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Lead Guitar Techniques -- Straight, Vibrato and Slide [Interm/Any Style/Technique]

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#1 solidwalnut


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Posted 24 April 2007 - 09:56 PM

Lead Guitar Techniques -- Straight, Vibrato and Slide

This lesson is a branch from Area 5 from the Playbook for Beginners and Beyond main lesson. Visit the main lesson to see my philosophy on the five different areas of learning to play.

The reason for this lesson is simple--I'm here to tell you that you can do amazing things by only playing four or less notes. It's what you do during this time that gives a lead it's flavor. There are many options. The video plays a few of these. As the name of the lesson indicates, there are three main tricks to always keep in mind: play the note straight, play the note with varying vibrato and play the note with either a slide in or a slide out.

First of all, just know that whatever you play, you must play it with confidence. This is what will make you stand out from the crowd. You can play only one note, but you better play it with 'verve'. Think about playing only one of these notes and then add these different flavors to it.

Play it Straight

Play a note or notes without any other effects such as slide and vibrato. When playing a note straight, do not move your fret finger. Pick, pluck or otherwise play the string with the amount of force you intend. Be confident in choosing the right amount of volume that comes from your string. Of course, be careful because on the electric, too much pressure from your fret hand will sharpen the tone.

Play it with Vibrato

Vibrato. Fast vibrato, slow vibrato, outrageous vibrato. "Dive bomb" vibrato using a tremelo bar. There's plenty to work with here. That doesn't mean you always need to used every kind of vibrato, but you do need to check out the different kinds and add them to your arsenal.

Play it with a Slide In or Out

Try sliding up to a note to begin the sequence. There are several different ways to approach this trick. Try sliding up to the start note from 8 frets or more (if you have the room). There's a 'noise' science to doing this and then there's a 'melodic' way of doing this. The noise way is that you don't care how many frets. The melodic way is that you're looking to slide in from a specific amount of frets. For example, you choose a one fret, half-step, slide in. Or maybe a whole step, 2 fret, slide in. Or maybe a slide in from the dominant 5th up to the root. The same works for beginning the sequence by sliding down to the start note.

Then there's always the slide out from any note. The same 'rules' and tips apply. It's very effective to slide out from the last note.

So why not play smarter? Spice up your playing by tackling these three simple types of effects. It will add a real 'wow' factor and a professional sounding sparkle.

A particularly tasty sound is when you go from playing it straight to adding slow vibrato. Try all three of these in varying combinations. That's what this video is all about. I hope it helps you.

Have fun,


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Steve Cass
Solid Walnut Music/ASCAP

Becoming a great guitarist has less to do with fancy moves than it does becoming a master of the basics and learning musicianship.
It's not what you can't do. It's how you play what you already know.

View my lessons here at GfB&B

"Rhythm guitar is a trip that alot of people miss" -- Tom Petty


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