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

Tom Behan posted photos
Jan 30
Tom Behan updated their profile
Jan 30
Tom Behan joined Paige Anderson's group
Thumbnail

Martin Guitar Owners

Here is a group for people who have Martin Guitars, or is looking for one, or if you just really like Martin Guitars!
Jan 30
Tom Behan joined Chad Fette's group
Thumbnail

Norman Blake Fans

This is the place for those of us who love Norman Blake! Feel free to comment on Norman's technique, albums, instruments, philosophy, concert performances, or anything else that is Norman related.
Jan 30
Tom Behan joined Andy Roy's group
Thumbnail

Tony Rice Fans

This is a group for all fans of Tony Rice, and those who appreciate all that he has contributed to the world of acoustic guitar flatpicking.
Jan 30
Kevin Wright updated their profile
Dec 19, 2017
Profile IconPaul Barber, Mitchell Miller, Jocelyn Beauregard and 13 more joined Flatpicking Guitar Network
Dec 19, 2017
Guglielmo Palombella and Dave Siler are now friends
Dec 1, 2017
Dave Siler commented on David Burns's video
Thumbnail

McVerry's Men (from Crossmaglen) / St. Anne's Reel / Drowsy Maggie

"Lads, that's absolutely brilliant! Well played, and UP THE REPUBLIC!"
Nov 18, 2017
Louis Ruoti posted a video

Wildwood Flower - Louis Ruoti - Flatpick Solo

A Carter Family song, bless their souls! Instrument is a Blueridge BR 140, recorded with a Zoom H6 Handy Recorder and Logitech web cam.
Nov 10, 2017
Louis Ruoti posted a video

Santa Rosa Wildfire - Original Song - Louis Ruoti - Flatpick Guitar Solo

Another freewheeling "make it up as you go along" song. Instrument is a Blueridge BR 140, recorded on a Zoom H6 Handy Recorder.
Nov 9, 2017
billy jones bluez updated their profile
Oct 29, 2017
Dave Siler commented on Downtown Freddy Brown's group Taylor Guitar Owners and Lovers
"Just added the Taylor K22e to my collection. Physically, it is the most beautiful guitar that I have ever seen. The lovely KOA and maple combinations are literally breathtaking. The KOA and boxwood ocean vine inlay on the fret board is striking, as…"
Oct 29, 2017

© 2018   Created by Dan Miller.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service