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

Bob Cron posted a discussion

Norman's Preferences

I saw a video in which Norman discussed why he preferred a certain fret when refretting one of his Martin's. I am about to refret my D-35 Martin, and I would like to know if anyone remembers a video in which Norman discusses his choice over the Frets Martin uses. Thank You.7See More
Apr 6
Cams left a comment for Dr. Kent Gustavson
"Hey Kent - fancy meeting you here! "
Apr 6
Alan Anderson updated their profile
Mar 23
Dan Miller's blog post was featured

Flatpicking Guitar Workshops

Tim May and Dan Miller will be teaching a series of music workshops this summer at the Jade Green Farm retreat center in Harrisburg, Missouri. The first is for guitar and mandolin players and is scheduled for the weekend of April 27th. You can check out our…See More
Mar 15
Dan Miller posted a blog post

Flatpicking Guitar Workshops

Tim May and Dan Miller will be teaching a series of music workshops this summer at the Jade Green Farm retreat center in Harrisburg, Missouri. The first is for guitar and mandolin players and is scheduled for the weekend of April 27th. You can check out our…See More
Mar 15
John Dierckx is now a member of Flatpicking Guitar Network
Mar 15
jon bees posted a photo
Mar 2
Profile IconDavid Keller, john pugh, andre cadieux and 2 more joined Flatpicking Guitar Network
Feb 23
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

© 2018   Created by Dan Miller.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service