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

Profile IconMartin Keimig and Dag E. Josang joined Flatpicking Guitar Network
yesterday
Dale Galgozy updated their profile
Tuesday
Jim Cornwell posted videos
May 16
Profile Iconchris deczynski, Ray Desjardins and Dawn A Miller joined Flatpicking Guitar Network
May 15
Profile IconDane Tollas, Dave Siler and CHECA philippe joined Flatpicking Guitar Network
May 1
Larry posted a discussion

Easy Solution To a Common Acoustic/Electric String Problem

Found a solution to an often mentioned problem when having installed a piezo type bridge plate pickup transducer. The consensus of several Internet responders who have done this is that while the sound from strings 2 through 6 is good, the high e-string  is way too quiet with no real ring, sustain, etc. Some have suggested moving the transducer for that string away from a brace, Adding a 4th transducer, a not so easy job, etc.I recently installed a JJB pickup (jjbelectronics) in a 40 year old…See More
Apr 21
Sam Byerly posted videos
Apr 19
Sam Byerly posted a photo
Apr 19
Bill Davenport left a comment for Roger Knowles
"Hi Roger...hope all is well across the pond. Hope all is well.  Haven't heard anything about Dave...he may be retired by now."
Apr 14
Profile IconJohn Quibell, Steve Mooney, Alastair Macdonald and 7 more joined Flatpicking Guitar Network
Apr 9
Jeffrey Glen West left a comment for dan huckabee
"Dan -- I ran out of time to say much but I want to thank you for your beginner's articles in FGM. I work them out fingerstyle on a nylon-string baritone ukulele."
Mar 30
Jeffrey Glen West posted a blog post

FGM DGBE

I play two-thirds of a guitar. I have some wrist issues with fretting the 6th string. I enjoy finger picking but have been an avid follower of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine for about 6 years. I find Dan Huckabee's beginners arrangements great for the bari-uke. I have also found much of Adam Granger's work suits my DGBE tuning.I once took a class from Dan Miller in Palo Alto, California and he told me that his daughter was playing the baritone uke. I have e-mailed Adam about his new FGM…See More
Mar 30
Jeffrey Glen West commented on Jeffrey Glen West's photo
Thumbnail

IMG_20160720_100804276_HDR

"Learning mountain tunes from Wayne Henderson July 2016 at the California Coast Music Camp"
Mar 30
Jeffrey Glen West posted photos
Mar 30
Profile IconMary Stewart and Steven Bocon joined Flatpicking Guitar Network
Feb 20
Arthur Knowler replied to William Gray's discussion Heavy Picks Anyone?
"I have a left handed Blue Chip TAD 3R 40 pick and I find it a great pick to use, no scraping and quick on the strings. The only problem is that the tone is quite bass-y which is great for lead picking or Mandolin but not so good for rhythm…"
Feb 18

© 2017   Created by Dan Miller.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service