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Lead Concepts & Techniques

Skill Building Guitar Course from Dennis Hodges

Dennis Hodges blends conceptual lead instruction for developing solos, improvising, and harmonizing along with lead techniques such as legato, sweeping, and alternate picking.

23 Lessons

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

Multi-Camera

Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

Guitar Pro

All tabs and notation provided in PDF and Guitar Pro formats.

Tabs & Info

Download tabs, helpers, JamTracks and docs included with lessons.

Included

Access this course, along with all other courses with Membership.

Full Course Breakdown

While the rhythm guitarist focuses on song structure and accompaniment, lead guitar playing focuses on melody lines, solos, and improvisation.

1

Major Scale Improvising

Dennis covers the basics of the major scale. Then, he introduces you to improvisation within a one octave scale pattern.

25:45 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

2

Minor Scale Improvising

Dennis introduces the minor scale. You will improvise within this scale and work on a written solo as well.

26:20 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

3

Harmonizing

Dennis teaches harmonization in 3rds, diatonic and non-diatonic 4ths, 5ths, diatonic 6ths, and atonal harmonization.

27:16 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty

4

Lead Guitar Improvising

Dennis teaches key improvisational concepts such as blending scales, phrasing, and staying within a scale.

29:16 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

5

Sweep Picking

Dennis Hodges teaches sweeping technique, 3 string triads, and 2 octave arpeggios. Also included is an etude written specifically for JamPlay!

39:18 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

6

Tapping: Basic and Advanced Techniques

Dennis covers many tapping techniques in this lesson. From basic to advanced, get ready to learn something new!

39:47 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty

7

Lead Concepts and Techniques: Tricks

Dennis teaches a bunch of cool metal and rock tricks in this lesson!

34:27 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

8

Writing A Rock Guitar Solo

Dennis Hodges teaches you some of the basics to writing your own solos!

47:13 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

9

Lead Guitar Improvisation

Dennis Hodges teaches the basics of improvising a solo over a backing track.

28:44 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty

10

Interpretation

Dennis teaches some basics on how to interpret a piece of music and make it your own.

20:03 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

View this Lesson
11

Soloing In E Minor

Dennis dissects a solo he wrote that stays in the 12th position box of E minor.

15:10 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

12

Soloing In A Minor

Dennis Hodges dissects an advanced, extended solo he wrote in A Minor for this lesson.

33:28 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty

13

Metal Solo Introduction

JamPlay instructor Dennis Hodges is back with a two sided metal solo! This pack of lessons contains an intermediate and advanced level metal solo. You'll be utilizing bends, sweeping, arpeggios and talking about modes that fit into a neo-classical modal genre. By learning the easier of the two solos, you get to see how you can simplify and scale down your playing. Learning the harder of the two will provide you with embellishment ideas to really fire up your metal soloing!

2:11 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty

14

Easy Metal Solo Phrase #1

To get things started, Dennis offers up the first four measure phrase of this easy metal solo. He also discusses the E Phrygian Dominant mode, which will be used throughout most of this solo.

3:06 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

15

Advanced Metal Solo Phrase #1

Now that you have the first phrases of the easy solo under your fingers, let's put a little heat into the lick. You're working out of the same E Phrygian Dominant scale here, but you're adding some embellishments and tapping.

4:00 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty

16

Easy Metal Solo Phrase #2

Here's another four bar phrase of the easy metal solo. This phrase is predominantly arpeggio-based. It ends with a big bend and slide out.

4:03 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

17

Advanced Metal Solo Phrase #2

Like the second phrase of the easy solo, this advanced phrase is also predominantly arpeggio-based. However, it adds speed and flash for a more speed metal vibe.

4:50 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty

18

Easy Metal Solo Phrase #3

Dennis is back with the next phrase of the easy metal solo. Phrase three incorporates a step sequence where you play a note, go up a step, then leap down in a repeated fashion.

3:49 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

19

Advanced Metal Solo Phrase #3

Just like the other advanced phrases, this one is an embellishment of the easy lick. To amp up the step sequence of the easy lick, this advanced phrase adds triplets.

6:16 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty

20

Easy Metal Solo Phrase #4

Dennis Hodges is back with another lick from the easy metal solo. Phrase four is the final phrase of the easy metal solo. This lick isn't incredibly fast, but it combines a pull-off to open strings, which gives the lick a lot of character.

3:28 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

21

Advanced Metal Solo Phrase #4

Phrase four of the advanced solo is another embellishment of the easy solo. To amp up the speed and give it a more metal edge, Dennis introduces trills that bounce off the open strings.

5:56 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty

22

Easy Metal Solo Connections

At this point, you should have all four phrases of the easy solo under your fingers. In this lick entry, Dennis discusses how to connect the phrases together in order to play the entire solo seamlessly.

4:40 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

23

Advanced Metal Solo Connections

Congratulations! You've learned all four phrases of the advanced metal solo. Now, let's take a look at how to connect those phrases for a seamless solo!

6:07 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty

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  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Playing since 1994
  • 109 lessons at JamPlay
For better or worse, Dennis Hodges cannot stop playing music, and (he hopes) will never stop playing music.

Growing up in Flint, Michigan, Dennis had a tremendous passion for drawing. He couldn't stop copying moves from bands he saw on MTV, though, and it didn't help that his parents filled the house with Santana, Stevie Ray, and Allman Bros. (on real records, no less!) so it wasn't long till he got his first guitar. It was junk. Within a few weeks his parents traded in a poor acoustic for a less junky 3/4-size electric.

Dennis started lessons right away at the age of 8. He still remembers hating it for awhile, and not taking it seriously until he was 12. He is thankful his parents forced him to practice early on and kept paying for lessons, even though rational thinking should have stopped them after a year.

Around this time drawing became less important, and guitar consumed all his attention. After 6 years of lessons he parted ways with his teacher and, after trying out two others with no results, decided to continue alone. His nerdistic tendencies paid off, as he put in hours working on picking and left hand exercises and learned as many Randy Rhoads and Kirk Hammett solos as he could.

Luckily, there were playing opportunities at school talent shows and church. Dennis was playing bass at his church when he was 13, helping to hone his performance skills in a group setting.

In high school, Dennis joined the marching band on sousaphone for all 4 years. It was as awesome as you could expect. He was also fortunate enough to be in several different metal bands, still play at church, and get the incredible opportunity to play guitar for many local community theaters. This kept his sight-reading in shape and gave him an appreciation for different styles of music (and paid pretty well, from a high schooler's perspective).

In 2001, Dennis came to Bexley, Ohio to study guitar at Capital University with Stan Smith. His studies emphasized jazz and classical guitar. Here his metal past merged with a deeper understanding of the instrument and music in general, and the basis for most of his teaching style was set in motion.

Dennis now plays guitar for Upper Arlington Lutheran Church every Sunday, for St. Christopher in Grandview, Ohio, with the youth group, and also plays for touring Broadway shows that stop in Columbus. Occasionally, he plays weddings and private parties, and he is starting a new cover band with some friends, called Dr. Awkward. He is blessed to have his understanding and supportive wife Kate, and is glad to be at JamPlay!
Reviews & Feedback 78/100 with 55 ratings
piinkwolf

Only seen a little but the teacher it's really thorough and good

Geminispirit

Very cool

majmurray

watch a few of these and you find just how easy it can be to get into solos. I'm past this, but came back to check out any new ideas...