Lead guitar


Lead guitar

Lead guitar refers to the use of a guitar to perform melody lines, instrumental fill passages, and guitar solos within a song structure.

In rock and heavy metal bands, the lead guitar lines are usually supported by a second guitarist who plays rhythm guitar, which consists of accompaniment chords and riffs, often played with a distortion effect. In some rock or metal bands with two guitarists, the two performers may perform as a guitar tandem, and trade off the lead guitar and rhythm guitar roles.

To create lead guitar lines, guitarist use scales, modes, arpeggios, licks, and riffs that are performed using a variety of techniques. Heavy metal lead guitar lines often employ alternate picking, sweep picking, economy picking and left-handed techniques (e.g., hammer ons, pull offs, and tapping) are used to maximize the speed of their solos or riffs. In a blues context, lead guitar lines are created using call and response-style riffs that are embellished with string bending, vibrato and slides.

In rock and heavy metal contexts, the lead guitar line often involves melodies with a sustained, singing tone. To create this tone on the electric guitar, guitarists often select certain pickups and use effects pedals such as distortion pedals, for a more sustained tone, and delay effects for a reverberant sound. High volume is also used to induce audio feedback, which increases sustain. Other effects used to embellish lead guitar tone include the wah-wah pedal and univibe effects.

ee also

* Rhythm guitar
* Multiple guitar players
* List of lead guitarists
* Blues
* Jazz


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • lead guitar — UK [ˌliːd ɡɪˈtɑː(r)] / US [ˌlɪd ɡɪˈtɑr] noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms lead guitar : singular lead guitar plural lead guitars the guitar that is the most important instrument in a band and plays the main tune, or the person playing the… …   English dictionary

  • lead guitar — /lid gəˈta/ (say leed guh tah) noun 1. an electric guitar in a rock group used for playing the melodic line and solo parts (opposed to rhythm guitar). 2. the person who plays lead guitar …   Australian English dictionary

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