Lead Guitar Lessons Comparison
Ahh, lead guitar…there’s nothing quite like screaming solos and complex riffs to fill out the sound of a band. And who doesn’t want to have the ability to shred the neck of a guitar to impress people with their skills?
Lead guitar lessons will help strengthen your hands (and your confidence), so we found and rated all of the best lead guitar lessons online, and compared them side-by-side in this table:
Lead Guitar Lesson Ratings
Lead Guitar Lessons
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with rhythm guitar (it serves an equal, perhaps greater role than lead guitar) the reality is that most people get into the instrument to play lead guitar.
Let’s play a game. Of the two guitarists, Slash or Izzy Stradlin, which one would you say is more well-known? Technically the right answer would be both because they are from the same band (Guns N’ Roses), but one plays lead guitar and the other plays rhythm guitar. Slash is by far more famous than the underappreciated Izzy Stradlin, and it’s a common theme throughout rock music.
Therefore, it is only natural that most beginners aspire to play lead guitar because of the fame the position traditionally entails. In essence, it is your opportunity to become the “star” of the band.
Lead Guitar vs. Rhythm Guitar
The guitar provides two main functions to the accompaniment: lead guitar and rhythm guitar.
In order to understand their roles more clearly:
- Lead Guitar: a guitar part which plays melody lines, instrumental fill passages, and guitar solos within a song structure. It’s commonly the part of the song that stands out the most, or, the main melody.
- Rhythm Guitar: the use of a guitar to provide rhythmic chordal accompaniment for a singer or other instruments in a musical ensemble.
Why Learn Lead Guitar?
Rhythm guitar (along with the bassist and drummer) generally provide the foundation of the song (the beat), while the lead guitar is in charge of playing the melody, instrumental passages, guitar solos as well as riffs within the song structure.
The rhythm guitar plays a supportive role to the lead guitar which is considered the “featured guitar” in standard tunes, a very common scenario in rock, heavy metal, blues, jazz, punk and fusion music.
Because of the licks you play with lead guitar, your passages usually stick out more and make your playing vital not only in the studio but also performing live. Consequently, your function is extremely important in the band, and likely a big reason they are who they are.
Lead Guitar Fundamentals
Lead guitarists rely heavily on scales, modes, and arpeggios to create the licks or riffs heard in the song. The licks may be produced in a variety of ways with alternate picking, sweep picking, economy picking and legato just a few of the commonly incorporated techniques. In addition to finger techniques, lead guitarists often utilize distortion and other effects available on the amplifier or effect pedals.
The lead guitarist is also often very animated during the live show, impressing the audience with various ways to play the instrument (with your elbow, feet, etc) adding to the showmanship and mystique of playing guitar.
The techniques and approach you take to playing lead guitar will vary substantially depending on the genre. Hard rock and metal lead guitar will be flashy and obnoxious, but lead guitar on a country track may be nothing more than a few simple notes played in secession to drive forward the melody.
Acoustic vs. Electric Guitar
Commercial music has in the last couple of decades leaned more toward electric guitars, especially for the lead guitarist. However, acoustic guitar is still a viable option for genres like country, folk, and bluegrass music.
Lead Guitar Lessons
Given the interest and demand to play lead guitar, lead guitar lessons are quite prevalent. Depending on how you would like to learn, lead guitar lessons are available in book, online video lessons, CD and DVD format as well as a combination of any-of-the-above.
It is a good idea for beginners to first learn rhythm guitar, and once you have a good understanding of that role progress to lead guitar because many of the techniques utilized for lead are reserved for intermediate or advanced learners.
Conclusion: Best Lead Guitar Lessons
After buying and trying all of the most popular lead lessons online, we ran them all through our rating algorithm and found JamPlay with their new FREE TRIAL came out on top. If you’re looking for something similar at a lower price with a free trial, Guitar Tricks is great too.