Lead Guitar Lessons (Improvisation)

Playing cool solos and blistering runs is the ultimate for any aspiring gutarist, yet achieving such ability takes work.

Great lead guitar players rely on their ears and their mind, but it is all based on solid technique, understanding of music theory, knowledge and mastery of the fretboard.

At the Australian Guitar Insitiute we help you develop a greater musical tool and skill set so that you are free to play as creatively as you choose.


What You Will Learn

Lead Guitar Fundamentals

An introduction to the fundamentals of lead guitar playing, including

  • picking styles,
  • performance techniques,
  • fretboard organization.


Scale Patterns

The five-pattern scale concept as applied to

  • major and minor diatonic scales and
  • triad arpeggios in various keys.


Fretboard Mastery for Lead Guitar

Develop fretboard organization and performance techniques, including

  • major and minor pentatonic scale patterns,
  • arpeggios,
  • three-note-per-string scale patterns,
  • economy picking.


Blues Lead Playing

The Blues

  • An exploration of blues tonality,
  • blues progressions,
  • and improvisational techniques,
  • including the application of blues;
  • Dorian, and Mixolydian scales over dominant seventh harmonies;
  • diatonic seventh arpeggios and their applications.


Using Scales for Lead Guitar

Scale applications in major and minor tonalities, including

  • key-centre improvisation
  • using Dorian, natural and harmonic minor scale patterns;
  • melodic sequencing
  • various approaches to harmonic analysis.


Lead Guitar Improvisation Concepts

Expanding improvisational techniques and concepts

  • including double-stops,
  • “chord/scale” soloing,
  • modal interchange
  • secondary dominants.
  • Improvise over non-root-position chords
  • applications of the melodic minor scale.


Chromatic Lead Playing

Chromatic variations on key-centre improvisation,

  • including symmetrical scales (chromatic, diminished, whole-tone),
  • “slash chords”
  • advanced approaches to improvisation.

How to Improve Your Lead Guitar Playing

Practice Makes Perfect

Slash did not get where he is because he learned a scale or two and then just faked the rest. Hours of practice and rehearsal were needed for him to develop his skill. Steve Vai practices scales and arpeggios eight hours a day. You must be willing to dedicate yourself to at least one hour of practice a day if you want to truly develop yourself as a lead guitarist.
  • Learn the Guitar Fretboard Inside Out

    True mastery of the guitar goes much deeper than simply being able to identify a specific note/fret on the guitar neck. To really know your way around the guitar, you need to be able to play all the scales and chords used in your style of music everywhere on the neck, and be able to combine these shapes fluently.
  • Master Aural Skills (Train Your Ear to the Fullest)

    You must be able to use your ears to imagine the music you want to hear and direct your hands to produce that sound on the instrument as quickly and naturally as you speak your thoughts when holding a conversation. Without good aural skills, your musical skills can only work in isolation, and your ability to create great guitar solos will forever remain limited
  • Create Music with Your Mind not Your Hands

    Most guitarists approach the process of lead guitar soloing in a mechanical way by “playing scales over chords”.  After learning the key of the chord progression, most musicians simply begin to solo by running through familiar scale shapes and licks.  Their mind goes on autopilot and all of the “creating” is done with the hands.
  • Continuously Work on Your Lead Guitar Phrasing

    Many lead guitar players continuously search for “notes to play” but neglect looking for better ways of how to play (phrase) those notes.  Good guitar phrasing involves much more than applying an occasional bend or vibrato to a note. 
  • Get Regular Feedback on Your Lead Guitar Soloing

    Get it f from more experienced guitarist or from a guitar teacher - Unlike improving your guitar speed, where you can measure your own progress in a tangible way, improving your lead guitar playing is a very “intangible” skill.  This means three things:
    1. It is very hard to become aware of flaws in your lead guitar soloing when you don’t know what things you should be listening for.
    2. It is also challenging to determine whether or not your guitar solos are actually improving and what areas of your lead guitar playing still need work.
    3. You will make faster progress when you have your guitar solos analyzed by a guitar teacher. They can not only point out specific flaws in your guitar playing but also create an effective lesson strategy to help you overcome the specific challenges that are holding you back from creating truly great guitar solos.

    Get a Free Lesson

    Get a free 30min lesson and review of what you need to learn to achieve your musical goals.

    Beginner or advanced, 6 or 60. I’ll tailor a program just for you. Call me on:

    Australian Guitar Institute