Help me become a (real) Guitar Hero
July 7, 2008 3:20 PM Subscribe
What do I need to be doing in order to transition from being a strictly open chords style guitar player to a lead/riff oriented player?
I have been playing the guitar for about 12 years now. Throughout this time, I have rarely ventured past the acoustic open chord type stuff. I began playing the guitar to accompany myself when singing. I've played tons of open mics/shows with bands/innumerable campfires and house parties. I really think that being a decent singer has taken away the impetus to improve my lead technique.
Now I'm in a situation where being able to play some more advanced lead stuff would really open up some possibilities as far as playing out. A good friend is a drummer, and we have been playing with a few bassists. We're doing fine, but it'd be nice to strap on an electric guitar for a lot of the music we'd like to do (my dreaming of rock stardom days are long past - I'd be perfectly happy churning out music for folks to dance to at bars and weddings)
I need help with understanding the hows and whys of what to play when - I have fiddled around with some basic blues scales over the past decade, but nothing has really stuck.
Would switching to a straight electric guitar approach help me get the sound and feel that would move me along to mastering some lead technique?
Is there a canonical band or style of music that I should start learning that will set me down the right path?
My hands are reasonably agile - I can pick out random riffs all day long. I just need to know how to learn to know what to play and when to play it. A guitar teacher where I am right now is unfortunately not an option for me.
Any advice/personal stories/tips are welcome.