Lead Guitar Techniques For Beginners

To play lead guitar there are a number of techniques that you’ll have to have a good grasp of. Think of these four techniques as the “bread and butter” of your lead guitar playing. There are many other lead guitar techniques out there, but these are the ones you’ll find yourself using the most.

Alternate Picking

Picking technique is probably the thing that most people struggle with when learning how to play lead guitar. Picking is very different from strumming and requires a lot more control. You’ll have to learn proper technique so that you can move between strings accurately. They key to picking efficiently on the guitar is relaxation and minimizing movements. Small, controlled picking motions with a relaxed hand will result in the quickest improvement to your speed and dexterity.

Learn basic picking technique here: Basic Picking Technique

Hammer-Ons & Pull-Offs

Hammer-ons and pull-offs are essential to smoothing out your lead guitar playing. They allow your scales and licks to flow from note to note.

The combination of hammer-ons and pull-offs is also called legato. Mastering legato technique takes a lot of practice, but getting the hang of the technique is pretty simple. The key to learning legato is consistent practice. It’s all about building up the muscle memory so that performing the technique becomes second nature.

Learn basic legato technique here: Hammer-Ons & Pull-Offs


Bending on the guitar is one of the first techniques our minds go to when we think of someone playing lead guitar. It’s the one of the things that sets guitar apart from all the other instruments and helps allow the player to add personality and soul to their licks and solos.

Good bending technique is important because it’s very easy to bend out of tune or cause unwanted extra string noise.

Learn bending technique here: Bending Technique


Vibrato is where you can really start defining your own personal sound. There are endless vibrato techniques that you can employ, and it’s completely up to you which ones you use. Different vibrato speeds and different vibrato widths can create real dynamic depth in your playing so try to diversify yourself and use vibrato to make a lick your own.

Are you looking for more lead guitar lessons and relevant jam-tracks? Guitareo is Nate Savage’s step-by-step video training system. It has some great songs for lead guitar and it also covers many other important styles of music including rock, country, fingerstyle, metal, classical, bluegrass, jazz, and more. Best of all it includes a huge library of original jam-tracks so you can apply everything to music.