to the other chord shapes (imagine the open notes were barred, and you can move them the same way). It's not hard to learn the little scale patterns, and like the f-chord, just move them. Which scales will depend on what you want to do, what sound. You can do your c-scale over g chords for a sound, mixolidian--but the mode things--you don't have to get all mathy about it, just play around for the sound you like. The way you learn a chord shape is just like learning a scale pattern, you know where to put your fingers, you just don't do it all at once.


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: little john cameron
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 06:14 PM

Fred is right,if you learn to play in F then just by moving up the neck you can play in any key. ljc


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Lane
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 06:42 PM

So... using the barred F as a base, then I say, take it up two frets to a G and those are the notes I want to use for that chord, and so on up the fretboard... am I getting the idea, sort of? To what extent do scales correstpond to melody leads? I know chords well, but not scales - do I need to work on that as well?


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: little john cameron
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 06:58 PM

Yes,first learn the scale in f,no open strings. Then you can move it anywhere.The key of C is also handy ,no open strings again as the F formation gets a bit cramped.Same progression applies as you move up the neck. ljc


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: GUEST,Van Lingle
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 08:07 PM

One good tutorial that really helped me was "Exploring the Fingerboard" by Russ Barenburg. You can find it at Homespun Tapes. He teaches you scales, modes and arpeggios and how to apply them to some familiar songs and some not so familiar ones in a way that's easy to understand. It does require a lot of time and effort but at least you'll have a guitar in your hands to keep you company. Another thing I've done is to learn my favorite solos right off the record which is fun and helps you develop a good ear. vl


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Willie-O
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 08:27 PM

Scales. Learn em. Start with this one, two notes on each string, starting from the open low E:

Open E
3rd fret g
Open A
2nd fret B
Open D
2nd fret E
Open G
2nd Fret A
Open B
3rd fret D
Open (high string) E
3rd fret (g)


Take that scale and learn it. As given there, it will play a country-style lead in the key of G, or a blues/rock style in key of E (that is, you play the same scale over the appropriate chords.)

Then figure that same scale out all the way up the fretboard. (There are charts). You can now play lead guitar. There are other scales (regular major and minor, for jazz kind of leads,) and you can depart from the notes on the scale briefly for a more interesting sound--you just have to start and end any phrase with a note on the scale.

Learning the scales is easy. The interesting and fun stuff is learning to phrase. You have to know what note you're going to end up on when you start a phrase, or at least have an idea.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Lane
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 10:29 PM

Ahhhh.... so it is scale based? OK... that's a big help, as are the other comments here. I'll order the Homespun tape and I'll work on the barred F approach too.... great stuff - keep it coming!


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: ddw
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 10:40 PM

Lane, Something I've discovered in the last year that is helping me a lot in this respect is a series of books called Fretboard Roadmaps by Fred Sokolow. He has them for country, blues, slide guitar and quite a few other forms and I find them easy to work with. They have TAB and CDs of all the licks being taught -- And the best part is that they only cost about $12 to $15 bucks each. Good value, in my opinion.

Good luck,

david


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Big Mick
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 10:53 PM

And HERE is a site that a cursory google search turned up. I ran through it and bookmarked it. Looks like it would give you a good grounding in the scales, as well as basic theory.

I second my friend David's wish for good luck!

Mick


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: GUEST,Al
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 11:04 PM

It really helps to hear in your head what you want the lead to sound like. It should sound musical to you. Otherwise, it will sound like you're just noodling around, which drives some people, like me, crazy. Once you hear it in your head, figuring it out on the finger board is a much easier exercise. Good luck. Al


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Lane
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 11:20 PM

Thanks David.... where do you find them?


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: ddw
Date: 19 Aug 02 - 11:28 PM

Lane,

I've seen them in music stores all over the place -- Nashville is where I found my first one. I just got one on slide a couple of weeks ago from Elderly Instruments. Check with your local music store and I'm sure it will have no trouble getting them.

cheers,

david


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 12:38 AM

I begun as a kid so I cannot comment in a meaningful way since I mostly forgot everything from that time - but here is one thing that I never could forget; when my playing took off on it's own.

I adopted a simple fret by fret exercise for limbering up the fingers - migrated into a chormatic scale from outer to inner strings and then to variations.

It became necessary when I found it hard to fret inner strings because I would place the fingers too far from the wire! Anyway later I discovered that keeping an even tempo and missing out fingers made scales or parts of them - occasionaly little tunes as well.

This is not for everyone but it could save some a long haul of trying to figure out the fretboard rather than just feeling it as they would later do.

There is no substitute for a Tick Tock and I really must emphasis that, even if you are just playing Red Haired Boy or some other Hoedown. Even tempo can turn a slow practice into magic.


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: C-flat
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 06:40 AM

The minor pentatonic scale is a good place to start. Mostly used for blues, but once you've got the positions learned, simply shifting the whole thing down three frets on the neck makes for some decent country licks too.
Many great blues players never play outside the minor pentatonic scale.
C-flat.


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: GUEST,Davetnova
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 07:24 AM

Download tabledit (here -http://www.tabledit.com). There are thousands of guitar and mandolin leads and breaks transcibed for it plus scales plus arpeggios. It can all be slowed down to snails pace or played fast with no change of pitch. I download mine from CoMando which is regularly supplied with new tunes by members. Its helped my playing no end.


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 10:27 AM

I'm still not sure what kind of leads you're aiming for but you got some good advice about hearing it in your head and precise timing. Some of the best advice I ever got was to stop "just practicing". Think what you play, even if it's just running scales, it's still your voice.

I think, and my opinion is a humble one, that leads are made out of melodic ideas, and devices or ideas about how to use the scales and chord notes. Certain devices seem to belong to one sound or style. Once you form some of these general ideas it's easier to learn the scales and shapes, and have ideas with them.

For example, starting with that f-chord, you can make a particular kind of scale by starting on the note one fret below, then hammering onto the chord note, and it has an odd climbing feel as you go up and down. It's a device of passing from an off-note to an on-note. Then, once you have the notes of a scale, say the f to the g note, you might use the f# inbetween as a passing tone. That, and the slide-up note gets used a lot in rock leads and riffs.It doesn't have any lingering melodic value--usually--but is sort of an energy thing, used to create a tug.

One simple way to start to look at scales is they are generally the notes in your home-base, or key-chord, plus linking or step-notes that are in the other chords in the key. What's good about that way of looking at it is you link the step-by-step way of looking at scales to seeing the shapes and bits of the other chords, and that helps because while you play, the chords are changing.

people can put any chords they want in a song, some songs aren't even exactly in a key, and sound right, so when you learn basics they may not work everywhere. But I guess my point is to try to see the general idea or the musical effect in the bits and pieces you learn, and you learn a lot more than a lick or two.


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Lane
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 12:07 PM

Great information all - thank you! I am trying to work with everything suggested here and I have my work cut out for me.... I'm also at the limits of my understanding of a lot of this, so bear with me if I'm not getting it. I see that I need to go back to some basics and learn more scales, for starters. Beyond that, to respond to Fred about what I'm trying to do - first, no rock, only folky stuff and maybe some blues. I'd like to get some insight for starters on runs, getting from chord to chord with somthing more creative than what I've been doing for years. Then, I also want to learn to pick out some lead stuff - whether actual replication of the melody, or licks that complement the melody for guitar breaks between verses.

Thanks, and keep the advice coming! Lane


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Lane
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 01:41 PM

I got to thinking.. .I have a specific thought of what it is I want to learn - there's a intro/lead part to Kate Wolf's "Across the Great Divide" that I love and want to learn - thats what got me on this kick. I have an MP3 of it that I'd gladly e-mail someone that wanted to help me with it, but it's a 4 meg. file. If anyone's intersted and willing, let me know here or e-mail - lwinterm@pacifier.com

Thanks Lane


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 10:02 PM

refresh - good thread


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 10:25 PM

I think one can play any note at any time during a song. The only condition is that the note just prior and just after should be in the correct chord/scale. I have heard some pretty good pickers do some amazing things with wierd notes and off times.

I think I learned "Wildwood Flower" Carter Style and realized that I could skip doing chords if I'd play a two or three note between chords riff. After that I just got lazy and began playing a lot of notes instead of trying to get to all of those confusing chords - JUST joking!! But sort of serious.

The tunes come with practice so don't try to do it all at once. Get a clean melody that fits your impression of what the melody line is. Not everyone has the same sequencing of notes for the same song. It'll come.

This is a good thread -

Steve


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Lane
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 09:20 AM

Yes, it is a good thread. I guess I see your point, Steve, maybe I'm being to picky - but I am not really to that point yet of being able to easily find a melody, or even acceptable lead piece.... though the scales are helping get me there, I think...and I'm trying to pick the lead out from a recording.... time, I guess....


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 09:58 AM

I mistook what you were wanting to do, Lane. I tend to associate "lead" with rock, or blues soloing.

I don't know the tune, but I'm sure somebody does, you might find it in tab.

But one thing I like to toy with in folk soloing is called a hemiola. It's just that alternating picking that sounds like it's spilling forward, sort of. You might repeat a pattern of notes in a pattern of 3, but in 4 beat time, so that which note gets the accent changes. I'm making it sound complicated, it's not, you know what I mean.

But to use notes up the neck, you can play off an open string with it, say you're doing wildwood flower in c, you might use the high e open, then finger the b string at E also, and pick E'eeEe'eEee' and so on, the capital E being on the b string, the e is the open, and I put the ' on the downbeat. then you can move your finger on the b string to different notes. you don't have to do it that way, and you can change that open e and keep the picking pattern going, but it's a fun kind of thing to use at times, I like it.


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Subject: Screaming Fingers!
From: Mark Clark
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 12:48 PM

Lane, Everyone,

At last, here is the answer! I've accidently stumbled onto the mother lode. Here's how you can have Screaming Fingers. I have every confidence that this is the answer everyone's been looking for.

I just hope you have a large store of condoms, it looks like you're going to need them pretty soon.

Rock on...

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: C-flat
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 02:21 PM

All that from one book!
If I hadn't heard it here on Mudcat I think I would be sceptical.
Can't wait to get mine......I've already ordered the Porsche and the promise of "women begging to be my toy" sounds O.K. too!


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Lane
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 02:58 PM

Uhh... not quite what I had in mind - I'm looking for a little more on the mellow, folky side.....


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 03:34 PM

Lane - You need to remember that some of the folks on this site can really play a guitar. I play by ear. I can't read a note of music. And really don't care to. So everything I have learned is by watching and listening.

I learned the slow stuff first and as things got quicker I practiced more. Someone above mentioned a program that will slow down passages so you can get each note. That is a place to start. But I have not been one to want to copy anyone - although I'm sure I'm not doing anything that hasn't been done before - but it will give you an insight into how someone else perceives the melody line.

And I'm like you Lane - I'll take my lovely partner over screaming hordes of anything. Nothing like the one I love telling me how beautiful something I'm playing sounds.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 03:37 PM

And if you haven't got Paltalk you need to get it. Some very talented homespun musicians on there. And some folks that just play for the fun of it - but they are willing to listen and tell you what you are doing right!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 04:58 PM

Norton1 reminds me of the other things I was going to say, that with folk sometimes it's nice to play the lead with also enough bass, or stuff, arpeggios, or the dead bass thing to keep a rythmic thumping-- so you can keep the momentum if it's just you.

And sometimes it's more fun to learn from different instruments than from other guitar players. A sax solo might not sound right on an acoustic, so it makes you find a different way to get the effect, though you can't play the same notes the same way.

And remember, it's all about cars and babes, dude, seriously. The government's been trying to keep a lid on this screaming fingers info, but now it's leaked out. I wish I had screaming fingers, and I wish my true love told me what I was playing was beautiful, like Steve, but mine usually hands me a jar she can't open.


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: RichM
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 05:10 PM

Lots of good ideas here in the answers in this thread...

Do break out of the mold of playing out of the chord formation--yes I know there are lots of exciting leads that work out of chord, but you should also practice as Willie-O said: SCALES!

And... mix up the notes on the scale, once you are familiar with the basic do-re-mi etc. Scales are not boring because they contain the notes for at least a million songs!
Work them forwards, backwards, skip every second note, change the rhythm, include a strummed chord with one of the notes once in a while, or maybe once every bar. Or play a bit of a melody if the scale suggests one.
Be creative. Creative is where you are going with this, isn't it?

Rich McCarthy


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Lane
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 06:11 PM

You folks are being a great help here.... thank you so much...

Fred - Yes, I have had the same thought about filling in, so a solo isn't just a single string thing - which is pretty hollow when it's just me playing! I can do that when picking melody out within the chords, but outside of the chord positions, I'm lost in space....how do I find my way?

Norton1 - I do have PalTalk and will fire it up again. And I'm looking into the programs that slow down passages - sounds like a good idea - maybe I can somehow put this particular piece that I want to learn into that program.... hmmmm

Rich - I really am trying on the scales... I have to admit to a kind of conditioned response that goes back to my childhood piano lesson days... but the shakes are as bad anymore so I can keep trying.... need to find some charts....

And finally - as to those of you that mention playing sweet music to your partners... well, mine lives a long ways away and we can't get together as often as we wish - so, if I want to dazzle her with sweet music, well, I'd better be getting it right 'cause I may not get another chance for a month... so the pressure's on.... she enjoys it now, but I still get the jars to open....:) Need to work harder.

Lane


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 09:26 PM

Too funny - it's been a while since I found a space here that I've enjoyed as much as this thread. One of the things I do on occasion is call up my Mom and when she says "Hello?" - I play an old 40s or 50s tune for her. Last one I did was "Waltz Across Texas" by Ernest Tubb. My folks used to dance to his music so it brightened her, and my, day.

I can play a lovely lead to this down the neck but for a solo it just seemed to do better in a Carter style of playing. One can do their own backup and lead at the same time that way.

Fred Miller also mentioned other instruments - Oh yes - very good!! Clarinets, trombones, even drums have a lead all of their own. I heard Chet Atkins play a Gershwin tune with our Governor who plays the Clarinet - well at that time he was our Governor. I was amazed at what Chet did with his side of the tune. So good one for you Fred!!

Use the phone and sing sweet love songs Lane - makes for some very nice reunions - and it isn't in the technically perfect mode either my friend - it's what comes from your heart.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Lane
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 12:01 AM

Steve, You put a big smile on my face - and I will do the same for the love of my life tomorrow - over the phone. Thank you so much for that.

Now, back to business - I've been sitting around this evening playing "Accros the Great Divide" on my CD player while trying to find some of the lead notes on my guitar. I find them there, often by accidental dumb-luck - but have yet to figure out how to put them in the right place at the right time..... I know - practice. I guess I'm finding my way, but oh, so slowly.

I seem to be groping for an eaiser way, someone to tell me, oh, yeah, just get this, do this - so it will come easily - but then, I guess that isn't really how is should come, now, is it. So I'll keep plugging away - and watching for someone to shine that light, or at least a little....

Lane


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 09:49 AM

Are you familiar with tablature? It shows the fingerings on the frets, so you need to know the rythm going into it. Scales are also represented in tab, sometimes called scale 'boxes'.

If you're picking out melodies in the chord positions, the same shapes or patterns will tend to apply up the neck, only you have to finger what would be the open strings. So, for example, if you're in G, you figure on the third fret it's like you're in E, on the fifth like you're in d, using an imaginary capo.

What you're working on might be tricky to do--a guitar player I know who doesn't use capos is often amazed by what some player does in what he imagines is the position, not realizing its capoed. It might be a different tuning, or sometimes people use an odd combination of high fingerings with open strings to make a line with a harp-like sound. If you don't know that they're doing that, trying to figure it out can drive you insane. So you might be missing an ingredient in trying to pin it down. I've even been tricked by two guitars into making up my own approximation of what they were doing.

Don't get too frustrated, noodling around is it's own kind of fun, and builds your ideas for things to do when you want to change a part, or craft your own solos. Oh oh, sick boy home from school, gotta go yall.


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Lane
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 10:27 AM

Fred, Yes, I'm familiar with tab and have been hoping to find some leads like I'm looking for tabbed out... no good so far. I don't really follow what you're saying about working up the neck... the piece in particular I'm working on is, in fact, in G and I can find some melody stuff with in the G, Em, C and D chords that that piece uses... but finding stuff that works up the neck is still elusive. Can you explain a little more? Lane


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Lane
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 07:01 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 10:44 AM

Sure, I'll try. What I was trying to say was just that the chord shapes stay the same as other chords as you go up the neck. So if you make your d chord, starting there on the second fret, then slide it up to the seventh, those are now notes in G. and other notes in G would be relative to moving your open strings up the same distance. And the other notes you would use relative to that D-chord shape, would be relative to G instead. So that's what I meant about using an imaginary capo, you can find G chords in the other chord shapes you already know, anywhere on the neck.

Your c-chord, if you slide it on up so your first finger is on the 8th fret instead of the 1rst, is a g, but remember the open strings with that imaginary capo--and if you then go from that c-shape to the a-minor shape, that's an e-minor, except for your open a-string, so you have to finger it on the seventh fret. Since all the chord shapes are relative to where you do them on the neck, it's a way to use what you already know to find your way around.

G is probably a great place to start going up the neck with, because your open d, g, b, and also the minor e strings can be used with the high fingerings.

I'll try to do the g-maj scale, as you'd do it without any open strings, starting with G on your lowest string, the 6th, string # then the fret# : 6/3 6/5, 5/2 5/3 5/5, 4/2 4/4 4/5, 3/2 3/4 3/5, 2/3 2/5, 1/2 1/3. That's g a b c d e F# g a b c d e f# g. You could do those notes using the open strings but that pattern moves up the neck without regard to open strings. Two frets up, starting on the 5th, it's the A maj scale, and so on. It helps to draw it out in tab so you can see it as a shape, you just put all the notes down at once, though you'll play them one at a time, or whatever.

But the pentatonic scale is probably easier to start off with, because it skips some variables like whether to use the f# note or just f, for the gdom7 sound. I'll do that in Fm just so it has no open strings, you see how to move it for other keys. that starts: 6/1 6/4, 5/1 5/3, 4/1 4/3, 3/1 3/3, 2/1 2/4, 1/1 1/4. Those notes are F Ab Bb C Eb F Ab Bb C Eb F Ab--though someone might bust me about calling notes by sharp or flat, I don't pay attention--you know, a G# or Ab is the same note, you call it one or the other depending on the key. depending on It's just a fingering shape, or box, and there are notes above and below it you can use, but it's a framework for where you are, relative to a key.

I won't do all the strings, but for a reference, take the g string, it goes up the neck like this, note-name/ and fret number; G/open, A/2, b/4, c/5, d/7, e/9, f#/11, G/12.

The thing about the guitar having lots of the same notes are in different places on different strings, unlike piano where a note is just where it is, is when you're figuring something out by ear, it may work better in one spot or another, it may be impossible to play unless you figure out where and how they do it. Or you might find a way you like better--I do John Hiatt's Learning How to Love You in G instead of E, and like it better. And changing the key sometimes can give you a fuller-sounding solo bit for when you want to do the instrumental but playing by yourself. Hope something in there helps.


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: C-flat
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 05:53 PM

A good way to get into lead guitar is to use the minor pentatonic scale over a simple 12 bar(3 chord) blues pattern. If you choose to begin in the key of E, using A and B as your other chords, the minor pentatonic scale in E will fit across the chord changes without having to change scale.
As Fred Miller rightly says, you can find the same notes in different places with a guitar, so the best way is to learn several variations of the same scale.
For some tonal variety you might try starting of on the lower frets and working across the strings and up the neck through the pattern.
for example; minor pentatonic scale in E;
6/open 6/3 6/5 6/7 5/5 5/7 4/5 4/7 4/9 3/7 3/9 2/8 2/10 2/12 1/10 1/12
those notes are E G A B D E G A B D E G A B D E
The A note played towards the end of that run (2nd string or B string at the 10th fret is a favourite point for the traditional blues bend note.
The trick is to find small patterns within the scale and join them together into a solo lead.
Good luck and trust your ears more than the theory!


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Lane
Date: 23 Aug 02 - 07:43 PM

Fred and C-flat, Outstanding - thank you! Yeah, I just starting to get the idea here... I mean, this is really stretching my comprehension level on this stuff, but there's just a hint of a glimmer here thats starting to dawn.... I'm really trying to fit this into the one particular song that I mentioned and I've found some of those notes... not that I don't want to learn leads for more than one tune - just looking for a starting point... so, I'm off to work on what you've sent here.... and please, I hope you and others will keep it coming - but remember I'm at the "Guitar Leads for Dummies" stage still! Lane


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Lane
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 05:01 PM

This is great. I've got the scale down that Willie-O posted up toward the top.. .and I've got the pentonic scale coming along... its nice. Fred, that G maj. scale is a little harder... but I think I can get it...eventually.

Now, I'm still trying to put some of this to that song that I'm learning... I wonder if anyone can just give me so licks with which to transition between the chords. Its in G, going to C and back, to Em, then C and D. A slow, folk tune... maybe some stuff to get me started that would lead me into some melody?


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: C-flat
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 05:42 PM

You should be able to find something for each of those chord changes within this simple scale;
1/3 1/2 1/open 2/3 2/1 2/open 3/2 3/open.
Otherwise know as G F# E D C B A G.
Without knowing the time signature or melody it's a little to suggest actual combinations. What do you "hear" in your head? Hum it out loud and hunt the notes down. More often than not they're right there in the chord shape your holding.
I rarely think about the notes in relation to the key I'm in, "Does this belong here?". I prefer to trust my ears, if it sounds like shit then it probably is!:~)
Keep at it, your moment of revalation is just around the corner!
C-flat.


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: C-flat
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 05:44 PM

Or even Revelation!


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Lane
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 07:25 PM

OK.. C-flat... no problem with those... I had them down already (hope that doesn't sound unappreciative, its not... just don't want anyone thinking I toooo much of a dummy..) So, good... I also found some other notes in there that I like, so I'm getting there.... keep it coming - that revelation is almost here!


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: C-flat
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 07:45 PM

Apologies, Lane if I sounded patronising. I'm quite sure you're no dummy.
It's difficult to gauge how technical to be when replying to a help thread. Some postings I've seen are extremely advanced and are clearly way above the head of the thread originator. I prefer to keep it simple assuming that the person will skip over the stuff they already know and move on.
The fastest way to advance is to sit across from another guitarist and watch. We can absorb so much easier that way, and it's a hell of a lot easier to show someone what you mean than to write it!
I'll keep a lookout for the thread titled "EUREKA!" :~)
C-flat.


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Lane
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 08:05 PM

C-flat...no apologies necessary! You're right, much of this thread is too technical - over my head anyway and the level that your last was at was right on, just happened to be something I knew already - and, as I said, in playing with it, I found some new stuff in there - so it was worthwhile. I was just joking a bit about the dummy thing - (cause I am one) Please dont hesitate to send more, if you wish. I agree about watching another player, thats where I've learned most.... dont happen to have one handy though, so maybe I'll dig out some video concerts... Keep the info coming! Stand by for EUREKA!


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: C-flat
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 08:40 PM

A couple of sites that may be worth a bookmark are this for help with chords/names, and this to help with scales.
It doesn't help with the creative side much but can sometimes allow you to stumble onto something interesting.
If I dig anything else up I'll send it your way.
1.30a.m. already! I only meant to "look in" on my way to bed!
C-flat.


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 09:47 PM

Hi guys, I really don't know how to suggest licks, without knowing the feel of the tune. But I do think what you're doing now, Lane, tinkering around, is good and profitable, even if it doesn't feel so great. It's good but uncomfortable to push on into what you don't know, easy not to.

I've never been able to work much with C-flat's scale for Emaj--I know of it, I understand the dom7 note in it, but not the flat 3rd unless I bend it. I probably don't understand or identify with the idiom well. I'd usually use the same scale up the neck at c#, starting on the 9th fret, for a minor sound in that key. And I use the flat third there, but only in certain ways that feel right. Go figure.

The only thing I can suggest is to try as many kinds of sounds as you can, while you find licks, from muted staccato notes, to a big fat 'rest stroke' lingering kind of tone. Pick close to the bridge, far over the soundhole. I don't really understand licks, I ought to admit. The tone you take with a few notes may make it work, as a lick, or not, as a few distracting notes. Speaking of tone, I bet I sometimes sound condescending when I'm talking about something that I know, a bit, but am still learning. So I might be using someone else as an opportunity to lecture myself.


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Lane
Date: 25 Aug 02 - 08:43 PM

Fred, Yes, I'm tinkering and little by little, getting somewhere... its frustratingly slow, but thats what makes it worth it, right? I'm still working on that particular tune and trying to find solo licks in the G,C,G,Em,C,G,Em,C,D,G pattern. Its in there somewhere, I just have to find it. I'm trying to go back to the G maj scale that you gave me and working it from there, but I'm having a little trouble with it.... getting there, though - I think. Fred, you don't sound at all condescending, quite the contrary. While much of what you're telling me is well over my head, I get bits and pieces that are all helpful - you obviously know what you're talking about and I appreciate the help - greatly! Thank you very much Lane


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 26 Aug 02 - 03:33 PM

Well, cool! There are better advisors on this stuff than me, but if I'm any help at all, I'm glad of it.


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Subject: RE: Need to learn to play leads.....
From: Lane
Date: 27 Aug 02 - 04:24 PM

You have been a HUGE help, Fred.... any further advice welcomed!

Lane


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