How To Improve Your Lead Guitar Licks Faster With Effective Practice

by Tom Hess

Want to play lead guitar licks and solos that are expressive and flow smoothly? No doubt, it sounds amazing when the pros play like this…

Here is the good news:

It doesn’t have to take many years to get to the point of playing expressive guitar licks of your own.


Before you can do it, you have to get rid of a common bad guitar playing habit:

The habit of playing lead guitar licks based on memorized licks or randomly hoping to run into a cool phrase here and there.

Of course, it can sometimes be enjoyable to play like this (if it is what you are used to). Just know that relying on this approach makes it hard to play truly great lead guitar licks. This is because play great guitar licks means actively choosing the notes you want to play.

How can you practice to become more expressive so that every note counts and your guitar licks sound amazing?

There are many practice approaches for this, but the following is just one thing you can practice to get great results fast:

Practice guitar phrasing daily for anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.


Like this:

  1. Think of any guitar lick you know (or improvise one). Then choose only a few notes from that lick that you will expand upon.
  2. Play through these notes for a few minutes at a time. After each time you repeat them, focus on making them sound as expressive as possible using different techniques like vibrato, bends, legato, tremolo picking or harmonics.

Note: Performing lead guitar practice for just minutes per day improves your guitar phrasing very quickly and makes your soloing/licks/improvisation sound great.

Question: "Tom Hess, how do I know when my lead guitar playing is get better?

Answer: Let me show you one simple method for determining this.

After you have worked on guitar phrasing, rate your overall performance using some kind of rating system.

It’s easy, for example: a B+ or 8.5/10

Consistently rate yourself using the same system each time.

This is a very easy way to see if you are really getting better or not. Do this consistently and you’ll start to see all the fine details in your guitar playing and the path it takes to improve them.

This makes guitar playing more fun too!

You get the chance to not only improve your guitar practice efficiency, but to also enjoy the improvement process as you start to see all your guitar licks, solos, exercises and techniques become cleaner and more fluid.

Want to discover even more ways to play lead guitar licks that sound great?

Learn how to do it now using lead guitar lick sequencing.

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.

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