Why no focus on the left hand?


I take your point, but consider this. My situation is that I’m a successful professional country\folk performing songwriter. I’ve made 14 records, 3 of them gold, tour the world with my band etc. My singing and writing are at a professional calibre, and my rhythm playing is passable at a professional level. But my guitar playing could use a ton of improvement, especially lead stuff. And I know for sure I’ll never be Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods playing lead guitar, ie a gifted natural talent. But within my career overall, I could benefit a ton from improving my lead technique to the extent that I’m able given my (possibly quite limited) natural ability. So in my case, the struggle to achieve even a decent level of lead playing is very worthwhile alongside my other basket of performance skills, while at the same time knowing full well I’ll never achieve the level my lead guitar player in my band has achieved. Not saying any of this to argue, but im here asking some basic level questions from a perspective of still having a successful career in music. And all this is said with goodwill. Just sticking up for some of us who find this stuff much more difficult than many people who (annoyingly…lol) seem to pick it up very easily and naturally. Cheers!

EDIT…I reread this and it sounds a little like I’m being boastful about my career in music. It wasn’t intended that way. I was just trying to point out that there are people at all levels of music career-wise that may run into trouble with some guitar stuff that other people find really basic! Really getting a lot from this forum and the materials on this site. Thanks to Troy and everyone participating in this community. Wish I’d had these resources when I was a kid!! Cheers…


Songwriting and composition ability involves a certain X factor that could be chalked up to differing life experiences, differing perspectives, etc. Meaning that even if you know the rules on a logistical and compositional level, some people, for whatever reason, are seen as producing “higher quality” art than others. This could ostensibly be chalked up to what is known as talent.

However, there’s nothing stopping you from becoming as proficient as your band’s lead guitar player in at least a few things.I guarantee you if you took the lessons espoused on this forum for practice and applied them you could see mindblowing results within a year. I went from not even being able to play 100 BPM 16th notes to easily pushing 200-240 BPM 16th notes across a variety of musical passages within far less than a year.

The problem is that many teachers are clueless and no one tells you how to get there, but there is a TON of stuff on here, moreso than anywhere else on the Internet, that will help you build speed in a systematic and predictable matter. There’s an additional problem in that many players choose to jump from one challenge to the next and do not stick to practicing the same core challenge using as many motor mechanical inputs as possible. Moving a pick across strings requires zero talent, but it requires dedication and practice, so I see no reason why you couldn’t do something as simple as moving a piece of plastic accurately when you’ve managed to conquer the heights of the recording industry and earned yourself a gold record as a byline. If it’s a matter of time or a lack of passion, then that too can hamstring your efforts of becoming a better lead guitar player, but I can assure you given your track record as a musician it has nothing to do with talent, intelligence, etc. For most players in general these aren’t valid excuses, and are too often coping mechanisms to preemptively protect against failure.


Thanks for responding and for the positive encouragement! I’ll keep at it! :grin:


Not to get too far off topic, but I would really not worry too much about “talent”. It’s a super vague term. I honestly haven’t found any of the techniques we’ve investigated to require any particular kind of special abilities that most people don’t already possess. What the “naturals” do that the rest of us don’t is figure out techniques without anyone teaching them, often without even knowing they’re doing anything special. That’s their secret superpower. And it is a superpower! But most of the time, the rest of can learn the same techniques, often just as well, simply by knowing how.

If you’ve got the ability to do all the things you’ve outlined in your post, you have more than enough ability to do almost any kind of lead playing you could want.


I’ll give you something that many players struggle with as far as the left hand. Vibrato.


Not enough folks play the blues!