The Language of Lead Guitar

Skill Building Guitar Course from Callum Bair

When we start our journey on the electric guitar, we are often mystified by the ability of seasoned guitar players, who can improvise and piece together melodic lead lines on the spot. Let's join Callum Bair as we learn the techniques behind creating quality single-note licks, solos, and melodies. To achieve these techniques, Callum will focus on 4 scales that can provide us an endless amount of melodic material: the Minor Pentatonic Scale, the Major Pentatonic Scale, the Minor Scale, and the Major Scale. In addition to learning two positions that work for each one of these scales, he will cover a variety of different licks and solos. By learning licks that utilize each one of these positions, we will better understand the melodic potential that lies in each one of these scales. William will also cover the core inflections that are standard in modern lead guitar - such as bends, vibrato, hammer-ons, and pull-offs as well as a variety of exercises that isolate and develop different aspects of single-note guitar playing.

30 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

95% Appoval

72 of 74 of our members have given this their approval.

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Full Course Breakdown

In this series, we will gain insight as to how we can create our own improvised licks and lead lines utilizing the four cornerstone scales of lead guitar playing: the Major, Minor, Major Pentatonic, and Minor Pentatonic scales. We will play along with, and test our skills against, twelve all-new and original backing tracks that will help us break down the barriers to learning the language of lead guitar!


Introduction to 'The Language of Lead Guitar'

Callum Bair introduces us to his new course, 'The Language of Lead'.

3:35 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Minor Pentatonic Scale: As Fundamental as it Gets

To open the course, we will take a look at one of the cornerstones of lead guitar - the Minor Pentatonic Scale.

17:43 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Lick 1: Pentatonic Blues

For our first lick of the series, we will expand our application of the Minor Pentatonic Scale with a look at a classic Blues lick that incorporates a slide within the scale.

11:22 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Lick 2: A 'Classic' Classic Rock Lick

In this next lick lesson, we will break down a very familiar Classic Rock lick that utilizes a vibratic bend.

14:47 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Lick 3: The Blue Note Lick

For our last Minor Pentatonic lick, we will look at a slight variant of the Minor Pentatonic Scale that incorporates the fabled “Blue Note.”

13:05 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Technique 1: Bend it like Becker

For our last Minor Pentatonic lick, we will look at a slight variant of the Minor Pentatonic Scale that incorporates the fabled “Blue Note.”

12:47 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Major Pentatonic Scale: Does this look Familiar?

16:42 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Lick 4: Major Power Ballad

Expanding on our knowledge of the Major Pentatonic Scale, we will now look at a slower vibratic bending lick that is used widely in many of the classic 80’s power ballads.

21:48 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Lick 5: Just Like the King

Continuing with the Major Pentatonic Scale, here we will learn a classic lick based on what is often called the “B.B. King Box”.

12:30 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Lick 6: A Modern Take

Closing out our section on the Major Pentatonic Scale, get ready for a lick that uses the 'B.B. King Box', but in a Modern Pop context - similar to the style of the Blues/Pop crossover artist John Mayer.

17:41 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Technique 2: Singing Vibrato

Moving on, in our second technique lesson of the series we will take a look at a useful exercise that focuses on perfecting the singing quality of proper vibrato technique.

18:24 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The Major Scale: Where it All Starts

The Major Scale is by far the most common scale used in western music. In this lesson, we will break down this useful scale in two separate positions on the neck.

18:07 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Lick 7: The Power Ballad Continues

Jumping into the application of the Major Scale, here we will revisit our Hair Metal roots with a look at a lead line in the style of an 80’s power ballad.

11:37 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Lick 8: A Taste of Classical

Continuing with the Major Scale, now let's take a look at a tasty lick in the style of Neoclassical guitar.

15:17 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Lick 9: Popping Off

It can be argued that no genre is as synonymous with the Major Scale as Pop. In this lesson, we will look at a Pop-style lick that utilizes the Major Scale.

14:15 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Technique 3: Hammer Ons and Pull Offs

For our next technique lesson, we will look at two of the key tools used in playing lead guitar: hammer-ons and pull-offs. Here, we will break these techniques down and show how the proper application can increase our speed and dexterity while navigating the fretboard.

11:55 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Minor Scale: The Final Piece

Now we've made it to our final scale of the course, you guessed it - the Minor Scale. In this lesson, we will dissect the Minor Scale and discuss its relationship to the Major Scale.

14:33 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Lick 10: Neoclassical

Let's apply our knowledge of the Minor Scale and head back to the realm of Neoclassical guitar! In this lesson, we'll take a look at a Minor Scale application of this popular style.

10:45 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Lick 11: The Sad Pop Song

Further expanding our use of the Minor Scale, in this lesson we will look at a lick that uses the scale to set a tone that conveys a sad or melancholy mood.

15:13 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Lick 12: The Classic Rock Lead Up

We use our minor scale again in this intense ascending rock lick. We also learn the essential technique of tremolo picking.

10:08 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Technique 4: Alternate Picking

In this last technique lesson of the course, we will look at a few key exercises that can help us develop a crucial skill needed for successful lead playing - alternate picking.

9:13 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Major Arpeggios: Triads

"Moving on, in this next lesson we will discuss the Major variation of a couple key figures that can really help identify and use your chord shapes in a lead setting - triads and arpeggios.

10:42 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Minor Arpeggios: Triads

Continuing with our triads and arpeggios, in this lesson we'll cover the Minor variations of these key figures.

8:04 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Major Arpeggios: Playing the Changes

Let's put our arpeggios to use! In this lesson, we will work on playing through a simple two-chord progression utilizing our major arpeggio shapes.

13:22 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Minor Arpeggios: Playing the Changes Cont.

Now let's put our minor arpeggios to use! In this lesson, we will work on playing through a simple two-chord progression utilizing our minor arpeggio shapes.

11:07 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Solo 1: Pop Country Paradise

You've come this far, now it's time to get your solo on! In this first full solo, we will learn a short guitar melody in the style of modern Pop- country artists like Carrie Underwood, then view an example solo by William before taking the reins and applying all of the lead skills we've learned thus far to create our own full-fledged guitar solo!

17:01 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Solo 2: Rockin' All Night Long

In this next full solo, we will repeat the same method and look at a Classic Rock style melody that highlights the guitar playing of the great Rock bands of the ’70s.

26:23 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Solo 3: The Modern Magic

Continuing this method, in this next solo we will look at a lead line in the style of the Modern Pop and Blues crossover artist John Mayer.

24:57 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Solo 4: A Rock Sonata

Let's keep adding to our repertoire of guitar solos by taking a look at this Neoclassical-style solo that hints at the classically influenced Rock of the ’80s and ’90s.

26:15 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Solo 5: The Big Stage

Congratulations on making it this far! In our final solo and lesson of the course, we will take a look at a lead line that focuses on slow melodic parts over a power ballad backing track.

26:20 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

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Monique Brooks-Roberts, The KYN, JoFoKe, Brionne Aigné

  • Denver, Colorado
  • Playing since 2007
  • 132 lessons at JamPlay

Reviews & Feedback 95/100 with 74 ratings

Good explanation of contrast between two vibratos. Practice track very helpful. A camera on the back of the neck for a little while would have been he


Having to relearn scales and modes all over as the chemotherpy I had affectd my memory,I am now having to relearn most that I had already learned. This is exactly what I was looking for!!


Love love love the double stops

James Polito

Nice Lesson.


Points out the impact of subtleties


starting to visually put together where these patterns fit in and like the focus on the vibrato and bends


The previous lessons were good building blocks, but this one really started to put it all together. Pretty challenging and fills in some gaps!


Very detailed presentation of what is required / what is going to be covered in the course