david santistevan


Practical Pointers for Lead Guitarists

Lead guitar is such an integral part of a band. It adds energy, melody, and dynamics. Without a lead guitar, the feel can be boring. A drummer and bass player can create the tightest pocket the world has ever seen, but without a great lead, it lacks life. If you play guitar, take to heart these pointers:

  • Become a student of effects. Much of popular music today is not about who can shred the fastest but who knows how to use their effects the most skillfully. Know how to set different delay patterns. Experiment with reverb. Use a wah pedal. Ebow, tremolo, overdrive, chorus, the possibilities are endless. These add so much more color and variation to your playing.
  • Play melodically. Never, ever simply doodle when you are playing somewhere. As I said with drummers, play the simplest melodic line like you are inventing a new genre. Play simple, catchy melodies that are hard to forget.
  • Get a nice tube amp. I know this point is a money issue, but it comes with the territory of being a musician. Great gear sounds great. You may need to read that again to understand the complexity.
  • Listen to the pros. I listen to a lot of worship music and learn from each instrument. When I hear something I’ll grab my guitar and try it till I get it. Let music teach you.
  • Accept criticism. Every part you come up with wasn’t directly inspired by angels. If your leader doesn’t like what you are doing, try something else. Don’t get offended. Laugh at yourself and get over it.
  • Serve the lyric. Musicians in general tend to disregard lyrics in favor of obsessing over their part. Don’t do that. During rehearsal or before you play a service, rehearse the lyrics in your head and heart. Make sure your playing is serving the goal of true worship.
  • Worship. Don’t get too lost in what you are playing and forget why you are there.

Any others?


December 1, 2008 - Posted by | Band, Worship

1 Comment »

  1. […] piano for lead lines instead of electric guitar […]

    Pingback by 10 Tips For Great Arranging « david santistevan | November 16, 2010 | Reply

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