Guitar lessons: Flash guitar doesn't have to be hard to play – melt the fretboard with these two blazing lead ideas.
1. Fast hammer-ons and pull-offs
Virtuosos like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai are fearsome players, but beginners can try out techniques like hammer-ons and pull-offs. Instead of picking every note, use fretting fingers to hammer down firmly (known as a hammer on) and to re-pluck the string as you pull away to a lower note (known as a pull-off). It’s a smoother sound than picking.
Our lick boils down to two phrases – and this is the first part. Use your first, second and third fingers at the 10th, 12th and 13th frets respectively.
The second half of our lick repeats this simple phrase. It’s the same rhythm as the previous phrase, but played on the 9th, 10th and 12th frets.
2. Van Halen-style tapping
Taking inspiration from late rock guitar legend Eddie Van Halen we’re using a technique known as tapping. The idea is to use a finger on your picking hand to hammer down onto a fretted note, instead of using the pick itself. Follow up a tapped note with hammer-ons and pull-offs and you have a surprisingly easy way to play fast, flash sounding lead lines.
Our tapped line is really easy. The circled note is a tap; follow this by pulling your tapping finger away to reveal a 5th fret note; finish with a hammer-on to the 8th fret.
You’ll be playing almost the same thing again here, just at the 4th and 7th frets. Use either your first and third or first and fourth fingers.