Guitar Technique Booster For Lead Guitar
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Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
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Guitar Technique Booster For Lead Guitar

Learn the Picking Techniques and Strategies of the Pros. Boost your Lead Guitar Skills. For Blues, Rock, Metal & beyond
4.1 (9 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
833 students enrolled
Created by Chris Basener
Last updated 1/2016
Current price: $10 Original price: $45 Discount: 78% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 min on-demand audio
  • 5 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • 90 minutes of High Quality Guitar Instruction
  • Over 50 Licks & Exercises
  • Downloadable PDFs with TAB and standard notation
  • By the end of this course, you ou will have a solid understanding of the most essential picking techniques for lead guitar.
  • You will also be familiar with concepts such as Octave Shifting, Horizontal Playing, Modal Arpeggios and Tetrachords
View Curriculum
  • A guitar (obviously) - although this course focuses on electric guitar, the techniques and concepts also apply to acoustic guitar
  • Intermediate guitar skills
  • The time and dedication to practice (sorry, there's no short-cut here)


Give your guitar technique a shot in the arm and become a killer lead guitarist. This course is going to show you the essential picking techniques that will sharpen your skills, reveal some closely guarded trade secrets and help you play better guitar solos.

Over 600 students have already enrolled in this course!

In this course I'll show the techniques, strategies and little tricks that have helped me to take my guitar playing from 'just about OK' to expert level. From the basics like 'Alternate Picking' and a super-cool way of spicing up your leads with odd-note-groupings to concepts such as 'Octave Shifting' and 'Tetrachords' - everything is explained in easy-to-follow videos and supported by TAB (and standard notation).

Here is what you will discover:

Alternate picking – the fundamental technique that all others build upon. Includes licks and picking patterns in the style of Paul Gilbert, Yngwie Malmsteen and others like them.

Inside picking – this closely-guarded technique that can turn a difficult alternate picking lick into an easy-to play one.

Economy picking – this approach will let you play with 30% less effort. Once you understand it you will be able to play faster and with less effort.

Pick 'N' Mix technique – in this section we look at a technique that makes it a breeze to play high-speed runs at a fast tempo.

Bonus Section - learn chromatic warm – ups and Steve Vai's finger-independence exercise

What the media is saying: Topics such as Economy Picking, String Skipping and Speedbursts are always explained on the basis of simple exercises and are put into action with licks from masters such as Paul Gilbert or Steve Morse. 4.5 out of 5 stars" Jurgen Ehness - guitar magazine - Germany

This course consists of over 40 video modules so you can see each technique in action. Also included are the TABs (and standard notation) for all of the 50+ licks and exercises as downloadable PDFs.

And one very important point.

You have a totally unconditional guarantee from Udemy. Study the course. Test the waters. If you are in any way unhappy (I can't imagine, why, but nevertheless!) you will get a full 100%, absolutely no conditions attached, refund. Cheerfully. You have a full 30 days to study and see the results and potential.

That's our personal assurance of your success!

Join over 600 students - enrol today and start kicking your lead guitar technique into overdrive!

Chris Basener is a killer player with creative songs, cool phrasing, high-calibre chops and simply good taste in writing and playing." (Tom Hess - Rhapsody Of Fire)

Who is the target audience?
  • Perfect for the advancing lead guitarist
  • If you've only just started playing guitar, this course is not yet for you
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Curriculum For This Course
41 Lectures
2 Lectures 01:03

Congratulations and welcome to this course.

Once you've worked through this course, you'll have a very good understanding of the various picking techniques that you can use in your guitar solos, you'll also have a ton of lick under your belt that you can use in your own playing straight away.

So grab you guitar pick, tune-up and let's roll.

Best of luck

Preview 00:41

Reference tuning is A = 440 Hz

Preview 00:22
Alternate Pickig
13 Lectures 26:20

Here is a list of the top 5 things to look out for when developing your alternate picking technique:

How to hold you pick:
Hold the pick on the side of your index finger and secure it with your thumb. Cup your hand as if holding an imaginary egg. Place the plectrum on the side of the first joint (or distal phalnax as the doctors say) of your index finger and place your thumb on top. Don’t tense up. Check out Paul Gilbert’s video for a more detailed explanation.

How to angle your pick:
Hit the string in a steady and relaxed manner. Try hitting the string at an angel of 30 to 45 degrees. This allows for less string resistance and a warmer tone.

How to move:
When playing on a single string, the picking movement should come from the wrist and not from your elbow or the thumb and index finger. Observe yourself in a mirror – or video record yourself if you’re a more gadgety type of person.

How to attack the string:
Only attack the string with the tip of the pick, especially when playing fast single note licks. Using more surface area of the pick is OK for acoustic guitar strumming but for lead lines you should only use the tip of the plectrum.

How to sound good:
Use a clean tone with no delay or excessive reverb to start with. Aim for a nice and full tone. Any effects will mask mistakes and make it more difficult later on.
Once you start using overdriven and distorted sounds, make sure you mute any unwanted strings with the palm of your picking hand, your remaining fingers of your picking hand (i.e. the ones that don’t hold the plectrum) and your fretting hand.
What you are looking for is a ‘clean’ distorted tone.

Right hand basics

Here's a good basic chromatic picking exercise.
Play on all strings - use a metronome (or a simple drum beat) and increase the tempo slowly over time.

Also check out the first warm-up exercise for additional instructions about finger placement and position shifting with your fretting hand.

Chromatic Picking Exercise on a single string

Here are some of the most popular picking patterns on a single string.
Players like Yngwie or Al Di Meola use these patterns in their solos.

Play on all strings to make sure you get a feel for the different string resistance when going from the high to the low strings

Various Patterns on a single string

Here are two licks in the style of Yngwie and Al

Lick No1 & No 2 - Yngwie Malmsteen / Al Di Meola style

Moving on with patterns on two strings.

As said before, play these on all string pairs to get used to it

Picking Patterns on two strings

6-note-patterns on two strings & Paul Gilbert trademark lick

Here are some more patterns to get down

Tony McAlpine pattern and descending patterns

This lick is based on an idea from Blues Saraceno. If you've never heard of him, go check out his stuff from the 90s.

These days Blues is mainly doing soundtracks for TV. Google or YouTube him...

Lick 4 - Blues Saraceno style repeating lick

This lick is great for building stamina. It's one of those repeating licks that you can noodle forever in front to the TV while your mind's switched off

Lick 5 - Paul Gilbert style repeating lick

Octave-shifting is a pretty cool concept. Not sure if it's an official term, if not, I'm claiming the copyright for it :-)

Nevertheless, you can use the concept with all your own ideas. Get creative and come up with your own ideas (and write them down, so you don't forget them)

Octave-shifting concept and variations

Ok, here we put everything together in one long lick

Lick 6 - combining patterns and octave-shifting
Inside Pickig
7 Lectures 12:47
Inside Picking- Introduction

Inside Picking Pattern

This is a cool Dorian Blues lick that you and add to your arsenal of flashy licks.

Lick 7 - Dorian Blues lick

The idea of horizontal playing is something that players like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai use extensively. It's a great way to travel around the fretboard.

Lick 8 - Horizontal Lick and Inside Picking Excercise

Lick 9a & 9b - Diagonal and Reverse Diagonal lick

This picking pattern is pretty important. Learn it an use it with all the other pentatonic positions.

Lick 10 - Pentatonic pattern (Am7/4 arpeggio)

Modal Arpeggios are a great way to break away from more traditional arpeggio shapes and can really spice up your playing.

Experiment with other picking patterns as well. Basically, make stuff up and see how it feels....

Modal arpeggios
Economy Picking
10 Lectures 19:31
Introduction to Economy Picking and Tetrachords

Apart from the picking, tetrachords are an important concept to digest.

Again playing around with this and invent your own licks.

Pentatonic Tetrachords

Memorize the fingering and also play this on the B and E string, starting on the 5th fret.

Tetrachord G major scale #1 & #2

This lick was inspired by Steve Stevens (guitar player with Billy Idol) - great player, great tone. Check out his solo records.

Preview 01:42

Cool John Petrucci style lick.

Full disclosure: John would probably play this lick with strict alternate picking. I suggest you also experiment with using alternate picking.

Lick 12 - John Petrucci style lick

One of my favourite licks. I use this on one of my tracks 'Enjoy The Ride'

Lick 13 - Blues scale repeating lick

Another quintuplet lick using the D Blues Scale.

Lick 14 - Blues scale repeating lick #2

These arpeggios are super useful. I learned these from John Petrucci and use them in my own playing quite a bit.

Lick 15 - two-note per string arpeggios

Here's another Steve Stevens lick.
Check out his YouTube videos when he does his acoustic guitar solo thing.

Lick 16 - maj7 arpeggio sequence

OK, here's another Steve Stevens lick. This time from the Vince Neil album 'Exposed'. The vocals may be debatable but the guitar playing on this record is stellar.

This lick in particular is pretty difficult to bring up to speed. But it's a great way of playing arpeggios, almost like a keyboard player... (on reflection, this may not be a good thing ;-))

Lick 17 - Sister Of Pain style lick
Pick 'N' Mix Technique
4 Lectures 12:00

Here's how to apply the Pick N Mix technique with stuff we've learned earlier. Do the same with your own licks

Lick 18 - reverse Paul Gilbert with Pick N Mix

Some more application of the Pick N Mix technique

Lick 19 - octave shifting variation with Pick N Mix

This lick is inspired by Nuno Bettencourt.
Check out the song 'It's A Monster' by Extreme from their 'Pornograffiti' album.

Lick 20 - Nuno Bettencourt style string skipping lick
Essential Warm-Ups
3 Lectures 11:31

Been using this warm up exercise for ages - really good for your technique

Chromatic warm up #1

This is based on Steve Vai's finger exercise from his famous 10 Hour Workout Session that he would do while attending the Bereklee College of Music

Chromatic Warm Up #2

And here's my variation of Steve's Exercise

Chromatic warm up #3
Bonus - How To Sound Like A Pro
1 Lecture 00:38

Psst... this will make you sound like a pro - instantly :-)

The One Secret That Will Make You Sound Like A Pro - Instantly
Backing Track and Application
1 Lecture 01:00

Here's a straight forward backing track that you can use to apply the various licks, patterns and techniques to.

Download the Audio File and the Lead Sheet below

The track consists of three parts - A, B and C - each with a different tonal center and a slightly different feel.

Section A:
This section is in A minor and alternates between two bars of A5 and two bars of F5 (the 5 means they are power-chords). You can use the following licks over it:

  • any of the patterns from the alternate picking section
  • Lick 2
  • Lick 3
  • Lick 6
  • Lick 10
  • All of the Octave Shifting ideas
  • TetraChord 1 & 2

Section B:
This is a chromatically descending section centering around the D minor tonality.

The following licks can work well over it:

  • Lick 7 - transposed to the 10th position
  • Lick 11 - transposed to the 10th position
  • Lick 12 - transposed to the 10th position
  • Lick 13 - transposed to the 10th position
  • Lick 14 - transposed to the 10th position
  • Lick 18 - transposed to the 10th position
  • Lick 19 - transposed to the 10 position

Section C:
This is centered around E Phrygian Dominant tonality (the 5th mode of A harmonic minor)

The following lick could be used:

  • Phrygian Dominant Arpeggio
  • Any lick from section A as along as you change any G to a G#

This track is quite quick (at 145 bpm) so it can be quite challenging to play quintuplets and sextuplets. I suggest to play these licks at half the speed (e.g. triplets) or change them to 16th note licks (which can give a nice syncopated effect)

Practice Suggestions:
Have a look at the lead sheet and maybe mark out where you'd want to play a certain lick (after trying them all). In between these 'milestone' licks you could improvise to your heart's content.

Or map out the licks above and try to connect them all as seamlessly as possible.

Alternatively, make up your own licks and just jam. I would suggest to write down any cool licks that you come up with, so it's a more productive jam / practice session.

Have fun and stay awesome


Backing Track and Practice Suggestions
About the Instructor
Chris Basener
4.1 Average rating
9 Reviews
833 Students
1 Course
Guitar Coach @ Udemy, Author and Solo Artist

Hi, I'm Chris Basener.

I am a graduate of the Munich Guitar Institute (MGI) in Germany where I studied with French Jazz/Fusion Maestro Phillippe Caillat and Mario Neunkirchen, Author of the Fusion Guitar Workbook (Voggenreiter Verlag).

As a product specialist and demonstrator for the US music instrument company Line 6, I have done many clinics and demos at trade shows and fairs across Europe (Germany, Austria, France, Belgium and the UK) performing to thousands of people.

I also teach guitar students in my private guitar studio and via online lessons.

After over a decade of working in the music industry, performing, presenting, demonstrating and teaching I have a lot of information to share with you.

I have also released an instructional book on alternate picking called ‘The Essential Guide to Alternate Picking’.

In addition I have released several articles on guitar gear and playing techniques.