Video: How To Play Lead Guitar Licks With 6ths To Make Your Playing Sound Expressive
Wish you could play expressive lead guitar licks that make people feel a strong sense of emotion?
It's not as hard as you might think!
Learning how specific musical intervals feel while playing helps you express particular emotions whenever you want.
Good news is, this is something you can get started doing right now.
Learn how to play lead guitar licks with 6ths in this video to make your playing very musically expressive:
Click on the video to begin watching it.
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Now you know how to play better lead guitar licks using major 6ths and minor 6ths.
Combine these additional tips to use what you've learned to play lead guitar licks that are more expressive and emotional than ever:
Tip #1: Make Your Lead Guitar Licks Higher In Quality Using A Simple Trick
There is one thing anyone can do to make their lead guitar licks sound better.
What is it?
Easy - use the bridge/neck pickup selector (at the right times).
While playing notes higher up on the fretboard, use the neck pick up. This is done by moving the switch to the top position.
This instantly makes the tone sound very smooth.
Use the bridge pickup to give pitches in the lower range sound great and is an easy way to improve the sound of your rhythm guitar riffs. In general, stay away from using the bridge pickup on higher notes (this can make the notes sound too thin and brittle).
Tip #2: Play Tight Rhythmically
Your lead guitar licks and overall playing gets much better when you improve your rhythmic timing.
Lead guitar players often stay on the beat some of the time but are a little bit off at other times.
How do you improve this skill?
Make improving your rhythmic timing a higher priority during your practice time. Try to divide up your focus between playing the notes cleanly and playing in time with a backing track/metronome perfectly. Using recording software helps you see and hear your mistakes so you can quickly fix them.
Tip #3: Stay Away From Generic Lead Guitar Exercises
There are many ways to practice lead guitar and many conventional (but ineffective) approaches that are popular.
For example: Using generic chromatic exercises to "increase dexterity or speed".
Practicing these types of lead guitar licks is not effective because it has no particular musical purpose or application.
Think about it:
How often do you play chromatic lead guitar licks like these in music?
Probably not often, if ever.
Working on this mostly just improves how well you are able to play these specific chromatic lead guitar licks.
Your practice time can be used much more efficiently by working on items that actually can be applied into music and make sense with your specific guitar playing goals.
Tip #4: Clean Up Your Lead Guitar Licks With Effective Muting
To eliminate string noise so your lead guitar licks sound great, use the index finger of the fretting hand to mute the strings that are right above the one you are playing.
So, if you are playing the D string, have the index finger covering the G, B and E strings to keep them from causing noise. Then use your picking hand thumb to mute the strings that are lower (in pitch) - A and E in this case.
Tip #5: Improve Your Fretboard Visualization
Do your lead guitar licks sometimes become lost and you end up making mistakes or just playing boring ideas?
Learning how to visualize the fretboard is important for making your lead guitar licks flow smoothly from one note to the next.
Here is one way to do this:
Focus on getting better at visualizing the scale shape you are moving into before you start to move your guitar licks in that direction. Do this by staying within close fretboard positions at first.
For instance, practice improvising short lead guitar licks using the minor pentatonic scale beginning on the 12th fret of the A string within a single octave. Do this for 10-20 repetitions while trying to create short licks that are as different from one another as you can make them.
Then practice playing lead guitar licks using the same scale only starting from the 15th fret (position) of the A string.
Use any technique you know (such as vibrato, legato or bends) to make these short licks more expressive.
Then mix these two scale positions together. Over time, slowly expand your fretboard coverage by adding more notes to expand into other positions or octaves.This helps you expand your lead guitar licks to begin stepping outside of your comfort zone while helping your to train your guitar phrasing and expression.
Tip #6: Work Together With A Guitar Teacher
Start taking lessons with a guitar teacher instead of trying to do everything on your own.
It's frustrating to find yourself stuck and far away from reaching your lead guitar goals. Even worse, when you are unaware of what you need to do to improve.
This makes improving your lead guitar licks and soloing skills seem tiring and demotivating rather than exciting - as it should be.
Having a guitar teacher makes this process easy and fun.
This is very important for helping you make bursts of progress, because a great guitar teacher is reliable at getting you to understand where you are going wrong, improve any bad playing habits and get new perspective on guitar that you may not have discovered if you learned totally by yourself.
I have given instruction for many years to thousands of guitarists worldwide and am very proud of the guitar playing wins I have been honored to get for them.
This is what my guitar students say about taking lessons and how it changed their musical lives:
“I found Tom Hess on the net through articles, and I read quite a few of those before I went to Tom’s website. Even though I’m not a metal player at all, and Tom is obviously a metal player, I could still see that his ideas and way of teaching could really benefit me. So I pretty much signed up for online guitar lessons with Tom straight away once I’d gone through the website, and it’s just been a real eye opener with the way he teaches…”
... the integration of concepts that he’ll give you and having a really structured strategy… not just week to week lessons, but things that - you can see from one lesson to the next - really develop and continue to work on your technique and your theory and aural skills and those types of things. So I’d played a long time… 20 years before I really caught onto Tom, and I’d had a lot of lessons, and I’d taught and played but I can really see improvements in my technique, sweeping, and picking which weren’t strong parts of my playing.
I feel like Tom has a good gauge of where you’re at as a lead guitar player and what you need, and there just seemed to be so much more stuff in the lessons week to week than what you’d ever get in an hour or so in a one on one lesson… way more. So yeah I think that and the forum. I think, I’d pay the money just for the forum. That alone would be fine… I wouldn’t have a problem with that at all. So that alone is massive!
The price for the lessons, that’s nothing... nothing. You know, I think it’s, pretty cheap to be honest. I don’t mean that in a bad way, cheap. Cheap is not a good word, but I just think it’s great value… awesome value. I mean, you know, you could pay that for one-to-one lessons and you just don’t get the same results and support of the forum and the content and the strategies.
Other teachers I’ve had have been good players, and some have become good friends too. But when I’ve started lessons with Tom I’ve got something to compare that to and a lot of it is just sort of teaching songs from week to week… a lot of the lesson will be left up to you… you’ll go to your lesson and they’ll be like what do you want to do today? At the time I said, oh do this song or that song, but with Tom you start to realize that you know, there’s more to it… the goals and you know he’s sort of more in contact with what you want to be able to do as a player, because he’s asking you the questions and then setting up the strategies, so I find that really good.
Yeah I can see more results in 18 months in a lot of areas in my playing than you know 20 years. So it’s sort of, you know, would’ve been great 20 years ago to have met Tom.
Simon Candy, Melbourne, Australia
"When I came to Tom for online guitar lessons, I already had a decent overall level of technique and understood the basics of music theory pretty well. I had taken lessons with other teachers before, and went through several guitar method books that promised to teach me how to become a great lead guitar player. I learned all the materials in these books and courses and picked up some useful tips and knowledge along the way. Yet for some reason I still wasn't feeling like a musician. I struggled very much with writing my own songs, creating my own solos and pushing my guitar technique and speed to a higher level (especially sweep picking, alternate picking, and playing clean at high speeds).
When I started learning from Tom, the main thing that made him different from other teachers was that he was showing me how to excel in all aspects of my lead guitar playing by applying the skills that I already knew together with the new material that I was learning from him.
He made me aware of both strengths and weaknesses in my playing that I did not even know I had. From there he gave me the knowledge, tools and guidance to literally transform my lead guitar licks by enabling me to overcome things that were preventing me from becoming a truly creative and self-expressive guitar player. These were the kinds of things that none of my previous guitar teachers and books I studied were able to do for me.
After Tom made me aware of all the things I was missing in my guitar playing and provided me with the strategy and tools for solving them, I began to make very fast progress in all areas of my guitar playing.
I can now write my own music and can create lead guitar solos that I am happy and fulfilled with. I also have the technical skills to confidently and easily play anything that I want to express. I have overcome all of the lead guitar challenges that I struggled with before, and increased my guitar speed to virtuoso levels. More importantly, I have the knowledge and understanding of how to continually improve my lead guitar licks and musical skills to higher and higher levels to continue expressing myself with my music. Overall, I have definitely transformed in a huge way as a musician and as a person through my lessons with Tom Hess. I am grateful to him for guiding me towards becoming the guitarist I always wanted to be!"
Mike Philippov, Indiana, USA
“When I first heard about Tom Hess, I saw that he was a teacher that was very dedicated and serious about it, and that drew me in immediately. That this is a guy that has a plan, has a goal and really if you’re serious about learning guitar, this guy is equally as serious in a way. So it resonated with me straight away.”
I started out just learning by myself and as many others I got stuck. I had a few issues I wanted to get by, but when I met Tom and talked with him and started lessons with him, he opened up a whole new world of possibilities of what lead guitar playing can be.
I feel very grateful that I found lessons from Tom since I then did what worked from the very beginning. Many guitarists I see that played way longer than I did, they have build up many bad habits. That from the very start, there was clear instruction of how to practice correctly. You build the ability for high speed and whatever you want from the very beginning and you don’t waste time doing inefficient things. So I’m very grateful that I did that, and now I really feel I am able to reach whatever level I want.
The reasons why I think I feel so motivated all the time is because I know that the thing I’m working on is relevant for me and it’s exactly the direct thing I need to get.
The forum just kicks ass. The people in the forum - it’s just like unconditional help all the time. They love to help out, and you also get very inspired by seeing someone just really getting speed really quick and then you say if he can do it, I can do it. It works on the mental side of being a guitarist and that of course that’s the most important thing. Just being around other musicians like that, is just you learn so much faster, is so much less frustration when you can see that all the people are having the same issues that you do, not anything special or anything. It’s just part of learning process, so it kicks ass.
Magnus Gautestad, Norway
Think you are ready to learn more about playing awesome lead guitar licks? Let me teach you all about playing creatively on guitar. Get started with online guitar lessons with a great guitar teacher.