A lot of people mistakenly believe that what makes you a great lead guitarist is playing super fast notes, aka, a guitar shredder. Playing super fast guitar licks and leads is great, but in my opinion, it’s not important in music. I’ve always believed that when a guitar player wants to play super fast solos all the time, just wants to be a show off. It’s like, “Hey, look at me, I can play fast”. Playing fast is just for entertainment purposes.
If you really want to impress people with your playing. Play guitar like you’re on fire and send chills down people’s spines, then you need to play lesser notes, and play a little slower. You need to make your solo sound musical. Something memorable. Make your solo sound like it’s somebody singing a song. That’s why I admire players like Jimmy Page, Joe Satriani, Hendrix, Clapton. Those guys can do that.
This is my goal that I want to achieve with lead guitar playing. I want to sound musical, instead of sounding like I’m playing a bunch of scales and exercises. You don’t want to sound like that at all. You want to play music with solos just like you do with chords.
There are too many bands out there that try too hard on solos, mostly showing off a bit way too much. You got to have passion in your soloing and it’s hard to do. You can play a long solo as long as you want to as long as you don’t bore the audience to death with it. You need to sound musical every time, if you don’t want the audience to walk away from your playing.
When your fans go see a rock or metal concert, they expect to hear good guitar solos live on the stage. So you have to take lead guitar seriously.
Believe me, the listener will let you know if you’re playing a good solo or not, no matter where you are. If someone sticks around listening to your playing, that means you’re doing something right. If someone tells you to stop playing or play something else, that means you got a lot more work to do.
You have to impress the listener if you want to be a great guitarist. You can’t call yourself a great guitar player, you have to let the listener say that to you. The people will let you know if you are great or not.