Basic Lead Guitar Techniques

Basic Lead Guitar Technique | Guitar Lesson

In this video, we will be doing an overview of the basic lead guitar techniques in the upcoming lessons. There are a lot of techniques to be covered so we will be just touching on the subject of each with a very simple example of what the technique involves.

We will be looking at the following basic lead guitar techniques; the pull off, the hammer on, slides, bending, trills and vibrato. All of the above-mentioned techniques are essential to lead guitar playing. These are just some of the basic lead techniques and the most common techniques at the beginner level. There is a whole range of other more complex techniques available, but at this stage, we are starting from the beginning in order to build a solid foundation and understanding before moving forward.


Pull Off & Hammer On

We will be starting off with the Pull off. This is one of the most widely used techniques across all genres of music. It is used to become more efficient with faster passages and allows us to play these passages more fluently and comfortably. We are also looking at the Hammer on, which goes hand in hand with the pull off, as it is literally the opposite of a Hammer on. Also used to make your playing more fluent and efficient.


Sliding is a lead guitar technique and technically falls under the heading of legato (smooth, flowing without breaks) playing. It is one of the ways in which single-note playing can be made more expressive. The player sounds one note, and then moves (slides) their finger up or down the fretboard to another fret. Now this technique is used to spice up the sound of 2 connecting notes. We don’t have to slide from one note to the next but it gives us the option to do so while creating a slightly different sound compared to just playing the 2 notes separately. It also allows us to play 2 notes with one single picking motion rather than picking 2 notes, once each.


Bending a guitar string also falls under the legato category and is probably one of the most expressive lead guitar techniques in rock guitar playing. It involves using your fretting hand to physically bend the string up or down to achieve the desired note. With this technique, it’s also difficult to achieve a specific pitch perfectly.


Trills are a lead guitar technique, under the heading of legato (smooth, flowing without breaks) playing. Trills are in fact a combination of two other lead guitar techniques: hammer-ons and pull-offs. So essentially a trill is using hammer ons and pull off’s consecutively.


The vibrato technique involves the regular, pulsating change of pitch applied to a note. This is accomplished either by a horizontal or vertical movement of the finger against the fretboard, manipulating the note accordingly. There are slow, wide vibratos and quick, shallow vibratos. The aim is to be musical. Often, the vibrato is synced with the tempo of the music, or played out of tempo for effect.

All the above-mentioned techniques will be covered individually in more detail in the upcoming video lessons. Make sure you understand what each technique is and understand the basic uses and purpose of each technique.


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* Plays for the heavy underground band Pestroy * Graduated in top 3 @ Campus Of Performing Arts * Has been gigging for 5 years * He is best air guitar player at Guitar Excellence * Has 3 years teaching experience * Has mastered an ancient form of power stance – “The Crab” * Likes dune surfing

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