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Learn To Play Lead Guitar With 6 Secret Tips

Louise Nova Nova

If you want to learn to play lead guitar then you already know it is a combination of theory, technique, and natural talent. Everyone wants to be the best lead guitarist they can be. Everyone knows that you have to address the basics such as reading music and listening to music but most don`t think about the really important things that will set you apart from other people who want to learn to play lead guitar.

There are six important tips that you will want to remember.

- Technique

- Position to Learn

- Hand Position

- Attitude

- Discipline

- Leadership Skills


Technique, of course, is one of the key elements you must address when you learn to play lead guitar. It is really important to get a good teacher to teach you the technique skills and to help you to perfect them. Many famous, and not so famous, lead guitarists will tell you they never stop learning, never stop practicing and never stop perfecting their style. Playing guitar is and expression of your talent, you need to practice and perfect your craft.

Position to Learn

Most people don`t realize that when you first start to learn to play lead guitar it is helpful to practice sitting down. This gives you much more control over your instrument and allows you to concentrate on the actual music you are practicing. This might be difficult for some but whether you decide to sit or to remain standing you must always remember to have both feet flat on the ground and to sit with your back straight. This will help you to avoid back strain or injury.

Hand Position

When you learn to play lead guitar you will soon realize that one of the most important things to learn is how to position your hands. If you start from the beginning with the correct hand positions you will find it much easier later to move through the different chords with ease. It also lets you react quickly if one of your fellow musicians has a problem and makes a mistake. At first it will seem very difficult especially if you have been using incorrect hand positions in the past. Stick with it, practice hand positions regularly, it will pay off in the end when you sound professional.


Attitude, and


When you first learn to play lead guitar it is easy to be disciplined. Your initial enthusiasm makes it easy to be able to spend hours trying new music and techniques. As you improve it is easy to settle in to a level that is good but maybe not excellent. It takes discipline to maintain a level of practice that will constantly improve your skills. Discipline is what separates an average lead guitarist from a brilliant one. One good tip is to write out a program and set a schedule with small goals along the way to keep you motivated and on track.

Leadership skills

Leadership skills are important to have if you want to be a lead guitarist. You will be the one people look to for guidance, you will be responsible for all the musicians in the group. You need to be able to pay attention to what everyone is playing and be able to cover mistakes that may happen during a song. This may take a while to get really good at but you should always be training yourself. Try to listen while you are playing and you will improve. This skill will grow if you start right from the beginning when you learn to play lead guitar.

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Guitar goddess: classical guitarist Sharon Isbin talks about hiking the Rockies, nurturing talent at Juilliard, and playing J.S. Bach and Joan Baez - music

Advocate, The , June 24, 2003 by Joseph Dalton

After classical guitarist Sharon Isbin came out in Out magazine in 1995, she didn`t think people would be all that interested. She found out differently a week later at a concert in Atlanta.

"I remember walking out onstage, thinking, They know," Isbin says. "And what happened is that they wouldn`t stop clapping. Everyone around me--the presenter of the concert, the record company, the radio station--was totally supportive and complimentary, and the only person having any trouble with this was me." That was eight years ago. "What`s so strange is that it has never come up again in any of the many profiles I`ve done. So I can only deduce that when an artist in the classical world comes out, no one gives a damn."

If audiences give little regard to Isbin`s sexuality these days, her music garners plenty of attention. Her last three albums earned Grammy nominations, and one of them--Dreams of a World, a collection based on folk music released in 2000--made her the first classical guitarist in 28 years to receive the coveted award. Her latest, Sharon Isbin Plays Baroque Favorites for Guitar (Warner Classics), is a return to some music she loves. "What I really enjoy about baroque music is that it was the jazz of their day," she says. "Like a jazz musician, you improvise; you don`t just read what`s on the paper."

Isbin not only conceived of the record--which includes such jewels as Albinoni`s "Adagio" and Bach`s "Jesu, Joy of Man`s Desiring"--she also art-directed the CD`s lushly gorgeous cover, which she based on a photo of Greta Garbo she saw in The Girls: Sappho Goes to Hollywood. "I wasn`t going to get all dolled up in 1940s chiffon," she quips, "but I wanted to capture the essence and the sensuality of that photo."

Isbin makes time for a formidable array of pursuits outside her concert schedule. She has headed the guitar department at Juilliard since 1989. Thanks to her long-running column for Acoustic Guitar magazine, she has become "sort of the Dear Abby of acoustic guitars." Then there`s the Aspen Music Festival, where she heads the guitar department and makes use of each summer`s nine-week festival to get outdoors. "If I`m not trekking through the jungles, the Rocky Mountains will suit me fine," she says. Having made an expedition to the Amazonian rain forest, she`s speaking literally.

Isbin is also in a long-term relationship, although she won`t elaborate beyond saying, "I`m fortunate to be able to make room in my life for that."

Typically, Isbin has chosen her next project worlds apart from the baroque. This October in San Francisco, she`ll premiere "The Joan Baez Suite," a seven-movement arrangement of the folk singer`s best-known songs.

"I`ve always loved folk music," says Isbin, who actually took up classical guitar as a 9-year-old only because her older brother turned down the opportunity. "I thought it couldn`t be that bad because I loved folk guitar. Now, later in life, a lot of the music I`m doing is folk-inspired. I`ve come full circle."

COPYRIGHT 2003 Liberation Publications, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group

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