Lead Guitar Lesson 2 - Picking Technique and Song 2

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In this video

Welcome to day 2 of this free 10 day lead guitar challenge!

In this lesson, we'll look at picking between strings and explore a basic alternate picking technique. We'll then learn the lead part from the song 'Where Is My Mind' by The Pixies!

Lead part - finger positions

Each fretboard diagram below shows the notes and position of the lead lines at each stage.

The diagram below shows all the notes used for this classic indie rock guitar part. Using this as a prompt helps us visualise all the notes and may be useful for when we want to recall the part from memory.

As demonstrated in the video, the position of this lead line can be found by:

  • Moving a D chord up by two frets, to an E chord/triad

  • Isolating the two needed notes. First finger - 4th fret on the 1st string and then, second finger - 5th fret on the 2nd string.

We use alternate picking to play the 2nd string (down-pick) and then 1st string (up-pick) and this counts as one full time round of the 4 times we play this section.


For this second section:

  • Move the second finger down a fret in line with our first finger

  • Play the same picking pattern as above but just twice this time round

Both fingers are sharing this fret but on different strings, so it can be a squeeze. (check out the bottom of this page for technique tips!)


To finish off this lead part there is a quick jump between the final notes.

  • Play the 2nd string on fret 5 (with second finger) and the open 1st string, with two down-picks (diagram 3)

  • As you play the first part of this section, it helps with the next part to have our first finger ready at fret 4 of the second string for the quick change

  • Then, with a down-pick, play the 1st and 2nd string together, with the first finger on fret 4 (diagram 4)

  • Finally, return for one down-pick of the first position of this section (diagram 3)



Lead part - technique tips

  • Try to use the tips of the fingers to help the all the notes sound out, especially when two fingers share a fret - just like playing a chord!

  • When fretting, have your finger position on the fret closer to you as this is a sweet spot which helps us not have to press hard and lets the note sound out

  • Use the thumb at the top of the fretboard as something to hold onto to help the fingers arch over onto the tips

  • As we are playing the thinner strings, we can use the base of the thumb as a point to rest the hand and keep our picking smaller and more controlled

Building up the tempo

With every example of this 10 day lead guitar challenge (or week - you're in control!) we will be building up the tempo as we learn the parts.

  • Play along to the video trying to get 4 times through with clean repetitions

  • First at half speed

  • Then increase the tempo

The thing to aim for here is to be playing the parts all the way through without mistakes, but no pressure as this is not easy to do straight away!


  • Playing an E chord voicing on the thinner strings for lead lines

  • Utilising alternate picking technique

If you've successfully played along to video, well done and now you're ready to move on to day 3 for some string bending!

Where Is My Mind? - learn the full song!

Want to learn the chords for this song? Here's my full tutorial for all sections!

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However, to make the most of this course, I recommend completing the full 10 day program before looking at how to play the rest of the song. After all, we want to get as good at lead guitar as fast as possible!

Next Up: Lead Guitar Lesson 3 - String Bending and Song 3

Well done! Let's jump into the next lesson of the course.

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