How to get confident with playing lead guitar
Playing lead guitar is fun and not as complex as it may appear to start with. Here are some backing tracks to make your practice more fun.
The best way to use these tracks is to first play the material you have (eg a pentatonic, or any other pattern) over the music that’s in the right key so that you are very clear on the notes. If the pattern has a lot of notes, work over a narrow range of strings to be able to memorise the notes in a small area. This is a good approach if you have a short practice session, since you may not have time to memorise the notes over all the strings.
Once you’re confident that you can remember and find the notes from the vocabulary that you’re working on, dial up the musicality by playing the notes with expressions. Slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs will all make your phrases sound more musical. Play these expressions any way you like to begin with, and then to increase your accuracy play them in time with the track. It doesn’t have to be fast, you can have gaps between, (in fact you want to have spaces in your playing). Getting used to planning when the note should sound and increasing your ability to do this with expressions is very helpful.
Next, you can experiment with creating short melodic phrases. There are all kinds of ways to do this – starting with 3-5 note motifs is a great way in. In the case of a chord progression that’s the same as the chords of a song with a well known melody, transcribing that melody on guitar really improves your phrasing and melodic understanding.