Tech Tip:Creating Leads

Take me to


This Q & A comes from the "Ask the Teacher" section of It’s loaded with great advice for developing guitarists. From the fundamentals of playing to sophisticated solos and modal techniques, there are priceless tips to take your skills to a higher plane. Read our entire library of Rock House articles.



Danny Tsegai; Tokyo, Japan


Q: How do you make up your own leads?


A: To make up your own leads you need to have a basic knowledge of scales. Think of scales as a sort of alphabet to be used in the creation of solos or leads. When you started school you needed to learn the alphabet to read and write, and in this same fashion you need to learn your scales to speak or create leads and melodies with your guitar.


I recommend that you learn the minor pentatonic scales first, as these are the most popular scales used in rock and blues. Once you have learned the scales you should start to play them over backing track progressions and use them as creative tools to make your guitar speak melodies and ripping leads.


As I developed my own style I started to generate what I called my "Bag of Tracks." This was a collection of riffs that I created and recorded as I made them (because I would have never remembered those riffs if I hadn't gotten them down on tape). As I was making up leads I would grab a few of these and add them in. This helped me to create signature riffs that resulted in my own unique sound.


Start making your own "Bag of Tracks" today and in no time you’ll have a full bag to pick from!