How To Play Lead Guitar Licks That Stand Out & Sound Expressive

by Tom Hess

Wish you could play lead guitar licks that stand out from typical blues and rock guitar licks but have a hard time doing it?

For example:

You use all the conventional pentatonic shapes or techniques such as double stops but they just don't sound musically expressive.

Don't worry.

Many guitar players struggle with this too, but this isn't too hard to fix.


Start working to improve your guitar phrasing little by little each day.

This is the bedrock to playing expressive lead guitar licks that stand out and make anyone turn their head whenever you are playing. Good news is, this is both fun and rewarding when you just work on it for even as little as 10 minutes per day.

So, what is guitar phrasing?

Guitar phrasing refers to how you play notes versus which notes you choose to create your licks and solos.

Try this out to practice phrasing and play better lead guitar licks:

For just 5-15 minutes, play a handful of notes from any guitar scale you know while making them sound as expressive as possible.

Do this by using vibrato, bends, legato or any other technique in as many different ways as you can think of to play the notes expressively. This will train you to play with expressive emotion to make your guitar licks truly stand out.

Note: Don't worry about playing with tons of speed during this process. Remember that speed is a tool for creating tension. Use it in this manner to build tension in between slower passages before using something like vibrato to release it on a note you hold longer.

How To Play Amazing Guitar Solos

Now you know a simple way to get started playing your lead guitar licks that stand out and sound expressive.

There are more easy and fun ways to play better lead guitar licks!

Learn more ways to make your licks stand out by using these unique blues guitar double stops.

Tom HessAbout Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He teaches rock guitar lessons online to students from all over the world and conducts instructional live guitar training events attended by musicians from over 50 countries.

Learn even more powerful ways to become a better lead guitarist by taking online electric guitar classes.

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