LEAD GUITAR INTERMEDIATES
Before tackling this course, you should be comfortable with all the material from Essentials Part 2

Welcome to the essentials course part three! Over the next 5 lessons, we will be adding bends to your repertoire, learning how to link your patterns across the entire neck, and tackling the most challenging solo yet! The solo is a ZZ Top inspired track which has plenty of bending and vibrato, as well as a whole lot of feel to make it sound great! As always, take your time and have fun!

Summary: How to bend

Bends can be an extremely challenging technique for most beginners but once you get them, they can bring your lead playing to life! Firstly, let’s talk about how to perform the bands:

  • 1. Use your third finger to start with, place it on the note (7th fret G string)
  • 2. Positon you 1st & 2nd fingers on the same string behind your 3rd finger
  • 3. Pick the note to make sure it is sounding properly
  • 4. Whilst keeping the note sounding push the string up with all 3 fingers

We will be looking at the tab for the exercise below, but it is important to know the symbols for hammer-ons and pull-offs when reading tab. They look like this:

We are currently learning a full bend, half bend and quarter bend, each of which are pictured above. With a full bend, (indicated by the number '1') we bend the note up a whole tone (2 frets), a half bend (indicated by the fraction '1/2') we bend the note up a semitone (1 fret) and with a quarter bend (indicated by the fraction '1/4'), we nudge the note up a little bit before stopping it dead.

Summary: Mega linking patterns

We have gone through 2 linking patterns, one which uses shape 1 - 3, and a second which uses shape 3 - 5. In this lesson, we are taking those two patterns and joining them to form one epic linking pattern! This will seriously help with your fluency across the neck and will become an important part of your improvising. The exercise starts in the key of A minor, then moves into the key of C minor. Spend extra time as you go through making sure you can visualise the shapes.

Materials: Mega Linking Pattern tab

If you want to be sure you are playing exactly the correct notes, please use the tab by clicking the link below. You need to aim to play along with the tab, so take advantage of the slow down and looper feature to get it 100% correct!

Summary: 'ZZ Solo' Part 1

This solo will not only test your knowledge of the pentatonic shapes in 2 keys, it will also test your speed, accuracy and feel on the guitar! To start with, the solo is in the key of A minor, followed by a switch to C minor half way through. In this first video, we look through the first and second lick which use the first two shapes of the A minor pentatonic scale, as shown here:

Materials: 'ZZ Solo' tab

Below is the link to the full tab of the solo. Remember to focus on the licks we have learnt in this lesson as we will be going through more licks in the next lessons. Use the looping and slow down facility to make sure you know the licks inside out before moving on.

Summary: 'ZZ Solo' Part 2

The next set of licks will move you across shapes 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the pentatonic scale, so prepare yourself for some jumping around! Here are those shapes in the order they appear in the solo:

Materials: 'ZZ Solo' tab

Below is the link to the full tab of the solo. Remember to only focus on the licks we have learnt in this lesson as we will be going through more licks in the next lessons. Use the looping and slow down facility to make sure you know the licks inside out before moving on.

Summary: 'ZZ Solo' Part 3

The final set of licks initially start in A minor, but then jump to C minor. This type of key change is common in rock music, but it does mean that you suddenly need to find the pentatonic shapes again! The shapes are all written out below to help you out:

Materials: 'ZZ Solo' tab

Below is the link to the full tab of the solo. Remember to just focus on the licks we have learnt in this lesson as we will be going through more licks in the next lessons. Use the looping and slow down facility to make sure you know the licks inside out before moving on.

Audio: Backing Track

When you are ready, you have the backing track and full solo here to play along to. It is very worth trying to play with just the backing track, as you will not be 'hiding' behind the recorded guitar part. It will be all up to you to make it sound awesome!

Ready to move on? Remember to check out every lesson in this unit first – then try the next unit...

Essentials Part 4

We will be learning a cool spider exercise to help improve your speed and accuracy on the guitar, we will be learning new licks and getting them 'under your fingers' so you can improvise with them whilst understanding how to use them over any track.