Lead Guitar Improvisation Tips (feat. Wagon Wheel)
Lesson #526 • Nov 10, 2023
Instructional PDF 2 pages
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Extended Video Lessons
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Part 2 - Connecting Scale Shapes
Practice Track - Slow Tempo (120bpm)
Practice Track - Fast Tempo (146bpm)
Audio Practice Tracks
These have the same audio heard in the video practice tracks above – but for your convenience, I’m making them available as audio files (mp3) you can either stream on this page or download for offline use.
Today I’m looking at lead guitar, answering an audience question on getting started with improvising. The Key of G chord progression we’ll be soloing over is used in songs like Wagon Wheel, and makes for a great playground of possibility.
I’ll begin by explaining the idea of chord tones, which tell us which notes to focus on while each chord is playing. Then, using a small region of the G major scale (thinnest three strings only), I’ll demonstrate how we have more than enough building blocks to create countless riffs, melodies, and licks that sound great. This is all done over a backing track, which is available to you over on my lesson page.
This one goes out to Song Notes member Jason, whose question in the community forum inspired this tutorial. Thanks for the ongoing support, Jason – and to everyone else who is likewise interested in this topic, I truly hope you find this helpful!
Timestamps for my main lesson:
- 0:00 Demonstration & Lesson Summary
- 2:25 Chord Tones 101
- 3:59 Choosing a Fretboard Region
- 7:53 Following the Chords
- 10:22 Improv Example w/ Chord Tones Only
- 12:14 Improv Example w/ Passing Tones
- 14:32 True Improv #1 use your ear!
- 17:42 True Improv #2 themes & motifs
- 22:25 Connecting Scale Shapes
Other Lead Guitar Lessons
In the past year or so, I’ve been slowly building out my lead guitar lesson library! Here’s some of my favorites. If there’s a specific topic (or song, riff, etc) you’d like to request on this topic – let me know!
Want to Strum Wagon Wheel?
I also have a full lesson teaching the acoustic version! It’s one of my oldest lessons… and to be honest, if you want something more flashy and polished (with graphics, etc) you might want to check YouTube for more recent lessons from other teachers. But if you only have eyes for me, have at it :)
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