The next thing that we're going to discuss is playing a lead. A lead is usually nothing more than playing one note at a time in the sort of mode that goes along with the character of the song. A popular place to play a lead is in an introduction, in the middle, or to fade out or just end a song. Some leads get played throughout an entire song. By the way, in normal pop music there is frequently an instrumental section in the middle of the song called "the bridge" or "the break". This is where a lead guitar player can really shine. If there are other members of the band (such as the percussionist or keyboard player) who want to play during the bridge too, then the lead guitar player takes turns with them. This is called "switching" or "alternating leads".
A particular scale is commonly used in the Country, Western, Rock 'n Roll and Blues styles of music. It is called the
because it consists of only five notes from the Diatonic Scale. The five notes are the 1,2,4,5, and 6. Can you guess why the 3 and 7 are left out? Okay, I'll tell you. It's because if the rhythm guitarist or keyboard player are playing a Minor or 7th chord, then the lead guitarist will be safe from playing any notes that will conflict with what the other musicians are playing.
I'm going to show you the Pentatonic Scale in the key of E.
I'm using the key of E for two reasons: