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

Mondy Herndon posted a blog post
yesterday
Mark Thatcher posted a video

Flat picking

What working on
yesterday
Mark Thatcher commented on Joe McColley's video
Thumbnail

St Anne's Reel

"Very nice! "
yesterday
Mark Thatcher shared their video on Facebook
yesterday
Shana Aisenberg left a comment for Phil Ostroski
"Nice to see you here Phil!"
yesterday
Phil Ostroski left a comment for Shana Aisenberg
"Hey Shana........Strange meeting you here.......... Always a pleasure and learning experience on Sunday...hope "Sittin'..." came out ok.....seems most of the folks knew it.  Th pace was a little faster than what I often do, but…"
Thursday
Shana Aisenberg and Phil Ostroski are now friends
Tuesday
Dave Richards is now a member of Flatpicking Guitar Network
Aug 24
Maoon Morris is now a member of Flatpicking Guitar Network
Aug 21
Michael Tarnowsky is now a member of Flatpicking Guitar Network
Aug 20
mark davis is now a member of Flatpicking Guitar Network
Aug 17
Maria Calfa-DePaul is now a member of Flatpicking Guitar Network
Aug 14
April Ruth Jordan posted a discussion

World's Fastest Flatpicker?

Even so in my childhood and now adulthood, I've kept wondering and asking those about me; just who is the world's fastest flatpicker? I've grown up hearing some intricate melodic weaving, yet still no one can answer this seemingly simple question. Yet even more difficult to answer: who would be the judge of such a contest or what would be the basis of judging such a contest? Is it even possible to answer?See More
Aug 13
Profile IconDave Hancock and Mark Dennis joined Flatpicking Guitar Network
Aug 12
Profile IconZane Turner and Roger Belk joined Flatpicking Guitar Network
Aug 11
Clint Morgan updated their profile
Aug 10

© 2014   Created by Dan Miller.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service