Flatpicking Guitar Network

For Fans of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine

Learning Lead Breaks After Playing Rhythm For Years

I have been playing rhythm guitar for years and I now want to learn some lead breaks. Where do I begin?

Answered by Dan Miller

For guitar players who have a fairly solid rhythm background and are now interested in learning how to play guitar solos, we recommend that you start by learning the chord-melody style of lead guitar playing, or what is commonly known as "Carter Family style."

This style of playing, named after the technique used by Mother Maybelle Carter, combines a melody line played on the bass strings of the guitar with a chordal strum on the treble strings. Although Mother Maybelle Carter used a thumb pick in combination with a fingers, her's is a technique that can be easily approximated with a flatpick. This style successfully combines rhythm with lead playing and can be a logical transitional step for a rhythm player to use in order branch out and start learning lead breaks. This style of playing also lends itself well to solo singers who are accompanying themselves on the guitar because the rhythm never fully drops out when you are playing your lead break.

There are several instruction items available on the market which teach this style of guitar playing. These instructional items are as follows:

  • Easy Guitar Solos by Dan Huckabee (one hour cassette and tab book)
  • Flatpicking Guitar Country Style by Eric Thompson (video with tab book)
  • Easy Gospel Solos by Dan Huckabee (video with tab book)
  • Basic Country Flatpicking by Dix Bruce (video with tab book)

If you want to explore both Carter-style, some bluegrass rhythm, and start flatpicking some fiddle tunes, we recommend one of these books by Joe Carr:

Last updated by Dan Miller May 11, 2008.

Don't Miss These!

Badge

Loading…

Latest Activity

Beppe Gambetta posted events
Wednesday
Elizabeth Breen is now a member of Flatpicking Guitar Network
Tuesday
Jim Schmedeman is now a member of Flatpicking Guitar Network
Sep 14
Mike Lowell updated their profile
Sep 11
Mike Lowell replied to matthew's discussion What is the best right hand position for flatpicking
"I am chiming in after this post has been here several years...but this is an issue I am wrestling with.  I used to anchor, but found as I sped up, my movement became exaggerated.  I bought FP Mags book,  "Improving Speed, Tone…"
Sep 11
Roger Ferguson posted a video
Sep 9
Jerry Rose updated their profile
Sep 7
Alan Ernest Stanley Judson posted a discussion

Tabs for "Going Home" by Norman Blake and Rich O'Brien?

Hello,This song is so beautiful! It's on Norman and Rich's "Be Ready" album, and someone is playing in a dropped/open tuning.Any have tabs for this?  Or an idea on the tuning?See More
Sep 3
Alan Ernest Stanley Judson is now a member of Flatpicking Guitar Network
Sep 3
Karl Hepler posted a photo
Sep 3
Mark Thatcher shared their video on Facebook
Sep 3
Karl Hepler posted a discussion

National Flatpick champ Robin Kessinger needs your help!!!

Hi all!Please help us make our new album by backing us on KickStarter!Karl Hepler here - I'm working with Robin Kessinger to finish a new album, but about halfway through we ran out of time and money... so we started a KickStarter campaign to help fund the album.If you are interested in this project or even if you think you might like to purchase this in the future, please consider being a backer on our project. It's basically pre-purchasing the album.... doing this means we can finish the…See More
Sep 2
Profile IconRuss Secrest and Karl Hepler joined Flatpicking Guitar Network
Sep 1
Buddy Sizemore posted a status
"I had the great honor of singing with Miss Katie and Miss Ella Bonness to surprise their grandpa ,Myles for his recent birthday. WONDERFUL"
Sep 1
Buddy Sizemore posted a photo
Sep 1
Mondy Herndon posted a blog post
Aug 28

© 2014   Created by Dan Miller.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service