Guitar Secrets Lead Guitar Made Easy

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Guitar lesson 6b Building a rhythm and playing lead guitar.

In our last lesson we worked on the Am pentatonic scale in the root note position. Now it's time to put together a few chords and to build a backup rhythm. The chords that we will use will be the Am, F and G. These chords will sound nice while we play the Am pentatonic scale over them. 

Look below and notice the numbers under each chord. The numbers indicate the count. This means you strum each chord 1 time. 

Count slowly and evenly from 1 to 4 playing the indicated chord on the indicated count.

A minor chord for playing rhythm guitar. F and G chords for playing lead guitar. A minor chord for rhythm guitar.

 

 

Repeat over from the beginning.

If you record these chords, you can play the Am pentatonic scale over them. You can also use these chords to write your own song. Try putting words to them. Practice these chords over and over. In our next lesson we will begin to write our first original song using these chords. We will also try to play a few leads over the chords below in the lessons coming up. We will also pick the notes out of the chords and find the relationship to them in the Am pentatonic scales.

Practice the chords below by playing them as illustrated. I usually use my thumb for the Root 6 E bar chords. But that may take you some time to get use to. When you play chords, it is important to put your fingers as close to the frets towards your picking hand.

A minor chord, playing lead guitar.

Am chord Listen

G guitar chord for playing rhythm guitar.

G chord Listen

F chord using E bar

F chord using thumb

 

Guitar fretboard, playing the A minor pentatonic scale. Listen to the chords above and notice how they blend in nicely while you play the Am pentatonic scale with them. The numbers on the fretboard image to the left are the figures you use.

1 =  Index finger
2 =  Middle finger
3 =  Ring finger
4 =  Pinkie
T =  Thumb

See the tablature for this scale below.

Tablature below for the A minor pentatonic scale at the 5th fret position.  Just pick any of these notes over the Am chord and see how it sounds good.

----------------------------------------5--8----
---------------------------------5--8-----------
------------------------5--7--------------------
------------------5--7--------------------------
--------5--7-----------------------------------
-5-8-------------------------------------------

I have posted the beginning to our first original song we will begin to work on. It is played slow and uses the Am, F and G chords in the open position and 1st position. It's a good idea to listen to it and try to figure it out. I have already written out the tablature for this song and we will be getting to that in the next couple lessons or so. Try to see how close you can come to learning it and then you can check out the music in tab. 

Assignment:

  • Tune your guitar.
  • Study the open position chords chapter.
  • Review the Root 6 bar chords.
  • Review the Root 5 bar chords.
  • Review the tablature chapter, we will be getting to that real soon.
  • Play the above chords over and over until you have them memorized.
  • Try to record these chords and play the A minor pentatonic over the progression.
  • Play the Am pentatonic root note fret over these chords.
  • Learn the Am pentatonic starting on the C note.
  • Review the Am pentatonic starting on the D note.
  • Listen to our first original song using the Am, F and G chords.
  • Listen to our slow song beefed up a little for the electric guitar. This is played in Am pentatonic, root note fret. The root note fret is the 5th fret for Am pentatonic.
  • Look at the illustration below and notice the notes that make up each chord.

 

Learning to play lead in the key of C major

C Major chord   C E G

Dm chord           D F A

Em chord           E G B

F Major chord    F A C

G Major chord   G B D

Am chord           A C E

B Diminished      B D F

C Major chord   C E G 

You can use the illustration above to pick the notes out of each chord very easily. Look above and find the Am chord. Notice that the notes of the Am chord are  A, C and E. Look at the C chord above and notice the notes of that chord are C, E and G. The outer circle shows the chords that make up the key of C Major. If you were sitting at the piano, all of the white keys would be the key of C Major. The key of C Major has no sharp of flat notes. The black keys on the piano are the sharp and flat notes that make up other keys. Look at the illustration above at the C in the outer circle.

From the C note work your way around the circle to the right. C, D, E, F, G, A , B then C again. If you were to use all of these notes and chords to write a song, you would be playing in the key of C major. To play a lead over these chords, you could use the Am pentatonic scale. The Am chord above is a natural minor to the key of C major. It is the Sixth note of the key of C major. Count from the C above and Am will be the sixth note. 

Every major key has a natural minor in it. Every sixth note of the major scale will be that keys natural minor. The natural or relative minor has the same notes as its major scale it is in. I will use the key of C major in our lessons and then other keys will be very easy to figure out in future lessons.

Good Luck,

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