Lead guitar and improvisation!

Here you can find backing tracks for different lead guitar assignments. There are always many ways you can work with these whatever your level – from finding the root notes of the chord, to using the corresponding scale on the top two strings, to creating motifs with various criteria.

These chord progressions are in the key of G.

You can use notes from G major, G major pentatonic, or if you are more advanced, the arpeggio from each chord.

A very valuable way to get started learning the notes on the fretboard is to start with finding the note that corresponds with the chord – ie E over an Em chord, B over a Bm chord etc.

|Em | Bm | D C | G   | 85bpm

|C   | Am | D  | G   |   85 bpm

|D   | Em | C  | G   |   90 bpm

Minor key backing tracks

Key of A minor – Am  F  Dm G 85bpm. Chord tones – Am A C E, F – F A C, Dm – D F A, G – G B D

Key of B minor – Bm G Em A 85 bpm  Bm – B D F#, G – G B D, Em- E G B, A – A C# E

Phrygian and Lydian backing tracks

Bm Phrygian

Bm Phrygian to Em Phrygian

F Lydian

When you’re working in different modes, you ideally want to try them out in different keys too.

Example lead guitar composition assignment:

Chords Am C F F (in two styles/tempos)

Brief: Mood – melancholic, beautiful, something that builds.

The sample backing track doesn’t build – it’s similar all the way through – but the real composition does build.

Using what you know so far, what are ways you could create a sense of build?

Some ideas to get you started:
-alter the density of notes (for example – starting with longer notes and then having more notes).

-alter the ‘fit’ of notes – experiment with a sense of building drama by using many very consonant chord tones to start with and including some tenser notes later on.

-alter the pitch range (start lower and end higher or vice versa).

Am C F F

Am C F F

Em G C C – indie/rock 110bpm

Em G C C – strings 85bpm