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09 Feb 2016
Function Guitarist
This suits with the kind of gigs you'll find as an acoustic guitarist: band member, self-accompanying soloist and lead guitarist within a duo or combo. Being a soloist, you'll find no shortage of coffee houses, cocktail parties, up-scale social events, weddings and restaurants where your presence (nicely dressed, needless to say) add a flair of elegance and sophistication to the event specifically if you play a classical or major jazz acoustic guitar, something piped in music struggles to do.

wedding guitarist
All by myself...

The main element to being a good soloist (the self-accompanying kind), is usually to play music where you're playing a melody, a bass line as well as the backing chords all simultaneously. While this is no small feat, figuring out how to fingerpick at the same time you're understanding the basic guitar chords may help immensely, you'll have instilled finger coordination and independence inside your style for the beginning.

There's a lot of guitar TABs on the internet that can help you get started in building a solid song repertoire of finger-style songs. And, truthfully, even simplest ones to play sound way more complex (and impressive!) compared to they really are.

Group effort:

Playing rhythm guitar inside a band is fairly easy: you're part of the rhythm section combined with bass and drums. The issue of being a rhythm guitarist is that the lead singers in most bands are already fairly competent rhythm guitarists themselves, as there are seldom a need for two rhythm players in one band.

So, unless you are the lead singer yourself, after you learn to play acoustic guitar, you might do well to learn the skill of vocal harmony or become a lead guitarist. And, yes, there is certainly such a thing as an acoustic lead guitarist. Most acoustic duos have one or both of the guitarists seizing lead guitar chores throughout a show; in bluegrass bands the guitarist usually plays both rhythm and lead during a show, as you would in many every other combo which has only one guitarist.

Taking the lead.

There are many online guitar lessons that may guide you along the path of becoming a lead guitarist. It can be much more common to find beginners guitar soloing lessons that it is to locate acoustic lead lessons, but much of what the electric lessons give attention to (with some big exceptions, like radical string bending and whammy bar techniques) does apply when you learn to play beginners guitar.

The biggest hurdle in mastering how to play beginners guitar solos is making them sound melodic. The secrets to making melodic solos is simple: play something you can sing, or sing something you can play.

Meaning, once you rehearse, constructs a solo by singing what you want to play over the chord progression first. Then learn how to play what you sang. Or if perhaps you're good enough, make a melody and participate in it at the same time. Think of George Benson playing and singing the solo concurrently on his classic form of "Masquerade".

You can even play the song's melody around the guitar as a way to get yourself started, and then build up your own variations with the melody as it moves along. Imagine Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again" solo.


There's so much more for the acoustic guitar than the basic notes that we all start when we're teaching yourself to play acoustic guitar, with a little forethought you could be something more than "just another guitarist". It is possible to become the most valuable player in the band.


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