Learn Lead Guitar Patterns
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Lead Guitar Patterns

Learning new guitar licks is allways fun and gives you 
new insight and ideas that you can use to create or...
improvise lead guitar solos.

Guitar licks are defined as a short melodic phrase 
that conisist of notes taken from a guitar scale.

So basically, all guitar licks come from either one
choice of a certain guitar scale whether it be major
or minor (or other...like diminished for example)

Or... a combination of different guitar scales.

Part of being a well rounded educated guitarist, is to
be able to analyze guitar licks so that when you decide
to use the licks that you've learned, that you can match 
the correct guitar licks with correct choice of rhythm 
chords when you are writing or composing an original 

It's also a very major asset when copying or learning a 
cover song by an artist or group.

This guitar lesson focuses on teaching some easy to
learn lead guitar patterns that you can easily move 
up and down the fretboard to other keys to use as
a foundation for building or improvising guitar solos.

This first  lick comes from A Dorian mode, in which case 
a proper rhythm chord would be A minor, or A5 chord as 
a substitute, and although there are also other choices, 
this is being given as a basic example. 

Too learn more about modes including  A Dorian as a mode
see Scales and Modes...

Lick #1   h h    h h
e :-------------5-7-8------------------------------------
B :------5-7-8-------------------------------------------
G :------------------------------------------------------
D :------------------------------------------------------
A :------------------------------------------------------
E :------------------------------------------------------

Part 2 * Breakaway
Shown in lick #2 is a lick to begin showing you 
how to "break away" or get out of the lead pattern.

This is just one small example, and the possibilities 
or breaking away from lead guitar patterns are limitless.

For this example, try playing each note 8 times fast, 
using alternate picking (down, up, down, up, ect...) for 
a lightning fast George Lynch style speed picking sound.

This lick is also based on A Dorian.

e :-20-19-17---------------------------------------------
B :----------20-19-17-15-13-12---------------------------
G :----------------------------14-12-11--9----------2----
D :-------------------------------------------------2----
A :-------------------------------------------------0----
E :------------------------------------------------------
Note: Try adding a pick harmonic along with heavy vibrato
on the last note of the lick (e, 9th fret, G string) then 
end the lick in A5 chord as shown above.

Magic Notes or Total Guitar Mode Knowledge?

The mode A phrygian is derived from F major scale
and is the 3rd mode of that scale.

The notes played in the A Phrygian mode are:
A,A#,C,D,E,F,G and then back to A octave.

Because your playing in the key of A phrygian,
the prime choice of rhythm chords is A minor chord,
or as most rock guitarst would choose or prefer
A5 chord, also known as A powerchord.

Here is a lead guitar pattern that is derived from A
Phrygian Mode.

Guitar Lick #1 * A Phrygian Mode Guitar Lick
     p    p    p
e :-6-5--8-5--6-5-----5----------------------------------
B :----------------8-------------------------------------
G :------------------------------------------------------
D :------------------------------------------------------
A :------------------------------------------------------
E :------------------------------------------------------

Lick #2 Octave
      p      p      p
e :-18-17--20-17--18-17----17----------------------------
B :---------------------20-------------------------------
G :------------------------------------------------------
D :------------------------------------------------------
A :------------------------------------------------------
E :------------------------------------------------------


Often guitarist stumble upon some of their favorite
guitar licks by accidentally hitting a wrong note by
mistake, which usually results in them saying...

"Wow! That sounded cool".

But something to keep in mind if this happend to you is
that once the notes have changed or a new note has entered
the lead pattern that you were playing,

that any additional single note(s) can also entirely change
the scale or mode that your playing in, which also means
that ...

chances are that the correct chords for ryhthm may
also have changed!  

This next lick is a prime example, which looks almost
identical to the lick taught above from A Phrygian Mode.

But if you look closely, you'll see that the note being 
played on the B string is now an F note and no longer a 
G note.

The F note is the "new note" that entered the lead pattern,
and the G note no longer exist inside of the lead pattern.

The notes now played in the lead pattern are 
F, A, A#, C which are the notes found in F major diatonic 

But because you are playing notes from the F Lydian mode,
the correct choice of rhythm chords should now be...
F5 (or F powerchord)

Or, because F major diatonic is  the major scale which  
A Phrygian mode was derived from, another perfect 
choice of guitar chords would be F major played as a
backing rhythm guitar chord for this lick.

Guitar Lick #1 
Derived From F Major Diatonic Scale
     p    p    p
e :-6-5--8-5--6-5-----5----------------------------------
B :----------------6-------------------------------------
G :------------------------------------------------------
D :------------------------------------------------------
A :------------------------------------------------------
E :------------------------------------------------------

Lick #2 Octave
      p      p      p
e :-18-17--20-17--18-17----17----------------------------
B :---------------------18-------------------------------
G :------------------------------------------------------
D :------------------------------------------------------
A :------------------------------------------------------
E :------------------------------------------------------

Playing Fast * Changing Keys
Fast Lead Guitar Licks
The next two examples given, very much rely on "technique'
and can have your fingers moving lightning fast with minimum

These licks sound exceptionally good using a wah pedal to 
obtain that cutting edge Jimi Hendrix - Stevie Ray Vaughan

The new lead guitar pattern in this section is often referred to
as a "finger roll".

The letters shown top, indicate which key each lick is played

Each lick is derived from the pentatonic minor box scale.

You should start by only playing the first lick shown in the 
key of A, until you have developed a smooth feeling and 
sound, before making an attempt to move up to the other 

Although it's best to stick to the basic rule of thumb when 
practicing guitar scales (using 1 finger per fret) ...

It's also common to choose alternate fingerings when playing 
lead guitar, that will allow you faster finger movement and 
Here is the explanation of which fingerings to use, and where 
to add the lead guitar techniques (hammer-ons and pull-offs) 

Make sure to start slowly as possible. 

Each practice session try to increase speed. 

A great tool that all guitarist use to help develop timing and 
build tempo as well as increase speed is a Metronome

Beginning with the lead guitar lick in A...

1)Fret the note 7th fret G string using the middle finger
while also fretting the note on the 5th fret B string using the
index finger.

2) Although 3 notes are shown and played, you only pick 2
of those notes as the hammer-on and pull-off technique
will save you from picking the note at the 8th fret, then
returning to the 5th fret. This technique will save time and 
add speed. 
Now that your fingers are in position 
Begin by picking the note on the 7th fret G string.

Next... pick the note on the 5th fret B string 

While keeping your index finger on that note (5th fret B string)
use your ring finger to "hammer-on" to the note 8th fret B string,
then again to "pull-off" back to the note on the 5th fret B string,
then try playing each lick in the following keys as shown.

      A          B           C           D
e :------------------------------------------------------
B :----5h8p5-----7h10p7-------8h11p8-----10h13p10--------
G :-7----------9-----------10---------12-----------------
D :------------------------------------------------------
A :------------------------------------------------------
E :------------------------------------------------------

Picking Technique

Just as important as frethand finger movement, coordination
and control, so is "picking" technique.

You'll discover tricks that make your playing even faster
by experimenting with different picking combinations.

One of the best practice methods is to apply "alternate -
picking" which is most commonly used for practicing guitar
scales, which means to alternate using the guitar pick
by starting downpick - then up, or...
downstroke, upstroke, downstroke, upstroke, ect..

This classic guitar lick has been used by all the greats
and is a prime example of how you can play lead guitar
fast by combining the actual guitar techniques with
picking techniques.

This lick is demonstrated in the key of E, because the
guitar frets are closer together and it makes this lick
easier to play.

Another tip to help you develop a good sound on this
lick is to slighty barre your index finger on the B string 
and small e string.

Begin by picking the note on the 15th fret B string with
a downstroke, followed by...

picking the note on the 12th fret small e string with an
upstroke, followed by...

picking the note 15th fret B string (fret that note with your
ring finger) and then using your ring finger, "pull-off" back
to the note on the 12th fret B string.

Practice this over and over slowly until you have memorized
the combinations of movements using the frethand and pickhand
and then each day as you practice, try picking up the pace
and make your best attempt to play a bit faster each time until
you have obtained the speed that you desire.

e :----12------------------------------------------------
B :-f15----15p12------------------------------------------
G :------------------------------------------------------
D :------------------------------------------------------
A :------------------------------------------------------
E :------------------------------------------------------

A common asked question about the guitar picking technique
that was used for this lick, and recommended to be used and
peacticed for other lead guitar solo licks, was...

Q: Why should I pick down on the B string and then have to
pick upwards on the small e string?

A: Once you learn a new technique, if you stop and pay very 
close attention to what your doing, most question's like this 
you can answer yourself by taking a good look and using common 

When you used a downstroke on the first note you played
at the 15th fret B string, you probally noticed that your pick
(due to natural movement of your pickhand), ended up past
the small e string.

So the fastest way to get back to the small e string is to
simply pick upward using and upstroke, as opposed to having to
of had to bring the pick back upward again and start all over
picking downward.